Data is everywhere around us, and yet, it is generally difficult for us to comprehend and remember isolated numbers.
When put into a story, however, data becomes much more relatable. (The human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than words.) For this reason, infographics have become increasingly popular among marketers around the world. But with this surge in usage, it's important to make sure your infographic does the job it's supposed to do: drive traffic, build awareness, and generate leads for your business.
HubSpot recently teamed up with infographic creation platform, Infogram, to create the ultimate guide to infographics for marketers: How to Start Generating Leads With Infographics. Below we've compiled some of the ebooks best tips for creating effective infographics to help your brand devise a strategy that resonates with your audience.
The Dos and Don'ts of Infographic Creation
1) DO: Keep it simple and to the point.
Try to break down your message into one, strong sentence. From here, you can use data to support what you're trying to say. But remember: Less is more.
This simple chart tells a big story. Thanks to the contrasting colours, it easy for the reader to immediately understand just how scarce fresh water is. This is an approach you'll want to make note of if you want your readers to focus on a specific data point.
2) DON'T: Try to say too much with one chart.
Poorly formatted, unorganised data won't get you very far. To create more effective charts, stay focused on categories that help you make your point. Arrange the data from those categories in a way that is easy to grasp to avoid something that looks like this:
3) DO: Surprise the reader with an unexpected twist.
Have some unusual information on your hands? Use surprise as a means of increasing alertness and focus.
If you can make the reader question their previous beliefs, open their minds to new ideas, and then fill the gap with your information, you'll find that it's much easier to hold their attention. Check out the chart below for an example of how to present uncommon knowledge that may surprise the reader.
4) DON'T: Use boring titles that tell everything in the first sentence.
In the image below, the headline leaves nothing to the imagination. The main argument of this chart is known to most people. That said, why would they want to read more?
Instead, focus on creating an enticing headline that leads with the promise of new, valuable information.
5) DO: Use concrete visual metaphors.
Show data to support your point. Detailed, data-driven arguments convince the reader faster and are much more likely to be remembered, recognised, and shared.
The chart below visualises the job hunting process in a very clear way: 200 people apply for a job, seven people advance to the first stage, three get the chance to interview, and one gets hired. Thanks to the use of the human icons and color coding, it's easy to understand this sequence with just a quick glance.
6) DON'T: Use weird formatting to visualise data.
Be careful with funky data visualization formats, as they’re not as easy to read as traditional formats.
While the following chart is certainly creative, we'd argue that a simple bar chart would convey the information in a way that makes more sense to everyone.
7) DO: Make your message believable.
Make your message believable by using customer quotes, testimonials, expert support, and of course, good data. The following quote from a happy customer serves as a great example of how social proof lends credibility to the infographic.
8) DON'T: Show dry numbers without context.
As we've mentioned before, good stories are emotional. In fact, it almost doesn't matter what emotion your message arouses, as long as it makes them feel something.
Data can be used to start conversations and incite curiosity, when used correctly. However, the data in the following chart lacks both emotion and context. This leaves the reader wondering if the sales figures shown should be perceived in a positive or negative light.
An effective use of charts and infographics can dramatically improve the performance of your marketing content, as well as the persuasive character of your business presentations.