Infographics are a visual source of information that is often used in the marketing and business industries. While there are many different styles and methods for designing an infographic, one of the most important components to focus on are the images for infographics.
Purpose of Infographics
Image via Flickr by Limelight Leads
Today’s internet consumers are met with an overwhelming amount of information. Rarely do they read through an entire informational document instead browsing quickly and skipping over entire sections. Infographics are a form of visual marketing that gets the point across through images. Approximately 90 percent of the information that the brain processes are visually based. Chances are, potential customers and business professionals are more likely to retain the information on your infographic than the business documents that you provide them with.
Studies actually prove this retention theory. Only about 10 percent of the information that is retrieved audibly is retained three days later. Yet, if that same information is paired with a visually appealing image, the three-day retention rate increases to approximately 65 percent. These statistics are why sites like Pinterest are doing so well and why many businesses are moving toward infographic-type marketing strategies.
Types of Images
The specific images used in your businesses infographic will be dictated by products you sell, services you offer, or information that you are attempting to share with your audience. However, because the image is the focal point of the marketing materials, it is important to choose images that are carefully planned and purposeful. Stuffing images into your infographic that have little to do with your products or the business itself will not achieve the results that you desire.
Images for Infographics
Images that are of high-quality and that support your business goals are crucial. Now, where can you find these images for infographics? Fortunately, there are many free stock images available on the internet. Using free images is not necessarily problematic, as long as they are of good quality and are relevant to your marketing goals. A few places to pull stock images include Adobe, Pixabay, Canva, Flickr, and Shutterstock. You do want to check the images licensing agreements before using them in an infographic.
Each stock image site differs in terms of imaging agreements. While one image provider might not require that you attribute images used, others might require that you provide a link or citation back to the original publisher. Additionally, some image provider’s limit what purpose you can use the photos for. Before using a stock image in an infographic, make sure that it is approved for commercial use. Understanding the legal requirements of the images used will prevent any licensing problems down the road.
Choosing the Right Photos
Many of the stock or low-cost image databases have thousands of images to choose from. How do you choose the right images that are likely to resonate with your target audience? Evaluating your current audience and your target market can assist you with choosing the right photos for infographics. Pay attention to trending topics in your industry, focus on specific keyword data results, and actively listen to what your customers are talking about most often.
Many infographics aim to showcase a product, solve a consumer problem, or educate the public. Specifically choosing images that serve these purposes will help you get the most traffic to your infographic. Avoid complicated designs as the purpose of the infographic is to provide your target market with a quick read. Images that are too complicated and confusing defeat the purpose of the infographic design altogether.
It is also important to keep the images focused on the purpose of the infographic. It might be tempting to stuff as many images as you can into an infographic, but it is often better to have a few extremely relevant and attention-grabbing images than a page full of mediocre ones.
Personalizing Infographic Images
In order to make your infographic as visually appealing as possible, it often requires a little extra creative work. It is best to avoid using generic images without any level of business personalization. Many of the image providers allow you to edit and add captions to your images. Because the images for infographics are one of the most important components of the project, they should also require the most detail. You can personalize your images for infographics by adding logos, catchy captions, or target keywords that also improve search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.
You will also want to choose images that speak to your brand’s voice. A generic image that might fit well with another business in your industry does not necessarily mean that it will succeed with your infographic. Images should complement your business and your business goals. The images for infographics should be planned with results in mind. Most infographics are used to educate and engage potential audiences. They are highly successful at improving brand awareness and business visibility.
Search Engine Optimization and Infographics
Although search engine optimization (SEO) is an entire topic of its own, infographics can be an important part of a successful SEO strategy. SEO is about providing site users with a relevant, useful, and engaging experience. Infographics serve these same purposes. Infographics are shared more often than traditional content, they draw in more consumer attention, and they educate the reader. Each of these aspects is essential parts of SEO.
Achieving SEO results with infographics requires that you optimize your images. Image optimization includes using appropriate image sizing, optimizing captions with previously researched keywords, and adding images to the XML sitemaps. Alt text captions are also important and will assist readers that are visually impaired. Alt attributions allow you to extend your images for infographics reach to include those that might not be able to clearly view the images on the screen.
