As part of a marketing campaign or story, infographics are an excellent way to spread the word about a company and the services they offer. But in order to spread the word, infographics have to capture the attention of their desired audience. So as a journalist, how do you ensure that your infographic stands out and gets covered by publishers? Read on for a guide to creating infographics that provide utility for publishers and create impact in journalism.
The Value of Infographics
A journalist’s job is difficult and interesting. While journalists often spend countless hours in front of a computer, their greatest challenge may be navigating endless information streams from social media and the internet. Even as articles are shrinking in length and people have shorter attention spans than ever before, the internet is rife with information overload. For this reason, the use of visual assets to support a marketing story or campaign can be the difference between receiving noteworthy coverage or no coverage at all. So, both publishers and marketers need to think strategically about how infographics can be deployed to best capture reader attention.
Where to Begin
First and foremost, infographics need a point. Does your visual tell an engaging story? Does it provide statistical evidence or educate the reader on a specific topic? Ensure you have a clear idea of its purpose before creating your infographic. Aim to develop a simple but informative design. Keeping things as streamlined as possible will enable readers to quickly grasp your main point without being distracted by the finer details.
Infographics can help you increase the visibility and shareability of your story, too. The more clear and concise the graphics, the more they communicate a singular marketing message. In this sense, infographics are far more than just eye candy — they’re one of the most efficient ways to get readers intrigued by a story and engaged with a brand. Start by laying out all the information you need and connecting the dots of your story logically.
Infographics should anticipate and answer viewer questions in an interesting but straightforward way. They should make complicated concepts easier to understand, explain statistics more accurately, or illustrate trends with data points. After brainstorming about your marketing campaign idea, ask yourself what is the goal of this visual? What information do I want people to remember? Your design should be easy to follow and not overly complex. You’ll want to follow a logical order, such as chronological or sequential, and advance from either left to right or top to bottom.
To further simplify, consider using arrows to show how the reader should navigate the information. If you’re creating an infographic about health care reform and want to start with the high cost of health care, put the arrow pointing toward the highest number in the graphic. That way, it’s clear where the viewer should begin to read and how to advance through the information it presents.
Make Visuals the Focus
Data should be presented in more than just graphs. It’s essential to present visuals uniquely and clearly. Publishers generally want high-quality content for use on websites and social media accounts. When creating infographics, it’s not enough to have an infographic — it needs to show a compelling story with statistics or other data points through a visually appealing design.
It’s the visuals that should speak for themselves. When writing copy for an infographic, keep it concise and stick to the essentials. If you can’t say it in one sentence, don’t say it. A good rule of thumb is that infographics should be visually oriented with as few words as possible.
Get Distributed by Popular Publications
Aside from eliminating wordiness and visually engaging or directing the reader, you’ll also want to find a hook for your infographic — something that piques the interest of the publisher or audience you’re pitching it to. Some ideas include trends from a certain region or industry (e.g., How Much Is Your Company Worth?), polls on hot topics, predictions about future events, and recent statistics on environmental impacts/problems, such as rates of deforestation or facts about pollution.
A vital part of an infographic is ensuring that all the information presented is factual and credible, so always back up your statements with authoritative sources. This will enhance the credibility of the information itself, strengthening the overall quality of the visual element. Accessibility is also key; this can be achieved by converting your infographic and references into a PDF document to avoid any issues with downloading the content. Remember, too, that a successful infographic has a strong headline and a key message to help guide readers through the piece.
Creating Valuable Content That Gets Published
Media organizations are looking for infographics, especially when they can support an interesting story. This means you must be familiar with your target audience and what they’ll value. By delivering on that value, you’ll encourage readers to decide that the content is worth reading.
Above all, keep in mind what your goal is with these infographics. Are you trying to get more people interested in your product or service? Are you trying to educate readers on a topic? Whatever it is, ensure it’s reflected in your infographic and media outreach efforts. If not, they won’t be valuable. The same goes for social sharing; if the value isn’t there, don’t expect to see many shares.
Infographics are a powerful way to communicate your message to reporters, and sometimes, that’s all you need. But to be successful, you need good data, an interesting story, and a compelling design.