We’ve all seen infographics – graphics used to break down complex information. These are sales tools, often used as part of the funnel to help prospects make a decision to buy.
But they can also be used in different contexts – for instance, explaining why people should mask up or get vaccinated during a pandemic. They can be useful whenever you have to explain complex information in an understandable way.
Here’s how to make effective infographics.
1. Consider your audience
Who is your audience, and what do they most want to know? What complex information do they struggle with, and what questions keep them up at night? What do they consider high-value information?
When choosing a topic for your infographic and how to present the information, keep them in mind. Always consider what your audience will get out of this document, and make sure the information is accessible to them. Avoid complicated insider jargon unless you know your audience understands that language.
2. Double check your facts
Most infographics include statistics and research. The point of an infographic is often (though not always) to present statistical facts in an engaging way that’s easy for a non-expert audience to understand. One of the most important things when producing a good infographic is to make sure your statistics are up to date and double-checked for accuracy.
It’s critical to make sure you’re drawing from the latest reputable sources, including peer-reviewed research.
3. Rely on storytelling
Some of the best infographics use storytelling to help audiences connect the dots.
Infographics link statistics with research, descriptions of complex details, and persuasive copy to encourage the audience to take an action.
Storytelling helps people engage with the message. It can be done in the way the infographic presents information, as well as in the graphics – showing people performing actions and engaging with the information presented.
4. Include a call to action
Infographics don’t just convey information – they can also encourage the audience to take a specific action. Infographics are sales tools, and this is true whether you’re trying to sell a product or persuade people to take an action.
Ideally, all the facts, research, statistics, and storytelling in your infographic should be oriented toward persuading the audience to take an action. By the time they get to the end, the reader should have a clear understanding of what that action is and why they should take it.
5. Use a layout that suits your purpose
When it comes to designing the layout of an infographic, your options are endless – and will depend on the type of information you’re presenting and how you’ve chosen to structure the story.
Some information is relatively easy to lay out – if the story you’re telling is linear and sequential, you can structure your infographic as an ordered list or timeline. But sometimes it’s not that simple. Other options include side-by-side layouts to compare things, weaving statistics in a more linear story, or separating different sections into distinct themes.
Producing an effective infographic can be a complex undertaking, and can be simplified immensely with the help of professional writers and graphic designers. If you don’t have those, show your infographic to people within your target audience and see what they say. If they find it simple, easy to understand, and persuasive – and if they recognize the action you wish them to take – your infographic is doing its job.