This isn’t technically the definition of an Infographic, but for me, this line from “The Message is the Medium” addresses the central theme of all infographics: it’s the art of information.
Ideal for 'fast-twitch' muscles today's marketer exercises - think twitter, Tumblr, newsfeed. Discovery of a beautiful and useful infographicis like a dopamine pulse - you like it, pre-cognitively.
Frankly, after extensive handwringing I’d thought about abandoning this type of content in our marketing efforts. My sense was that the market was saturated, infographics had finally jumped the shark. But before I made the decision, we did a quick analysis to see if a meritocracy persists. We compared our most recent infographic – a Case for Content v2 – to our competitor’s most recent one. Turns out, a meritocracy does persist.
3000 offsite views to zero, Our 1200 tweets outpaced the other image by 14x. Over 18x as many inbound links. 6x more “social signals” and nearly 10x as much PR (blogs, articles) was generated by The Content Grid v2.
There are obviously many, many more types of infographics. But for marketing purposes, these are the four that tend to be most effective – and popular.
Capitalizing on milestones (“The State of Wikipedia” by JESS3 to cheer the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia)Warning alarm (“An atlas of pollution” by The Guardian or another powerful image is “Drugged Culture” by GOOD Magazine)
How-to resources (The Perfect Pour by Plaid)Bulletin board fodder (“The Content Grid v2” by JESS3 and Eloqua)Interactive resources (“HTML5 Readiness” by Paul Irish and Divya Manian)Repurposing as promotional items: The Perfect Pour and many of the JESS3 graphics are available as posters. We gave away posters of The History of SXSW at our booth.
Humor/levity (“Mac people v. PC people” by ColumnFive for Hunch and “What If Social Media Were High School” ColumnFive for Flowtown)Zeitgeist (“Google+ v. Facebook” by Technobombs)Debate (“Left v. Right” by David McCandless & Stefanie Prosavec)
Food for thought (“Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars” by David McCandless)Subject matter authority (“50 Years of Exploration” by National Geographic)Trigger discussion (“Is There a Social Media Bubble” by Mashable)
In many ways this is the perfect infographic: It was timely (released during the post World Cup celebrations), visually appealing (made a complex process easy to follow), and it was merchandised (posters). Hyperkat also marketed it immensely well: it raised printing costs through Kickstarter to create content around the process of producing the posters.
“Human Subway Map” by Sam Loman for GOOD Magazine.
This is a truncated list of essential elements of infographics supplied by Robin Richards of JESS3 in Eloqua’s Social Media ProBook (http://blog.eloqua.com/social-media-probook/). For the complete list, with a detailed explanation of each item, and examples of each, check out the ProBook.
Earlier I showed you some comparative data. But we look at other metrics – from traffic to PR to closed business – when evaluating the effectiveness of infographics. The medium works at all levels, provided the content is executed well.