Are Infographics Still Worth It For Addiction Treatment Marketing?

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Admit it: you like infographics.

We all do.

Infographics distill information for us in a fun, visual format. Reading them feels satisfying because it gives us a snap-crackle-pop of instant gratification.

“I learned something!” your brain shouts, “I learned something quickly!”

A good infographic is loaded with bite-sized factoids that light up our brains and make us feel knowledgeable, powerful, and in control. We’re instant experts when we look at infographics.

Cute cartoon people pointing out the particularly important statistics on a pretty background (maybe using one of the top marketing design trends of 2018?) really help seal the deal.

That’s great, but are they still relevant?

As much as we all love infographics, there are other players in town now.

Infographics had a big boom circa 2016 but it’s true—they’ve died down a bit. Video is the new kid on the block. Everyone is hailing 2017 (or was that 2016 or 2018?) as the year of the video. Video content represents something like 70% of all internet clicks at the moment.

What does that mean for infographics?

No, they’re not the trendy new thing but infographics can still be a powerful tool in your addiction treatment marketing arsenal.

Here’s the main reasons I think infographics are still worth it in 2018:

1 - Infographics get liked and/or shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content  

Yes, people might watch a video but do they always share it? Hardly—especially when they may not have watched that video all the way through to the end.

Infographics, on the other hand, are so quickly consumed and so useful that they are more likely to be shared on social media—which is a huge boon for traffic, name recognition, and SEO.

(You do have an embed code pointing back to your site on your infographic, right?)

2 - Infographics are the gift that keeps on giving

You don’t want to put all the time and energy into making an infographic (or paying someone to make one for you) only to have it get thrown up on social media one time and then disappear, do you?

Heck, no.

After you’ve exhausted the posting possibilities online, infographics can be repurposed in a whole bunch of ways. They make great posters, brochures, and trade show presentation cards. Hand out infographic cards instead of business cards and you’d definitely get more people looking at your marketing materials.

Why? Because you didn’t hand them something worthless—your business card—you handed them something valuable, something they can refer to in the future.

3 - Infographics are made to look good on phones

Mobile drives 56% of internet traffic.

With mobile devices generating more internet clicks than desktop, it’s important to optimize content so that it plays nice with phones. Infographics are usually formatted specifically to look great on phones, filling up the screen and putting each new factoid one small scroll below the next.

Long-form articles aren’t easy to read on a tiny phone screen. Visual content—video, memes and, yes, infographics—are made for smaller screens and mobile user habits.

Infographics for addiction treatment marketing

According to marketing guru Neil Patel, infographics work best when they employ a consistent presentation method, tell a unique story, and include lots of trusted statistical data.

Ok, but wait—unique stories and lots of statistical data?

Is it just me or does that SCREAM addiction treatment marketing?

Addiction medicine is a science, which means there are so many fascinating studies done by legitimate government and non-profit entities (ASAM, ACCBO in Oregon, NIH, CDC, etc) to pull from.

There are tons of topics to cover of interest to addiction treatment leads. What happens during detox? How does addiction change the brain? Why is addiction considered a disease? What are the symptoms of alcoholism? All of these questions would be great starting points for helpful, super-shareable infographics.

And unique stories?

Well, we’ve got ‘em.

Testimonials and patient stories (with written permission, of course) would make fantastic starting points for infographics too.

Examples of Excellent Infographics

To prove that addiction-related topics make for great infographics, let’s look at a few stellar examples I found from around the internet.

1 - The Dangers of Binge Drinking by The University of Alabama at Birmingham


This infographic defines binge drinking, clearly shows what a “standard drink” is, breaks down moderate drinking by gender, addresses sexual assault, and covers how to minimize risks associated with drinking—all while using a snappy three color design that keeps the eye moving from one statistic to the next.

It positions the University of Alabama as not just an expert in binge drinking behavior but also a concerned entity that is invested in curbing the problem on campus. While not treatment-related, this infographic appeals to parents and other concerned family members in a way that good addiction treatment marketing does. This infographic could just as easily be shared by the mom of a U of A coed as the parent of an addiction treatment alumni.

2 - James Bond is...The Man With the Golden Liver



I love this Bond themed infographic because it uses humor and a familiar entry point to address a pretty taboo subject: alcoholism. Focusing on James Bond's drinking habit is a fun, safe way to make a point about problematic drinking.

Covering everything from units consumed by year to Bond’s life expectancy if he keeps up his binge drinking, BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, makes its point about alcoholism well. This infographic is much easier to share than a more somber, heavy-handed infographic about drinking too much.

3 - Protect Your Unborn Baby: Don’t Drink Alcohol When You’re Pregnant

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This simple infographic from SAMHSA gets right to the point: drinking while pregnant can put your baby at risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Even for people who aren’t strong readers, this infographic grabs your attention and quickly points out the risks that alcohol poses to unborn babies. The simplicity makes an effective and memorable impact on the reader. Like the other infographics, this example also uses a tight color palette to keep the message focused and cohesive.

4 - The Real Cost of Excessive Alcohol Use



This infographic from the CDC is more of a policy-minded appeal to tax payers than it is a PSA about addiction, but the formatting and effective use of white space make it a good example for those interested in creating good infographics of any kind. The breakdown of costs by category makes for a thought-provoking infographic.

5 - Benzodiazepine Use and Medication Assisted Treatment


IRETA’s infographic on the dangers of benzodiazepine use, especially when pursuing medication-assisted therapy, is a decent example of addiction-related infographic marketing but it could be improved by simplifying the message and cutting down the number of words on the page. A longer, skinnier format would have made this infographic work a bit better for mobile use and would have provided an easier information flow for readers. Nonetheless, a tight color palette and good segmentation of subject matter make for a good start.

Infographics are great addiction marketing tools—if you know how to use them

Successful infographics trade in unique stories and iron-clad statistics. That makes them a great fit for addiction treatment marketing where we have easy access to fantastic, compelling human stories and a treasure trove of vital statistics about addiction.

Although video is strong right now, infographics are still top performers in terms of social shares, likes, and SEO improvement.

Your leads are reading and sharing infographics everyday—isn’t it time you start making some?

You can go it alone and create your own infographics but if you need help, let me know!

Erin Gilday