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Infographics have become more popular as people gravitate toward online visual content. According to HubSpot49% of marketers rate visual marketing as “very important” to their marketing strategy. Infographics are engaging and effective for branding and sales because combining words and images can make it easier for people to remember the details you share. This guide tells you all you need to know about the creation, use, and importance of infographics.

What Is an Infographic?

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An infographic is a visual representation of information. It uses text, charts, images, icons, and other elements to present interesting information that’s easy to read and understand quickly. Infographics share comprehensive data stories on a subject or topic. They can cover both data-heavy topics with statistics and subjective topics, like what type of bedding to choose for your new room or where to take a vacation.

The primary purpose of an infographic is to explore a concept in more complex detail. They educate viewers about a certain topic to encourage them to make their own decisions about the information when they reach the end of the graphic. This is in contrast to an article or blog post that may tell the reader what they should think or feel about the topic at the end of the piece.

What Are the Types of Infographics?

There are two primary types of infographics:

  • Static: These infographics function like still images. When you post them and share them, they don’t change, no matter who’s looking at them or where they appear online.
  • Interactive: These infographics are dynamic, more like movies or GIFs. They can change and potentially even present different information depending on who’s viewing them or where they’re hosted.

There is no right or wrong choice for an infographic. It’s just a matter of deciding which one better illustrates the story you want to tell.

What Are the Elements of an Infographic?

Infographics can differ widely, but they typically combine some form of the same elements. These include:

  • Charts and graphs: Infographics that share specific, numerical data may include charts and graphs as proof of the information’s legitimacy and to make them easier to understand.
  • Facts and statistics: Infographics rely on facts and figures to drive the narrative to help readers understand the content and context. They also help viewers draw a conclusion about the presented information.
  • Graphics: Many infographics use images, illustrations, or other visual elements to provide additional context and aesthetic design.
  • Sources: Infographics that pull information from multiple sources typically contain a mini bibliography at the bottom to share the origin of the data and facts. Interactive infographics may link back to the original source.
  • Text: Infographics use titles, captions, blurbs, and numbers to convey parts of the larger data story.

Why Should You Use Infographics?

There are multiple benefits for creating and using infographics in your content marketing strategy. They allow brands to present information in a user-friendly format. The images drive traffic by bringing people to your site, and their eye-catching designs help keep an audience browsing and returning for more information. Infographics are also helpful for information processing and retention. FastCompany speculates people retain only 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. However, people remember 80% of what they see.

It’s also easier to make sense of visual materials more quickly. Visual processing can take place faster than other types, like auditory processing. With people’s attention spans shrinking, you have a smaller window to capture an audience’s attention. Using visuals, like infographics, can help.

When Should You Use Infographics?

Infographics tell a complete story so you can use them almost anywhere on any topic. Some common content uses include:

  • Blog posts
  • Brochures
  • Case studies
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Social media posts

They cover a broad range of topics, but some helpful ones for brands and businesses include:

  • Illustrating a historical timeline
  • Highlighting important statistics
  • Increasing awareness of an issue
  • Providing tips
  • Sharing step-by-step instructions
  • Generating interest for an event

Infographics are popular for social platforms, like Pinterest, because they focus on viewing and sharing visual media.

In What Industries Can You Use Infographics?

Infographics can be viable content options in any industry, not just general business. Brands and companies across fields use them to share stories and attract customers because they’re so adaptable. Some industries that benefit from the use of infographics include:

  • Advertising
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Law
  • Media
  • Music
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Travel

Sources To Help You Get Data for Infographics

There are many places you can collect source data for your infographic facts and statistics. The type of data you’re researching may influence where you look for information. Consider options for figures like:

Company Data

If your company runs studies, conducts interviews, or collects industry data, your own files can be a good starting point for sourcing data. Consider ongoing studies and historical or archived projects. You may combine company data with information from other sources to get a broader picture of a specific topic.

Content Marketing Data

Many companies in the industry conduct studies and research topics related to the content marketing field. Some that publish their findings for public research include the Content Marketing Institute and HubSpot. These sources may include information about search engine optimization (SEO), public response to content marketing, or social media statistics.

Crime Data

The Bureau of Justice Statistics provides information about correctional facilities, arrests, law enforcement, crime lab data, and other statistics about crime in the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Crime Statistics website is another source for this type of data. You may use crime data when creating an infographic about a geographic location or safety products.

Drug Data

Drug data may include information related to legal or illegal drug use and medications. This can help illustrate points about medical products or the state of health or addiction in a specific geographic area. Use sources like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National institute on Drug Abuse to get the most accurate information on these topics.

Entertainment Data

Entertainment data can include information about film, television, music, video games, and celebrities. It’s important to review sources to make sure they’re factual rather than referencing gossip or opinion sites. Consider sources like the Million Song DatasetNPD, or Nielsen.

