It’s no secret that Infographics are a popular form of visual communication – but the most impressive fact of all may be that they’re actually getting more popular as time goes on.
According to one recent study conducted by Forbes, nearly 74% of marketing professionals today say that they rely heavily on materials like Infographics in all of their social media messaging. In fact, a full 84% of the people who have used them say that they’re a “very effective” medium for conveying a particular message to the widest possible audience. When you also consider that visuals are proven to improve both learning and retention by an incredible 400%, it’s easy to see why.
But it’s also important to acknowledge that not all Infographics are created equally. The format itself is only as powerful as how you choose to use it. This is why, if you really want to use this format to unlock the results that you’re after, there are a few key tips from the pros that you’ll want to keep in mind.
Simple Is Always Better
The major advantage that Infographics bring to the table in the first place is that they can take very complicated ideas and distill them down in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. If you allow your Infographic to grow too long, or too complicated, or too confusing, you’re essentially cutting yourself off from the number one benefit you were trying to unlock in the first place.
For the best results, design Infographic experiences that only take a few minutes from start to finish. Don’t be afraid to take one long Infographic and split it up into a series of smaller, related ones.
Yes, You’ll Still Need to Promote It
It may be strange to think that your promotional material needs promotion of its own, but it’s true. Infographics are shared more than any other type of content on the Internet, but this isn’t something that is going to happen automatically.
Once you’ve got an Infographic that you think is perfect for your target audience, go out of your way to make sure that people can actually find it.
Start talking with people who are influential in your industry and ask if they’ll feature it on their blog or post about it on social media. Don’t be afraid to come right out and ask your users to share it themselves. Support this by adding shareable social plugins for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.
Think About Ways to Expand the Format
An Infographic is more than just a visualized bulleted list of facts or stats – or at least, it should be.
The next time you’re working on an Infographic for your audience, think about what other types of visual elements you can include. Take that collection of stats and sit down with a pie chart maker to turn it all into a complimentary chart or graph. Don’t be afraid to include multimedia elements like videos to really help expand the experience even further.
But a word of warning: when you do this, you still need to work hard to guarantee that your Infographic is easy to view. This is especially true since a lot of your users will be experiencing it on smaller devices like smartphones and tablets. Including a pie chart is great, but if it makes your Infographic impossible to properly enjoy on something like an iPhone or an iPad, don’t take the risk and instead explore other options.
Infographics are an undoubtedly popular way to connect with your audience on a whole new level, putting the power of visual communication to work for you. But again – the results that you seek are not necessarily a foregone conclusion. Creating a compelling Infographic and getting people to actually pay attention to it are, more often than not, two separate things. Which is why once that Infographic is done, you need to let the “promotional” side of your brain kick back in. We’ve all seen bad Infographics in the past – ones that totally misused the format or were an absolute chore to get through, even if they included totally relevant and otherwise helpful information.
But by keeping these tips from professionals in mind, you can make sure that this is the type of situation you do not have to worry about anytime soon.
About the Author: Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.