Inner Circle

Public Relations and Communications  

Using Infographics to Tell Your Story

by Megan O'Neil

As a marketing professional, your job is to make sure that important news about your association or event breaks through clutter, gets noticed and gets read. With the average American receiving over 2,000 text-based messages each day, though, this task is getting increasingly difficult. That’s why more and more of us are using infographics to succinctly and stylishly deliver our messages. Infographics look compelling and hold people’s interest while telling a story in about 7 seconds. And since we all know “time is money,” an infographic can be a golden ticket to catching the elusive attention of our readers. Here are a few tips to make sure your visual is worth 1,000 words:

Tell a story
Knock-knock!… Bet I got you to think, “Who’s there?” Humans are innately curious beings, so channel this when deciding the message or story of your infographic. Provide a clear flow of events and make the readers want to keep eating to the last bite.

Know your audiences
Do your audiences respond to hard statistics, or are they driven by fun facts and pictures? mdg serves clients of all industries, and we’ve seen that what may work visually and statistically for one audience doesn’t always grab the attention of another. No one shoe size do all industries wear. Take a minute to understand your consumers and determine how they prefer to absorb information—that way, the shoe is destined to fit.

An acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” KISS is a design principle originated by the US Navy in 1960. The principle is based on the idea that systems work better if they are kept simple rather than overloaded with complexities. When you have lots of information to share, it’s easy to get carried away; but remember that the sole purpose of an infographic is to boil down the information. Narrow in on a few key components to highlight and make those your main focus. If it’s good enough for the Navy, it’s good enough for your infographic.

Mix it up
According to recent studies, 65% of the world’s population can be labeled “visual learners” (which may explain the power of the infographic). However, there’s still 35% of your audience you could be connecting with. Vary your visuals to keep things interesting to the reader’s eye by adding a mixture of colors, font sizes, images, icons and graphs. Or consider making your infographic interactive! Allowing the users to click through the information lets you control how they interact with your content and enhances their overall experience. Great examples that integrate different infographic elements are at GOOD.Is and Fast Company.

Once you’ve created your infographic, share it. Everywhere. Use it in your print pieces, on your website, in email and on your social media platforms. And keep in mind, polls of social media users found that when content is considered interesting/entertaining, funny or helpful, it is three times more likely to be shared via social networks.