A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, yes. But, perhaps even of more value than a mere photograph is when one or more pictures and related text are pulled together to form a power-packed visual aid. These visual aids are known as infographics, representing one of the best ways for businesses and individuals to present eye-catching and memorable information to their readers. Let’s take a look at this growing and significantly important way that you can get your message across effectively and for a low cost.
Simply put, infographics are visual representations of information, including knowledge and data, that is assembled and laid out in an attractive and easy to understand format. Infographics seek to present eye-catching information that gets straight to the point and may include a map of a transit system, a sales report, accumulated product data or anything else that comes to mind.
Infographics typically replace website text and photos with one file. A simply cut and paste of the information to your blog or website can quickly dress up a website and take otherwise boring information and make it appear interesting.
For example, your company’s annual financial reports may typically be viewed only by accountants and policy wonks. To get the attention of more people, you would use a special format with bright colors, attractive borders, varying typefaces and assorted pictures or graphics to get your points across. You may say much of the same thing with an infographic that you would with a financial report, but your presentation is about enhancing eye appeal.
Telling a Story
An infograhic allows you to tell a story, by making use of various tools that can make your story easy to follow and comprehend. You’ll group your information together by subject, placing the most important information first at the beginning of your infographic.
An infographic is highly scannable — with the eye — and easy to comprehend. You can easily present upwards of a dozens areas of information, using different blocks, colors, sketches and pictures to get your point across.
Yes, you can make infographics the old-fashioned way by breaking out the graph paper, rulers, pencils and color markers. Still, you will need to scan this information in to turn it into an infographic, a process that can take a long time to accomplish.
Instead, most infographics are created by using tested illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator. Online services have emerged in recent years as have companies that will take the information you supply to build a beautiful infographic that you won’t soon forget. You will want to work with someone that has experience building infographics with proven results. Most companies will showcase their top designs right online, with many of the more popular ones instantly recognizable.
Just as you would want your infographic to be featured on your website or company page, you’ll be thrilled if others find your information to be worth sharing. And that is the most significant aspect of infographics; your finished work should be shared via social media with the encouragement that others would publish this information to their sites. Done right, and you can “advertise” your service or product without paying for placement of that information on other sites. Your infographic can go viral and inspired hundreds, perhaps thousands of users to share your information. Check out Visual.ly for a website that has at its sole purpose to share infographics.
One more thing to keep in mind about infographics: you can animate yours and you can also make it interactive. Both options can be combined to deliver a simply stellar infographic, making your information the eye candy that others will want to download and share with abandon.
Christian Boughner is a business marketing consultant who specializes in infographics campaigns. His articles mainly appear on marketing websites. Learn more about marketing with infographics at infographicworld.com.