I’m going to date myself but I remember when USA Today came out in the early 1980s. When my dad was done with the paper, the first thing I looked at were the infographics on the bottom left-hand corner of each section’s front page. I saw them as an easy way to learn about an interesting fact or some trivial piece of knowledge (even as an elementary school student, I was a news junkie.)
Since then, the prevalence of infographics has grown and are now an essential tool, not just for the media but for any organization’s marketing plan. The reason? Infographics are a simple tool to share information, whether it’s a pie chart showing how a non-profit’s expenses break down to a more involved graphic illustration with key project facts and information.
The growth of infographics is tied to increased time online where you have a few seconds to catch someone’s eye before they scroll by. With their colors and simple facts, infographics catch people’s eyes, allowing you to tell your story in just a few seconds. Research from Nielsen shows the average Internet user remembers only 10 percent of what they read, but they can recall 65 percent of information taken in visually.
With those numbers, it makes sense to share your message visually with your audience — whether it’s customers, donors or the general public. Not only do viewers recall more of the information, they also are more engaged with social media posts featuring infographics and are more likely to share the post, amplifying your message to others.
Infographics are a great way to elevate your message and brand — and has become easier in recent years. It used to be you needed to understand Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign to create an infographic, but today there are template solutions available, such as through Canva, that make it easier to create an eye-catching design.
No matter the software you choose to craft the graphics, here is some basic advice to attract viewers attention and draw them in.
Color: If possible, use your brand colors and complimentary hues when putting the graphic together. If your brand colors don’t work nicely in an infographic, utilize other colors that work well together. Look to include your logo in the graphic — even if it’s small — to help reinforce your brand.
Text: Whether it’s words, numbers or both, text is the primary way to convey information. When it comes to the words, keep them short and to the point. For the text itself, keep it legible — stick with simple, easy-to-read fonts and a color that contrasts to the background so viewers can easily read the information. Do not forget to include the source for the information at the bottom if it’s not easily identifiable in the graphic’s text.
Image: An infographic can be all text, but most include some graphic element, whether it’s a photo or an illustration. The image should complement the text or provide additional information. It’s vital the image does not affect the readability of the words. When creating an infographic, do not be afraid to use white space in the design since it can help the images and words stand out.
Keep the platform in mind. Creating an infographic for a printed piece is easier than designing one for social media. With print, you know exactly how the graphic will look. With social media, a graphic that looks great on Facebook may not translate well to Twitter or LinkedIn. The original size or design may need to be tweaked according to which platform it is going on. Also do not forget to check that the graphic looks good on both a mobile device and a laptop.
Infographics are a great, easy way to share information with your audience. They will be more engaged and remember the information longer.
MaryBeth Matzek is the communications manager at O’Connor Connective in De Pere.