Marketing August 3, 2012 Last updated September 18th, 2018 615 Reads share

Understanding The Future Of Infographics

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Infographics can be a very effective way to share information in an efficient manner. The best infographics allow readers to interact with the information that is presented, and communicate that information in a visually pleasing way.

Readers are able to see information in a more impactful and direct light. Infographics have the ability to transform the way readers consume information, and thusly have become hugely popular, and will likely become more popular in the future. However, infographics are tools of communication, and can be used poorly and inefficiently if presented incorrectly.

The Importance of User Interaction

Infographics have been taken to a whole new level recently, and often use Flash and other media sources to present information. Consequently, the best infographics have, at least, user interaction capabilities. The below graphic, by Simply Business, has extensive interaction capabilities.

Click image to open interactive version via Simply Business

This infographic provides visual interest for the reader, but it also provides the reader with additional, interactive tools through each section.

  • While infographics without reader interaction abilities still present information in interesting ways, they fall short of drawing the reader into the information.
  • As the future of infographics progresses, there will undoubtedly be more extensive layers of interaction.
  • However, an infographic doesn’t necessarily have to be complex to be interactive; a simple feature that allows readers to click on a part of the graphic to read more information about that topic makes the graphic interactive.

Related: Social Networking In Ireland Infographic

Social Media Sharing Abilities

With the prevalence of infographics as a way to visually present information, it’s natural that these graphics make their way through various social medias.

  • An interesting and interactive infographic is very easy to share on social media sites, as long as it is presented correctly.
  • In order to ensure that your infographic is easily shared, make sure that there are social media buttons near the infographic, so that readers can easily share what they have seen.

This infographic about social media, by The Search Agents, contains the social media contacts for The Search Agents.

 Click image to open full version of the Social Sharing Button Playground via The Search Agency

At the very least, it’s necessary to share social media contact information as The Search Agency did; however, it would be best to create social media buttons that allow the reader to simply click the Twitter icon to link to the organization’s Twitter page, for example. Many infographics include social media buttons on a side bar.

One of the best features to include in an infographic in order to create sharing is a personalized aspect.

  • If readers cannot only interact, but enter personal information to see how they fit into the infographic, that will encourage more social media sharing.
  • The BBC has an interesting infographic, which allows readers to enter their height and weight so they can see which 2012 Olympic athlete they are most similar to.

Personalized results such as this will likely stimulate more sharing, as readers will want to compare results.

Contextual Placement

However strong an informative and interactive infographic is, it likely needs supplemental information included with it. It’s helpful to readers to expand upon the presented infographic, so they are left with a complete picture of the information they see. There might have been information that did not make it into the infographic, which would be helpful to include with the graphic.

  • It is important to carefully place infographics within relevant information, so they flow coherently into the informational experience. You don’t want supplemental information to detract from your infographic, or repeat the same information, but you do want to flush out the information you have provided.
  • Infographics often work best when they are used in conjunction with the information you are presenting, and serve a specific purpose.

From an online marketing or SEO perspective contextual placement plays a larger role in how search engines such as Google evaluate infographics. With the 2011 Panda update and 2012 Penguin update penalizing traditional practices, most online marketing experts agree that contextual placement is a necessary component to the future of infographics.

The theory behind this is that Panda penalized duplicate and thin content. Placing an infographic on multiple websites with little to no text is a practice that Panda targets. Therefore creating unique, original content for each and every placement is now becoming standard practice.

Related: 10 Kick Ass Content Marketing Ideas

Infographics are not going away, but the future of sharing information visually is evolving. How will your company utilize infographics in the future?

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James Daugherty

James Daugherty

James Daugherty writes about marketing, social media and current events. He is an avid snowboarder and caffeine enthusiast. To learn more visit his about.me page or his blog Jamazing Food. Be sure to follow James on twitter @jimmydaugherty.

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