Infographics aren’t dead, they’re just lazy

Marketers have a tendency to move from one shiny new tactic or strategy to the next. Although new tech, such as Periscope, might have been the flavour of 2015, the infographic is certainly not dead, even now.

Three years ago people started talking about infographic fatigue. However, reaching a saturation point does not have to mean the end of one form of content. It just highlights the need for a filter on quality and in turn makes the context and messaging important again. At the dawn of the infographic, you could get away with anything.

It seemed that any words turned into pictures, even with no additional meaning, could go viral as long as they looked pretty. The idea was seen as disruptive and different. Now an infographic has to have two things: meaning and an audience who cares.

If your messaging doesn’t have these two ingredients, simply transforming it into an infographic will not solve your problems. The continued unprecedented rise of Instagram tells us that in the ADD world of the internet, the thirst for information in image format is still there. So what are the essentials for a great infographic in 2015?

Great insights. Make sure you have something interesting to say and make sure your story is something that is better delivered in pictures than words. Turning data into images will always make it more digestible, often your justification for an infographic.

Keep it simple. Don’t baffle the viewer with complex diagrams and irrelevant images.

Structure. Think about how to build your story and make it compelling to keep readers’ interest through to the conclusion.

Use an image hierarchy. This will guide your audience through the information in the right order. Use size, weight and colour but limit yourself. Make sure readers can immediately understand the meaning without making it hard work.

Learn when to say no. The most exciting part of content marketing today is the sheer choice of medium we have at our fingertips to convey our messaging. Make sure what you’re trying to get across is best served by an infographic in the first place. 

Tracking the success of your infographic can sometimes be a challenge so it is generally best practice to embed the image into your website. With clever tagging and an introductory paragraph, you can overcome the poor SEO quality caused when words are embedded into the image. Allowing others to embed it (with all the link credentials included) could also do wonders for your link equity.

Using a hashtag for your campaign can help track it and can make it more visible. Look at RTs, shares and also numbers of impressions (the sum of the followers of the people who have shared it).

The infographic is not dead, in fact, through years of refinement it has become a more punchy and relevant tool than before – just think strategically rather than thinking it will be a success just because it’s visually engaging.