If you’re not a graphic designer, the thought of creating a powerful infographic that is both beautiful and effective can be daunting.
Unlike regular text-based posts, making visual content usually takes a lot more time, effort and skill; infographics need to be helpful, communicate a message and look interesting all at the same time.
But, considering how popular and engaging visual content in marketing can be, you cannot afford to just give up.
Before you start designing, you need to do a couple of things which will make your life a lot easier.
And, these first couple of steps can be the difference between a mediocre graphic and an amazing infographic that actually works.
Simply, you cannot just throw your information onto any template, otherwise you risk losing consistency between your branding, messaging and goals.
With that in mind, here are 7 easy steps to create an effective infographic that brings results.
Define Your Audience
If you try to create an infographic that’s interesting for everyone, it’s not going to be interesting for anyone.
Catch my drift? Basically, if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
So first things first, you need to decide who your infographic is for, and equally as important, who it’s not for.
By defining your audience, this will help you to determine what data you need to use, how much jargon you can get away with and what the overall style of the infographic should be.
For example, if your audience is internal, you can skip over basic information, whereas for an external audience you’ll need to set the stage.
In addition, consider the level of knowledge your audience has: if they are experts, you can assume they already understand your lingo associated with your industry.
Define Your Goals
Once you know who your infographic is for, you need to figure out what it is you want to achieve.
To get started, think about any relevant challenges or pain points that your audience is experiencing and use this to your advantage.
Consequently, not having a clear goal will result in your infographic looking unfocused and vague.
Now that you’ve decided on your goals and ideas, you need to put together all of the data that you want your infographic to illustrate.
As much as infographics are appealing to look at, ultimately, it’s all about the data.
And that data you choose, will guide the overall direction from the copy itself to the graphics.
So, think about what data you want to share. It could be:
- Data from a survey you collected that would be interesting to your readers
- A research report with meaningful findings
- A process you want your readers to better understand
- Key takeaways
Lastly, if you’re data from other sources, make sure you cite these at the end and include a link; most people will do this as footnotes.
Weave the Story
Until you’ve put it into context, data is just simply information – it won’t mean anything.
So, once you’ve gathered your data you need to create context by telling a story for your readers.
Of course, statistics may not always need a lot of copy to translate its meaning, but more often than not, you’ll need to paint a picture.
With that in mind, decide whether you want to educate, inspire, entertain or inform your audience; this will help to decide what pieces of data will help to tell that story.
And like any good story, you will need a beginning, middle and end; facts and visuals need to be linked together.
Basically, write a brief intro, the data will do all the heavy lifting in the middle, then wrap up with a conclusion and a CTA.
Bring it to Life
The right visuals will help to bring your infographic to life, so now it’s time to pick a theme.
Typically, businesses will stick to their branding, and for good reason: consistency is highly valuable.
However, you cannot forget your customers either, so you need to ensure that the design itself will speak with your customers.
So, the structure of your information needs to be logical; it needs to clearly communicate to your audience.
Today, almost every website uses vertical orientation and it’s a lot easier to view on mobile or tablet devices, so think twice before you decide to go horizontal.
After that, create a visual hierarchy with focal points that the overall design will complement.
Once you’ve established the layout, think about colours as these will play a key role in your audience’s behaviour.
Finally, you will need to select the right fonts for your content; the right font will add personality whereas the wrong font can make the infographic look cluttered and obscured.
To be interactive, it means to have a two-way flow of information, and making your infographics interactive will help to achieve this.
To put it simply, an interactive infographic is one that combines visuals and data with interactive elements like animation, video, surveys and polls.
Basically, those infographics that are truly engaging ask the reader to do something; either enter information or make a selection.
By doing this, it means your readers will be actually engaging with your content, rather than just simply reading over it.
Once you’ve created your masterpiece, it’s important you set your ROI goals for the infographic – assuming you haven’t done so already during planning.
Essentially, you need to be able to measure whether or not your infographic has met your objectives.
For example, if your goal was to increase leads, you will need to make sure you have included a relevant CTA that encourages the viewer to either contact you or complete a form; this will help you measure the number of leads your infographic is generating.
And, if you achieved step 6 and made it interactive, you’ll be able to gather valuable insights about your audience, which can then be fed back into step 1: defining your audience.
In the meantime, take a look at our graphic design services to see how we can help.