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Information graphics, or infographics, are a way to combine complex or lengthy subjects into a quick snapshot that’s easy to digest … both visually and conceptually. You’ve probably seen them. You may have shared them on social media sites. But how can they help you grow your business?

The History of Infographics

Let’s take a step back and look at the history of infographics first. Early forms have been in existence since prehistoric times, from cave drawings to maps. They were later used for things such as keeping inventory of cattle and depicting battles. Today, we come into contact with infographics daily, from certain transportation signs to weather information, and business related topics and concepts shared on social media.

Why They Work

Infographics act as a visual shorthand of sorts for conveying complex and detailed concepts and data that would be too lengthy to write. In today’s world of mass media and minute attention spans, who has time to read 1,000 words when they can look at one picture? People are seeking ways to consume more information in a shorter period of time. They respond to attention-grabbing and easy to understand formats.

How Infographics Can Help Your Business

There is a science to creating a successful infographics design. You need to find the right balance of visual art and written information. When you do, you can present un-sexy statistics and data in an attractive way … a form of edutainment, or learning made fun. Their use in business has evolved from basic bar graphs and pie charts in presentations, to engaging, eye-catching pictorials covering a number of topics, including:

  • Market demographics
  • Market trends
  • Customer behavior
  • Product and service education and application
  • Product evolution
  • Business processes
  • Brand differentiation

They are used across all industries, from healthcare, to technology, education, and entertainment. Because of their interesting nature, they increase exposure through sharing, plus they improve data retention and brand recognition.

You can share your infographics in a variety scenarios, too. You can post them on your branding site and social media profiles. By posting them online, you increase the likelihood that industry influencers and your target audience will circulate your infographics for you by using the sharing apps on your website and within social media. When they do, they increase your brand visibility and help improve your SEO by increasing the number of links coming back to you from other site. You may choose to include them in videos that you post online or giveaway as promotional material handouts at tradeshows. Or you may decide that you want to include them in your email marketing campaigns.

Once you’ve mastered web 2.0., get ready, because web 3.0 is right around the corner. Some even say it’s already here!

Dina Wasmer is President and CMO of Incite Creative, a marketing strategy and design firm that helps businesses and organizations get the most bang from their marketing bucks. She can be reached at 410-366-9479 or [email protected].