The key to a successful website is to provide valid and compelling content. This is what keeps visitors coming back, either to learn more about a subject, keep up with current events or simply be entertained.

The beauty of content is that it can come in many forms, including text, images, videos, music and more. You aren’t confined to a single type. You can build your content library using any number of these methods. For example, your blog likely consists of text-based posts, images and videos.

Arguably, one of the best ways to make an impact — and truly get your point across — is to merge these forms together. That’s where infographics come into the picture.

What Are Infographics?

You’ve seen them all over the web. But do you actually know what they are and why they exist?

Infographics are a visual representation of a point, idea or philosophy you are trying to get across. Rather than write it all out with a huge wall of text, designers use a combination of visual elements, text, images and charts to achieve a central goal. Collaboratively, these elements tell a story and make it easier for an audience to understand information.

For all intents and purposes, an infographic is like a storyboard.

Of course, infographics can be used for many things such as to inform and educate, to plan or even to announce a new product or service. However, the primary reason they exist is to aid the business world when communicating with customers.

Because it’s a popular medium, many people fall into the trap of thinking infographics are simple to make. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, they are much more difficult to create than most realize — if you want them to be successful anyway.

It takes a lot of planning, time and effort to create the initial design and layout the content, and even more time to get things right. Also, make no mistake about it, if you don’t invest time to get things right, the infographic will have little to no impact and will be a complete waste.

All that aside, they are more than worth it. Infographics can drum up engagement with your audience, and they can boost your site — or company’s — credibility.

How Successful Infographics Boost Credibility

Infographics are able to boost credibility through their general makeup. Their foundation and core principles reinforce the idea that your company or team knows what they are talking about.

When you provide stats, information, quotes and general data on an infographic, you always source it. In this way, the infographic becomes something of an authoritative piece on the topic you are exploring. If ever there was any doubt about the information you are presenting, people can follow the breadcrumbs to a source and confirm it themselves.

Second, did you know that 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual? This has everything to do with why infographics are so successful at getting a point across and framing a business in a potential client’s mind.

It also explains why visual content — or content with relevant images — gets about 94% more views than content without.

Folks are also more likely to retain information that is presented visually. When people hear information, most will only be able to remember 10% of what they heard three days later. If that information is presented with a relevant image, those same people will retain 65% of the info for up to three days later.

By conveying useful information to your audience in a way they can easily retain, you are setting yourself up as a trustworthy and valuable resource. Plus, people love to share infographics. They are shared and liked by social media users three times more than any other type of content.

That means a successful infographic will be shared by all kinds of folks on social media, which gets your website, company name and mission out to the world.

How Infographics Are Used in the Real World to Boost Credibility

Let’s take a look at some examples and see how infographics are used in the real world:

CJ Pony Parts

weather

With winter and storm season on the way, CJ Pony Parts created a helpful infographic to keep drivers safe. The company sells high-performance auto parts, so naturally, it’s a great topic for them to cover.

The graphic teaches readers various tactics they can use for safe driving in a number of extreme conditions like snow, sleet, heavy rain, high winds and more. Not only is it presenting information to the reader, but this infographic serves a specific purpose — which is to keep everyone safe. The information, statistics and tips provided will — hopefully — help people drive better. This also means it’s a ripe choice for sharing.

An infographic like this one boosts the company’s credibility by showing they care about their customers and their customers’ general well-being.

Creative Market

creative-block

Have you ever run into a creative block? Of course you have — everyone does. It happens to the best of us.

That’s why Creative Market — a company that specializes in graphic design — created their infographic. It’s titled, ‘40 Little Things You Can Do to Break Your Creative Block’. The idea behind it is simple. It presents a variety of activities and tips for staving off creative block. Just the nature of the subject is enough to get this thing shared. Artists, photographers, writers, designers and even coders are likely to share it with colleagues — especially if it helps them.

To go along with the graphic, the team also produced an extensive piece that explores each tip in more detail. So, for those who like to read, they get the best of both worlds.

Hubspot

facebook

The Hubspot team put together an extremely helpful infographic that teaches you how to use Facebook for business. The graphic highlights a ton of things you should — and shouldn’t — do while marketing via the social platform. Like Creative Market, they wrote a blog post to go with the graphic. The real kicker, though, is this thing will help everyone in the business world better understand Facebook.

It’s a hot topic, so it will be shared far and wide — not to mention, the information presented in the graphic is beyond helpful. As for credibility, it reinforces the idea the Hubspot team knows how to handle marketing and business, which means you’re more likely to return when you want to know related information.

Pumpic

skills

Pumpic offers a mobile monitoring app and service so parents can keep an eye on their children. More specifically, it tracks what they do with their smartphone and tablet and then reports back.

For an infographic, however, they went in a different direction. Their graphic presents some vital entrepreneurial skills you can pass on to your children so they’ll be more successful later in life. The idea is compelling and incredibly useful. Who doesn’t want to impart crucial information on their children?

It boost’s the company’s credibility and shows they care about children — not just a revenue stream. You’ll remember Pumpic as the company that helped you secure your child’s future, and that’s really something.

I Love Coffee

coffee

Do you think coffee is truly good for you, or is it just bad? I Love Coffee — a coffee fan site — explored this idea in a remarkable infographic. This Is What’s Happening to Your Body After You Drink Coffee is short and sweet, but it presents everything you’d ever want to know.

By breaking information down by organs, you can see exactly how coffee is affecting your innards. For instance, did you know coffee is a stimulant, causing your body to produce more adrenaline — in turn helping you see better because it dilates your pupils?

The infographic works to really bolster the site’s credibility. Just by taking a look at it, you can see these guys really know their stuff. That makes the rest of the infographics, blog posts and information on the site much more appealing.

Infographics may seem simple, but when done effectively, they can pack a real marketing punch. Take a line from these examples and see what some quality infographics can do for your site.

About the Author: Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and writer. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.