Infographics in a nutshell

When I use the term ‘infographics’, I’m certain almost everyone knows what I’m talking about. Just in case you haven’t heard the term, I’m sure you must have come across one in recent months — be it on a PPT, in a brochure, or on a website. After all, an infographic is nothing but visual representation of information or data. And as the saying goes, ‘a good infographic is worth a thousand words’! Humans are visual creatures, and you’re much more likely to grab their attention with minimal text and vibrant graphics, rather than with paragraphs of content.

However, if you’re under the impression is just a new-fangled tool that was born out of an information overload in the digital age, I’m going to burst that bubble right here! The first use of infographics can be traced way back to the Egyptian Civilisation — yes, I’m talking about hieroglyphics. Fast forward a few thousand years, and the world saw an unlikely pioneer of infographics in Florence Nightingale. The Lady with the Lamp made a graphic-laden presentation to Britain’s Secretary of War in 1857, that eventually resulted in immense improvement of sanitation standards in the British Army.

Well, we’ve come a long way since then, and today, infographics of all kinds can be found on various marketing collaterals. And while there’s no consensus on the different kinds, here’s a broad look at the different types:

  • Flowchart/Timeline: These usually demonstrate the timeline of a process. They are used across websites, PPTs, blogs, and whitepapers, often to show readers how a particular product is made.
  • Statistical: These represent complex data in chart form, and are used in emailers, whitepapers, and business-related PPTs.
  • Process: These are often used as ‘how-to’ guides in DIY websites, product packaging, and brochures.

Now that we’re clear on the what, let’s look at the why — why should your brand use infographics to communicate? The answer is pretty simple. An average adult can register 10 visual messages a second and read 5 words a second (300 words a minute) — and research has shown that a visitor typically decides whether they want to leave or remain on a webpage in the first 10-20 seconds! Also, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than other any other type of content. Most remarkably, it’s 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article! This helps boost search engine rankings of websites and also enhances brand awareness. Just in case you want to leverage the power of infographics offline, they can also be easily exported to posters and leaflets.

So it’s always a good idea to tone down the words, and let the design do the talking.

A lot of brands have understood this well and are winning the infographics game. Online learning platform Course Hero uses infographic marketing as an extension of their ethos — making learning easy and accessible. For example, some break down complex works of literature into main characters and major themes, allowing the reader to comprehend the material easily.

Popular dental hygiene brand Listerine is also known for its thought-provoking graphics. In a popular infographic on Canadians’ perception of their oral hygiene, the brand expertly combines imagery and text to list things that often come in contact with our mouth, and aren’t as clean as we think they are! It does a great job of being entertaining while also educating the reader on an important issue.

Convinced yet? If you want to try your hand at infographic marketing for your brand, the time is now!

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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