Visual assets, or what we call them here- visual highlights, are gaining even more popularity in the online marketing world lately. Here’s the thing- they are not new- they’ve been around since the dawn of content! Newspapers, magazines and freakin’ cave walls contained visual highlights. So what is a visual highlight? Simply put, it’s a visual element added to an article or blog post that adds clarity or emphasis on a point made in the piece. Images, graphs, illustrations- these are all visual highlights that add value to simple text.
Lately, there has been some discussion about using visual highlights in lieu of infographics. Here is Rand Fischin’s latest take:
As a huge fan of everything that comes from the mind of Mr. Fishkin, I take what he has to say and try to learn from it. He makes a few good points:
– Infographics are expensive.
– Infographics are usually poorly done.
– Infographics include a lot of needless clutter.
– Infographics are becoming less valuable as of late.
– Infographics hurt more than they help.
These are all decent points. The good thing here is he offers an alternative- visual assets (highlights). These assets are:
– Easier to make & share
– Cleaner & clearer
– Less expensive to build
He is correct on all of the above points. However, there is more to the story. I want to add more color to the value of and use of infographics. It’s not a case of one or the other here, but recognizing instead that each plays a role. When used correctly, both fill specific needs. It’s something we’re taking a lot more time on here at Gravitate Online- the intelligent use of visual content. I’ll be writing more on it soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Do you think infographics are worth the effort? Are they earning you quality endorsements? I’d love to hear your thoughts.