Last week, my colleague Matt McKenzie posted a blog that offered new insight into the growing importance of visual content for B2B buyers.
Citing several industry studies — including the 2015 Content Preferences Survey, which we co-sponsored with our sister brand Demand Gen Report — he highlighted the following key stats:
- 91% of B2B buyers said they prefer more interactive/visual content that can be accessed on-demand1;
- 65% of marketers recognize that visual content is vital to their brand’s messaging2; and
- More than half (60%) of respondents see the importance in using infographics as a critical marketing tool3.
I think that this data paints a pretty clear picture of the value of having visual content in today’s marketing arsenal. So, to add more value to this posting, I thought it would be helpful to zero in on the asset that buyers find most important — infographics — and do a Q&A with Allie Agostino, C4D’s very own Creative Director, to find out what it takes to set this asset apart from the competition.
What are some key design elements that can be used to help marketers effectively convey their brand message in an infographic?
I always suggest that marketers look at an infographic as a story. You can start with some key statistics, but ultimately the most effective infographics tell a story with stats and bite-sized pieces of information.
Also, I advise against using charts in infographics. It’s easy to visualize data in chart format, but there are more creative ways to tie key data points into your theme. Think of icons and visual elements that highlight large percentages or key words rather than pouring data into one chart that isn’t easily digestible.
Can you explain why vertical infographics display better (and gain more social traction) than horizontal infographics?
Vertical infographics are more traditional in nature and scale effortlessly, no matter what vehicle you use to post and share online. Horizontal infographics are problematic when they are not properly embedded into an iFrame that allows users to efficiently scroll from right to left (rather than the up-and-down scroll that’s native to both desktop and mobile). When it’s not embedded in an iFrame, a horizontal infographic may be scaled and constrained to fit within the user’s screen. That can cause legibility issues. Users may have to click to zoom in on certain sections, which can lead to the opposite problem, where users fail to see the infographic as a whole and are forced to zoom and navigate small sections and miss the overall picture.
What are some of the design elements that you use to encourage the social sharing of infographics?
Create social share images by breaking out key sections or stats within your infographic that will keep your social audience wanting more. The work is already done — now break your infographic up into bits by simply cropping a visual stat or section, and post sneak previews on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and in blog posts. If you aren’t Photoshop-savvy, you can use this free online image editor to crop your infographic into smaller, bite-sized pieces of content.
Can you talk a bit about responsive design and why it’s so important to consider when designing visual content?
People touch their phones approximately 150 times per day. More and more people are viewing work-related content on the go on their mobile and tablet devices. It’s no longer enough to design something for desktop viewing only. It’s important to consider font and image sizes as well as scale when designing to ensure your content is mobile friendly.
What are some other ways that marketers can socially promote their visual content, post design?
Think beyond the most popular and traditional platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter). Look to sites like Slideshare that now support infographics and to traditionally infographic-friendly sites like visual.ly.
Here are some simple, free online tools to help you create your own infographic:
 2015 Content Preferences Survey
 “From Content To Creativity: The Role Of Visual Media In Impactful Brand Storytelling,” CMO Council white paper
 2015 Content Preferences Survey