In the 21st century, most of our information is absorbed and stored visually. Throughout the media in propaganda techniques, we have trended toward using visualizations to captivate the attention of potential clients. In its true form, and infographic does just that. Often, complex information is difficult to absorb in walls of text and information. Instead, displaying information visually allows our multi-tasking minds to digest this information much easier.
However, an infographic needs to do more than just share data. Their audience not only needs to be captivated, but they also must feel like they can trust the information presented. Additionally, it must tell a story and deliver a powerful message; as the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." While many infographics are floating around on the internet, you have to go a step beyond to really make this masterpiece shine. The chart below, by Daniel Zeevi of Dashburst, has the right idea!
Believe In Brainstorming
1. Search for the Right Idea
A good rule of thumb is to search for trending ideas and popular content. Become a journalist of sorts and research for breaking news and reliable statistics to drive your infographic. Often, content will be reused and recycled from year-to-year, but you need to strive to take your idea further. Instead of rehashing the predictable stories, take the expected and twist it so it is fresh and innovative. Ultimately, this will draw the reader's attention and give them an "aha!" moment.
2. Rely on Great Data Sources
To begin, it's always good to browse blogs within your own space and look for information through your research. Internal company data, social media, geographical, and public data are great places to start for reputable and reliable information. People will trust your content if you are transparent about your sources. It wouldn't hurt to hire a professional researcher to dig up the most current and accurate information in a timely manner.
For their set of infographics, The United States of Search, WebpageFX is very transparent about the sources they used in the graphics, listing them on their own page and even linking to the source. There is an explanation of the company data used for the study and how they captured this data. This is a great step up from the dubious batch of tiny URLs frequently listed at the very bottom of infographics.
Stir Up a Story
3. Grab Their Attention
One of the most important portions of an infographic is the headline. These words need to be catchy or provoke thought as it is the first thing a reader will see. Make sure it is clever or captivating enough to draw in the reader. Try to stick to using "you," so it makes it personal by directly invoking the reader. A "how-to" approach is a very popular start.
In their infographic about choosing a mood for each room in your house, Gate to Garage got right to the point with their title. They direct it to the viewer and bring some nice fonts into play.
4. Tell a Story
Make sure your infographic weaves a story that is full and lively. It should take the reader through each point seamlessly from beginning to end. Since it's meant to create a chain of events, your goal is to keep the audience engaged from piece to piece. Engaging a problem and solution approach is an excellent start to deliver a powerful message.
Create and Captivate
5. Be Rich in Design
The main purpose of creating and distributing an infographic is to generate something that is accessible and exciting to your target audience. In order to cater to the needs of your company and your audience, it can be a great investment to search for a designer that matches your goals as a company. Most charge by the hour, so do the research and find a designer whose style is reputable and who is focused on your vision and message.
Maxwell Systems went all out when it came to the design of their infographic Dropping Dollars, about the state of technology IPOs. The color scheme is muted and beautiful, and with a simple chart they show that technology IPOs just aren't what they used to be.
6. Display it Vertically
Typically, since most online information and media is displayed vertically, so should the infographic. You want to generate good readability, and having this visual criteria helps drive the content and makes it accessible. Incorporating complementary colors for visual balance and a healthy, simple font will help for the overall continuity of the infographic. Remember, less is more. Sometimes the simplest of customizations can generate an original and intriguing infographic.
Promote and Personalize
7. Go Big
If your company has the funds available, an animated infographic can set you apart. However, with costs close to $4000 from the common $500 for a flatter custom infographic, the challenge lies in the debate: is it worth it? This is a business decision that can be a great investment, but make sure you do your research. Motion graphics are a great medium for emotionally connecting with your audience or telling a story, but they are not the best format for every type of infographic.
8. Modest Branding
Be okay with promoting your company in the infographic, but be modest about it. Include your logo or company colors and elements to uniquely display your brand. It not only serves as a nice reminder to readers and adds a personal touch to the infographic. Just remember to keep the purpose of the infographic in mind and avoid being pushy or spammy.
Visualize Going Viral
9. Shine and Share
Don't waste your time creating an infographic if it isn't going to be displayed. That defeats the whole purpose. Make sure your design is sound and effective. Utilize your social media outlets and resources to create and market your story. A good inbound marketing company will help with the right strategy and approach. Don't forget about incorporating web optimization and SEO to really make the infographic stunning.
10. Make It Viral
Be bold and go viral by choosing the right social avenues for your content. Remember to only bother contacting sites which relate to the topic of your infographic. Keep in mind that letting your infographic go undiscovered will render all your hard work, money, and effort useless. Here are some great directories for submitting infographics.
Clarity Way Rehab didn't have to think hard about what would take off right now - their infographic What the Health? about the complexities of Obamacare is destined to go viral as people try to understand the Affordable Care Act.
Ultimately, you are in control when developing an infographic. Make it current, reputable, visually impactful and be sure that its seen. By following these tips, you can have a truly amazing infographic that is full of valuable information and is a great tool for extending your brand.