Knowing the available image format options can also assist you in choosing the right images for infographics. The image formats available include JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP. There are actually quite a few differences between these image formats besides the order of the letters. JPEG images, or sometimes known as JPG, are one of the most common formats you will find on the internet. The problem with JPEG images is that you can lose some of the image resolutions after re-sizing and saving it.
PNG images are similar to JPEG except that they do not result in as much loss during data compression. They are most often used for text images. GIF images are frequently used for web images and are a popular infographic image format choice. The GIF image does not lose any quality upon resizing as the other formatting options do. Because GIF images eliminate quality losses, they are commonly used with animated images. TIFF and BMP images are not as common, but TIFF formats are often used for layered images and BMP images are most commonly used for pixel-based designs.
Design Size and Location
Choosing the right images for your business infographic is just one part of the process. The images will also have to be resized in order to fit appropriately into the infographic. Any included text or captions will also have to be sized around the images. It is best to always make the images the focal point of the infographic and then fill in the additional data and surrounding captions around that.
You will also want to consider the text size and fonts of the infographic. Try viewing the completed project in a variety of sizes. Images that are too small can be difficult to make out on smaller screens. Text that uses complicated fonts or too small of a font size will lead many viewers to skip over important information. The ideal infographic includes both images and captions that are easily readable from all devices. Generally speaking, 600 pixels are ideal for optimal width and 8,000 pixels is ideal for height.
The Importance of White Space
While the general idea of an infographic is to fill it with images, there is such a thing as too many images. White space is a graphic design term that essentially means negative space and being aware of it will provide you with an uncluttered final product. White space is the space that you begin with when you have a completely blank page. Think of it as your blank canvas.
The idea is to leave a sufficient amount of blank space in the completed infographic. Keeping white space in mind when designing an infographic will help you to create a final project that is clean and overall, visually appealing. If you are a beginner to infographic design, it might be useful to opt for an infographic layout. Layouts stipulate exactly where to place images and text and they avoid a crowded and hectic infographic that has too little of white space.
Infographics do need to include some degree of text. This text should not be used to fill space, but rather to improve the quality of the images and the infographic itself. It is necessary to find an appropriate balance of data versus design. Because the amount of text is minimal, the content itself needs to be exceptional and results-driven. You only have a few words to get your point across and you need to make them count.
In fact, the purpose of the text is to tell a detailed story of your business or product. It often takes the skills of an experienced content writer or infographic designer to make the most of the minimal content space. Infographic content needs to be straight-forward and memorable.
The Importance of Data
Infographics are often used to showcase data that supports your business. This data could be supportive of your products and the results that they achieve or it could inform business owners why they need to consider a certain product. Additionally, showcasing data and its results should also be accomplished in a highly visual method. Using pictographs, timeline charts, flowcharts, comparison charts, pie charts, and statistical charts are all great ways to showcase your data in a visual way.
It is also important to consider where the data comes from when creating images for infographics. The information that you display on your infographic needs to be relevant, accurate, and from a trusted and reputable source. Infographics can really increase a business’s reputation and authority on a specific topic. This, however, requires careful attention to where the statistics are coming from.
Affordable Marketing Option
Not only do infographics drive successful results, but they are also one of the most affordable marketing strategies. Content marketing is more cost-efficient than other forms of traditional marketing and yet, it often produces more successful of results. Additionally, content marketing and the use of infographics can track marketing results which can be difficult to do with more traditional forms of marketing.
Publishing your Infographic
You have researched your target market and planned out a relevant and effective infographic with highly engaging images for infographics. You have hired a designer to take your images and to display them aesthetically on the infographic. You have also contracted an experienced content writer to prioritize the most important of data. Now, what do you do with this infographic?
Of course, you could publish it anywhere and everywhere. However, this strategy is unlikely to get you the results you want. Another important part of infographics is identifying your target audience and where they are most likely to see the infographic. There are many methods to getting your infographic in front of the right market including blogs, influencers, and social media. You can also partner with other businesses whose customers might benefit from the infographic. Also optimizing your infographics with share tabs and social plugins will help readers share the images with their coworkers and peers.
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Images for infographics are the base product of your infographic marketing materials. This guide will assist you in choosing the right photos, getting the most use out of your content and caption space, and ensuring that your infographics are visually and SEO optimized for the best marketing results.