As the name suggests, infographics are information represented graphically or visually. It delivers information that can be seen and understood in a few seconds compared to a huge block of text.
That’s the simplistic definition. For more clarity, we could say that an infographic is a group of images, charts, graphs, and crisp text that helps a viewer understand a specific topic clearly and quickly.
This phenomenon made its entry with a bang about 15 years ago on the graphics stage, giving the world a whole new way of presenting crucial information. We live in an era where patience is scarce; if you’re not quick, you’re out. Today infographics are used in all spheres and industries: in classrooms, by government agencies, healthcare providers, nonprofits, insurers, and bankers, for corporate communications, in marketing presentations, and so on.
But how can you get your message across when you can say so little? How do you get your audience to sit up and take notice? In other words, how can you make your infographics engaging and interesting?
Let’s look at the key elements of infographics we must pay attention to.
1. The Topic
The basic purpose of creating, posting, and sharing an infographic is to deliver some value to your target audience; in that respect, it’s pretty similar to your blog posts. Think about what will be useful and matter to your audience; they can be industry-specific topics over which you have authority and which you think your audience should know.
For example, if you are a banker, you can create an infographic to inform your audience about financial frauds or scams, how to protect themselves, or about a new investment scheme.
An IT service provider can create an infographic explaining the benefits of a great eCommerce website and so on.
Figuring out what your infographic can do for your audience is a great way to start.
You could also check out your popular blogs and consider if they can be presented in an infographic format. Start with blog posts containing bullet lists, statistics, numerical data, or one that narrates a story.
Hierarchy laws are crucial in design, as they decide how a layout appears to the viewer and the feel they provide. Infographics are no different; they may be even more important, as you must pack a great deal of information in a very small space.
Hierarchy is basically the order of importance; regarding infographics, it refers to the organization of every bit of information.
In a newspaper, what do you notice at first? The name, of course; then you see the headlines. When you see one that catches your attention, you read the details.
Likewise, you need to ensure a hierarchy for your infographic to create an impact; you can create an outline before designing it to get a better idea.
3. An Impactful Headline
We live in a world where 19% of people will abandon websites if it takes more than 3 seconds to load; you have that many seconds, or perhaps even fewer, to grab viewer attention. So make the most of it with a compelling headline. It must be irresistible to the readers so they click on it and see it fully.
Include relevant keywords so that it becomes SEO-friendly and gets featured in the search results. You can use keywords relevant to your brand that viewers will recognize instantly, giving your brand greater visibility and exposure, also you can leverage trending hashtags to arouse curiosity and make the viewer eager to check out your infographic.
You can use headline creation tools to create better headlines.
4. The Structure
Infographics are essentially story narratives using data, but be mindful that your image must make sense to the reader regarding the information you include and how it is structured.
Example of a well-structured infographic.
You also must bear in mind that what makes a good structure is relative – depending on the industry, topic, audience, and so on. They can be simple or packed with data. You can use a wide range of design elements to create the right structure – colors, fonts, images, etc.
You can check out infographics templates online to get ideas.
Research is crucial for any content but is one of the most essential elements of infographics, as facts are the focus. After identifying the topic, you want to create an infographic about, research thoroughly to get accurate data to support your statements.
First, look for data already compiled by your organization, surveys you conducted, or interesting analytics – and present them graphically. Of course, you can also use facts that were discovered and published by others.
Be sure to cite your sources properly, as it is not only the right thing to do by giving credit to those who did the work but will also give you more credibility. You can also make it easy for people to find additional information if they are interested.
One possible drawback of using statistics is that it could be outdated information. Therefore, you must be diligent and ensure that you have the latest information. You should also try including different statistics, especially when many infographics have similar stats.
For example, assume you’re making an infographic related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s suppose that nearly all infographics related to this have figures related to the number of patients, deaths, recoveries, and vaccinated persons – in your state or country. So, you could try and include some different information, like vaccinated persons who got infected or the number of people who got different types of vaccines. Like – Vaccine A was administered to 3500, Vaccine B to 897, and so on.
6. Quality Content
Content for an infographic widely differs from, say, blog content. You will need to alter it to fit into the layout if you’re taking information from one of your blogs. Extract important sections and make changes: use strong verbs and concise wording to make your infographic appealing to your audience.
Some infographics may not have numbers; in such instances, choose content from your blog that is relevant to your chosen topic and amend the sentences to make them fit the infographic style.
