RIBA Insight Monthly Briefing

What makes a good infographic, and how to use it to best effect

Infographics are an increasingly popular tool for construction marketers. A well-designed infographic enables the reader to grasp important information or 'big' data quickly.

It's easy to understand their growing popularity: recent studies have shown that readers display greater interest in online information that contains appropriate and relevant images (source: Nielsen Norman Group), and often focus more on an image than on the text itself.

It is important, however, to remember that infographics are only powerful when designed and delivered correctly. A good infographic clearly illustrates data through simple design, using content that is relevant, shareable and meaningful, thus imparting only the essential information in a logical, flowing format.

Infographics can be used to convey multiple message at a glance, including latest trends, timelines, survey results and education charts. However, marketers must recognise that not all data can be delivered through this medium. It's crucial we ask ourselves whether we have a story to tell. Will the information flow? Will it be meaningful to our audience? Do we have all the data?

Once we're confident about proceeding, we must also acknowledge that a good infographic should elicit a response from readers, whether that's click-throughs, registrations, or video views. So its delivery, as well as design, must successfully maximise engagement.

Deconstructing data and numerous concepts into one image is tricky. So how do marketers tell a meaningful story instantly? First, be sure the information is accurate and relevant. Review and reduce until all you're left with are the crucial facts and messages.

Second, decide on the medium or media you'll be using. This will enable you to appropriately tweak the format and volume of content to include, for example, whether the it should be delivered as one item or split into a series on infographics. Be sure to create a design that uses a clear font and contains as little text as possible.

A good infographic ensures that information is displayed in a clear hierarchy, establishing strong connections between sections. Make certain all images and corresponding text match-up, and that the reader can quickly determine the correlation.

Create an inspiring headline: one that captures attention and compels engagement. Resist the urge to give away your answer in the opening line. Instead, ask the question that your data will seemingly answer: how to install, when to purchase, how to find. The most effective infographics are those that provide a solution or answer to a commonly-asked question, therefore consider what questions your customers frequently ask your sales and technical teams. Decide whether an infographic can be designed to better deliver that same information.

Finally, make it shareable. Resist the urge to create a large file that requires excessive scrolling. Instead, compress the file size and content without sacrificing fidelity and quality. Be sure to implement a promotional schedule and include all relevant media platforms, comprising social media, website, email signatures and newsletters.

Author Charmaine Petty is Marketing Manager at Catnic and a CIMCIG committee member.

 

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