Data is everywhere. A byproduct of the social media explosion, an avalanche of data is being generated, validated and compiled by companies and organizations. With all this tantalizing information at their fingertips, smart marketers are eagerly integrating data-driven “infographics” into their marketing mix as a way to convey their complex messages in a simple manner.
Why is this tactic effective?
We Love Info. Infographics are comfort food for our data-driven minds. Information conveyed numerically appeals to our sense of organization. Titles like “10 reasons to ride Uber,” or “six ways to find a better job,” give us some satisfaction that we know the facts. We can easily file these away in our brains for later recall. This is called stickiness.
We Love Graphics. It’s commonly known that people respond better to visual content than text. Design, images, and colors stimulate the visual processing systems in our brains. Think picture books. Even before we learn spoken language as children, we are shown images which we later associate with words. It’s ingrained in us from a young age and our desire to consume visual content never abates as we grow older.
How do you do it? Here are a few key steps we focus on as we create infographics.
Understand your audience. You need to know who you’re targeting. The whole point of the infographic is to answer a question or solve a problem your audience has, so that they’ll continue coming to you for answers. Create a profile of your ideal client and brainstorm what kind of content and graphics they would want to see. How would they want the data presented? What will catch their eye? What they don’t want to see – your product brochure dressed up with a few third party facts.
Perform research. How do you become a credible resource for future clients? Solid research is the foundation to any successful infographic. You must reveal something that is clever, different and urgent, but most of all it must be true.
Come up with an angle. Chances are someone else probably has the same information you do. The trick is to offer up your data with a twist—one your audience won’t expect. You want your audience to feel like your infographic is giving them the inside scoop. See what’s out there and do something different.
Tell an interesting story. Creating an infographic involves more than adding a few facts to a photograph or illustration. The facts combined with the graphics must tell a story. Stories allow us to make connections on a personal level. Explore the elements of any gripping tale: A hero, a challenge, a conflict, and a resolution ( or maybe a ‘call to action’ to learn the resolution.)
Blend in visual appeal. The need for infographics to be simple and informative should not overshadow another important element of infographic design—visual appeal. An appealing design is what will draw in viewers to take a look at the content in the first place. Stay away from packaged clip art or other boilerplate designs that look commonplace. Good designers know that it takes effort to be customized, but it is worth the effort.
Visually appealing content is also key to shareability. In a world where marketers and others are frequently looking for a way to “go viral” and generate more inbound links for their website, visual content stands out more than pure text.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are few techniques more widely used than the infographic. And when used effectively, they can provide a serious boost to any content marketing campaign. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to success.