If you’re writing from scratch, you must remember to create maximum impact with minimal words. It might be a good idea to create a skeleton outline for the information you want to convey, and it can be developed into full-fledged infographic content in the design phase.
Content has to be crisp, attractive, and engaging; use small text blocks and bullet points. Flowing narratives just won’t cut it! Of course, exactly how much text you need to or can include completely depends on your industry, your topic, your audience – and, of course, the visuals you have in your infographic.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for how much text to include. We can say with conviction that it must be error-free, impactful, and capable of conveying your message with the least words. Great content makes the infographic shareable.
7. Innovative Design
You can either design your infographic in-house or outsource it to a professional. Either way, it’s prudent to be open to a range of design ideas, whether they are illustrations, photos, or flat designs. Here are some ideas:
- Categorize information alphabetically.
- Organize data according to category.
- Chronological order is ideal for historical information or when you have specific dates.
- Demographic studies or surveys in different regions can be presented geographically – by city, state, country, etc.
- Hierarchical design works best when you want to stress the priority or importance of each bit of information.
Of course, you or your designer may have some other ideas in mind as well. One thing you should never lose sight of is that your design must be aligned with your branding in some way.
Remember to make your charts and graphs appealing; just because it represents a serious matter, it need not be boring.
Example of a well-designed template.
Here is a wonderful example of how an infographic can make a lesson interesting: it shows the moon’s phases, using Oreos to drive home the point. Simple and eye-catching (not to mention yummy).
Communicate with your designer so they can effectively translate your ideas into an infographic. If you’re doing it yourself, check out online tools like DesignWizard or Canva.
What is The Right Design?
Well, there is no one answer to this question. Every design has its benefits and drawbacks. Eventually, you must take a call after considering what will appeal to your target audience and what business you are in. The design also includes colors, image types, and so on. If your target audience is children (for a classroom lesson), cartoon images, bright colors, and the use of their favorite foods and animation-movie characters would be great.
For an insurer, the right design will likely have many charts and graphs, statistics, and sober colors associated with your brand.
Hiring a professional designer may cost you a bit, but you will get a high-quality design worth its weight in gold. You can do it yourself at a much more economical cost, but unless you are good at designing stuff, the finished product may not be something that can impress your audience.
Whichever way you go, you should consider having a brand style guide in place – where your brand, its colors, fonts, and styles, along with the tone of your message, are clearly mentioned.
This should guide the designers about the infographic’s design so that it is a good and natural fit on your website and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. It is also a base to build your brand; as you upload more infographics, videos, and other content and stick to this styling guide, you will be able to maintain the consistency of appearance of all your content. It’s what great brands do.
The KISS Principle: Keep it Simple, Silly!
Yes, yes, an infographic is meant to convey information; and having charts, statistics, and images is what it’s all about. But let’s not go overboard and stuff so much into it that it gives your reader a headache just looking at it.
Remember, the purpose is to convey information quickly and easily – and for that, simplicity and minimalism are key. Allow sufficient white space so that the design can ‘breathe’; allow your readers time to process the information they see.
Avoid using more than two different types of fonts; you can underline or make the font bold at places you want to emphasize something. You can use different-sized headlines depending on the importance of the information under each; make sure they are legible so that the data can be seen even in thumbnails.
In addition, here are a few tips to create an infographic that will be received well:
Go over your infographics to ensure there are no typos or factual errors and that there is a logical flow to the content. Get an unbiased opinion from someone in your circle if you can.
We already spoke about keywords. Additionally, check the dimensions and resolutions acceptable to the different social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Ensure that your infographic meets the requirements so that it can be shared easily by your viewers and reach a larger audience.
What do you want the audience to do once they have gone through your infographic? Call? Download an E-book? Whatever it is, make sure you highlight your call to action and urge your viewer to act – that is when your infographic becomes truly successful.
You can create the most amazing infographics, but it can still fail to deliver results if you have a poor promotion strategy. Give it as much publicity as possible by promoting it on your social media pages, website, forums, and other sites.
Infographics are a great way to connect with your audience and deliver valuable information concisely. Plus, they can support your SEO efforts by attracting backlinks.
Infographics are not a fresh concept. A lot of brands and marketers use them in their marketing strategy. It helps you stand out and create more interesting visual images than your competitive websites.
Infographics are attractive, popular, and shareable designs. It could easily influence people in a way that even a well-crafted text can’t. So, when creating or buying a design piece, you should follow certain rules to meet your aims. Use the elements of infographics discussed above to start producing more inspiring visual content for your organization.