The Power of Infographics

BAInfographics2014There are infographics and then there are infographics; so rich with data, and visual interest that they quickly cross over an invisible line and become beautiful works of art. Infographic fans will surely delight in The Best American Infographics 2014 edited by Gareth Cook.

The book is divided into three sections, You, Us and the Material World. And, technically a forth section entitled Interactive, where you can see screenshots of ten infographics and then navigate to the URLs provided in the text e.g. Transit Map, NYC, Block by Block, Brooklyn’s Past and Present.

Why the growing interest in infographics? As Gareth Cook points out in the book’s foreword, “…something like half of the brain is involved in processing images. This fundamentally is why infographics have become such a force in our increasingly visual media.” Good infographics as Cook suggests bring flashes of clarity and leave us feeling ahhhh.

Nate Silver explains that by taking a visual approach to organizing information that we can tell stories that have advantages over purely verbal ones. Namely they offer approachability, transparency and efficiency.

Even the book’s cover is an infographic that reflects the range of one word responses and number of times the same word was used to complete the sentence, “Infographics have the power to ________.”

The words ranged from advise to woo with the two most frequent used words being enlighten and reveal. There were 42 terms that were classified as being negative with the three most frequently used, annoy, argue and lie.

While it might be nearly impossible to decide on your all-time favorite infographics in the book, for me I found that they tended to be the the ones whose topics and visual explanations most reflected areas of personal interest. And in one word, I’d have to agree they had the power to enlighten.

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Looking Back on Social Media’s Highlights 2012

I love the quiet moments of reflecting on the development of social media and for that matter, the whole Internet. The birds-eye-view of history in the making.

My new article, 4 Social Media Highlights of 2012 is on GigCoin’s blog, where I invite you to read a few of the things that most stood out.

In every passing year, the rapid proliferation of social media, never ceases to amaze me. 2012, was certainly no different.

I enjoy writing every article I write but in particular, I’ve grown a particular fondness for the highlights of the year post and predictions for the coming year.

I love the quiet moments of reflection. The recognition of the development of social media and for that matter, the whole Internet.  The birds-eye-view of history in the making.

My new article, 4 Social Media Highlights of 2012 is on GigCoin’s blog, where I invite you to read a few of the things that most stood out:

  • Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing reached new heights
  • Social Media became more mobile
  • The brand’s social media experience moved beyond FaceBook and Twitter
  • Infographics became a more adopted and valued way to communicate marketing messages

I invite you to join in the conversation on  GigCoin’s blog and Facebook page.

social media highlights of 2012

Infographics as Marketing Strategy: 12 Take-Away Points for Businesses

Infographics are big. They’re cropping up all over the mediasphere and for good reason. Pictures grab attention. In many cases they get the message across far better than words. How do they do it?

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Article first published as Infographics as Marketing Strategy on Technorati.

Infographics are big. They’re cropping up all over the mediasphere and for good reason. Pictures grab attention. In many cases they get the message across far better than words. How do they do it?

How Pictures Grab Attention

Clive Thompson writes in the October issue of Wired Magazine, “And if you believe the visualization experts, a new language of pictures may be precisely what we need to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Thompson quotes David Sibbet, a visualization expert who has spent the past three decades consulting for larger firms. “If you want everyone to have the same mental model of a problem, the fastest way to do it is with a picture.” Thompson suggests that these images provoke aha moments far often than typed or verbal summaries.

Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith, authors of The Dragonfly Effect explain, “Pictures trump words in terms of grabbing attention because they’re composed of lines and curves that are more complex, and therefore distinctive, than the lines and curves that compose words.”

Need more convincing? Aaker and Smith tell us too, “a study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that in presentations, when information is conveyed orally, people retain only 10 percent of the content. But when a presentation includes visuals and words, the number increases to 50 percent.”

Infographics are much more than a pretty picture. They provide users with four distinct elements:

1. same mental model
2. attention-getting mechanisms
3. content retention
4. engagement from start to finish

How Companies Use Infographics for Marketing

In a recent case study about Infographics, Ken Lyons provides a very generous and revealing overview about not only what led to the success of Infographics  for his firm, he shares valuable how-to information with the assistance of Chris Angus of Warlock Media, who worked with him on the design of their Infographics.

Continue reading “Infographics as Marketing Strategy: 12 Take-Away Points for Businesses”