If there’s one thing that really grabs the attention of reporters and readers alike, it has to be data.

Facts, figures and stats can really back up a story, add perspective to the market and demonstrate thought leadership for your organization. And one of the hottest trends with data right now is presenting it visually.

Charts and graphs are great, but infographics burst onto the scene as a fun and informative way to share data that captures attention. Five years ago, infographics were timely, costly projects that could add tens of thousands of dollars to a PR or marketing budget. While highly desirable, infographics were out of reach for a lot of emerging brands. Until now, that is.

We recently completed infographic projects (click thumbnail to view full image) for a couple of our security technology clients, and all for a little more budget than a press release. But just because infographics are becoming easier to accomplish doesn’t mean you can breeze through the planning process. A good infographic should tell an interesting story rooted in compelling data. We’ve put together a few key tips to consider when you are thinking about pursuing an infographic.

  1. Select your design partner. Some larger companies have in-house design teams that can take on a challenging project, like an infographic. But  there are also infographic design specialists, like Seattle-based Killer Visual Strategies, that partner with companies nationwide to research, frame and design infographics at reasonable costs.
  2. Develop a strong narrative. An infographic should tell a story – who is the hero, who is the villain, what is the challenge and how can it be solved? Don’t forget your storytelling basics just because you are using a different medium to communication.
  3. Gather your data. What makes infographics so ubiquitous is that they can explain complex information more easily than text. Depending on your style, infographics can also add personality to a rather dry subject, sometimes reaching a wider audience.
  4. Distribute intelligently. Sadly for the 1989 film Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come” isn’t always true. Just because you make an infographic doesn’t mean it will go viral and spread on its own. Think about ways to get it out to publications and reporters via the news wire, social media, or direct outreach.

If you have the right mix of the above ingredients, a great infographic can be born. We’re glad to see these digital illustrations become more realistic for companies of all sizes and are encouraging our clients to pursue infographics as a storytelling catalyst. What do you think makes a great infographic?