The rise of the infographic

These days, it’s no longer enough to have a story. Journalists and readers want statistics to back claims up.

Gone are the days when a simple page of facts would do; these days, we want our stats to be presented in an easy to digest and engaging format, which is a key reason why infographics are now so popular.

It stands to reason that the rise of the infographic is due in large part to its ability to present potentially text heavy stats in a more aesthetically pleasing way. After all, everyone likes to look at nice things, don’t they? Scientific types reckon it is actually easier for humans to digest information presented in this format, so it makes sense to join the infographic movement.

The beauty of the infographic is that it can work for anyone. It doesn’t matter if your industry is considered to be straight laced or less exciting by some,– if you can create the right content and apply it to an infographic style, your content can become more shareable and provide an engaging way for people to understand what your business does. Some of the most familiar visuals you may not have even realised are infographics include weather maps and the London Underground map.

Take visuals, graphs and charts, for example. They may not be the most stimulating and exciting form of infographic, but they were one of the first ways of displaying information in this manner and still influence designers, marketers and businesses today. The idea is that displaying information in a more creative way encourages the mind to compare statistics and remain engaged. There are a number of infographic types ranging from informational, timeline and how-to styles to photographic, process and interactive designs.

One of the first steps to creating a great infographic is considering its use. The best infographics will be shareable to on social media and suitable to sell in to press as a PR tool. Infographics have the potential to create solid link building opportunities, so it’s important to get it right. If you have data that you want to share that is about your business, that’s all well and good, but consider creating an infographic around a trending topic relevant to your target market or your industry. Infographics offer a valuable way of creating brand awareness whilst positioning your brand as a spokesperson for your industry and enabling your audiences to also be seen as an expert / knowledgeable within the industry.

In order for something to be shareable, it has to resonate with its intended audience. It is nigh impossible to be everything to everyone at once, so we recommend being specific with your topic by thinking about who will enjoy your infographic and on what platforms they would share it. Then think about the pressing challenges of a potential customer of your business and the emotion or interest attached to it. An infographic serves well as an educational piece of content and should not be product focused but should share knowledge about a specific topic, current trend or tap into an emotion. If you’re unsure of a topic to start with, you could use social listening tools such as hashtagify.me to discover what your target audience is talking about.

If you can appropriately add humour to your facts, an infographic offers the ideal opportunity to do it. Infographics shouldn’t be too text heavy, they should be to the point and clearly summarise the information you’re putting out, so try to condense your information as much as possible. You can also try to shoehorn your stats into a visual story board to make them more appealing and easier to follow.

Needless to say, good design is the key to a successful infographic. It needs to be clean and easy to read, but also engaging, possibly fun, and visually attractive. Relevant imagery that adds personality whilst presenting your stats clearly and innovatively will certainly have a great impact. For example, you could use symbols and icons relevant to your industry to highlight statistics. It is important not to overdo it with fussy design or too much content as this will only make your infographic look messy and overwhelming.

Think about shapes – if you have something that you really want to draw the eye to on your infographic, consider placing it inside a shape or boxed out section. If you have a lot of numbers in the information that you’d like to share, consider making them easier to compare and read by including them in a visual, for example, an easy to follow pie or line chart.

Once you have created your informative and engaging infographic, what’s next? Well, in order for it to receive maximum exposure within trade media and via social media, it is important to consider when and where you’re sharing it. People may be online at certain times of the day but, as your infographic contains information for them to digest, if they’re scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feed in a hurry while on a lunch break, for example, they may be less likely to take it in and share the information in the same way that they would do during their daily commute, after work or when they first arrive at the office.

Finally, don’t forget to measure the results of your infographic and make a note of what worked and what didn’t. If you didn’t gain many shares on social media but you did get press coverage for the content identify why this was. Finally, research successful infographics in your industry – what did they do well? With infographics on the rise and plenty of businesses catching onto the trend, standing out has never been more important.

If you need an engaging and informative infographic contact the PRG design team on 01323 411044

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