We are swimming in a sea of information today. Companies are racing to provide content that engages and motivates their audiences. They are also constantly battling to prove their worth to clients, stakeholders, and even funding sources. All the while, statistics show that people are bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages a day, have an attention span of just eight seconds, and are spending more than half their day consuming media content.

It makes it tough to be seen in the marketplace. This is especially true if you need to present numbers and statistics, which often are pretty dull and boring. Into the spotlight steps, infographics, which offer a unique way to tell a visual story through numbers and facts that relates to your clients.

Infographics work because our brains retain information presented in visual format better than text alone. According to Brain Rules, adding a picture to information will help audiences retain 65% of it up to three days later versus only retaining 10% for something they heard. People also love a good narrative, which is why marketers always have their brands promote their company story on their website. It’s also why infographics work well because they unite these two marketing tactics to help information get remembered and shared.

However, before you go racing to create an infographic you need to think about the data you want to utilize. Not all data necessarily works in this format. Additionally, companies produce a good deal of data, so you need to prioritize the most relevant points that will help you create a compelling infographic.

An infographic is not simply a chart or table, in its entirety it explains a challenging concept, leading visitors through specific details to gain a better perspective about a particular subject or product/service. Therefore, information specialists recommend several key tactics to consider regarding your datapoints and subsequent development of an infographic:

  • Determine that there is data available that speaks to the point you’re trying to make
  • Decide that the data if shown visually better demonstrates the idea than if written
  • You need multiple sets of data, not just enough for one chart. Establish that as a whole, you have data that tells a complete story
  • Comb through the data and identify purposeful points that are the most important to your goal
  • Also look for datapoints that will help viewers clearly understand what is being communicated
  • Connect the datapoints from beginning, middle and end to draw the viewer to a conclusion
  • Try to identify a visual theme that the data points lend themselves to
  • Remember to keep the graphic easy to read and visually appealing

There are definitely some types of information that naturally lend itself to be presented as an infographic. Here is a quick list of content that becomes even more valuable visually – the last two you may not have initially thought of, but in an infographic the info really stands out:

  • Survey data becomes more relevant when the visuals enhance the findings
  • Important benchmark reports are easily retrievable for year-to-year comparison
  • Complicated annual reports presented in an infographic format are way more powerful than old-school charts
  • New product concepts or service processes quickly turn into shareable infographic company success stories
  • Tutorials can visually help teach clients or employees something new
  • Press releases might just reach a busy journalist who is inundated with pitches

As attention spans shorten and data becomes more abundant, companies should definitely incorporate infographics into their marketing strategy.