With the advent of visually-focused social media platforms like Pinterest, more than ever, businesses are trying to be more visually appealing and effectively engage the modern consumer with infographics.
Easier said than done, right?
We have one word for you, folks: infographics. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, any business can make
an infographic and effectively expand its reach on Pinterest. It’s pretty important when it's the 3rd most popular social media site. (Experian, 2012)
A lot of elements that go into boosting conversions (like we describe in our free download “The Immediate Solution For Lead Generation”) go into making great infographics. But if you want to get off the ground and start making fantastic infographics now so you can take advantage of this fantastic free marketing resource, here are some tips on how you can do so:
Not only can infographics get any business into Pinterest, but they’re also a visually engaging medium that can increase your conversions overnight. When you use things like charts and graphs, any data or information that you’ve compiled becomes less confusing. It becomes easier to digest. Dry topics can instantly become enjoyable. Infographics have taken the world by storm and are now one of the most important pieces of content on the web.
What It Takes To Have Great Infographics
To have outstanding infographics, you need to have three things:
Without these three things, say goodbye to valuable hours that you'll never, ever get back, because the only thing your infographic will be is trashworthy.
Visuals: People like pretty colors, and it's been proven that associating something visual with a fact, word, idea, etc. has a high success rate.When thinking about what visuals to use, you want to focus on key factors such as color coding, reference icons, and graphics that people can connect with whatever content, whether written, photos, etc., that you decide to use.
Content: Obviously you're making an infographic because you want to share info about it with others. Remember that this needs to be accurate info, and it's up to you to ensure that it's from a reliable, authoritative source. Avoid generalities like 'many people,' for example, and tell exactly 'how many people.' Overall, remember the general rules about content writing and website content in general and by following those, you should be good to go. Take a journalistic approach -- your content should include statistics, reliable references, and time frames.
Knowledge: Anything that you post in terms of your knowledge should be entirely fact-driven.
The Steps In Having A Successful Infographic
We talk a lot about basic design in our ebook “Website Redesign 101”, and one of the things that we focus on is our first point here when it comes to infographs:
The Flowchart or 'Skeleton'
As with any type of design, you really want to focus on the design or the skeleton of your infographic. Begin by choosing words that help describe your key points and then arrows leading to other words that support your key points. Group any relevant data together and then try to visualize the natural flow of information by creating a flow chart.
The Color Scheme
Colors mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. When choosing colors, begin by understanding who your audience is, and then understand what colors mean to them and their culture. Then you’ll be able to better outfit colors to ideas in your infograph.
Once you have that set, you can then begin to assign colors to different ideas or points in your infograph. Keep in mind that the colors that you use will help readers visually tie down their thoughts and remember the points that you’re making. It doesn’t matter how many different colors you have – you can have 2, 5, 10, or more – just make sure that each color represents a separate idea or point.
The graphics that you use can make or break your entire infographic. There are generally two graphics that you’ll use:
The Theme Graphic: This graphic is the “defining visual” of your entire piece. This graphic should immediately tell any reader at a mere glance what your graphic is about.
The Reference Graphic: Though not mandatory to the design of an infographic, these icons will help prevent any cluttering when a large chunk of content needs to be presented. The phrase “a picture says a thousand words” is certainly true in this case, so when trying to make a point, try to bear in mind what sort of images or pictures can help you represent a lengthy idea in just one surmised image.
The Research/Graphic Balance
Before producing any infographic, there must be a lot of research prepared for it. That being said, your research that’s presented on the infographic should not far outweigh your graphic or graphics. As a general rule, and based on third party tests and studies, it’s been shown that a ratio of 1:1 in terms of graphics to data is most effective.
Most importantly, you shouldn't create an infographic for the sake doing something that's 'cool' and 'popular.' Some topics or ideas just may not work and may not be suitable for an infographic. It can be hard to illustrate some things, and if you find yourself working on a theme that's perhaps a little understudied, that is more theoretical and abstract than tangible or demonstrative, then other forms of media may be your best.
Try videos (most notable, check out the brand-new Twitter tool 'Twitter Vine.') It's difficult to come across anything that may not be infographic worthy, but it does happen, and that's okay. So instead of worrying first about whether your infographic is going to be shareworthy, ask yourself if there's an audience for it and if you'll be able to do the theme justice.
Nobody ever got far by doing something just because 'everyone else is doing it.' Same goes for infographics.