How long do you think the average person’s attention span is?

According to a study conducted by Microsoft in 2000, the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds.

15 years later, it dropped to 8 seconds.

Why are we unable to focus on a specific thing for extended periods of time?

The answer is “information overload.”

A study from the Technical University of Denmark suggests that our attention span is narrowing because the demand on our attention is so high, that we only allow our brains to focus on each new “idea” for a limited time.

To combat the waning global attention span, infographics were invented to condense as much information as possible, into an easily digestible format that does not take a long time to absorb.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an infographic (or information graphic) is “a visual representation of information or data”.

Most of us think in pictures. In fact, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and that is processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.

Infographics are extremely valuable as they are a compelling way to ‘tell a story.’

Seeing the idea in pictures, helps us to retain the information. The research supports this theory.

There are a multitude of different infographics, each employed for varying reasons

Here are a few examples:

  • List infographics
  • Process infographics
  • Timeline infographics
  • Comparative infographics
  • Statistical infographics
  • Informational infographics
  • Geographical infographics
  • Hierarchical infographics

When and how should an infographic be used?

Now that people have cottoned onto the success of a good infographic, they are used in almost every discipline.

They are relied upon heavily in marketing campaigns to build awareness, increase engagement and ensure product messaging has a fighting chance of retention in prospective customers memories. These are the most common types of infographics and when executed well, have a very high success rate.

In the age of social media, an idea is only as good as the ability to share it. People love to share clever and interesting images. This sends traffic to the creator’s website which is great for the brand. If an infographic can communicate an idea well and in a captivating way, it has a good chance of going viral in the relevant community.

Many SEO experts have recommended investing in infographics as an organic way to boost search engine rankings. Long pages full of keywords is not the only way to drive traffic. These days, you can use an HTML format of infographics and install embed codes to track their performance.

Infographics are used in schools all over the world to help teachers make their lessons more memorable and engaging for students. Especially these days when teachers have to contend with digital games and social media all vying for their students already limited attention spans.

Even governments will make use of comparative or statistical infographics to communicate population trends, election statistics or census data.

By combining pictures and words, an infographic allows people to dissect a complex subject without boring the reader to tears. As the saying goes “If you can’t simplify it, you don’t understand it.”

Infographics tells a story picture which will keep people engaged with a lot more success than reams of text. Specifically, when data is being presented, most people would prefer to look at an infographic than read through the figures. The infographic can break up the data making it easier to understand and far more interesting.

Infographics also allow us to skim through content quickly by presenting information in a way our brains can absorb quickly. If the infographic captures a reader’s attention, they can decide if they want to learn more. When a brands logo appears on the infographic itself, it directs users to the brand information portals (website/contact) to find out more about what is being promoted.

Designing a Great Infographic

When designing a great infographic, brands should always refer to their brand guidelines. Headings, body text, illustrations, colour schemes, etc. should all reflect the brand so viewers know exactly who is supplying the content.

The infographic design should progress from top to bottom, so that you’re reading down the image, not the typical way a post or flyer is created for printing purposes.

If you need help designing effective and visually appealing infographics for your brand, we can help with the use of Canva. If you want something completely unique and customised to your situation, I’d recommend hiring a graphic design team, and we recommend reaching out to Derek at Thyme Design Associates. If you contact them, tell them the team at Bauhinia Solutions recommended them.

Bauhinia Solutions, Digital Marketing, Hong Kong

If you’re struggling to get started with your social media marketing, organise a call with Nicole to find out how we can help you develop and implement a social media marketing strategy, that showcases your brand on the platform, that’s right for you.

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Rivky is an experienced Digital Marketing Professional who enjoys the creative elements of drafting posts to driving engagement online. As a Client Manager she supports our clients who need digital and social media assistance.