As you’ve scrolled through your Facebook, scanned Twitter, or panned Pinterest, you may have come across The Difference Between the Diseases We Donate To and The Diseases That Kill Us, This is Your Body on Coffee, and 23 Dangers of Sleep Deprivation. These are some of the most widely shared infographics on the internet.
The term “infographic” comes from “information graphic” which combines written details with design elements. While infographics have risen in popularity over the last five years, they’ve actually been around for centuries. You’ve probably seen them outline the different exhibits in a museum brochure, express a timeline of events in a company history, or as a map at your local mall. Today they’re used in business presentations and class lessons. They can also be a part of your content marketing.
Why Users Love Infographics
Fast Information Delivery: Your users could read a scientific study on the effects of diet soda. They could read a book or blog article that reviews that same information. But in a world where everyone is busy and attention spans are not what they used to be, seeing the facts summarized in a well-put-together graphic, like in This is Your Body on Diet Soda, can give the readers the greatest arch of the story in the shortest amount of time.
Better Comprehension: While some users will learn best from reading the words on a page, others are more visual-oriented. Pictures and colors are not only more inviting for these types of learners, they can actually help them to understand and remember the content better. Image-driven information can also cross language barriers better than text can.
Easily Shared: Whether it looks like a digital poster, or it’s more of an interactive website, infographics by nature are designed to be quick snapshots, making them easy to share on social media, email to a friend, reference in a blog post, or link to in a website. Unlike a book, movie or TV show that takes time to digest, a user can share an infographic with another user and they can have a conversation about its information within minutes. This means that the information presented in infographics can travel at a much faster speed than when presented in other mediums.
Fun to Read: Because infographics are presented as more of an art form than a list of facts, not only do users find them engaging, they find them entertaining. People generally enjoy looking at infographics, even if the information being presented isn't particularly useful. Take Hipster Wedding Trends for example.
Why Business Owners Love Infographics
Easily Shared: When it comes to spreading information, users aren’t the only ones who appreciate the infographic’s ease and speed. Small business owners can harness this power to get their message across to a wide number of people overnight, with the potential of their information going viral.
Demonstrates Expertise: Creating an infographic that focuses on one particular topic that’s related to your industry will not only provide users with information about what your company does – it presents you as an expert in your field much of the same way as a blog or ebook would. This can give your small business a heightened sense of knowledge, experience and professionalism.
Reinforces Brand: By developing an infographic that combines details and images related to your topic, with a look and feel that matches your brand, you’re able to strengthen that brand and give users a chance to identify with that company’s personality.
Can be Persuasive: There’s something about mixing artistic design with cold hard facts. When they come together in an infographic, they can reveal powerful statements, sudden revelations, and bone-chilling realities. An infographic like Color, Value and Evolution of Logos could inspire a company to invest time and money in your advertising business, while Mental Health Facts: Children & Teens could be the nudge that prompts a parent to get their child the services your non-profit organization provides.
How To Make An Infographic
When designing infographics, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Choose topics that interest your target audience, give it a good headline, and don’t overcrowd it with texts and images. You should also make sure that the information you’re presenting is based off the latest data. The last thing you want is for your infographic to go viral with misinformation.
As a small business owner, you may not have a whole creative team at your disposal to develop share-worthy infographics. Luckily, there are a variety of tools and programs you can use to create tasteful designs for free or for a low price.
Piktochart: Pikochart is one of the most popular options. With a free account, you can choose from a variety of templates and icons (with watermarks) or you can upload your own. Its Pro version, available for $29/month or $290/year features additional templates, graphics and icons with no watermarks included. Non-profit organizations and educational institutions receive a discounted price.
Venngage: Another user-friendly program, Venngage is similar to Pikochart. Its free account will also provide you with a number of “branded” templates and images and you’ll be limited on the number of infographics you can make. If you want to upgrade to their Premium account, it’s $19/month and provides additional templates and graphics (without their branding), the ability to make an infinite number of infographics, and more export options. Non-profit organizations and educational institutions will receive a discount here as well.
Dipity: Dipity is a good choice for those who specifically want to create an infographic in the form of an interactive timeline. It can accommodate audios, visuals, text, links and social media. A user-friendly program, it offers packages at lots of different tiers. With a free account, users can create up to three timelines with 150 events each. Additional features for more advanced memberships include options like additional customization, bulk importation, statistics and analysis.
Sprites: Another easy-to-use program, Sprites uses drag-and-drop features to turn your infographic into an interactive video that’s already optimized for phones and tablets. It offers a Pro version for a whopping $3/month, which provides additional themes, the ability to add custom themes, and google analytics implementation. There’s also an Ultimate version. In addition to the pro features, for $9/month, users can connect live data, collaborate in real time, and receive priority support.