Ever since our post on 2012 trends in the building industry, the IMRE social marketing team has been loudly trumpeting the importance of taking brand content to the next level. Simply put, online audiences are demanding rich, visually-compelling content from brands on their social media channels. “Man on the street” videos and photos snapped on your mobile phone still have their place, but most brands will begin to see engagement decline on their social channels unless they invest in higher quality content production. It’s a matter of supply and demand: As more brands supply social content, online audiences feel comfortable raising their demands for better quality.
Visually-compelling content can take many forms, from creatively produced videos to engaging Facebook photos. Today, we thought we would give a quick course in one of the the highest forms of visually powerful content: Infographics. Mashable defines infographics as graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge used to present complex information quickly and clearly. Infographics are becoming more common in the building industry, particularly on websites and blogs catering to architects and designers.
The best infographics try to articulate one of five key communications challenges. Here is an example of each of these challenges in action on popular industry websites.
Compare Two Concepts In Depth — Architizer achieved this just last week with an infographic on America’s higher education bubble. The popular social network for architects put student loan debt into context by comparing it to mortgage debt across the country, and then comprehensively highlighted the size, scope and trends that each “bubble” shared.
Compare Then Vs. Now — Remodeling sought to capture the vast changes that have taken place in the remodeling industry over the last three years with their Remodeling: Then & Now infographic. The infographic attempts to weave together changes to design, regulation and economic conditions, while also putting a uniquely personal stamp, highlighting how the publication’s editorial staff has adjusted to the new environment.
Provide A History Lesson — Curbed took on the ambitious challenge of capturing the entire history of real estate in their Real Estate Through Time infographic. Curbed’s infographic highlights the importance of richer multimedia content. There are few people with the intellectual curiosity to read a bulleted list on the history of real estate. With a visually-engaging audience, Curbed’s hyper-creative A&D audience will fully absorb their message.
Demonstrate A Process — Building Green streamlined the complex system of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) by creating a single graphic showing where EPDs come from. Simple, clean and educational, Building Green’s infographic makes EPDs comprehensible without minimizing the considerable investment that manufacturers must undergo to achieve this certification level.
Organize Lots Of Statistics – The National Association of Realtors could have written a 20-page white paper on the purchasing habits of foreign real estate investors. Instead, they mashed everything together into an animated infographic titled The Foreign Faction. The infographic organizes an immense amount of data and allows readers to see both state-by-state breakdowns of foreign holdings and the countries investing in each state. All that information is contained in a single flash animation, allowing readers to become fully-versed in the topic without even scrolling, much less printing and clicking.
IMRE achieved something similar. After surveying over 800 architects and designers, we sought out to present the findings in a unique way that would help illustrate the story. Simple text on a page wouldn’t be enough to achieve the impact that the research deserved. Instead we created an interactive infographic that would be more meaningful and helpful for the media: http://sustainability.imre.com/
Have you seen a visually-compelling infographic in the industry? Post a link to your favorite in the comments and don’t forget to tell us why you liked it.