8 Seconds. According to a Microsoft study, that’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention in today’s hyper-informed world. With many forms of content, like text and video, that’s hardly enough time to get started. This is where formats like infographics come into the picture (literally!)
Infographics are visuals that lay out data and information in a succinct and easy to read manner. The reader can consume the content at a glance, giving them a fair idea of what the data is talking about, without spending too much time on it.
What Can You Do With Infographics?
Infographics have found their way into a wide range of content, from research papers, whitepapers, how-to guides, and videos, to sales presentations, product pitches, and much more. The draw of infographics lies in their ability to show the data that matters the most, in a way that’s easy to consume. In today’s digital era, infographics are particularly effective because of the visual nature of the internet itself. Well-designed infographics add flair to your content and can help retain a lead’s attention.
Infographics let you condense something that would take you 500 words to write into a single image. This image format works well for sharing on your social feeds! And also, let’s face it. Your audience would much rather see one image than read through 500 words. Yes, the irony of saying this in a long-form article isn’t lost on us. But some things just need an in-depth explanation.
If you’re planning to include infographics in your marketing strategy, where should you start? You’ll need to do better than “I want to make an infographic.”
Start by thinking about what you want to convey, the amount of data there is and how suited it is to a visual format, and the audience you’re targeting. Then, look at the kind of content you usually create and figure out how to best integrate infographics. What about the infographics themselves, though? How do you create impactful infographics that capture attention and draw leads? Let’s talk about your infographics strategy!
Always Tell Stories
An infographic is more than just a collection of numbers and information. Your infographics need to tell the audience a story, visually. The best infographics are the ones with the least clutter and the clearest message. How do you tell stories with infographics? First, you need to be clear about the message you’re trying to convey.
Understand how the data you have can support and reinforce that message, then craft an infographic that pushes readers towards your CTA. If you’re a product manufacturer, for example, and your target is to get users to put an item in their cart, your infographic could show how your product costs less while performing as well as or better than the competition.
Start With The Channel In Mind
One important aspect to consider is the channel that you’re going to share the infographic on. Is it going into a blog post? Or a video? Perhaps a sales deck or a social media post? This has serious implications on the format and the layout of the infographic.
Figuring this out early on can help you save time and effort when creating a new infographic or tweaking a repurposed one. Aligning content with the channel it goes in is relevant for any kind of content. However, it’s especially important with infographics.
It isn’t just about the design specifications or the layout. The kind of data that you want to present also plays a role here. A social media infographic will have to be a lot more visually appealing and concise, for instance, than one that goes in a blog post. A presentation can have infographics broken up into parts. Be aware of your target channel and work accordingly.
Work Backwards With Your Data
Deciding what goes on an infographic can be quite daunting. You can make this process a lot easier by working backwards. What does this mean? Start with the story you want to tell, instead of the data. Once you have an idea of the message you want to convey and a rough picture of the layout, you can then figure out what data points can best support your message.
What aspects of your business are quantifiable? What are the quantifiable benefits of your solutions? What are the critical data points that support the story you’re trying to say? These are the pieces of information you need to be thinking about.
Salesy or Informative?
One-word answer? Both. You can use infographics anywhere. But it’s best to use discretion and common sense to really understand where they add value and where they don’t. When you are trying to market a product or a service, an infographic can come in real handy to present the information in an easily consumable manner. Infographics work well in brand awareness contexts, too, when you’re trying to illustrate your perspective on a particular issue.
When you’re working on an infographic to be included in your marketing deck, look at the data and see what information is of value to your client or consumer. Can you present some of the more complex processes in a simple format? For example, the ROI that your SaaS product can offer in a particular area could be a tough metric to write about, but an infographic could help illustrate it visually.
In brand awareness use cases like thought leadership articles and videos, infographics such as a list of do’s and don’ts or a “top 5 best” list work great. Infographics are a versatile tool. You can mold them to perfectly complement the kind of content that you want to share!
Be Strategic: Don’t Overdo Infographics
Make sure to be strategic when creating infographics. Always ask yourself this – Is the infographic adding emphasis to the point you are trying to make? Is an infographic the best way to represent a particular piece of information? These questions will help you decide on when and when not to include one.
Infographics tend to grab attention: they often distract the consumers from the rest of the content. Keep this in mind when designing and using them. You don’t want your consumers just looking at the infographic and not reading anything else!
Infographics are great. That’s the one-line takeaway here. But there’s a lot more you need to understand. Infographics are visual stories, and very powerful tools when designed and used intelligently. Making an infographic visually appealing isn’t everything, but great design matter. Focus on the story you want to tell, on the data, and then on presentation.
Having a great story is the best way to elevate your infographic. This allows the data and the information to flow around the message and nudge your reader towards the action you want.
Be strategic with your infographics: it’s just as important to know when not to use one. Infographics are a great supporting tool, but great content and a great brand story are what convince leads to take action. Start there, understand the story you want to tell elevate it with a great infographic!
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