Data Visualization: A Key to the Kingdom of Engagement


Data Visualization: A Key to the Kingdom of Engagement

April 14, 2015

It’s no secret that graphics, images and infographics have a greater power to increase traffic and page views. In fact, businesses that market with infographics grow an average of 12% in traffic more than those who don’t. It also makes sense when you consider that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual; visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

But, even more compelling: as time goes on, it becomes clearer that data visualization (not just images) increases engagement, significantly.

Think about this:

Articles with images receive 94% more engagement than those without.


Articles with infographics receive 4x as much engagement as articles with images.


For BtoB publishers, access to data is not a problem—we (as a culture) produce more data than ever. But how we use it is what makes the difference in building engagement and revenue.

So, what is data visualization about?

Luckily, it’s about something that publishers know intimately: telling a story. You are not just giving your readers a bunch of numbers, you are telling them the significance of those numbers and putting them in the context of their daily lives—so that they can take them and use them for their own growth.

A good data visualization or infographic inspires action on the part of your reader. Ultimately, it will encourage them to read more, subscribe, and share.

But how?

At the baseline, it must have these four elements:

  • Clear, detailed visualization
  • A compelling story
  • Interactivity
  • Shareability

These are good guiding elements for you to use when you are developing your infographic, but where do you start?

  1. Look at your data (this isn’t just what you have but what your advertisers and other third parties have). Take an inventory and decide what of your data has the most potential for engagement. The key question to ask when determining this is:
  2. What data does your audience want? What is most useful to them? What are they asking for? What are the trends in content engagement? Is there a need emerging that you can meet preemptively?
  3. Determine what gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Which data can you leverage for your audience in an economically sustainable way? What’s the easiest to leverage? It’s likely that there is plenty to choose from, so don’t make it more difficult  (or expensive) than it needs to be.
  4. Experiment. You don’t know what will work until you try. So, just go for it!
  5. Evolve. Let the process inform you. Learn from your successes AND your failures. Scrutinize the data you use, the way you promoted it and the design you employ.  Look at your results. Follow the lead of your audience. Where are they going with it? Or, if they aren’t doing anything with it, whatare they engaging with?

Who knows, you may get so into this that you do infographics about your infographics. Or not. But, regardless, if you begin with these simple guidelines and steps, you might find you are rich in keys to the kingdom of engagement. And, it’s a magical place.