Did you know that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfishes? A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft in Canada showed that the average attention span of humans has decreased by 4 seconds in the past 15 years. From 12 seconds in 2000, last year’s study showed that it is now at 8.25 seconds only, largely due to the advent of smartphones. This is actually a tad shorter compared to the attention span of goldfishes who are clocking in at 9 seconds.
Image Source : Infographic Illustration
This decline in our attention span has never been truer than in the way we use the internet. According to a study done by the Nielsen Norman Group, the average time that a person spends on a web page is less than a minute. The first 10 to 20 seconds of the visit to a web page is the most critical since the visitor makes the decision on whether to stay or leave within this time frame.
There is no better way to capture an audience’s attention within 10 seconds than with a powerful image. An infographic does exactly that! Plus, it is also able to convey information in a much shorter time. To demonstrate the power of infographics, take a look at this infographic by Infobrandz about the power of what else… infographics!
Did you notice that your attention was immediately captured by its design? Did you also notice that in just a few seconds, you were able to comprehend how and why infographics work? That is the power of an infographic!
Why Do Infographics Work?
- On the internet, where information is easily accessible from millions of sources, images have an edge. According to eye tracking studies, people tend to disregard images that are purely decorative and pay closer attention to information-carrying images. The designs, pictures, and short texts make infographics more engaging and capture the attention of the audience for longer periods of time.
- 90% of the total information that the brain picks up is visual. Also, more than half of us are visual learners, with the estimated percentage pegged at 65% of the total human population. According to a phenomenon called picture superiority effect, human beings are wired to absorb and retain information much easier by seeing pictures thanby reading the text. The brain is wired in a way that allows it to absorb visuals 60,000 times quicker than text. Additionally, visual aids have also been proven to aid the digestion of information by up to 400 percent. This is how infographics make complex data easier to understand and elicit better recall than reading long blocks of text.
- Infographics make complex information easier to understand by presenting them in easily recognizable patterns and organizing them into different portions that seamlessly flows as one. For example, history, statistics, and processes are boring when presented in text form. However, turning them into timelines, charts, graphs and flowcharts make them easily understandable by the audience.
- These days when the world has become so fast-paced, everyone is in a hurry. An infographic saves the reader time by conveying information within a couple of seconds instead of taking several minutes to read through an article that needs hundreds or thousands of words just to express the same idea.
- Since infographics have the ability to easily capture attention and quickly convey information, they tend to be more likely to get shared, especially on social media. Thus, infographics have more tendency to go viral.In fact, infographics are 3 times more likely to be shared on social media than other forms of content.
- Since infographics are more likely to get shared, this will also equate to more traffic for your site. According to studies, a regular post will likely get 75 tweets while an infographic will get around 600.
- Infographics can be shared as is a thousand times without getting penalized by Google for it. On the other hand, websites cannot have the same content since these will be flagged and get penalized.
What Makes An Infographic Worthy of Likes and Shares?
Before and above anything else, the success of an infographic in driving traffic to your site will greatly depend on how awesome it is.Make sure that your material is great. A great infographic will have no trouble taking flight and making the rounds on the Internet. Here are some guidelines in making an infographic that will earn thousands of likes and shares:
- Keep a target audience in mind. Make sure that the information on the infographic is relevant to them.
- Keep it simple and prevent yourself from going overboard in loading the infographic with a lot of information. Focus on a specific topic.
- The goal of an infographic is to educate. Its relevance lies in how useful it is and how it is able to provide a solution to a problem.
- Make sure that your information is well-researched, correct and accurate.
- Have a great design that immediately captures the eyes of the audience.
- Strike a balance between the amount of graphics and text.
- Create a great flow throughout the whole infographic.The images and texts should be cohesive enough to be able to tell a story.
- Cite your sources.
How To Drive Traffic to Your Site Using Infographics
Once you have a great infographic, the next step would be to promote it. Here are a few pointers on how to help your infographic become viral:
- Write an excellent article to go with your infographic. This will increase your chances of success with SEO.
- Get your infographic published on other websites and blogs, especially the major ones. Take advantage of your network or connect with new bloggers.
- Publish your infographic on sites that are known for featuring infographics. (i.e. Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram)
- From Facebook to YouTube to LinkedIn, establish your infographic’s presence across all possibly relevant platforms. In doing so, you might need to convert them to the appropriate format that is used on that particular platform. For example, you can make a video out of your infographic so that you can post it onYouTube. A slideshow out of your infographic will also find its place on Slideshare.
- Keep your infographic relevant by regularly posting it on different platforms. Use it in your new blog posts by linking back to it.You can count on backlinks to drive a lot of traffic.
In this world that we live in today, an age when we are assaulted by a barrage of information each day, infographics are a great weapon in the battle for your audience’s attention. However, not all infographics may prove to be effective in directing traffic to a site. An infographic, above everything else, should contain all the right elements. It should be eye-catching, informative, focused, well-researched, organized and have a great flow to it. In order to launch an infographic on its way to becoming viral, it has to be promoted in the right platforms, using the right media and making it a habit to regularly make it relevant.