Infographics, some of them interactive, are all the rage in content marketing. Their value is clear: present complex information in an appealing, digestible way by leveraging the photo- and image-centric constructs that are so widely embraced on the web, social media and mobile sites today. What's not to like for B2B marketers?
Much as I admire their look and feel, I look at some of these infographics being praised and think: too much information (usually text), too many colors, just too much going on. Sometimes there’s so much information that it begs the question: isn’t the source simply forcing the graphics concept into what might just as easily be a blog post?
Here are several examples of marketing-driven infographics. They share common traits: appealing design, color schemes and typefaces, as well as information presented in short snippets for easy consumption. But from my view, you have to work awfully hard to process all the information they are delivering. In certain cases, they are striving to tell a story that might be better told by, well, a story.
So I was struck when I ran across this interactive infographic on USA Today. Obviously there are major differences, a key one being subject matter. But still there are lessons and best practices for B2B marketers building infographics.
- A simple, extremely clear navigation (on the right) guides you through the graphic
- Each individual segment is explained with a minimum of words
- The graphic accompanies and augments a text-based article, hence there’s no need to tell the ENTIRE story in the graphic, giving it even more impact and power.
Of course, the amazing story of a double arm transplant only adds to the appeal of the entire package.
Contrast that USA Today graphic with a marketing-themed anatomy graphic (apologies for the grainy link, the original seems inaccessible at this point) that I maintain is busier than it needs to be.
As clients seek our advice on developing infographics as a means to drive engagement with their messages, I’ll emphasize the value of simplicity, navigability and economy to ensure those messages have maximum impact.