New Research on Memorable Infographics

By Meghann Porter

You only have a few short moments to capture a potential customer’s attention. And an infographic – a visual representation of data or information – is a great way to swiftly convey your message. Infographics can showcase thought leadership, highlight differentiators, influence employees, and even help you “own” a particular space or therapeutic area. These popular, shareable visuals are clearly an important communication tool. But with them popping up everywhere, what makes an infographic stand out?

New research shows that our minds unconsciously receive a surprising amount of visual detail in just an instant. So an infographic’s memorability can enhance its effectiveness. The recent article “The Secrets of a Memorable Infographic” looks at this connection, based on the more than 2,000 images that made up the largest scale visualization study to date. Below is a summary of the article’s key points.

What makes an infographic memorable – or not?

  • Recognize it and remember it. Many infographics contain “human recognizable objects” that we see in everyday life – photos, body parts, icons, animals, or foods. With good reason, because these images make for the most memorable visualizations.
  • Colorful is better. Researchers found that infographics using more than six colors were more memorable than those with few colors or those in black and white.
  • We like to see a lot going on. Visual density or “clutter” is often frowned upon, but done right it can actually boost memorability. Complex infographics showed an advantage over more minimalist visuals. And rounded shapes were an added bonus, increasing memorability.
  • Bar charts are a no-go. Surprisingly, basic bar charts and graphs suffer from overexposure. We have a hard time distinguishing one bar chart from another.

Are there other infographics keys to success?

Memorability can be a powerful edge, but still an infographic is only as good as the data and strategy behind it. As with any other marketing communication, Signal recommends that it should be based on:

  • Good planning
  • Thoughtful strategy
  • A solid understanding of your audience
  • Strong, aligned, approved messaging
  • And accurate, meaningful data and information.

With these things covered, we find that an infographic serves as a great piece of snackable content: bite-sized and designed for easy consumption!

Creating memorable infographics that are aligned with your strategy may mean the difference between your communication moving customers to action – or getting lost in the fray. Content marketing expert Joe Chernov tells how he was so impressed with an infographic on which fish are safe to eat that he carried it in his wallet, consulting it at restaurants. Now that’s an effective infographic!

Please ask questions and share stories in the comments section. And if you’d like to learn even more about content marketing, see our Life Sciences Marketing portal page for case studies and other content specifically written for marketing professionals in your industry.

Meghann Porter

Digital Marketing Director

Meghann manages a wide range of digital initiatives at Signal – including SEM, social, display, retargeting, SEO, mobile, user testing, email and marketing automation. She’s an integral part of our team, working across industries and clients to contribute to the design and build of all web projects.

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