Whenever my clients ask for an infographic, I usually ask, “Why?” The most common reasons are that they:
- Want to add visual interest to a design (such as a brochure, information packet, or a webpage)
- Plan to share it on social media
- Hope infographics can boost traffic, data retention, etc.
Most small businesses use infographics to build brand awareness, engage customers, or generate website traffic. However, many businesses struggle to understand the basics of how to make an infographic. Building a better infographic starts with understanding the “info” part.
What is an Infographic?
Designers draft visual images, such as a chart or diagram, used to represent information or data. These graphics include minimal text with the intention of breaking down a complex idea.
Customers use infographics to absorb information quickly. Sometimes, referred to as “data visualization,” a strong infographic will focus on a specific concept. It builds a coherent story.
How to Use Infographics
Customers are accustomed to visual content. Therefore, infographics have risen in popularity. They break down complex information into smaller ideas.
Small businesses, in particular, can use infographics to position themselves as helpful and trustworthy. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. For businesses of this size, digital marketing tactics have become the preferred medium for generating website traffic. They have a lower, more trackable cost per conversion. Social media, email, and content marketing all benefit from the inclusion of visual information.
For example, Facebook still dominates the social media market with Pew Research Center reporting 68% of adults using the platform. A teaser image with a link on Facebook can drive your target audience to click through to your website. Once on your website, they can respond to a call to action. An interesting infographic can start this process.
How to Ruin an Infographic
There are several key ways that small businesses ruin infographics. First, they neglect the “info” portion. I’ve seen this happen. The project manager “assigns” the job of researching random industry facts. Then, they dump those facts into a template — basically turning numbers into charts.
But this lacks a story. Instead, it vomits information into a pretty design.
Second, they reuse widely-seen concepts and data. Similar to the first point, these infographics lean on previously published works and simply reformat them for their own business.
Finally, they don’t offer a solution. If your business notes a figure, it should also position your product or service as a part of the process. Any mix of these three mistakes creates a useless and forgettable infographic.
7 Tips for Infographics
- Start by planning your facts. This will help you determine a flow for the piece that builds the message from top to bottom. Ideally, it contains information that no one has seen elsewhere. I suggest that a company mines their own data. They can present a process or explain a situation.
- Stick to normal sizes, such as 2048 pixels wide for the web. Although you can create an infographic with any dimension, most designs work well in this format. Just work from that basic width and continue growing your graphic height based on the design.
- Only include reputable facts. Sources should include government websites and reliable publications. As I explained above, original data from your organization adds new data to the conversation. This is the best info you can share.
- Name your sources. This not only lends credibility but also avoids plagiarism. By crediting your sources appropriately, you provide readers with the information they can trust.
- Make sure your brand is well-represented. Your logo and contact information should be present on the graphic. Although it is not the centerpiece, people should know who created the image. You never know where it might be shared.
- Consider promotion. Most likely, your infographic will be hosted on your blog or website. However, your plan should include a method to drive users there. This can include a variety of mediums, such as social media posts, email blasts, or paid advertising. Each platform will require a different preview for the information. So, you will want to create graphics that tease the infographic created for each medium. If you designed your graphic for a print or video piece, consider making a static version on your website. This will allow people to share and reference the data on multiple mediums.
- Get professional help. If you have never made an infographic before, work with someone who has experience developing them. You will get more value out of the piece.
How to Make an Infographic
Good infographics start with good planning. In fact, the “research” and data development portion of this project should take several hours — starting with a broad base of information. Then, you can narrow the content down to a solid message that positions your small business as helpful and trustworthy.
Otherwise, you’re just generating one of the many dull and useless graphics — full of pie charts and quirky typography— that doesn’t really pass along any “info.”
If you liked this…
My name is Danielle and I have a Lynchburg marketing agency. I’ve brought together a small team that specializes in marketing services for makers, eStores, and retailers. We’ll make sure your products are online and ready to sell. And you can get back to the parts of your business that you love.
Working with us is simple. I am the main point of contact on all my accounts. I visit in person or schedule phone calls to discuss your projects. My team members are all located in Central VA and we work together closely. (No passing you off to a junior coordinator after you sign!)
If that interests you, please reach out to me at email@example.com.