There is an overload of information out there -- 1.5 billion of pieces of content created everyday! How do you make your information stand out? Infographics are a great way to spread your message. They are versatile, fun and memorable. They can be used for power point presentations, flyers, reports, websites, you name it!
So what is an infographic? Unlike a bunch of statistics written sentence by sentence which can bore or even lose a reader (we have all stumbled upon research studies and reports that overload you with so much information that you have to stop and reread what you have just covered) an infographic allows you to express your facts in an illustrated figure form, making the information both easily understood and aesthetically pleasing. You can accompany text to the design when needed and use vibrant colors to catch and keep the attention of your audience.
By creating a visually compelling graphic, you can disseminate large amounts of complex data in a way that will easily flow through the viewer’s mind. Take for instance a lengthy report on eating vegetables vs. fast food on a daily basis. This report may talk about MSG, cholesterol, saturated fat, calories, etc., and may become hard to follow for a person not well-educated in this area. However, with an infographic displaying two people with contrasting physiques, one person eating broccoli and the other eating french fries, you get the gist instantly.
The most common use of infographics today is in social marketing. Not only can you use them for presentations and creative explanations of long, dry statistics, you can use them to gain publicity. There are over 600 million people on Facebook, so use it to your advantage! Infographics are easily reposted via Facebook and Pinterest, and other image friendly networks, giving important content (and your organization) the ability to be seen by thousands or even millions of people.
Not only will your infographic be seen by many, it has the potential to boost your Google rankings so your organization will climb the charts and be easier to find online. For example, if you have a great infographic on your site that I want to reference on mine, I would add a hyperlink on my page so my readers can go directly to your site to view it. If a great site like say, the New York Times, links to your site, Google assumes that the NYT wouldn't link to unimportant information, and it gives your page higher ranking just because of that backlink.
So where do you start?
When diving into the creation of an infographic, keep in mind these three main parts: the visual, the content and the message. The visual refers to your color scheme and images of focus. Your content will be your statistics and any facts you want to report. Finally, your message will be the conclusion you want your viewer to take with them and pass on with lasting effect.
After you get your meat and potatoes together, it's time to create! Building an infographic takes knowledge and skills of graphic design. Commonly used software includes Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. There are also some helpful sites listed below.
Have fun and get ready to spread your message!