How to Create an Infographic

How to Create an InfographicWhat is a Marketing Infographic?

B2B companies that understand how to create an infographic have mastered a powerful marketing technique that combines the stimulating and complex data with the appeal of flowing, visually arresting images. Infographics are in high demand mostly because they increase website traffic and contribute to brand building. Humans are visual creatures, and content that involves intriguing imagery inevitably proves significantly more exciting – and shareable – than simple text.

Another reason infographics are so popular is because they can be used to illustrate a wide variety of difficult concepts and relationships. Because of this versatility, an actual infographic definition is difficult to nail down. At its core, an infographic is merely a visual portrayal of complex industry concepts with the intention to make those concepts both more digestible and entertaining to a broad audience.

It follows that infographics are a marketing tool. The best infographic is designed to attract the attention of potential clients who may have a vested interest in the data you’re presenting. Search engines are also drawn to websites that make effective use of images, which is why many search engine optimization experts now recommend the use of SEO infographics. When done right, they entice both search engines and potentially qualified leads to visit your website.

Important Elements of an Infographic

The design and content of an infographic are interconnected from the very genesis of an infographic. Unlike a magazine article that can be understood with or without its design, the infographic uses design principles to enhance understanding. As a result, there are important design and content principles to consider before making an infographic.

Graphics are the first element a visitor notices about your infographic. The appeal of the image needs to hook his or her interest long enough to allow the full impact of the cited data points and statistics to take effect. As you assemble the graphic components for your infographic, pay attention to the:

  • Color Scheme: Not only do colors convey certain emotions that people key into, but they also serve to make distinctions in an infographic where you may have limited space. Having a color scheme that matches the subject matter and makes the infographic pop is a critical requirement for infographic design.
  • Illustrations: Fancy illustrations are not really necessary to create a great infographic, but you do need to craft a graphical means to convey information. Dressing up some statistics in pretty colors isn’t as effective without a more visual way of communicating those numbers.
  • Typography: Part of the process of infographic creation is making those statistics speak for you. You need the graphics and the color to work in tandem with typography to usher in that emotional impact of the data.
  • Layout: Whether you choose to make an infographic chart or infographic table, or something completely different like an infographic book, you need a layout that draws the viewer’s attention along a very clear visual path.

The graphics are the flash, but the content provides the staying power to any infographic. Viewers will be naturally attracted by the color and layout of your design, but the content is what will linger in their minds afterward. Presenting your data in a compelling way is essential to the infographic’s overall intellectual payload.

  • Introductory sentence: Every infographic needs a short but sweet introductory sentence to provide an overarching context to the content. Some infographics need it more than others, but most will require an intro of some sort to provide the viewer with a clear trajectory that will clarify the subject matter.
  • Statistics: Statistics are the lifeblood of most marketing infographics. Stats often bring out the emotional response you want to evoke in a viewer, but that’s only if the stats are significant enough. That being said, make sure your data is accurate and unbiased. The last thing you want is to create an infographic that later becomes a reminder of faulty research.
  • Action Points: Although some would argue that action points aren’t really necessary for an infographic, they might be missing the point. The point of a creative infographic is to elicit an emotional response. The last thing you want to do is create that emotion without giving a call to action to give your viewer an outlet for his or her response.

Brainstorming Infographic Ideas

Every creative project or act of content creation starts with that initial brainstorming session where creative minds consult with industry experts and weigh their options. Several decisions should be made during this initial meeting: What are your goals for the infographic? Who is your target audience? What should their takeaway be from the infographic?

Ultimately, it all comes down to what kind of story you want to tell, and who you want to tell it to. The process can be very time consuming, lasting from hours to weeks. However, it is vital to have a solid idea of what the focus of your infographic will be before you move on.

The basic steps to planning out an infographic include:

  1. Team brainstorming. Brainstorming on your own may generate some ideas, but generally the best ideas are reached together. Keep track of all the ideas generated. You can always use leftover ideas from these brainstorming sessions for future infographics.
  2. Narrowing your focus. You could tell a story about just one statistic, so make sure you keep your focus narrow.
  3. Researching. Your information must be accurate, so make sure you rely on trustworthy sources.
  4. Developing the final concept. The most creative infographic is also the infographic with the strongest concept.

Valuable Infographic Design Tools

Infographics don’t have to be made from scratch. There are many readily available, and free, software tools available to help you make an infographic with relative ease.

Each tool has varying levels of user-friendliness and capacity. Some have capabilities comparable to any Adobe program, but without the steep cost. Others provide templates where you simply plug in your information and they generate the image. There are some that provide chart and map interfaces.

Infographic software generally falls into two categories:

1. Open-source design tools. These are software applications that function similarly to the big-name photo-editing programs out there. They aren’t tailored specifically to help create infographics, but that is one application they can be used for.

  • Pixlr.com. This tool is an open-source version of PhotoShop. It doesn’t do quite everything that Adobe’s product can, but it is free and a little simpler to use.
  • inkscape.org. This is an open-source version of Adobe Illustrator, which allows you to use vectors to digitally generate graphics.

2. Infographic template tools. These are software applications created specifically to generate infographics.

  • Visual.ly. Not only does this site provide you with free infographic templates, but it also is a good place to share your infographic once it’s completed.
  • Easel.ly. This site is user-friendly and has plenty of infographic templates to draw from.

Essential Steps to Infographic Design and Creation

Creating an infographic often involves two distinct creative processes: writing and design. They can be carried out by two separate team members, such as a content writer and a graphic designer, or it can be assigned to the same team member who may have skills in both fields.

Whoever is involved, here are the basic steps to making an infographic:

  1. Select the facts that will be most shocking and provocative. To create infographic drama, you need sensational facts (that are also true).
  2. Develop an outline or framework of ideas. This will probably just be the points you are most likely to include and illustrate in your infographic.
  3. Write your introductory statement. Remember that this is the sentence that will explain the purpose of the infographic and draw in your audience.
  4. Develop a general flow for the graphic. This should be communicated to all team members involved in creating the infographic, not just the designers. Firmly establish you are all on the same page when it comes to the project’s overall vision.
  5. Input information into an infographic template. This is a good idea even if the person that will design infographic layouts is a professional graphic designer. A template will make the process much, much faster.
  6. Tweak the template to your needs. Whether you use Photoshop to create an infographic PSD, or you use an HTML coded web design infographic, you need to make certain that your infographic looks like it belongs on your company website. Pay particular attention to font styles and color schemes.
  7. Undergo revision process. Don’t settle for the first version of the infographic. Get a second, third or fourth pair of eyes on it. Elicit feedback from those who resemble your target audience.

Where to Market Your Infographic

Once you have your completed infographic, the next step is publishing and sharing it. Your website should always be your first destination for created content. Publish a blog post to elaborate on the subject matter cited in your infographic. Create multiple opportunities to share the infographic, either as a PDF or as an HTML code that your fans can use to embed the infographic on their website.

Here are some other locations where your infographic can gain online traction:

  1. Bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon.
  2. Picture linking sites like Flickr, visual.ly, and visual loop.
  3. Issue a press release announcing the infographic and providing a link.
  4. Social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google + are always solid platforms where visual content can reach a broad audience.

Get Your Own Free Leads Analysis to Learn More on How to Create an Infographic

Sprint Marketing can show you how to create an infographic and help improve your infographic marketing strategy. While infographics can increase your social media standing, eBooks will also improve your company’s image as an industry leader. Sprint Marketing can teach you how to create an ebook and how to implement an effective ebook marketing strategy. Get a free leads analysis today!