In my humble opinion, few things are more fun to look at online than infographics. Sure, I get a kick out of memes and stalk delicious food or puppy accounts on Instagram, but nothing gets me quite as excited as some meaty data paired with beautiful design. Just me? Ok then.
You can’t deny the fact that infographics are a great way for consumers to digest valuable information. They’re easy to read, beautiful and packed with educational tidbits. In fact, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, and infographics are liked and shared 3 times more than any other type of content. That means there is a heck of a lot of people just like me out there jonesing for a juicy infographic.
If you’re a business owner looking to draw in your target audience, infographics are chock-full of facts and topics of interest to your prospects. But what goes into an awe-inspiring infographic?
It takes more than haphazardly slapping a few random data points together and peppering in cute designs. The formula behind an awesome infographic is equal parts creative and scientific. So, let’s get to it.
Data + Storytelling = A Solid Infographic Base
Data should tell a story. As with emails, blogs or any type of content, data can engage and inspire an audience. But how?
When sharing and gathering data for an infographic, follow the rule of 3 C’s:
- Compelling - Don’t use the same tired statistic over and over again. Dedicated followers and subscribers will notice. Find a persuasive, compelling and unique statistic that cuts through the noise and shares a new and exciting finding.
- Credible - Data should be from a reliable, trustworthy source. Develop the trust of your readers by sharing stats from a thought leader or industry expert.
- Controversial - Elicit a response from readers with eyebrow raising, controversial statistics on hot-button topics. Spark a debate or fuel a discussion.
Design an infographic that captures the most important facts and points you are trying to drive home. Use typography, color, size and shape to emphasize key takeaways and grab your reader’s attention.
We designed an infographic for our client, The American College of Financial Services, detailing changing investors' needs and how their new Wealth Management Certified Professional (WMCP™) program equips financial advisors to satisfy those needs. Bright colors and larger fonts make the key takeaways stand out to today’s online skimmers:
Target Audience + Valuable Info = Making a Connection
If you’re anything like me, once you get a topic and some juicy data to work with, you let your mind run wild with ideas. But when you’re creating an infographic, it’s important to take a step back first.
Think about who your audience is or who you want your audience to be. Ask these questions before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys):
- Who are you talking to and how can you offer them the most value?
- How can you get their attention and entice them to keep reading no matter how busy they are?
- What message or valuable takeaways should they carry away?
Knowing your audience’s interests, pain points, demographics, etc. will help you determine the purpose of your infographic and speak to their needs. Research your potential clients and, if you haven’t already, create detailed buyer personas. Understand what they’re looking for and meet or exceed their expectations.
After you’ve conducted extensive research, tailor the infographic topic and elements to their interests. Your infographic should engage readers and offer significant value rather than deliver a sales pitch.
Simple + Focused = Visually Appealing
Infographics distill complicated, heavy ideas into a simplified, visual format. But a word of caution: readers should leave with an, “Ah-hah!” or “Oh, I get it!” moment without feeling overwhelmed or inundated with information. Packing in loads of data and creating needlessly complex, mind-numbing, set your brain on cognitive overload infographics can have an adverse effect and leave your audience scratching their heads.
Simple, focused infographics are your friend. Easy to digest infographics will offer the most value to readers and, therefore, leave a favorable impression of your brand. Color and fonts are crucial to your infographic performance. Carefully choose colors based on research and past performance.
Font choice is equally as important since the right font can add ambiance, personality, and character to your infographic. Conversely, the wrong font can make your infographic look cluttered and overwhelming. Limit the number of fonts and stick to one color scheme. Make sure the graphics you’re using connect to the data you’re sharing.
Don’t make your infographic a miscellany of facts and figures, either. Consolidate all data and stay focused on one topic. Avoid collecting all the data you can and Hulk smashing it into a single infographic. Keep your blinders on and glean only the data that makes sense for this particular infographic and leave the rest for another time.
Concise Copy + Killer Headlines = Kicka** Content
While there’s no set length for infographics, you’ll want to steer clear of copy-laden, difficult to digest chunks. Keep it simple and only focus on your main points.
Use a narrative when guiding your readers through the infographic. Your infographic copy should be cohesive and tell a complete story. As a guide, use sections, chronological events or a story line. For example, we created “A Tooth’s Life” infographic for a local comprehensive family dentist, West Chester Dental Arts, following the life cycle of a tooth to help their patients care for their teeth at any age:
Keep your language strong. Short, impactful and attention-grabbing segments in infographics draw your reader in. Optimize your infographic by peppering in power words throughout the copy. These short, punchy words will strengthen your copy and make it easier for people to share and interact with.
Grab their attention with a compelling, concise headline. Describe the infographic and stick to around 70 characters in length.
Fact Check + Optimization = Shareable Content
The point of most infographics is to present shareable, compelling data, but what if that data isn’t accurate? What would it do to your brand’s credibility?
Accuracy is crucial to all content creation—infographics included. Make sure that your statistics are true, your sources are reliable and graphics and data match.
When creating an infographic for our long-time client and solutions provider, CoreDial, we gathered riveting stats from only the most credible sources illustrating the risks of not jumping on the cloud communications bandwagon:
Double check, triple check and check some more. It pays to be thorough and ensure your points are correct. Regardless if the data comes from your company or elsewhere, the process is the same. Nameless information will only lead to suspicion and mistrust.
Lastly, optimize your infographic for sharing. Mobile is king in today’s society. Optimize your infographic for all screen sizes and social sharing. Check sizing and provide ways readers can easily share it with others like social sharing buttons.
Add up these formulas, and it’ll equal a stunning, solid and invaluable infographic worthy of viral attention. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, Stratus Interactive can help. Our copywriters and designers create eye-catching, shareable and easily digested infographics that will speak to your brand and provide the most value to your target audience. Contact us today for a free consultation!