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Communicating Better with Infographics

Does your business use infographics to illustrate your messaging? There are many differing opinions about infographics, but when you consider the visual impact they can have on a reader, it is hard to deny their value. Images can definitely help you get your message across better than just text alone. This is especially the case in a B2B environment, where data and details are often shared. Infographic designs can help attract readers’ eyes and highlight important parts. The right design can convey a point or clarify statistics in a way that is easily and quickly read and more presentable than just text alone. Infographics can make you data shareable on social networks.

Defining Infographics

Infographics are a blend of information, design, and illustration. There are different types of infographics. Depending on your message and the ratio of data to text you have to present, you might choose a different type of infographic. The different types of infographics are:

  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Tables
  • Diagrams
  • Tube Maps
  • Flow Charts
  • Word Clouds

Why Do We Need Infographics?

 

Image Credit: Visual.ly

Infographics help you present the information you have in a way that it can grab attention, be read, and retained. As the infographic above illustrates even though more people would rather read infographics than text, 87% will read text on infographics.

  • Only 20% of read text is recalled afterward.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Publishing an infographic has shown to increase traffic by 12%.

We need infographics today to help process all of the information put in front of us. Visual processing helps us consume all of that information and organize it.  Consider these important statistics from neomam.com:

  • We receive 5 times more information today as we did in 1986.
  • Outside of work, on an average day, we consume 34 gigabytes of data, or 100,500 words.
  • Users only read an average of 18% of words per visit.
  • Almost 50% of your brain is involved in visual processing.
  • 70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes.
  • We can get a sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.

 

How Infographics Aid in Retention?

As we explained above, so much of our brains are focused on and wired for visual processing, it makes sense that we remember visual aspects of an infographic over text. Plus, the visual aspect of an infographic call our attention to it, so chances are we won’t miss it or skip over it. Our brains are designed to find patterns; our visual nature helps us retain images better than text alone.

 

Photo Credit: CoolInfographics.com

Since our brain is dedicated to visual processing, we find it easier to remember what we see over what we hear or read.  The chart below shows what is called the picture superiority effect:

 

Photo Credit: CoolInfographics.com

These studies that show 65% retention rates for text plus picture are from 2006 and are likely continuing to increase in effectiveness because of the growing increase in data and information that we see on a daily basis. Our minds are rigged to better process imagery and therefore, we retain that data better.

Conclusion and Takeaways for Your Business:

How can you make infographics work for your business? Knowing the information in this article today, it seems like at least testing out some infographic presentations is a prudent idea. Infographics can work for a number of different companies and can serve many different purposes. Here are 5 tips you should follow when building an infographic for your company:

  1. Be Accurate: Check the data for accuracy. The slightest flaw or even a typo can discredit all your hard work. One of the biggest mistakes on infographics is presenting the data in the wrong format. If you are using a pie chart, it must add up to 100%, if you surveyed people and more than one answer was allowed, you should not use a pie chart because it is possible to have more than 100% answered.
  2. Stay Focused: Don’t get carried away with the design and the amount of images. Keep it simple and focus on the message you are trying to impart.
  3. Make it Shareworthy: Because one of the main benefits of developing infographics is being shared on social channels, make sure that your infographic is interesting enough and engaging enough to be shared.  
  4. Visually Engaging: The infographic should look good from a design standpoint. Use colors to add contrast and grab attention or colors that represent your brand.
  5. Give Credit & Get Credit: If you did not perform your own research, be sure to give credit within your infographic. It helps to build the authority and believability of the statistics you quote. You should also include your own credits on the infographic. Let others know how you want to be credited and if your information is copywrited.  

 

Unless you have your own design team, you should consider hiring a firm that specializes in infographics to create one for you. In addition to ensuring that you grab the attention of your target audience and help them retain the data you are presenting, infographics can establish your company as an authority. Another benefit of infographics is that they are shareable across all social networks and can help improve the reach of your messaging.

Bio: John Wieber is Partner at WebMoves. He has over 13 years experience in web development, ecommerce, and internet marketing.