How to Create Infographics that Drive Engagement

In the technological world, consumers rapidly absorb information. Internet users constantly sort through fact, fiction and everything in between. This means their attention can be pretty hard to grasp. In fact, according to TIME, the average human attention span is now down to eight seconds, coming in right behind the goldfish at nine seconds. As a nonprofit organization, this has far-reaching implications for how best to connect with your constituents.

As a nonprofit, you work to influence people with your cause or mission. Make them feel inspired, engaged and ultimately compelled to get involved. But when internet viewers have such a short attention span, this can get pretty difficult. You need to catch viewers’ interest quickly and keep it long enough for them to feel involved. Cue the infographic.

Infographics are visual images, like a chart or a diagram, that present information or data. Over the years and through technology advancements, infographics have grown enormously in popularity, particularly in the world of content marketing. Your organization has a ton of valuable, relatable, compelling information for your cause. Infographics allow you to share that information in a way that’s easy to consume, and more importantly, easy to share.

Because the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and with 80 percent of users now accessing social media from a mobile device, infographics appeal to users in a way that’s easily accessible through any device. The most compelling infographics have the power to spread awareness, spark interest and spur change. Here’s how you can create infographics that drive engagement for your cause.

1. Decide on the story.

The first step in creating a powerful infographic is deciding on a powerful story you want to tell. Facts and statistics can drive engagement, but they don’t always tug on the heartstrings of potential constituents. What cause matters to your organization, and what do you want others to know about you? Find an emotional touchpoint that registers with viewers and makes them connect to your mission.

For example, check out this infographic by Possible Health about a Nepali boy named Nirajan. Not only do they present information about their cause and why it matters, but they share a story that viewers can relate to and want to get involved with. What story do you want your constituents to know about your cause? Identify your story to set a foundation for a strong infographic that drives engagement.

Possible Health Infographic

2. Gather information.

Compile data that supports your efforts. What compelling facts or statistics can you include in the story to demonstrate why your mission matters? However, it’s important not to shape information to fit what you want to say, but rather allow the information to shape your storyline. The two should coincide and strengthen one another. If your organization puts out false research or exaggerates information, that can be detrimental to your cause. Instead, conduct unbiased, educational research that demonstrates why this particular story matters.

In the example below, The Humane Society of the United States shares the reality behind fur clothing and backs it up with factual information about how many foxes it takes to make one fur coat.

Humane Society Infographic3. Choose a template.

If your team works with a marketing company or has a graphic designer on hand, this is the perfect opportunity to collaborate and build an infographic worth sharing. This allows you to completely customize it how you see fit.

If you don’t have a designer handy, check out online tools and resources to build infographics like VisuallyVismeGoogle ChartsCanva or Piktochart. Research different tools or designers to decide the best route for your organization. The beauty about infographics is in their simplicity. Choose a template that presents your information in a simple, clean design that catches viewers’ eyes without overwhelming them.

4. Customize the content.

Whether you decide to work with a designer or utilize a template,, be sure to customize your content. Include all of the research and information you gathered in a simple, digestible way. Tell your story through a couple simple sentences. Remember, a picture says a thousand words. Move your viewers from Point A to B to Z. This infographic from the ALS Association, Progress by the Bucketful, tells the story of their viral Ice Bucket Challenge. Their design is powerful, but the content drives home why their cause matters.

5. Spread the word.

Share your infographic through a variety of channels, such as your website, blog, email marketing and social media pages. One of the most wonderful things about infographics is their shareability, so once your organization puts it out there, chances are constituents will continue to share it with others in their circles. Promote the infographic to potential constituents, encourage loyal donors and volunteers to share it and help drive engagement through your website.

Your goal as a nonprofit organization is to share your mission, increase engagement and make a difference in the world. Infographics can help you do that. Because of their visually appealing content, they’re the perfect way to get information out with a compelling storyline. Try out some of these tips in your content marketing efforts to create the perfect infographic that drives engagement for your cause.

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