Last year, Matt Cutts said that Google would probably start devaluing infographics, since they’re often made as link bait and aren’t fact checked as well as standard text articles. As a result, I’ve never thought of infographics as particularly successful internet marketing.
And then I found Truckpocalypse!
If someone had given me a standard infographic explaining how trucks affect our livelihood, I probably would have found the mixture of text and graphics overwhelming. If I’d read an article with the same information, I would have skimmed the bullet points and thought it was overly simplistic and somewhat biased (this was created by truckerclassifieds.com, after all). But the deliberate pacing of a rolling infographic made me really read each point. Simultaneously, the matching pictures helped to reinforce the points in my memory.
While there has been an increase in the development of interactive infographics/microsites, standard infographics still remain the most popular. Now that many internet marketers work with in-house designers it’s fairly easy to bang out a set of illustrations to reinforce a topic. Yet, most of these infographics still make little impact online. As marketers struggle to continually create engaging content, its essential that pieces are both vastly informative and intriguing, and interactivity is a great way to do this.
Pros of Interactive Infographics
1. More Engaging
“Interactive” means that the visitor has to do something in response to the infographic. Take SimpliSafe’s interactive security quiz as an example. By making visitors read a question, think of their answer, and then get a response that’s tailored to them, the facts come across much more personal (and, you stop people from skimming).
2. Can’t be Stolen
3. Can be Read by Search Engines
Most of the infographics that I’ve found can’t be easily read by search engines. Since standard infographics behave like pictures, search engines can only access the file name, alt text, and the surrounding text. But since interactive infographics are essentially webpages, their text can be coded in HTML, allowing search engines full access to all of their content.
Cons of Interactive Infographics
1. It’s New
Interactive infographics are impressive, and you’re probably thinking that the design would take way too long or cost way too much. In reality, developing interactive infographics isn’t that much more difficult than creating static infographics. It just depends upon the skill sets and experience of your creative team. Since interactivity opens the door to a host of new techniques, there will be a learning curve in finding what actually works well for your project.
2. It Takes Development Resources
Bottom Line: Interactive Infographics Vs Standard Infographics
The whole idea behind infographics is that they are a more exciting (re: more likely to be shared) way to communicate information. Interactive infographics are exciting already because they’re new, but even as they become the norm, their flexibility will allow designers to share information in continually creative ways.