Get Visual with Your Info: Advice on Illustrating Your Content

Let Infographics Help You Make Your Point Instantly

Here’s a great example of an effective infographic that illustrates social media behavior by age group, based on a Forrester Research study.  With few words and relevant graphics, it enables us to absorb lots of information in a hurry.

That’s what effective infographics are all about.

social media infographic

I fully understand the importance of the visual component of content, but I’m not very good at conceptualizing or creating great visuals to illustrate the points that I’m trying to make.

So, I was delighted to find a wonderfully helpful—and visual—site that is putting me on the right track: from Randy Krum. As he indicates, it’s all about getting your point across. Which, in turn, is essential to effective content marketing. You must make it obvious to your target customers why your content is relevant and important to them. On the web, you have only a few seconds to make that happen. Effective infographics can make that all-important instant connection.

If you need as much visual help as I do, you’ll love Randy’s site and his recent post with practical advice—illustrated with infographic examples, of course– for us verbal types.

Here are 5 practical infographic tips from Randy’s recent blog post, 10 Tips for (Journalists) Designing Infographics:

  1. Be Concise: Design your infographic to convey one idea really well. That is, keep it simple for the viewer so they can really absorb your point.
  2. Be Visual:  Design your infographic with your final for viewing size in mind.  Don’t allude to a chart they need to click on to view. Keep them involved with your text while they look at the infographic.
  3. Be Different:  If you can avoid it, don’t use a bar chart, a line chart or a pie chart.  Grab readers attention by doing something that is unique while still making your point effectively.
  4. Be Accurate: Remember your geometry and visualize differences using area. Thus, if you are using circles to represent relative size, make sure that illustrating 3X larger, you use a circle that is 3X bigger, not 9X bigger.
  5. Be Varied:  Find a good visual style that’s right for the data you’re trying to share.  If your data is about countries, plot it on a world map not a bar chart that lists countries. To illustrate this point, Randy showed the infographic below from Emily Schwartzman about the aftermath of the hurricane that devastated Haiti in 2009

 haiti hurricane aftermath infographic

Words work well. But pictures in the form of infographics can make all the difference in getting your point across in an instant. Once you have captured readers with your picture, you can then wow them with your words.

Here are some links that Randy offered to visual tools available on the Internet to help and inspire you in building your own infographics:

If you are in the business of trying to communicate complex information in a simple and compelling way, you will want to become a regular visitor of

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  1. Posted June 19, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Great concepts and great graphic. My 1st key to B2B Marketing today is Simplify. An infographic takes a complex idea and shares it in a simple and easy to understand format. Well done.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    President, Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple”

  2. Newt Barrett
    Posted June 19, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Jeff. I wish it weren’t so hard to make things easy.

  3. Posted July 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this post, but you buried an amazing jewel in your response to Jeff! “I wish it weren’t so hard to make things easy.” That comment made me chuckle and reminded me that the easy road usually leads to less-than-stellar results.

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