Looking for ways to reach more customers, generate more leads, and even build links back to your site from authority sources?
Those are just a few of the benefits of using infographics as part of a visual marketing strategy.
The hype around infographics kicked off around 2012 – between 2010 and 2012 we saw a massive spike in searches for infographics. It was an 80% jump, in fact. That interest has continued to climb and today, infographics have become a standard component in content marketing thanks to the effectiveness of engaging people through visual stimulation.
Why infographics are so crazy effective
Visuals are generally more effective than text because our brains are wired for visual stimuli. According to scientific data shared by Canva:
- Studies into color show that more data and technical info can be retained when paired with the right colors
- If you add an image to information, recall of that info climbs from 10% to 65%
- The brain processes visuals up to 10x faster than text.
That’s why over 40% of marketers say infographics perform best, 74% of marketers use visuals in social content, and more than half of B2B marketers prioritize “creating visual content” in their marketing plans.
Infographics need more engagement, not more data
But just creating an infographic isn’t enough. Infographics are as much art as science. You’re not just presenting data in a visual way despite the fact that an infographic is a visual representation of data.
They also tell a visual story when properly formatted, and stories have a way of capturing attention and stirring the brain on multiple levels.
Like the following image – with just a glance your brain is already putting together a story all its own about the implicit meaning and story behind what you see.
A collection of random data splattered in an image is not an infographic. It’s certainly not telling an effective story.
At least not a good one.
Despite living in an overstimulated world, we are visual creatures that still want to know, learn, be entertained and be convinced.
If you want to connect with the brain’s need for visual stimulation, and give a serious boost to your visual marketing, follow these tips for more creating more effective infographics.
Drive a target audience to a specific goal
In for your infographic to be successful (more links generated, more shared, more engagement, more leads) you need to know who your audience is. Establish the buyer persona you want to target (even own to the audience segment) and the goal of the infographic as it pertains to your funnel.
Specifically – what are you trying to provide your audience via the infographic, and what’s the next step (goal) after they see it?
Keep your infographic focused on a hot topic
Once you identify both the goal and the audience you’re set for deciding the theme for your infographic. Deep research is necessary to uncover what your audience cares about most. Tools like Buzzsumo and Ahrefs can give insight into the most popular topics. Dig into your audience via social channels to find out what’s trending right now.
Narrow down the topic and make that the focus of your infographic. Remember, it’s about telling a story. You’ll keep them riveted with a focused tale instead of some broad, sweeping narrative.
Give your infographic a simple design
Your infographic should be simplistic in design. Beyond a uniform theme you should have a weighted mix of visual and text, leaning heavily toward visuals.
Focus on the quality and relevance of your visuals though. It’s about quality, not quantity. Too many visuals just make your infographic cluttered. You need the opposite – add a ton of whitespace and minimize the text to draw attention to the relevant images each data point.
Avoid the temptation to add too much text – it winds up looking like a high schoolers Powerpoint presentation. If you need to go into more detail with your data, save it for the accompanying blog post.
Here is an example of simple designs:
Check and recheck your facts and figures
Visual marketing with infographics ties back to your branding. While you have a central goal in mind, you’re also using this content to position your brand. Since you’re presenting data it’s a smart idea to make sure that everything you share is accurate.
Aged, inaccurate, or incorrect data can be detrimental to your brand. To ensure you build and maintain the trust of your readers who will be sharing and linking to your infographic:
- Make sure all data and statistics are true
- Make sure all sources are authoritative and reliable
- Make sure data and statistics are fresh and not out-of-date
I recently had a marketer reach out to me via cold email asking me to review their infographic. He also noted that if I found it interesting he’d appreciate me sharing it. The infographic was 10x the size of most infographics (several screens long) and was a massive dump of statistics that didn’t really connect with one another or flow.
Not only did it lack compelling visuals and a story, the laundry list of sources at the bottom indicated most of the data was over 5 years old and offered little to no value.
I politely declined and opted not to share it.
No amount of beautiful visual branding and quality infographic design can save you from spreading bad information.
Flow is critical
A good story can be ruined by a terrible storyteller. Even if you have great data and visuals that paint a poignant picture of the topic a badly designed infographic can derail the entire experience.
The most successful and engaging infographics flow both cognitively and visually, weaving the perfect story that pulls the viewer in clear through to the end. At it’s best the visitor will get to the bottom and be left wanting more.
There’s power in being able to move your audience through a thought process. That’s the power of visual storytelling done right.
Example created by Designbold
You don’t need to be a passionate or skilled graphic designer to create infographics. You just need an audience, a topic, a goal, and the information to plug into the graphic. With that you can use a tool like Venngage or other platform to design an effective infographic that your audience will love.
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