Infographic Overload

Search Google for infographics and they never, ever end; even Infographics to End all Infographics.

Pretty pictures

infographic Bacon friendseat 800px 25 Facts About Bacon [Infographic]

I’ve seen posts on how to pitch infographics and lists of reasons to use an infographic as a media release and lots of fun NSFW diversions, etc. etc.

For the record, I like me some chart porn. Graphs and pictures make great educational tools to help readers understand complex sets of data; used properly, images and pictures can be powerful communications tools.

As a designer, I know good infographics take time and talent, and therefore money to produce. Benefits to a brand or start-up business include exposure, branding, reach. Make a clever infographic and there’s chance for national pick up or blog coverage, luck that maybe Mashable shares it; awareness.

Inside baseball much?

Visually appealing, with easily digestible, statistical data, a good infographic is designed to be 1) easily, readily shared with others and 2) get your brand name and message out there to your target audience.

Who’s really reading and sharing? And what’s the business benefit besides the aforementioned awareness?

I know people from all walks of life – healthcare, education, law, engineering, counseling, construction, etc. – some social, others not; all of whom are online daily and few really know what an ‘infographic’ is.

I remember discussing iPhone predictions with a few people last year – all iPhone, iPad wielders – and told them to “just look for the infographic, it’s on Mashable.” Lots of blank faces and blinking.

Maybe it’s me.

I started this post one place – collecting good infographics, maybe starting a “week in infographics” quasi-regular feature. I ended someplace far different – not seeing the value, the ROI – especially to small businesses.

Of all the cool infographics I’ve clicked, read, tweeted, I don’t think I’ve even paid attention to who designed it or what brand was behind its creation.

Look at this cute Ode to Beer Infographic I just happened across. Two problems I have with it:

1. I had to look, REALLY look for the sponsor; and I was actually looking for it. It was nothing more than a URL that blended in – too well – with the overall design, violating a rule of getting more value out infographics, being well-branded.

2. The brand – something about online bachelor degrees – seems a mismatch. YES the youngsters will be drinking of the beer, but will they really be Googling, sharing little charts about it? Thinking “Beer, I need money for beer, time to go back to school” and clicking away? IDK.

Tell me I’m wrong

The chance that the infographic will go ‘viral’ isn’t enough. The hope that it gets shared enough and eventually makes its way to the right audience doesn’t do it for me; hope is not a plan.

So tell me I’m wrong. Give me some examples. Show me how your company got great success with creating your cool bacon infographic. Thoughts?

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