Info-graphics have been around awhile, and they're a great way to create shareable content. But most people don’t understand how to use them to their benefit. The truth is that info-graphics have been a viable way to drive traffic in the past, but you need to have a solid understanding of different types of web content before you dive in and start using other people’s info-graphics or create some on your own. Believe it or not, there are a ton of other types of content that can generate better results such as images and video content. Remember that not all people are 100% receptive to text, and to accommodate different types of learners, you are much better off incorporating a variety of types of content into your digital marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at the video to better understand different types of content. I would say take Rand’s opinion with a grain of salt, because many people have found enormous success with info-graphics when they are properly tailored for their audience and picked up and shared by other media outlets and web sources. Having said that, he does make some excellent points regarding other types of content that can outperform info-graphics.
The Point of Info-Graphics
To better understand the different types of visual assets you can create for your site, you should first understand what Rand is talking about when he describes info-graphics. They are commonly used for marketing strategies that may not be obvious if you aren’t a digital marketing professional. As Rand points out in the video, there are essentially three reasons people create and share info-graphics. First off, the hope is that your info-graphic is so visually attractive that it gets embedded on other sites. Secondly, a lot of people create them as a sort of ‘link bait’ with the hope that other people will link to their page, thereby boosting their back-link profile. And lastly, they can be an effective way to drive traffic to your site, especially if you share them on social media platforms.
Sounds pretty great, right? Well, yes and no. You can’t simply throw together an info-graphic and throw it at the Internet, just hoping something sticks. As Rand points out, this information medium has become saturated and a lot of people execute poorly. I think these are two really good points, but he then goes on to say that they can hurt you more than they can help you. This is subjective, but as long as you execute well on your info-graphic design and don’t throw together a piece of junk I think there are marginal benefits. But the real takeaway is that, as Rand said, they are reaching a point of diminishing returns. That is to say that they aren’t near as effective or popular as they once were because people have overused and abused them.
“Google has said specifically that they’re looking at algorithmic ways that they can work around info-graphics that people didn’t really mean to or intend to link back…” Rand mentions, and with their rise in popularity, it only makes sense that Google would adapt their algorithm to sort through and rank info-graphic content. So what alternatives should you be considering if you want to incorporate visual content on your website? Fortunately, there are many other options that are far more effective.
Alternative Visual Content
The first obvious alternative is a photo or an image. You likely already have images on your website, so this is a bit of a no-brainer. But try to go one step further and create unique images. If you lack the budget or expertise to create images that are unique in your industry or niche, you always have the option of finding free images on the Internet with an open license. However, many sites that inundate our social media feeds have been incredibly successful because they curate fresh, new images that haven’t been seen before.
Our next alternative to info-graphics is charts and graphs, and these aren’t taken advantage of as much as they should be. Most typically website administrators take advantage of images and a fair few realize the value of video content. But not too many educate their audience on industry trends and developments with graphs, and they can be a powerful way to portray a message. Because so few people take advantage of them, they are another way to set yourself ahead of the competition and they can deliver a message much better than an info-graphic. They also boost your credibility and help back up the claims you are making. Furthermore, they can help you acquire back-links when other sources want to quote your chart on their website to bolster their credibility, too.
The third alternative that Rand discusses are ‘visual representations,’ but this kind of an umbrella term that could include images.
For example, if you wanted to include a picture of the food pyramid on your website, you would likely look for that ‘visual representation’ on an image hosting site like Flickr. But other visual representations could be a screenshot of a video you produced for your website or even hand-drawn material that you upload to your site. Some people even host their own web cartoons and use them as a marketing tool.
Last but not least are videos, and they are a fantastic way to engage your users and build back-links. Too few websites take advantage of this powerful education and engagement medium, and you might want to reconsider them if you want your website to have a greater impact. They are one of the easiest ways to teach and educate your audience, build subscriber lists, and surpass your competition. If you don’t know how to make a video for your website or you feel apprehensive in doing so, it’s time to reach out to a professional.
Info-graphics used to be all the rage, and they do still carry a little value. However, you may want to consider another strategy before you pour time and money into producing info-graphics because their effectiveness has diminished slightly. Instead, you are likely better off creating other types of visual content like video content.