By Corrina Anderson, Account Director

I’ll admit it. I’m an infographic addict. Ever since Al Gore rolled them out all colourful and dynamic in his environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth, I’ve been hooked. But maybe I already had a problem.

Since childhood, news programs have been using them to visually demonstrate complex concepts, somewhat dry statistics or stories that they just didn’t have the moving footage to complement. The biggest benefit for both the time poor programmer and the impatient viewer is that a good infographic is quick to digest, memorable and easy on the eye.

The print and online worlds are catching on. Where words once ruled supreme, videos and images now win our attention. Truth be known, they always have. On social media platforms, photos and images are the most shared media types – you only have to look at the booming popularity of sites like Instagram and Pinterest to see this trend working its incredible magic. Video is catching up!

In a recent blog by social media expert Jeff Bullas, he argues that long form communication has lost its value and ‘snack-size’ communication is the way of the future. He has a point. Micro-blogging site Twitter is a phenomenon that is changing the way information is shared and news is broken (in 140 characters or less). The most popular YouTube videos have gone from being 2-3 minutes in duration down to 30 seconds and mainstream news media have pretty much abandoned long-form journalism (and soon in the case of The Sydney Morning Herald, its broadsheet layout). Bullas says:

“Our attention spans seem to be following the developmental path of micro-processors. Smaller and faster. It’s all about getting your message out quickly with no repetition or redundancy before your viewer clicks away.”

So why do I share my thoughts about infographics with you today? Because more brands should be leveraging their power. They are the perfect add-on to a research-based campaign and useful for educating your market. Not only can they be used to visually communicate data and demonstrate thought leadership, people love sharing them – which is good for your brand awareness and SEO. Just check out the huge collection on Pinterest! Think of it as a piece of marketing collateral that if clever, interesting and creative (can’t stress these three enough), may travel all on its own around the world wide interwebs. Just give it a little push to start, and the journey begins.

Here are a few tips to get you ‘graphing’:
– map out what you want to communicate
– like any campaign, narrow in on your target market
– engage a professional graphic designer (uncreative kids, do not try this at home)
– embed your infographic in your own blog posts
– make it easy for others to include your infographic on their websites and blogs by providing an embed code
– post them to share-friendly social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest

Happy graphing!