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Unlocking the Power of the Infographic

Today, I’d like to share some great tips on how to make a powerful, easy to read infographic. We all understand the power of effectively communicating data visually, but actually pulling off that awesome infographic can be a bit more challenging than once thought.

What should you consider?
According to a post by Column Five media, your primary consideration when designing an infographic should be your intended results. So for example, if you have a large set of data that you’d like to explain visually, then the data will shape the infographic’s direction immediately. However, on the other hand if your goal is to use an infographic for marketing purposes, you have to choose your topic wisely. Do you want to provide an understanding of your product or service? Maybe you want to have it serve as material to support your sales efforts? Brand exposure? Thought-leadership?

While all these sound great, you have to make sure that you aren’t trying to cram all of them into your infographic. If you do, your graphic will quickly become too disjointed and difficult to follow and comprehend.  According to Column Five media, there are two general types of infographics: Brand and Editorial Infographics. So, be sure to keep these in mind next time you designing an infographic.

Brand Infographics
These are based on a specific company or product. Usually, these infographics explain the features of a product, unique processes or company milestones or achievements. The target audience is typically existing or prospective customers, employees or those in your industry who are aware of your company.

This type of graphic is useful for presenting a specific message to a very targeted audience. Because of the super targeted nature of the graphic, do not expect it to get picked up by major news sites or go viral across the web. However, these graphics often take information that is normally difficult to communicate verbally or in text and make it easily understood making them efficient and more engaging than a traditional sales presentation, press release or white paper.

Editorial Infographics
The second type is the editorial infographic. Unlike the Brand Infographic, Editorial Infographics are designed to have mass appeal. These have the potential to be shared frequently online, bringing traffic, links and brand exposure with it. These infographics should not include any references to your company in the content, but can (and often do) include a company logo at the bottom to let people know the source of the information as it is shared.

When designing Editorial Infographics make sure they cover interesting topics loosely related to your general industry. The broader and more interesting the topic, the better the graphic will perform.

Here’s an example of an Editorial Infographic that we recently published:

How to Ruin Your Infographic
Like any project, it is critical that your marketing priorities are established before you embark on creating your infographic. The quickest way to make sure you don’t achieve any of your goals, is to try to bridge the gap between the two types of graphics. For example, don’t try to choose a broad editorial topic and then slip in brand mentions to try to derive as much branding as possible. The audience is not stupid, and they know when they are being marketed to. If you try this, you will quickly create skepticism towards your content, which will ruin any good vibes you had with the audience. 

If you have any other great tips (what to do or what not to do) when designing an infographic please share them. I’d like to hear other’s adivce.