We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and when we can incorporate a blend of data, eye-catching images, and simple graphics into one image, it can convey a whole lot of information in a short period of time and without putting too much strain on the eyes or the brain.
Have you ever come across an amazing infographic online and wondered how it was created? Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to create engaging images like infographics.
Now let’s take a look at the ins and outs of infographics, what makes them so effective and what kinds of tools are out there that can help you build some awesome ones.
We are bombarded by so much information on a daily basis that it’s easy to get overwhelmed – put simply, there’s only so much text we can absorb in a single day or even hour. But when we come across well-crafted, engaging visuals, we have the opportunity to understand concepts in new ways, and we’re able to absorb these much faster than we are other formats.
Infographics also have the potential to bring in leads and conversions as well. According to Quick Sprout, image-based content has 94% more views than content without images, and Buzzsumo claims that image-based posts on Facebook, in particular, have twice the engagement.
There are some basic rules that you’ll want to follow when creating your infographics to get them recognized and shared through social streams. Breaking up chunks of text in a blog or using them as standalone visuals is one way to incorporate them in a useful way. You also may consider using them for marketing either in an implicit or explicit way.
Infographics are useful to share across various channels, meaning that they can offer a high ROI for the short period of time you spend designing them. And you can definitely create them for specific purposes and share with other companies in similar industries if each company is willing to cross-promote.
Just like any other piece of content, you’ll want to design your infographic with a specific end-purpose in mind, a factor, which includes the consideration of the audience. It’s obvious that you want to be on brand as far as your audience’s interests and purchasing patterns are, but it may not be as obvious to try to make the infographic styled in such a way that it represents your brand and therefore is going to catch the eye of warm traffic, for instance.
Obviously, your marketing efforts will be aimed at filling a need, but what kind of problems can you help them solve (or at least think about) by putting some interesting data in their face?
Infographics are interesting tools because they can be at the cross-section of education and advertising – what you’re really doing is giving people information, but if you’re making them think about a specific topic, you may also be able to help them step towards your offering. Consider for instance providing statistics about home or car break-ins if you’re running a home security company – it’s still going to provide valuable information whether they purchase your product or not, but it’s also highlighting a fear or need that they may already have.
People are tired of text and photo images after scrolling on Facebook for a few minutes. If you manage to design something that’s not only informative data-wise but tells an interesting story, they’re more likely to pick it up and share it with their friends. Incorporating infographics into blogs and other content can also work well in telling important stories.
The other thing about infographics is to focus on the images, into the text. A good way of ensuring that you don’t have too much text in the design is to just check the image layers alone as your developing the infographic. Ideally, all of the images should be able to tell a story on their own. This also is beneficial if you’re trying to reach a global audience – stick to numbers and images, and you don’t have to worry about a language barrier.
Between your typography and your visuals, it’s important that you keep things as simple as possible. Don’t try to do anything overly artsy or add too many lines or complex color schemes. You need information to just be clear and simple in order for people to absorb it quickly. Staying minimal on all counts will usually be your best bet.
There are plenty of great tools out there that can help you create engaging images even if you’re not an expert. Here’s a peek at some of the best.
Canva is one of the most well-regarded tools around and is also one of the easiest tools to use. Many people swear by it not only because results are professional but simply because it’s inexpensive and simple to use. It’s designers clearly put a lot of thought into designing the program because the guides are very easy to follow and the design elements are super versatile.
With over 137 infographic templates, Canva allows you access to a professional look without spending a lot of money. It may have a bit of a learning curve for non-professionals, but when you take a bit of extra time to learn and play around, you’ll have a piece of content that’s professional looking, and you can use over and over again. It offers a mix of free and paid features, and the graphics are high resolution and super clear. Plus, you will have access to a massive image library.
Visme is a versatile platform that gives people of all levels the chance to create a whole realm of engaging visuals including presentations, banners, and animation. There are tons of templates available, and the interface has different levels of usability depending on how experienced you are. This one is quite easy to use, and you can try it out for free, which is a bonus if you’re just doing a test round.
Visme provides highly professional results when it comes to data visualization and it offers very modern design. It’s actually geared towards student pricing so is affordable at only $6 monthly, and that’s the premium version – but first, test it for free.
Venngage is quite similar to other tools and offers training in simple steps, which typically involves choosing a template, adding visuals, and customizing. You can create all kinds of visuals with Venngage, including posters, charts and other types of eye-catching visuals.
At $0 to $50 per month, the software has the potential to fit almost anybody’s budget and in that respect, is great for businesses of any size to try out. The software offers plenty of cool and easy-to-understand template options, along with plenty of tips and tricks that help almost anyone create professional level content.
While the free plan is better for those who aren’t looking for high-level professional work, since you don’t have the option of including a logo), it’s still an excellent option for those looking to create simple infographics or those looking to learn how to use these types of tools.
Infogram offers an extremely attractive, slick and inviting interface incorporating a huge range of contemporary modern graphics, so if that’s something that fits your style and brand messaging, you may want to give it a try. Infogram will also easily pull out specified datasets, which allow you to add charts, and graphics, which look similar to the type you might make in Excel or PowerPoint.
You can also use Infogram with a variety of other cloud-based software, which allows you to share your creations with team members, co-create or even import and export datasets from a distance.
The only catch is that you can’t download the free version so you must publish online and then share the link – this is a bit of a problem when it comes to sharing.
Have you ever seen an infographic that seems great but you have no real link to a particular brand or product? Google Charts can actually make it match your site, which is important for brand consistency, which is one of the reasons it stands out from the rest. Google charts is simple to use and free, so it’s a great place to start if you’re inexperienced.
With all of these amazing tools available at the touch of a button, making professional-looking infographics has never been easier. So even if you’re not a graphic artist, don’t be afraid to dive in and test out some of the free versions – you never know what you’ll discover!
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