How to make sure your infographics engage and inform audiences / Sarah Maloy

Creating Engaging Infographics that Educate and Inspire Audiences

Sarah Maloy, Social Media Manager at Shutterstock

One of the greatest benefits of being a business in the digital age is the ability to use data to make products better. Infographics engage and inform audiences when executed well, but ensuring that they are created in a way to keep consumers interested on a regular basis can be a challenge for brands. We’ve put together the following tips to help your business better communicate with audiences and increase engagement.

Target audience

Identify what type of content will engage your audience by first profiling who the audience is. Attempting to create content without defining your audience ahead of time is like beginning a journey with no clear destination or navigation tools.

Once you have a specific audience and goal in mind, it will be easy to establish clear ROIs. It’s important to establish these as early as possible to save huge amounts of time and money.

Points of Interest

The marketing landscape is awash with infographics and major holidays are increasingly being used as a hook to spread content far and wide. To help your brand stand out from the competition, don’t jump on the latest bandwagon. Instead look for points of interest that are niche and more relevant to your brand, like World UFO Day or the anniversary of a popular TV series. Find something that appeals to your audience specifically, so you’re not just another face in the mainstream crowd. 

Once a point of interest has been identified, get ahead of the trend and create content early so that your brand can be a leader, not a follower.

Turn to Tables

There are many ways to display large amounts of data when creating infographics, but one of the most effective ways is through tables. They can reference your company’s own in-depth information, or compare many different brands and studies side-by-side. The table should still stand out and grab the reader’s attention, and it shouldn’t look stuffy. Instead, a table can present information and show your authority in a clear, organised form.

It’s a Numbers Game

Number-driven infographics help to display research in a clear, simple way, and this style can be applied to any topic or industry. Numbers enhance almost every topic, and the impact of your data will be increased by linking the infographic to a season, upcoming event or local region. 

Always make sure your topic is unique and if it has been covered before, find a new way to present the numbers. Adding an editorial narrative to your visual information allows you to position the story from any angle, and it will help everything feel more composed and less like a random collage of data.

Charter a Path

Some infographics use data to tell stories, while others are meant to be used for reference. The reference chart is a good shout no matter what the topic: baking, building, history, politics, or even home design.

It’s important to keep the chart simple and avoid over-complicating the design, so that the audience can process all the information quickly. Readers give new information only a few seconds to make an impact, and they’ll then decide to move on or continue consuming your content. Both professional and casual readers should be able to process the chart quickly, and then continue on if they want to go more in-depth with your topic.

When thinking about the design of your chart, consider what someone would want to share, save, or even print out. This is why it’s so important to plan your infographic ahead of time -- so that you can be sure to include all of the information in a way that is visually appealing to whichever audience you’ve chosen to target.

Timing Is Key

Publishers are always on the lookout for quality content that is relevant to their yearly calendars. Once your infographic is completely finished, and with plenty of time to spare, you’ll want to provide the publisher with a copy at least a month or two before the actual event or holiday is taking place. (In the case of online publications, the window is closer to a few weeks ahead of time.) This will maximise interest and give them plenty of time to set the wheels in motion for a specific section, and source any other content that may be required.

When sending out your infographic, always include a fact sheet about your company, listing any website links, social accounts or hashtags you’d like them to include when they share the data visualisation with their audiences. That way, the information can spread more easily, and you can keep track of who is sharing and talking about the infographic and the awesome company that made it.

photo credit: juanpablobravo! via photopin cc photo credit: GDS Infographics via photopin cc