When it comes to marketing, images are powerful on the Internet. In fact, infographics often receive three times the likes and shares on social media than other forms of content. This means it’s a quick way to engage a larger audience for almost any purpose.
Infographics are also used as a way to promote a business. Whether it’s web hosting related to eCommerce or information services, the right graphic can accentuate the website.
Below are five steps to design one of these miracle images that can do wonders for marketing.
The most important aspect to any infographic is the data and its sources. Because this image will most likely live forever on the Internet, developers want to make sure no mistakes are made. Citing incorrect and false information can cause all kinds of problems for the developer. It will hurt the brand’s reputation while possibly alienating potential customers.
A way to avoid severe issues with false information is citing the source directly within the infographic. This is a practice that is often seen as developers include the exact URL of where the data was collected. While this doesn’t always alleviate the damage caused by misleading facts, it does support the developer isn’t alone at fault.
Citing sources also denotes a sense of professionalism as well as authority. This is especially true if the sources are valid and authoritative themselves. In a world where “alternative facts” and misinformation run rampant, citing the actual source is almost a necessity. People are more likely to trust information if it has been derived from a valid source.
Infographics can be designed in a myriad of ways. While some types are straightforward, there is nothing wrong with taking a creative license to deliver data. For instance, a pie chart to show stats is common but takes on a whole different appearance if the image of the “pie” was related to the content. Something like using a silhouette of a quarter when talking about money may comes to mind.
Although there is nothing truly wrong about using a standardized way to create an infographic, it has more of an impact if it’s something unique. The more original the graphic becomes, the more memorable it is to those on social media.
However, the graphic will still need to have a logical flow. Just like text content, it’s easy to veer off subject when setting up an infographic. Make sure it follows a certain path all the way through or it may be possible to confuse the audience.
One of the more important aspects of an infographic is having a certain contextual tone which matches the content. For example, some developers will create a kind of storyline that takes the audience from start to finish. In some ways, creating an infographic is similar to writing a novella. It needs to have a primary talking point with a good flow.
Of course setting the tone of the language is also important. The voice of the infographic needs to match the content. For instance, developers might use a more uplifting voice and font typeface when covering statistics regarding children, kittens or other “happy” data. As corny as it may sound, this is actually quite an important facet to creating a gem of an infographic.
Every type of content has an emotional and linguistic tone that matches. Which is why people don’t often see a jovial electronics instruction manual. The same principle applies when developing imagery. It’s all about creating an element that resonates within the target audience.
Deciding on a color palette is often one of the more difficult parts of creating a great infographic. Developers can’t just pick a color and run with it regardless of the content. There is a bit of psychology that is often connected to certain colors.
For example, red is often seen connected to anger, anxiety and emergency. However, it’s also relevant for love and passion. The color scheme needs to match the image as much as the content. The wrong colors could annoy the audience or otherwise affect how they share the materials.
Another instance of color management is akin to how people see green as “good” and red as “bad.” Blue is often attributed to peace and tranquility while yellows and brighter shades are prevalent in many spring-season-related graphics.
If developers want to truly engage the audience, they need to spend time examining how colors are perceived by the average human. Otherwise, it could alter how the infographic is absorbed by those individuals.
Lastly, image use within the infographic needs to be related to the source material. Too many people toss in rocket ships, stars, planets and wispy outlines simply because they like the image. However, it doesn’t make much sense to use these elements in a piece referring to content like the number of breeds of cats owned by Americans.
There doesn’t need to be a great deal of detail in the images, either. In fact, most infographics are designed with basic vector graphics that are more akin to cartoons than highly-detailed pieces of art. The primary purpose of the infographic isn’t to wow the audience with graphic design skills, but to engage and share valuable information.
Hence the name, “info” for information and “graphic” for graphic.
It’s OK to add a three-dimensional element to an image that is used, such as a drop shadow or cross-section view, just don’t go wild in RenderMan or Blender. These apps are great for movies and video games, not so much for infographics. The point is that the imagery doesn’t need to win any awards as long as it supports the point of the data.
As long as the basic elements are covered, almost anyone can make an infographic to attract attention. The hardest part is picking which type to produce as there are so many to choose from. Whether it’s based in structured numerical data or used to deliver informative text-based points, an infographic has potential to boost brand awareness and drive web hosting traffic.