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The Visual Power of Infographics

They’re everywhere on the internet these days. As ubiquitous as cat photos. You’ve even seen them here, on this very blog — we like to use neat-looking ones to help illustrate key points.

I’m talking about infographics. A combination of the words information and graphics, infographics are “graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” 1

To put it in simpler terms: People like pictures.

People like pictures so much, in fact, that infographics have been around just about as long as we have (think cave paintings and explorer’s maps). These days, it’s difficult to get through 24 hours without encountering an infographic of some kind. From illustrations showing how to assemble your new desk, to the icons that direct you to public restrooms, to the charts you share in business meetings, it’s clear we live in a hyper-visual world — and that won’t be changing anytime soon.

But over the last several years we’ve seen the dawn of a new era of infographics. As information in our daily lives has increased, attention spans have decreased. Publishers have responded with eye-catching graphics that serve a dual purpose: to draw readers in and to summarize data points quickly.

We see more infographics today than ever before — and especially on the Internet. But don’t dismiss them as a passing fad.

Done right, infographics are a vital tool in your marketing arsenal. How? Let’s count the ways.

  • They’re sharable. “Viral” infographics couldn’t have gone viral without the power of sharing. The better and more useful your infographic is, the more it will get passed around.
  • They’re trackable. Using analytics on unique URLs, you can keep track of how far and wide your infographic has traveled — and you can keep a finger on the pulse of your audience.
  • They’re engaging. New visitors to a web page usually give it a few brief seconds of evaluation before deciding whether to stay or leave. Infographics can help you convince them to stay.
  • They’re easy to scan and understand. Humans excel at sussing out patterns and trends, and infographics exploit that innate ability.
  • They’re advocates for your brand. Sure, your infographic is sure to showcase the design elements of your brand — palette, logo, typeface, etc. But more importantly, infographics demonstrate leadership in your industry via your company’s knowledge of key concepts, ideas, and trends.

Most of the information we take in throughout the day is filtered out by the brain, lost forever. Help make your data memorable by presenting it visually!


1 Source: Wikipedia.

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