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I’m a big fan of good infographics: they’re an opportunity to create visual, sharable content that users will actually enjoy reading. However, I fear too many people have jumped on the infographic bandwagon and their value has plummeted drastically.
It’s something I first started to think about after Jon Cooper from Point Blank SEO declared: "Infographics are dying". He argued that once something can be automated, its online power diminishes significantly. In many ways I agree with him, automated services simply make it easy for those doing a poor job to do it on a grander scale.
With sites like Visual.ly and Piktochart anyone can turn their hand to designing an infographic, but this has really lowered the standard and familiar templates and concepts are now cropping up all over the internet. Surely the point of an infographic is that it’s a unique piece of work that users will find interesting and want to share? I'm going to illustrate my point with an infographic:
Can infographics still be valuable?
Of course, infographics can still be a very effective part of an online marketing campaign. After Google’s recent Penguin and Panda updates, it’s never been so important to think creatively about content and link building - spammy article submissions and thin copy just won’t cut it anymore! However, neither will poorly designed and unimaginative infographics and I would advise businesses to steer clear of this easy solution and invest time into a concept that people will actually want to share.
Those that invest in quality will reap the benefits. A good infographic should offer:
- A unique and clever design - create a fresh design and steer clear of auto generators. This will ensure you stand out from the infographic crowd.
- An engaging concept - go for an idea that's not been done before. No one wants to share information that is already easily accessible.
- Strong facts - get your content right. Questionable facts can damage your brand.
Infographics are often the first port of call when it comes to creating shareable content. However, they're not the be all and end all of online creativity and many businesses could see more benefit from articles, online posters, cinemagraphs and video content.