We’re all used to seeing them being shared on social media and they’re a great way to visualise complicated data, of course I’m taking about infographics.
You may think they’re quite a modern creation but they’ve been around for years. Infographics appeared in the form of illustrations explaining the Sun’s rotation patterns in books such as Rosa Ursina sive Sol written by Christoph Scheiner in 1626 and I you could even class Paleolithic cave paintings as a form Infographic.
The fact that we see these on all the social sites and even retweet and share them ourselves makes them great traffic and lead generators, so much so that organisations are now adding these as part of their ongoing content marketing strategy.
But, if you’ve not created one or even thought about creating one before, how do you go about it?
I’ve produced a few in my time so lets look at the five stages I go through to help you create your very own infographic, starting with the data…
1) Doing your research
Infographics generally revolve around data, so if you’ve recently conducted a survey of a group of customers or you just want to compare something graphically then this may be the perfect opportunity. But it doesn’t matter how good the creative side of the graphic is, if you’ve got your numbers wrong then you need to go back to the drawing board.
2) Who’s your audience
So you have the data, now who do you want to target? This seems quite obvious but it could dictate the style, message and size. If it’s a fairly serious subject your target audience may not appreciate it being portrayed in a comical manner. The size of the final graphic may also need to be considered. If it’s to be shared on the social sites, will it be shared in it’s entirety or is the objective to attract visitors through to a landing page to see the full version.
3) Plan, Plan and Plan some more…
As they say “A picture paints a thousand words” and that’s the concept behind an infographic. The data that needs to be represented may be very complex so don’t try to make it up as you go along, sit down and sketch it out first. The information may need to flow in a specific way and jumping in with two feet may not be the most conducive way of piecing it together.
At this stage start to think about what components you might need based on a theme. Look at the data, see how it can best be presented to create the most visual contrast and strip away any that you think might steer the reader away from the key message. Sometimes changing figures into percentages can show a bigger contrast, making the graphic look more dynamic.
4) Get creative and make it stand out
I obviously don’t mean use garish colours. You’ve planned the flow of the graphic and thought about your theme so now you can get creative. The whole idea behind an infographic is to communicate information in an illustrative style so drop the standard bar charts, minimise the amount of text used and think outside the box. What’s being represented in the data and what can you use visually to show this? If it needs to be on brand, think about tying in fonts, colours and icon styles but ultimately have fun with this so that the final piece stands out.
5) Get it out there
It’s shareable content so get it out there. Post it on social media and create share buttons on your blog or website so that people can post it out to their followers.
Bring these five stages together and you’ll be able to create strong, visually appealing infographics, making complex information easy to digest.
Feel free share share any of your own infographics tips below.