What’s your attention span when you’re reading online? 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes? You’re busy. There’s boundless amounts of important information out there to be read. If you aren’t prepared to spend 20 minutes reading other blogs, articles, or advice, what makes you think that your followers are willing do the same with your online information? This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write copious amounts of blogs and share information freely. But mix it up and throw in some graphic representations of your data for other Social Media sites. Infographics are easy to read, convey a large amount of information in a small amount of space, and they make for easy sharing!
Numerous studies have shown that online shareability is significantly increased by using visual content over text-based content. Typically, the posts that go “viral” are those that use images that appeal to a large demographic. Social Media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are begging you to share visual content. The two fastest growing platforms, Pinterest and Instagram, are 100% visual content. Yes, you can add text descriptions but your post will always be an image. If you’re not creating visual content, then you are ignoring extensive platforms to share your brand. The advantage you have is that so many people are still not producing their own infographics (more than 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins – that means that less than 20% is NEW content). Statistics also show that Facebook posts with images receive twice as many likes and 6 times as many shares compared with text based posts.
Wikipedia defines an infographic as “graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” You can see how broad this description is. So, essentially, an infographic is an image that conveys a message. This can mean charts, graphs, cartoons, illustrations, memes, enhanced photos, and any other creative image you and your design team can create. The best thing about this is that there is no limit on what you can create to convey your message.
You need to determine what your topic and message will be first. Once you’ve done this, create an outline for how the process or data should look and the information that is important to portray. Keep your audience in mind! Then create a basic story board (this can be hand sketched even) to demonstrate the content. Take it from here to the design phase to make it attractive and valuable to your audience.
Here are some examples of where you can best use infographics and how to make them work for you.
Documenting Your Service or Product’s Advantages
If you offer a service or a product that is designed to improve results for your customer, show them those results in a creative graph.
Make Industry or Theme Related Quotes Fun
A great way to generate engagement is to use motivational or thematic quotes. Find quotes from significant leaders or focused around a certain theme (special holiday, season, charitable events, etc.). Use an image that represents the person or theme and insert the quote on top of the image for a quick and easy infographic. These are times when you can experiment and think outside the box. People love animals and babies so it’s always fun when you work those into the images.
Describing a Process
Trying to explain a process or chain of events can be complicated and time consuming. Using a well designed infographic can represent this process clearly and demonstrate a unique perspective to your audience. Take time to determine the message you are trying to convey and then find fun images to represent different stages. Make good use of arrows and orientation to show the directional path. You can also incorporate text as long as you keep it simple.
People love good statistics. Finding any way to incorporate company, industry, national, or even global information into your content is a great way to generate interest. Color coding, pie charts, varying size bubbles, and many other options are good ways to showcase the information in a simple format.
Launching New Products
What better way to showcase new products than through images? Use a high quality image of the product and include basic information – release date, specs, options, price, etc. on the image. Your customers will appreciate a preview of new products!
This list is far from exhaustive. There are many other ways that infographics can be used. Find what works for you and take it from there!
The nice thing about infographics is the flexibility you have to create them. There really are no restrictions on what type on content you can use. They are great for all brands and companies. They are also relatively easy to create. If you or someone of your team has a good eye for design and has some simple Microsoft Office skills, you can easily create these in-house. If you don’t feel comfortable with your skills (remember, even stick figures can make for great infographics!) then here are some sites that you can use to generate your own unique infographics.
Infogram is a free site that allows you to choose from pre-designed templates to quickly create fun and informative images to represent your data.
Visually connects customers and designers to create custom, unique images. Working with a specific team and timeline allows projects to be completed on time and on budget.
Pixlr is a free photo editor site that allows you to add enhancements and details to your images or to create new images.
Piktochart is a free (for “casual users”) site that allows you to create charts and graphs with ease. Upgrade to a paid subscription and you’ll get additional features to customize your graphics.