Infotainment might sound like something that a teacher might show to a class of children that don’t want to learn, but in reality, it is actually a sugar pill that all of us adults swallow on a regular basis. Also called ‘soft news’, the idea behind infotainment is to turn something factual into something enjoyable and entertaining.
The term is often used disapprovingly by ‘real’ news establishments, that see this as an attempt to cheapen news and turn it into little more than a marketing ploy. For marketers of course though, this is no bad thing!
There are plenty of examples of infotainment on the web and you only need to take a quick look on Facebook to see it. Some are done better than others. Take a look at a page like IFLScience. This is a Facebook page that shares science news that it has posted to its own site. This is undoubtedly information, but it is also definitely positioned as entertainment in the way the headlines have been written and even in the choices of topics which are populous.
For instance, let’s consider some of the things the site has shared recently:
Man Fly is a Real Thing, According to Researches
The More Older Brothers You Have, The More Likely You Are to be Gay. Now We Might Finally Know Why
Egypt Just Opened Two Sealed Tombs in Luxor Dating Back 3,500 Years
This is science news that you might find in a serious journal but it is written in an ‘entertaining’ manner in order to bring in new visitors. And it works: the site has over 25 million likes, which is a staggering number for any online brand.
This is a positive example on the whole. The articles are written in a way that is accessible, but they still contain real, unbiased reports. Ideally, they bring in customers to the brand while also helping to increase our knowledge on scientific subject matters!
But there are other less savory examples of this around too.
For instance, consider all of the click bait articles. These use bombastic, hyperbolic and outright exaggerated claims – or purposefully obfuscated and obtuse titles – in order to get people to click. Nine times out of ten, the site doesn’t actually provide any real information.
Then there are the trashy news sites, such as the Daily Mail in the UK. This site/newspaper specializes in printing stories that will get a reaction or get clicks, with little interest in journalistic integrity or providing high quality content. Common topics include what various celebrities have eaten or worn, or gossip and unprovoked attacks on personalities. Often the facts are unsubstantiated and retractions are printed – but of course these are not publicised to the same extent as the initial inaccurate stories!
Even worse than that is outright fake news. This is a big topic in the media right now, especially at the moment thanks to Donald Trump’s overuse of the term. Essentially, fake news is considered a story that is entirely fabricated in order to get clicks. This of course can be dangerous and has recently even been accused of compromising the democratic process.
We even see this in smaller niches: fake news stories are printed about the cartoon ‘Dragon Ball Super’ in order to get clicks from fans for instance. Writers may claim that a character has died, or that the series is ending, just to get attention to their site.
One example of infotainment that is generally positive, is the resource post. A resource post is a post on a website that is designed in order to provide an official, ‘ultimate’ guide to a subject. These are traditionally very long and will include lots of facts, links out to other sources and ideally a structure that makes them easy to skim through (maybe with a table of contents and links to points throughout the article).
The aim of this is to provide a link for others to share when they want to explain a topic in a forum, or a page that people will keep returning too. This is an alternative take on the concept of infotainment, but it is highly effective as a form of internet marketing: in particular because it acts as a form of link earning. Link earning means that you have earned organic links: that is to say that people are linking to your website because they genuinely think your articles deserve sharing, or because they think sharing them could help others. If you provide genuine information, then people should want to share that information.
This is also the benefit of being the first to cover news. If you can cover breaking news, then you
- will be linked to and
- referenced by other sites.
An infographic is an interesting form of infotainment that is highly sharable and in some cases even quite beautiful in fact! If you’re looking for a fresh type of content to use on your own website, or to use for guest posts, then using infographics is a great choice. In this post, we’ll look at the advantages of infographics as well as how you can get the most from them.
What is an Infographic?
An infographic is an image that conveys data and information in a graphical way that you can understand at a glance.
One thing to keep in mind when creating content for the web, is that a lot of people are in a rush when they’re online and don’t have time to sift through dense paragraphs of information. An infographic is the perfect antidote to this reality then, as it lets people very quickly get the ‘gist’ of what you’re trying to convey at a glance.
Infographics are more attractive than simple charts or graphs though and will normally be a combination of various data visualizations alongside large typographic quotes, statistics and other data. When combined in this way, these can be very appealing and really draw the viewer in while presenting the data concisely and effectively.
These also make ideal guest posts because they’re unique and not easy to create. When done well they look professional and elevate the site they’re on, which makes them a great bargaining chip.
How to Create an Infographic
The good news is that there are plenty of tools online that make it very simple and easy to create an Infographic and a lot of them are free. Alternatively, you can simply use some image editing software like Illustrator and then add some effects in PhotoShop afterward.
Consider this next time you’re looking for something new to add to your blog or site, or the next time you want to compliment your other forms of ‘infotainment’.