Infographics are not new – they’ve been on the scene for a while now. But they continue to be popular … because they continue to work. The value of infographics stems from several facts: They take advantage of humans’ natural inclination for visual info, they stand out from marketing clutter, they make complex information more palatable, and they drive higher engagement, including social sharing.
We’ve done our fair share of infographics over the years and we like to think we’ve learned a few things. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
Focus on content
No beautiful image or great design can render average content fascinating. Every good infographic starts with a good point. Ask yourself: What do I want my audience members to take away from this? Then, focus on your main point. Add customer quotes, good data, expert support and, of course, brilliant graphics that drive your point home. And remember, the headline is content too. Keep it short, snappy and unpredictable.
The reason infographics work is because good design works. Make sure your infographic channels your brand guidelines appropriately, then let the palette, illustrations, grid and fonts do the work. If it’s well designed, the graphics can carry the load. Visual Metaphors, for example, are extremely powerful. So you don’t need to flesh out every well-designed stat with a paragraph of explanation. With infographics, less is more. Remember, good design also means: Don’t slack on the whitespace.
Keep it focused
One of the common challenges we see is clients trying to do too many things with one piece of content. Infographics perform better when you stick to a single topic. And you don’t need to tell them everything about that topic in a single infographic. Hit the key points and tell them how to learn more.
Increasingly, we design infographics with an eye to flexibility. Sure it’s great to use the piece in newsletters, media releases, and your website, but for social sharing, smaller chunks perform better. Rather than delivering clients one large piece, we increasingly hand over the large piece plus a slew of smaller graphics that are more suitable to social platforms and are more easily adapted for secondary uses.
Add motion and interactivity
In addition to creating infographics that break more easily into snackable graphics (or “pinfographics”), we’re working on more animated infographics. Adding motion to key elements is a great way to drive home key points and help your project stand out from clutter. And interactive content is always more engaging: It allows your audience to move through your content however they see fit, sort of like happily browsing through your favorite retail store.
Make it readable
If it isn’t readable, it won’t work. Infographics often utilize a few fonts and variously sized images so you want to make sure even the smallest fonts are big enough to be read, even on smaller screens. One of the largest challenges we see here is the tendency to want to say it all. If you streamline your message and edit it down, the infographic will perform better. (Did we already say “less is more?” Okay, well we’re saying it again because it’s that important.)
Be right and include sources
The value of content like infographics is that it grows relationships with new people and deepens the relationships you already have. But that doesn’t work if your information isn’t accurate and solid. Make sure the data, quotes and facts you’re sharing are accurate. And then include sources to back up your claims.
Don’t forget the call-to-action
People will get to your infographic from various channels so you want to make sure they know what you want them to do: donate now, join our newsletter list, or visit our website for more info are all appropriate CTAs (depending, in part, on what part of the sales funnel you’re infographic is targeting).