Some experts believe that 90% of the information absorbed by the human brain is in a visual format. If you want to provide information to your clients or prospects in a way that can be absorbed and understood, using infographics can help that information get out there and even go viral. Some social media experts estimate that graphic posts are almost twice as likely to be shared and commented on than text-based posts, so this can have a huge impact on your business or blog page. With sites like visual.ly charging almost a thousand dollars for an infographic, and cheap infographics on sites like Fiverr having questionable quality, it’s easy to build your own infographics for free!
Assemble Your Data
The first step to a good infographic is to assemble your data. A simple Google search can help you find statistics and numbers to back up your central point. In some cases, you may not even need help assembling the data. For example, if you’re an auto mechanic, you may want to do an infographic titled, “Six Essential Steps to Winterize Your Car”; that type of infographic needs no additional data or statistics. But if you’re doing an infographic on “Most Engaging Social Media Posts”, those numbers can be important.
Setting Up the Graphic
For infographics, I highly recommend using GIMP (a free graphic manipulation software) or PhotoShop. In both cases, the big advantage is that you can work with the images using layers, which make it much easier to adjust the graphic as needed. The second piece of information you’ll need is the social media forum where you want the graphic to be shared most frequently so that you can size your graphic based on that forum. It’s generally best to make the graphic larger, as it looks better sized down than sized up.
Choosing a Color Scheme
If your website or brand already has a color scheme, you can use that. If the post is more of a social media post rather than a website post, consider using a website service to help you find a good color scheme. Most infographics should have a white background, although a very light gray (something like #B7B7B7) could be acceptable. Your color scheme needs to have one or two bright colors that “pop”, along with a more modest shade for highlighting. If you need help selecting a color scheme, consider using a color scheme generator like www.paletton.com (use the Triad or the Adjacent Colors with Complement) or www.colorcombos.com.
Building Your Infographic
The first step to building an infographic is to build your top Title bar and your bottom attribution bar. For the title bar, consider using a dark color as a layer background with a lighter shade for the text.
You’ll want the title to span the entire width of the graphic, and the footer bar will generally be about half as wide as the title bar. For the footer bar, consider using a smaller italic font on the right-hand side with the website address.
Each piece of data will be placed on a layer that spans the entire width of the graphic. Smaller pieces of data may be in a half-width layer. Icons are a wonderful addition to the infographic, and some of these can be downloaded from stock image sites for a fee or created with MS Paint. Try to consider how your audience will perceive your icons.
Ideas for Iconography
Let’s say that your statistic is that 62% of people meet a certain criteria. You can use icons similar to this and say, “3 out of 5 people…”
If you want to say that there are a certain number of people in the world or in a country that do a specific thing, you can use a map of the country or a picture of the globe as a backdrop and an icon to represent a specific number of people. The icons are scattered through the country or the globe with a small key at the bottom to indicate scale.
Making an infographic is fun and easy, but it takes practice to develop your eye for infographic design. The rewards definitely outweigh the hassle, because infographics are very valuable for social media sharing.