Where Infographics Can often go Wrong

January 10, 2013  |  Educational

It has long been said that a picture tells a thousand words. Actually, rough estimates place this at a far higher ratio, with no end to what can be conveyed visually in a fraction of the time it would take to write the same information.

In many ways that’s a pretty inappropriate lead into a story about infographics, because for all intents and purposes an infographic is not a picture. Or at least it vary rarely is just a picture, with most examples incorporating text within the model too. The result makes for a powerful tool with which complex ideas can be conveyed easily. All of which begs one rather large question.

Why are there so many useless infographics, if infographics are so useful? Well, the answer, in short, could very well be the fact that many people commissioning and creating these graphics are missing the overall point. It’s not enough to merely find some statistics, match them with some relevant imagery, and then hit publish- ensuring your company logo is strewn across every inch of the work.

Of course those are the basics when it comes to putting an infographic together, and neglecting to include corporate information regarding who was responsible for the graphical conception is a silly mistake most people know to avoid. This means the problem may well lie in the content itself, as oppose to the practicalities of producing one of these sought after marketing tools.

That said, there are countless instances where infographics break the first rule of infographics- present the information clearly, and in an easy to read manner. But, beyond this, it’s also vital to consider exactly what information you intend on using, because there are statistics for every possible statement in the world, but that doesn’t really mean we should be using them for this kind of practice.

In short then, the subject of your infographic needs to be genuinely engaging. And by this we don’t just mean from an in-house perspective. Business data and budget details might have ears pricking up in the accounts department, but that doesn’t mean the average internet user will find this kind of thing appealing. With that in mind, it’s a great idea to think further afield, and away from the brand itself. Consider your industry, and how it can have an impact on the people you ideally want to see the infographic. Now it’s time to finalise exactly what the subject matter is.

Mitchell Thomas, avid writer in PR, social media and SEO.

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