Infographics are a form of data visualization that use graphical representations of information, data, or other eye-catching visual elements to present information quickly and engagingly. For tech B2B marketers, infographics serve many functions because they are popular with engineers who enjoy their often clever, visual way of storytelling. Infographics are a good way to introduce or drive engagement with otherwise challenging technologies or ideas, as many engineers respond better to visual information than text and the visual elements help make complex concepts more easily understandable.

And if you want to be sure to get your content across to your audience, infographics are a top choice. According to Search Engine Journal, high-quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles.

“Home offices: more productive, but less secure?” (SEGRA)

“Get the most from your iPad and iPhone” (CDW)

In addition, infographics are useful for social media programs. Infographics are among the most commonly “liked” and shared types of content, and the individual infographic visual elements (which we often call “info sushi” for their snackable accessibility) make attention-grabbing images for visually-oriented social posts.

Infographics are fun and engaging, but they can be challenging to create. Here are some tips and tricks to help you plan and execute the development of an effective infographic for a technical audience.

  • Infographics need a story to tell

    With infographics, the graphics should tell the story but the preliminary writing and research defines the story. Ideally, the writer and designer will work in sync to ensure that the visual look and feel is informed by the data-driven text, and vice versa. It’s hard to write text for an infographic in a void, so it’s important for the writer, designer and other stakeholders to kick the project off with a conversation so everyone agrees on the infographic’s general purpose, key facts and visual approach. What is the overall visual theme? How will the text blocks be integrated with the visuals? If possible, the designer should be working on an initial rough layout while the writer is working on the first draft of the content.

  • Find the right facts to tell the story (surveys, stats, etc.)

    It’s often the case that an infographic begins with, or at least establishes its factual point of view, with statistics or survey results – in fact, visualizing these elements can provide the entire graphical structure of the infographic. Sometimes, these statistics or surveys already exist, but more often the writer will be the one sleuthing out these details. Allow plenty of time for this research, because it’s not always easy to find just the right statistic to back up your argument. Always credit your source.

  • Infographics should tell a story, have a narrative arc

    A good infographic should have a narrative structure. The text should at least move from assertion to assertion to conclusion in a logical and compelling way. Infographics should also be fun or at least enjoyable. While much of the allure of an infographic is visual, the writing should also be light and easy to consume. Use bulleted lists and choose your words carefully. The text is usually the vehicle for making the transitions so make sure to write these with energy and punch.

  • Give decision-makers some eye candy early on

    Aligning expectations early in the process with higher-ups who have approval responsibilities can save time and revs later. Not all tech executives have a visual imagination, and providing them a draft of the text without any graphics can lead to puzzled responses and exasperation. Even simple sketches or descriptions can help get clients through initial text approvals.

  • Plan to edit the text down once it’s in design

    Speaking of the first draft, it’s hard to write concise infographic text right out of the gate, because it’s hard to know in advance how much or what part of the story the graphics will tell until the text and graphics appear together on the page. At that point, it should be simple to shorten the text dramatically. As much as possible, make the graphics tell the story.

A good infographic shouldn’t be too long or attempt to convey too many ideas or display too much data. Rather than a lengthy, jam-packed infographic, consider dividing the content into multiple infographics, or use a different format. If an infographic looks too burdensome, no one will read it.

If you have data, insights or survey results that you would like to develop into an infographic, consider contacting the content and creative teams at Publitek. We have the technical understanding and writing skills to make complex information approachable and engaging, and the design chops to make the visual elements fun and eye-catching. Together, it’s a winning combination. Check out these sample infographics that we’ve developed for other tech and engineering clients.

“How to capture leads and meet the media without trade shows” (Publitek)

To kick-off an infographic project with Publitek, contact Bill McRae.