Infographics

The Dish on Data Visualization

Infographics haven’t disappeared, they’ve just gotten an upgrade.

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We’ll be honest—math was never our favorite subject. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like data. And in today’s world data is hot. Like HOT-HOT. Why? Well those numbers, that information, help agencies, creators and the like verify that the work they are doing is accomplishing what they said it would. So how can we bridge our love of facts that back up our work with our trepidation with math? Data visualization, baby!

What is data visualization exactly?

Just like custom publishing has morphed into content marketing, data visualization may be better known by some as infographics. People have been using visual representations of information—think pictures and graphs and maps—for a really long time. Of course, as with most things, technology really kicked things up a notch.

Even for those folks that simply adore math, processing tons of numbers on a spreadsheet is a challenge. Data visualization can help. By creating an image or picture to explain lots of complex data everyone is better able to understand what exactly is going on.

Why should you consider data visualization?

There are four big reasons why data visualization can be a good thing for any type of company looking to impart information to their clientele:

  1. Data visualization lets you see a lot of information in a very concise, fast way that is simple to grasp.
  2. What is trending practically rules our world now, and data visualization can show you what’s popular, allowing you to capitalize on that information. It also lets you spy coming problems, and fix any issues before they get out of hand.
  3. You may think you understand all the patterns and relationships in your business and between you and your consumer. However, it is likely that data visualization may uncover something that you missed previously.
  4. Finally, good quality data visualization helps you share your company’s story in an easy-to-understand way.

Where is data visualization going?

A major way that infographics have changed on their way to becoming known as data visualization revolves around companies understanding why an infographic is cool and helpful. Gone are the days when you had to sell a client on what an infographic could do for them.

But as data visualization has become more accepted, it has also gone a bit corporate. One reason is today software is available that allows people to make infographics. In the early days of data visualization, designers had to create code to produce their infographics. Today programs like D3 or Tableau offer drag and drop infographic templates.

Finally, as more and more of us go online via are mobile devices, data visualization is having to shift to working on a smaller screen. According to cnn.com, approximately 50 percent of web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets now.

Whether you call it an infographic or data visualization, the art of turning data into pictures is still going strong and has a lot to offer.

Content Cornucopia

Not sure which type of content is best for you?
Let us help you go beyond blogging.

First things first, blogs aren’t the end-all, be-all of content marketing. That being said, they are important. So, if you haven’t already jumped on that bandwagon, get hoppin’. And spend some time perfecting your blog game before you branch out into the other types of content marketing options.

Once your blog game is tight, we’ve got our top five recommendations for which content is best to find fresh traffic, boost targeted visitors and discover higher conversion rates.

Infographics

In the simplest terms, an infographic is data presented in a visual way. And no doubt about it, people love ‘em. Why? Well typically they are easy to understand, and they break down more complicated information into easy-to-reuse tidbits. Learn more about infographics here.

When should you create an infographic? If you have any data, research, statistics or findings, then an infographic might be the right content marketing form for you. Infographics are not the least expensive option, but they can be very valuable and are often very shareable. Shareable is definitely something your company wants. To ensure your infographics go viral, it’s important that you create a quality infographic. Lots of marketing players are creating infographics now, there are even drag-and-drop sites that allow non-designers to create infographics, so your efforts have to be well-made.

Videos

As more and more social media outlets embrace video, it’s easy to see that this is a popular method of content marketing. That being said, like infographics, it can be expensive. This format offers a multitude of interpretations, so before starting be sure to nail down what your focus will be to meet the goals you have.

Once you have determined what kind of video you want to produce, you have to create a solid script and storyboard. We’ve got insight on that here. You may think a video is all about the imagery, but the words are as important. Then be sure to keep it short and sweet—two to three minutes should be the maximum. Then you are ready to post your finished product to the masses on YouTube and Vimeo.

Guides/How to’s

A guide and a how to are very similar and both offer a great deal of value to your customers. Both are akin to a pretty lengthy blog post—so instead of The Old Man and the Sea aim for Moby Dick. They are also similar because both require a good writer, a good designer and a good topic. And both provide a lot of ideas to choose from.

Now how are they different? A guide can be an effective way to garner more subscribers or followers, i.e. they give their email address, and you provide the guide as a downloadable pdf. The how to addresses a common issue or problem your customers or followers may have and then provides them a solution. The more detail you can provide, even in the form of graphs, images, etc. the better.

Ebooks

An ebook is another great long-form content marketing option that allows you to garner email addresses of potential customers or followers. Even longer than a guide, the best ebooks average about 10,000 words and will be divided into chapters. Each subsection should be focused on a specific topic. Finally, it should be available as both a pdf and as an html link.

The design of the ebook is a big deal. If it isn’t visually appealing, it simply won’t be read. Be sure to include graphics, colors and good formatting to drive readers’ interest. And speaking of interest, you gotta grab them with a great headline off the bat if you want those downloads.

Case Studies

Want to tell customers what you do, how you do it and the results you’ve received? Then a case study is the content marketing format that you want to pursue. To avoid this coming off as total marketing speak, your case study needs to read as a true story, a success story for your company or brand.

Its format should include both a summary of the study and a preview of the outcome. A case study should also explain any challenges and problems that were overcome, detailing the solution you provided and the results that solution gave. Finally, be clear why your solution was successful, and give readers a call to action at the end of the study that encourages more interaction with your company.