Stop Killing Us With Boring Infographics – Do This Instead

Are you creating or thinking about creating infographics?  Got your data ready and thinking about how to turn it into “data visualization” with pretty pie charts turned into globes or cityscapes, shopping baskets or mountains?

I want you to stop. Read this post. Then add something to your (potentially) boring infographics. Until you add this one thing, you really are missing out on valuable traffic, shares and all round love for your infographic.

Stop Killing Us with Boring Infographics
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Bored Man – by Shutterstock

Here's the thing straight up:

Unless your infographic helps me, I won't retain what's on it.

Which essentially means I will forget it.

Getting someone to re-pin your infographic is one thing. Of course we will all do that, because it looks pretty or has a cool design or some fancy data. But getting us to click through and read the blog post it is embedded on, get lost on your site, read more content, subscribe to your list and love your content – that's another thing entirely.

As is getting us to return to the infographic and actually use it or share it.

To ensure that your infographic gets shared, saved and loved,  you need to make it helpful.  Click to Tweet

Simple, right?

Well, one would think so.

Yet, surprisingly, most people still think that an infographic has to be restricted to boring data.  Wrong!  You are not restricted by anything.

In fact for a while, I thought there were unwritten rules about infographics, that they had to be about the data (made pretty with great design which was the cool part).  But they don't.

There are no rules. I wrote about that here with regards to infographics we produce for clients, and I recently talked about it on Rich Brook's podcast. You can listen to it here.

Think of infographics not as data made pretty with visuals, but as visual content that is useful to your community..

It's that simple.  Here are a few examples of “helpful” infographics, that in most cases, are surprisingly simple.

#1  Give me a recipe

I love the following infographic because it serves one purpose: to solve a problem.  How do you create a great green smoothie when swapping out ingredients? How can you change up your favourite recipe?  Here is the solution from Simple Green Smoothies:

Infographic by Simple Green Smoothies
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Give a “secret recipe” or industry secret in your infographic. Click here to view

Now, if you are a green smoothie lover like me, then this infographic is super helpful.  Not only is it helpful, but it is embedded in a detailed blog post so you can get more information.  You can read about it here and view the full infographic on the blog.

Data about green smoothies or health food on an infographic might look pretty, but information that helps us goes a lot further to winning a brand advocate.

Remember: Help people with your infographic, don't bore them with data (no matter how pretty it is!).  Click to Tweet

What recipe or formula can you convert into a super helpful infographic?  

#2  Show me the way to great places

This one I looooove. I was preparing for my final keynote at a seminar for Tourism Queensland last week and I was searching for great examples of tourism-based infographics.  My search took me all the way to Maui in Hawaii (nice!).  I found this awesome infographic all about beaches on Maui.

Please note that recently this infographic was redirected by Outrigger. I'm leaving this example on this post for two reasons: 

  1. It was a great example of what to do. Creating an infographic that provides value for visitors while also directing them to your product or service, is a smart move. But, unfortunately, it was also: 
  2. A great example of what NOT to do. This infographic was sending thousands of visitors to Outrigger's website via Pinterest. By redirecting to a page on the website for Outrigger that is not super relevant to Outrigger, they were reducing the value of the traffic. It would have been better if they kept the story going about activities to do on the islands in Hawaii. Nonetheless, check out the infographic: 

Infographic about Maui Beaches in Hawaii
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Apart from it's inherent usefulness to beach-goers and surfers in Hawaii?  It's that it was not created by a surf shop, or a hiking company or a company doing snorkelling tours or stand up paddle boarding…

It was created by a resort. Outrigger Resort.

This was the page that it originally lead people to, as well as a library of further information about activities on the islands: 

Outrigger resort (not a surf company) created infographics about local beaches on this page too (alas, as I said this is not redirected to a page on their site that is not super relevant to the content but I am still including this as an excellent example of how to use infographics in tourism (just ignore their latest change in traffic direction). 

There were 4 beach infographics in all: 

More beach infographics Outrigger Resort
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Want beach information? Outrigger has it all packaged up for you!

The Outrigger actually asked their Facebook fans to help them create the perfect infographics:

Outrigger Infographic
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Not sure what to put on your infographic? Survey your fans!

What does this mean?  It means that you don't have to create an infographic about your product or service. You can create it about something related or even better…something that helps or inspires your target audience.

Think of it this way.  Outrigger resort's primary purpose is to book people into their hotels.  So, why not create an infographic about hotels and accommodation? Because, by helping their customers experience something they love, on the beaches, they will be remembered…for more than providing the great room that they sleep in.

They will be remembered for the experience.  The room might be great, but the overall experience gets shared.

Even if someone doesn't stay at the Outrigger, and they are “helped” by this content, the Outrigger was top of mind when booking their next holiday. At least when they originally published it {wink}.

#3  Help me make sense of it all

The following infographic can be quite useful should you lose your measuring cup in the kitchen.  It's the type of graphic you want to bookmark, keep, share…and use. Yes, use. Not just gaze at, marvelling at the outstanding data visualization (although you might do that too).

In the words of the designer, this infographic allows you to find the right measuring implement for the recipe you're tackling (when you can't find the one you need in your kitchen drawer!).

The next time you find yourself asking “how many…” the chart can save you – whether its converting cup measures to tablespoons or working out how many cups in a pint – this chart converts it for you

Here it is below, and if you love it, you can buy it as a wall sticker that will grip on to any surface.

Kitchen Conversion Infographic
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Want to make sense of your measurements? This infographic maps it out!  Click here to pin original infographic. 

Created by Shannon Lattin (who also makes some pretty sharp and useful infographics!).

Here it is below:

Measure Up Infographic by SB Lattin Design
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Does your infographic measure up to this one? Check the original here.

Do they have one in the metric system, I wonder?

It doesn't matter if you are a designer, a hotel or a smoothie website. If you create visual content and infographics that are useful to your target audience, then your inforagraphics will get shared and drive traffic back to your business.

And if you embed that awesome, helpful infographic on an equally awesome, content-rich, helpful blog post it is likely to get shared even more.

In today's digital age, helping is a pre-requisite for selling.  Click to Tweet

So what about you?  Did you like these infographics? Are you interested in producing more “helpful” visual content? I would love to hear your comments below.  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
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