What makes a memorable infographic? Her I explain the importance of creating a narrative and using a metaphor to present complex data in a clear and attractive way.
Many infographics are so complicated that I’d rather read a chunk of well-written copy.
But wasn’t the point of infographics to present us with easy-to-read, digestible chunks of information in an interesting and visually enticing format? Yes, information can be beautiful but it also needs to educate readers and remain in their minds long after they forget about the flashy design.
However, done well, infographics are a great way of presenting data. But as everyone jumps on the infographics bandwagon, more and more seem to be focusing on creating complex artistry rather than making a comprehensible resource.
Simplify your infographicsInfographics can be visually stunning but they must convey your message. They need to be educational as well as being aesthetically pleasing enough to share and link to. Here are some simple ways to create effective infographics.
Create a narrative
The best way to create a memorable infographic is by developing a narrative. Create a story within the design that is relevant to your niche and focus.
Prioritise the data
Creating a hierarchy of data will help your readers to visualise which data you deem most important. Bolder, larger fonts and graphics are a simple way of highlighting the key points you want to get across.
Say it with metaphors
Infographics are particularly useful when trying to convey an important message that is difficult to comprehend. One method for explaining the complex is to use metaphors. The element of surprise is always a good way to create memorable infographics. Execute the unexpected by looking for metaphors that people may not have associated with your niche before to help you stand out from the crowd.
Illustrate the obvious
However, some infographics take it too far when it comes to using metaphors. If something is easily explainable, illustrate the obvious instead of confusing the reader further. Don’t shy away from simply translating data into graphics that readers would naturally associate with key terms.
If you're looking to create simple yet effective infographics, there are some fantastic infographic creator websites out there that are completely free to use at the basic level.
Content is at the heart of today’s marketing strategies as businesses use websites and blogs to demonstrate their own expertise. "Content marketing is the only marketing left." Seth Godin.
If you run any type of professional business today you’ll know that, in terms of marketing, the world has changed dramatically. Tried and tested activities for getting client attention just don’t work like they once did:
You are expert in what you do and know that there are clients out there who would really value your assistance. How on earth do you get their interest?
Changed buying behaviour in a web-driven world
In the past five to ten years, the web has transformed buying behaviour. In the past, if a potential client wanted information on your services, they’d call your office and engage you or one of your sales team to get the lowdown on your offering.
Today, their first port of call is undoubtedly the internet. They’ll search on Google, check out your website and expect to sign up to article updates or social media feeds to find out more. They are checking to see who they could best trust to solve their business problem. They expect to find valuable content.
Your clients are in control, and you’d better make sure that the information you put up about your company answers their questions and positions you as the trusted resource they seek.
Today, effective marketing is all about creating high quality content and sharing this across the web. By quality content we don’t just mean information that is well-written or artfully produced. We mean information that is first and foremost of real value to your particular client base.
Educate your clients, show them best practice, tell them what to look out for, give them valuable tips on how to achieve success, demonstrate how you’ve helped others in their shoes, answer their problems, open their eyes.
Creating and distributing this kind of relevant, valuable and compelling information will help you turn prospects into buyers and buyers into long-term fans.
Create the type of information your buyers actually want to consume. Marketing with valuable content is a win-win for your company and its customers - your potential clients get the information they require and you get to demonstrate your expertise and usefulness.
Valuable content will help you sell. It helps your ideal clients find you and makes it easier for them to buy from you. It’s an opportunity to position your company as the place to turn to when the time comes to buy.
A different approach to client communication
If you want to reap the rewards that valuable content brings, you need to start communicating differently. There are different rules of engagement here. The valuable content approach is not about continuing to holler about how amazing your firm is, as we all did in the past. Unthink what you learned about sales and marketing messages.
Your position should be not "look how great we are" (as in a traditional brochure) but "look how useful we are - we have the answers to your problems."
This approach is truly customer-centred. Create content that is genuinely useful to your customers. Make yourself indispensable.
Not easy but essential
Creating and consistently delivering this type of information takes effort. You need to build a deep understanding of the needs of your target client base and of where and how you add value. It also takes time and skill.
Valuable content may not be easy but it is an essential tool if you are going to grow and sustain a successful business in today's web-driven world.
Your website is an essential tool in your marketing strategy. In today’s digital world people live online, doing research and comparing suppliers. It helps new customers find you and advertises what you can offer. You can use it to keep existing customers informed, improve your customer care and offer online sales through an ecommerce website. It reaches consumers and businesses nationally and internationally - and it can do all of this very cost-effectively.
Planning your marketing website
Before developing your website, you'll need a clear idea of who you are trying to reach and what you want to achieve. Many businesses see their website largely as a way to attract new customers.
To get maximum exposure, you'll need to promote your company website on search engines such as Google. Search engine optimisation (SEO) can help to get your website to the top of natural searches, although this does take a lot of effort. You can also use online advertising to drive traffic to your site. An appropriate and memorable domain name is an essential starting point to help customers find you.
But a website can do more than attract new customers. You can use it to keep existing customers up to date with special offers, product launches and news about your business. You can improve your customer service and cut costs by providing information and contact details online.
Website design and content
The design of your website should reflect your business image and brand identity. A cheap, do-it-yourself approach is unlikely to give a good impression. But complex design and technologies are only worthwhile if these suit your image and help your website fulfil your goals. Above all, your customers must be able to find what they need quickly - via clearly laid-out information and straightforward navigation.
Your content should be led by your marketing objectives. For example, if you want users to visit repeatedly, provide regular updates. To encourage visitors, you can send email alerts when the site is updated or circulate a regular newsletter.
Maintaining your company website
Building and launching your website is just the start. You then need to make sure that it works properly and is regularly updated. Out-of-date content, slow page loading and technical hitches are deeply frustrating for visitors and they will simply click away.
Choosing the right internet service provider (ISP) to host your company website will ensure your website performs. You should also respond to customer enquiries promptly. If you don't have the time to do this, pay someone else to do it.
A good website design will also incorporate tracking software that enables you to see which pages are popular and which are under-performing. Tools like Google Analytics will allow you to test different content to see how you can improve your performance. Regular monitoring and ongoing website development are critical if you are to continuously improve the results you get from your marketing website.
Lisa Hunter is an experienced Marketing, Events and Project Manager. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the IT and marketing industry, delivering strategic marketing support and managing creative projects for a wide-range of clients. In this blog she shares her knowledge and experiences…we hope you enjoy it.