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When to Use Infographics: 4 Content Types Perfect for Custom Visuals

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

Are you considering creating an infographic to include with your content?

Infographics can increase traffic to your site by an average of 12 percent and receive 3x more likes and shares on social media than any other type of content. With those numbers, it’s hard to think of a good reason why you shouldn’t include one.

But while these easy-to-read visual assets can help educate your readers, they may not be the best multimedia choice for every piece of content. In some cases, videos or images may be more appropriate.

So how do you know if an infographic is the right choice?

We’ve covered the do's and don’ts of what to include in an infographic and now we’re going to dive deeper into a few cases that make these unique visuals the perfect addition to spice up your writing.

1. Do you have numbers or data to highlight?

Announcing survey or study results is a great opportunity to include an infographic.

People love details like stats, numbers, and figures. For example, do you ever notice your eyes drifting toward a listicle headline that includes a number? Perhaps that's what drew your eye to this post?

If you’re presenting a large amount of data, an infographic makes the main takeaways easy to understand and pick out from the rest of the text.

Presenting complex data in an infographic also increases the chances that readers will remember it. People retain 80% of what they see, compared to only 20% of what they read.

2. Could symbols or icons help explain your idea?

65% of people are visual learners. It’s important that you cater to this large potential audience.

Presenting an infographic with helpful symbols or icons allows readers to find the information that’s important to them.

For example, an infographic with social media information should include the Twitter bird, Instagram camera, and Facebook “f” icon to help highlight different details.

Does your article cover the pros and cons of a specific topic? Check marks and X's or plus/minus symbols can help readers scan the content quickly.

3. Can you convert a list to bullet points or step-by-step instructions?

We know that including bullets or numbered lists in your content can help keep readers engaged.

But what happens if you need to summarize those bullets or break down the list into simpler terms? An infographic can be a great way to present this information in a simple and visual-friendly way.

According to a study by the Educational Communication and Technology Journal, when illustrations are combined with text, people do over 300% better at following the instructions than those following text-only steps.

Writing about how to get the yard ready for summer? What about steps for registering to vote or applying to college? Present your steps or instructions in an infographic for maximum impact.

4. Based on your content topic, can you create a shareable social graphic?

On visual-heavy social platforms, unique infographics present information in an easy-to-understand format that’s light on text.

If your topic is a popular or trending one – upcoming holidays, politics, family news, or food, for example – the inclusion of a reader-friendly infographic can increase the chances of it being shared online.

And while social sharing doesn’t directly cause a boost in search result rankings, it does allow your content to reach a large audience that may not have seen it otherwise. This can lead to more backlinks down the line, which can improve rankings.

Final Thoughts

What better way to summarize this post than to create an infographic of our own?

Is an infographic right for your content? These four types of content are opportunities to create visually appealing graphics. Data; Symbols/Icons; List; Shareable Topic

If you have information to share that can be summarized or simplified in a visual format, an infographic can be a great addition to your content.

Not only can it help readers understand and remember what you’re writing about, it also can increase the chances that it will be shared on social media, broadening the overall reach.

About Rocky Parker

Rocky Parker has been with Cision since 2010. She is an audience relations manager and works with journalists, bloggers and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky also counsels on SEO and content writing best practices.

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