25 April 2019

4 Steps to powerful infographics

by Adrian Weller

Infographics have provided brands with a highly efficient and attention-grabbing method of condensing complex information into an easy-to-understand visual format. As audiences willingly engage and readily appreciate this communication form, the popularity of infographics is booming. Drawing on information design and data visualisation processes, infographics provide the additional subjective element of creativity—and it is that which makes them so appealing to brand managers and to audiences alike.

They are also versatile and can add value and interest to a range of platforms from interactive applications to content marketing. By fusing data, logic and creativity in a communication format that modern audiences embrace, infographics pack a punch that can rejuvenate a brand.

Evidence of the popularity and value of infographics is not hard to find: according to Google, publishers on the web who use infographics increase their traffic by an average of 12% infographic search volumes have increased by over 800% in just over 2 years.

Your business is sitting on a goldmine

Businesses large and small have untapped treasure chests of data, in-house knowledge and systems that can be mined to add brand value and engage customers. Infographic content marketing is the key to harness the brand value of your businesses data, knowledge and systems. The result? You will build trust through transparency, and desire through engaging content.

Today everyone needs to be a publisher, and in the new age of marketing, the need for compelling, insightful and interactive content is critical. However, while there is more data available, readers have less time to absorb it and are faced with more devices to monitor. This is where infographs come in as highly efficient and appealing forms of communication.

I avoided straightforward facts and dry statistics. Instead, I focused on the relationship between facts, the context, the connections that make information meaningful.’

From ‘Information is Beautiful’, by David McCandless — British data-journalist and information designer.

Infographics are irrelevant without genuine insight. As an insight is ‘something that is refreshingly true’, this puts design intelligence at the heart of the infographic development process. 

At Ascender, infographics are one of our specialities. We are passionate about process and methodology, so here is our four-step approach to developing infographics that can alter perceptions and change behaviours:

Connecting information and insight

Step 1 — Information
‘Every business has untouched treasure’

Data is the foundation of an infographic, and your own business can be your best source of this data. Start with the facts; source them from the accounts department, the research team, extract them from CRMs, MYOB, Zero accounting or job management software. Look at your business methodology and customer journey — business systems built over years provide valuable information. Analyse internal and external surveys or source industry data from IBIS.

– Data
– Facts
– Methodology
– Research
– Systems

Step 2 — Insight
‘Insight is everything’

Infographics are irrelevant without insight. Insight unlocks the meaning and relevance of the correlations that exist in data and clusters. Insight allows deeper comparisons between data sets, and enables you to interpret patterns and trends, or construct an informed narrative. A meaningful insight relies on clarity, accuracy and objectivity of observation and investigation. Insight comes from considering something in a new light or fresh way. Analyse your data and the different ways in which it connects.

– Clarity
– Correlation
– Investigation
– Narrative
– Observation

Step 3 — Inspiration
‘Understand and reflect brand; use creative design to immortalise the message’

Now you bring the infographic to life. It must be visually appealing, and it must be tailored to align with the corporate brand identity. Make use of metaphor to ensure audiences relate readily to the information. Metaphors are extremely persuasive as, apart from adding vitality and interest, and appealing to the story-lover in all of us, they bypass audience resistance to commercial messages. 

The infographic must resonate with the audience and they must understand the message. We all come to visual communication with a pre-programmed database of universal signs and symbols that designers can draw upon to create instant recognition. For example, use a cog and a teapot as familiar symbols to illustrate work and retirement. This combination of simplicity and familiarity in a visual icon aids understanding and memory.

– Charts, Diagrams
– Graphs, Icons
– Maps
– Metaphor
– Symbols
– Semiotics

Step 4 — Implementation
‘One can become many’

Once the infographic has been developed and approved, it can be extended and introduced across a range of applications, from social media content to digital or print media. It is also important to develop a content marketing program to ensure consistency across media resulting in high recognition and brand association factors and longevity of message.

– Online interactive
– Presentations
– Explainer videos
– Social media content
– Print direct mail


Back to Insights