Do you incorporate infographics in your content? If you don’t already use them as part of your content strategy, this article will have you adding infographics and imagery in no time! You will understand how they can help you better reach your audience and grab their attention.
Infographics are an excellent way to present information in a creative way, and our brains are better geared to recognize and remember images vs. text alone. Read on to find out the details about infographic images and memory, how to create your own infographics, plus ideas for adding infographics into your existing content strategy.
Why You Should Use Infographics as Part of Your Content Mix
The infographic above shows you why you should use infographics and why they are effective in grabbing the attention of readers (and also aids in the memory retention of the information):
- Only 20% of read text is remembered
- 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual
- 200% more images are liked on Facebook vs. text only updates
- Companies see a 12% increase in traffic growth after publishing an infographic
In essence, infographics or similar imagery increase the chances of readers noticing your content and further increases the probability of them remembering what was read. Especially if you are presenting complicated information or very specific details, infographics can help make it easier and more likely to be understood and retained.
The Picture Superiority Effect
The graphic above illustrates the Picture Superiority Effect, which shows the effects of time on memory retention. After three days, only 10% of text or audio information is recalled. Yet, after the same three days, 65% of information was recalled if it was presented in a text and picture combination format.
These research findings are from the European Journal of Cognitive Psychology back in 2006. One can only assume that with the increased usage of social media and overall exposure of data and information an average person is subjected to on a daily basis that this would hold true today, if not increase even more. Consider these important statistics from neomam.com:
- We receive five times more information today as we did in 1986
- Outside of work, on an average day, we consume 34 gigabytes of data, or 100,500 words
- Users only read an average of 18% of words per visit
- Almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing
- 70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes
- We can get a sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second
We need infographics today to help process all of the information we encounter on a daily basis. Since visual processing helps us consume all of that information and organize it, using graphics, images and infographics helps us absorb more information.
80% of the Brain is Dedicated to Visual Processing
On top of all this data, the University of Rochester has discovered that 80% of the brain is dedicated to visual processing. We inherently recognize patterns and images. This is part of our instinct as humans and has developed as such from the days before written language even existed.
Think about primitive humans and the following two images, and why it would important for us to recognize patterns and images:
Can you spot the hidden leopard? Source
Can you spot the hidden impala? Source
While these are not infographics and the grass isn’t exactly text, these images illustrate how and why our brains have been conditioned and instinctually recognize patterns and images. It has been a learned behavior that has survived through natural selection for thousands of years.
How to Make Your Own Infographics
Now that you understand your audience can pay more attention and retain the information in infographics, the next step is figuring out how to create infographics to use in your content. Of course, there are companies you can hire to develop infographics for you, but there are also some free online tools that will help you make some on your own. Here are a few online tools to check out:
The graphic above was made using Wordle.net. As you can see, even a graphic with words can be eye-catching and do the trick to draw attention to your content. It is quick and easy to use.
Content Integration Ideas for Infographics
Here are 5 ways to ensure the infographics you create are effective and help boost your content.
- Stay Focused. Don’t make your imagery too busy. Keeping it simple will help convey your idea.
- Get it Right. Accuracy is key for all the data you are using. Incorrect information will undermine all of your content. If your infographic is using a pie chart, make sure it adds up to 100%. If your data sample had more than one answer possible, list that and don’t use a pie chart that has to add up to 100%.
- Be Visually Engaging. Your images should grab attention. Use coordinating colors and, when possible, match your brand’s colors to drive home your brand.
- Aim to Be Share-Worthy. Your infographic or imagery should be engaging enough that others will want to share it. Share-worthy infographics will increase the reach of your content fast.
- Attribution. Make sure to post image credits, and research or data credit when necessary. In addition to that, let others know how to credit you when they share the infographic.
Remember, our brains are designed to process images; they can retain imagery in greater quantity and for longer periods than just text alone. Because of this, using images or infographics in your content can attract your audience’s attention and help them remember the information.
Have any questions or comments? Let me know in the comment section!