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Pros and Cons of Infographics for Small Biz

By: Jesse Aaron

 

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The social media gravy train, aka “infographics,” have been dominating social media platforms for the past few years. An infographic is a well-researched and professionally designed image depicting an article or findings, rather than laying them out in a text post.

Infographics provide eye-catching information for consumers since most people are visual learners. When handled appropriately they can drive immense traffic and even result in sales conversions. However, if handled poorly, infographics can be exactly what your business does not need. The following are the pros and cons of infographics, catered specifically to small businesses.
The Pros
  1. Easier to understand than text. Infographics convey messages in seconds compared to minutes spent reading. People tend to remember 83% of what they see visually as opposed to the 20% they remember reading.
  2. Translates information more definitely. Words tend to leave room for speculation and inferences, especially when placed in a certain context. Pictures, however, are clear-cut and to the point, leaving less room for speculation. Small businesses who want to sell a product or describe a service will find infographics beneficial to marketing campaigns.
  3. Better marketing leads. Small businesses primarily rely on manual customer acquisition. Online marketing produces leads effectively but many small businesses are still making the transition. Infographics support inbound marketing, which is literally passive customer flow. Converting traffic influx into sales will depend on other factors such as landing page optimization.
  4. Quality content commands traffic. Prove your worth. Infographics can be a step-by-step guide, a resource list, or a public service announcement. High quality content infographics convey your industry expertise and authority, which helps validate your business and increase traffic. 12 Palms Rehab created an infographic that depicts popular habits vs. popular addictions, receiving hundreds of shares and thousands of views. This proves infographics are beneficial to any niche, so don’t worry which industry you’re in. Focus on quality.
The Cons
  1. Consumes time. Quality infographics are not easy to make and require a decent time investment. They must be thoroughly research and outlined, carefully and professionally designed, and effectively promoted. This takes time that might be better spent in other departments of your business.
  2. Not Naturally SEO-friendly. One of the detrimental parts about infographics is that they are not tangible text for search engines to digest and rank higher. SEO, especially localized SEO, is critical for small businesses to drive real organic customers. However, by posting the infographic details in text form underneath the infographic and adjusting it for keywords, you can overcome this situation. Also, a successful infographic campaign will result in backlinks—a strong SEO factor.
  3. Requires a flexible budget. Since infographics can take hours or days to create, small businesses will have to hire someone either internally or externally to create them (unless your business is a graphic design agency). This means allocating budget to a freelance designer. As a small business you want to be sure every dollar you invest is going to have positive ROI. Infographics demand professional design, which starts around $400. That’s a decent amount, and many small businesses don’t have a flexible budget to test an infographic campaign.
  4. Possible futility. If you invest $600 into a beautiful infographic there is still a good chance no one will see it. Why? Because creating the infographic is only half the battle. The other half is promoting it. If you hadn’t even considered this step, your beautiful infographic might vanish into the internet abyss. Also factors such as timeliness and relevance can weigh down your campaign.
Conclusion
Do you have a flexible budget? Does your business have a Facebook page, Twitter profile, and a blog? If you answered yes, infographics are definitely worth a shot. If you answered no but still like the attractiveness of infographics, make sure you understand the pitfalls before shelling out hundreds of dollars with high expectations.
What’s your take on infographics?
Published: September 9, 2013
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