In a timely infographic about infographics, Graphs.net noted the search volumes for visual data have increased by over 800% in just over 2 years. It’s no surprise, considering infographics are a great way to visually represent a large amount of data, catering to the ever-shortening attention spans of online browsers. Although infographics are abundant and a great piece of viral media, they need to be done correctly in order to be relevant and useful. Here’s our advice when assembling one of these info-art masterpieces.
Look at popular infographics around the web. See what’s being talked about, and what quickly gets swept off your news feed. Even if it is not related to your field of business, take note of what the graphics are doing right and what could be done better. This will help you gather ideas to implement in your own infographic.
Pick a topic related to your industry that hasn’t been extensively covered before. If you’re interested in the subject, odds are your readers/followers will be too. Once you’ve decided, gather all the relevant information you’ll need. What are experts saying? What statistics are there? Collect every reliable source and fact you can and keep them together – you’ll need them later. Make sure you choose good sources, you don’t want someone calling you out on your credibility.
Depending on your topic, there could be many sides to the subject. Figure out the important stuff and a natural flow of the information. Maybe your infographic is about Kanye “Voice of a Generation” West’s influence on the music world. You would need to track his album releases, media fights, and celebrity fights all while highlighting important romantic relationships and personal trials. But remember, your infographic has to be interesting. (After choosing this example, I discovered there are no fewer than 7 infographics about Kanye West.)
As you develop your outline, create short, catchy copy to direct the reader. Remember, most of your info should be in images but there should be headlines for different sections, subheads and explanatory copy for different statistics.
Depending on your budget and connections, hiring a graphic designer to bring your vision to life may not be in your cards. If that’s the case, there are cheaper options available. Here are a couple. But keep in mind, you get what you pay for (or don’t pay for). Create and stick to a style guide. General rule is no more than 3 typefaces and 3-4 colors. Make sure your images are in line with your style guide as well. If you have an all black and white infographic, choose black and white photography, icons, and shapes.
Edit that sucker like your life depends on it. Misspelt statistics or jumbled advice won’t be heeded by anyone, let alone shared among sources. Have others check that the order of the information is logical and clear. It’s very easy to overlook something that you understand but someone else wouldn’t. Throw together a list of your sources and proof. Proof. Proof.
When your infographic is polished and ready to be seen, try to find placement in a higher level publication or source. If it doesn’t get snatched up immediately, don’t be disheartened. There’s still plenty of sharing to be done. Release it into the social media world like the beautiful butterfly it is.
Keep in mind
You are telling a story. There should be a beginning, middle, and end.
Themes are fun. But make sure they carry throughout.
Don’t just slap the numbers down. Find a fun, clean way to visualize them. And remember, There are more than two kinds of charts.
These can increase your brand awareness so a quiet little logo or contact info can’t hurt.
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