Figuratively Speaking or Speaking of Figures
People today are hungry for information while lacking the time to sit down for proper info-meals. Infographics offer tempting data snacks that promise to let them walk away with a little new knowledge and maybe some quotable stat bites to share later – in person or via social media.
Here are three common flavours that have great strategic applications for marketing, and a little advice for each…
1. The Shock & Awe
This is probably what most people have in mind when they think ‘info graphic.’ Using a strong or fun visual to graphically deliver some compelling data that really drives home a point, ideally something surprising. When it’s the right data and the right audience, the result will be both real and virtual water-cooler sharing, as these get shared and forwarded through social media. Just make sure your brand is tacked on there to enjoy the free publicity. Great for indirectly communicating the problem you solve, the need you meet.
Tip: Levels of reading are vital. A few big, visually strong points are essential, but build on that with at least 2 distinct deeper levels of info, to give a sense of depth, engagement and value.
2. The Organize & Distill
Similar to no. 1 but importantly different, here the goal is to take a lot of important data and help ensure it gets consumed. It’s less about ‘Wow, I would never have guessed that!’ and more about accepting that your 3000 words of data just aren’t going to be read by most of the people who need to read it. This is often a great way to own the role of experts in your arena without merely stating that you’re experts.
Tip: Less might still be more. There’s often a temptation to think that the more info, the better the infographic. The key here is to focus on the data that paints a coherent picture, and let the infographic drive them to deeper resources. If they want to know more, they’ll know who to come to. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing a series of infographics to break the content into manageable, but self-contained, installments.
Example: Above is a series of infographics our Ottawa ad agency, Electric Medialand (http://emland.com/)
3. The Explain & Humanize
This style is less about facts and more about processes and situations. So it’s a walk-through of how to use your product, a run-down of the situations that your organization impacts, or just a demo of how to change a diaper. It lets your audience drop themselves in and immediately identify with your message.
Tip: By nature, these generally need to inject fun into a context where it’s lacking. Color, humor, graphic elements, wording – use any or all of these to woo an audience that’s skeptical, wary or intimidated by the subject matter.