Environmental Data

For information about the climate, weather, natural resources, and conservation, consider sources such as:

Government and World Data

The United States government provides a variety of sites that help you find information about public policy and issues that affect the country’s citizens. They also provide information about similar topics around the world. For data on the economy, geography, history, transportation, and the population, consider sources like the U.S. Census BureauData.gov, or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook.

Health Data

Health care institutions and the U.S. government provide resources to understand illness and care around the country and the world. You can research topics such as viruses, treatments, and geographic life expectancy. Consider sources like Healthdata.gov, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Human Rights Data

Human rights data includes topics like social justice, international relations, and worldwide human causes. Law schools and universities are helpful places to locate this type of information. Consider sources like Harvard Law School, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and the Armed Conflict Database from Uppsala University.

Labor and Employment Data

The U.S. government provides information about the country’s workforce. You can find data about unemployment, salaries, and benefits. Consider sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Political Data

Political data is like government data but focuses more on the political process and candidates rather than the state of the country. Information about elections, campaigns, and presidential approval ratings fit in this category. Consider sources like Gallup, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and Crowdpac for political information.

Social Data

Social data includes information about internet searches, social media habits, and the ways people conduct themselves online. Tech and social media giants may publish and share information about their program and app populations. Use sources like Google Trends or Social Mention to collect this data.

Travel and Transportation Data

The U.S. Government and travel organizations track information about movement around the country and the world. The category contains information about tourism, infrastructure, and transportation systems. Consider sources like the Bureau of Transportation Statistics or the U.S. Travel Association for this data.

Additional Data Sources

Some websites pull datasets from around the internet on multiple topics. University and government data centers have information that’s accessible to the public. You can find resources for historical records and talk to subject matter experts to help tell your stories. Consider sites like Google Public DataKnoema and Statista for these purposes.

How Much Does It Cost To Make an Infographic?

The cost of an infographic depends on who you’re choosing or hiring to make it and how professional you want it to look. You can make infographics yourself using a free online program like Canva or a template service. Freelance designers on gig websites like Fiverr may charge as little as $5 for a design, while others may ask for closer to $500 for the service.

But these prices and services may not include the full scope of creating the graphic. At CopyPress, we charge around $2,500 for a basic, static infographic. This price includes all the steps in the development process, from topic ideation to publication. You provide feedback about the design and content along the way and we make everything fit your brand to appeal to leads and customers. Ready to start the process? Contact CopyPress to get your customized infographic estimate.

How Long Does It Take To Make an Infographic?

Similar to the cost, the time to complete an infographic depends on the quality you want and the size of the team working on the project. A single freelancer may create a carbon copy infographic in one afternoon. A meticulous graphic designer may take months to prepare a piece. The average timeline for infographic design at CopyPress and most content agencies is one month, four weeks, from idea creation to publication. We provide multiple levels of review and approval throughout this timeframe to keep the process transparent and to deliver a product that fits all your specifications.

What To Look For in an Infographic Design

Whether you’re creating the infographic yourself, hiring a freelancer, or working with an agency, it can help to have a checklist to make sure you’re producing the most quality graphics for your audience. Some questions to ask and things to consider when planning and reviewing your designs include:

Presentation

Presentation focuses on how the viewer or reader perceives the information. How long does it take to understand the information? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Can someone understand the point at first glance without too much hard thinking?

Information Quality

Information quality relates to the research you do and sources you choose. Is the information interesting? Is it accurate? Can you back up your data with sources?

Interest

Interest is most concerned with the visual appeal of the infographic. Are the elements appealing? Do the photos, vectors, and illustrations fit the theme of the design? Are they relevant to the story you’re trying to tell?

Readability and Flow

Readability and flow focus on the directionality, placement, and comprehension of the design. Is the text easy to read? Is it simple enough for everyone to understand? Does the layout move logically so that you arrive at each new piece of information in sequential order?

Shareability

Shareability relates to how easy it is to distribute the infographic online so it reaches the largest audience possible, and with ease. Is the file size right for uploading and viewing online? Can you upload the image or document to social media? Does the finished product look like content people want to share?

Infographic vs. Data Visualization

Infographics and data visualizations are similar, but have distinct purposes. Though some people use the terms interchangeably, there are unique properties for each one. Data visualizations represent a specific set of numerical data. They focus on a single set of statistics to answer a single question. It may be easy to generate data visualizations automatically into charts, graphs, or plots. They require minimal customizations to make them look polished.

In contrast, infographics show a comprehensive collection of information in a visual format. They use multiple sources and datasets to answer more than one question about the same topic or to summarize a concept. Infographics may include multiple data visualizations within them, along with blurbs, quotes, or text for additional explanations.

How To Design Infographics

Creating infographics is about more than just graphic design. There are many other steps involved in planning, writing, and revising to get to the published product. Follow these steps to learn all the individual tasks that go into making an infographic:

1. Conduct Topic Ideation

There are many options for creating effective infographics for your industry. Conducting a topic ideation session with your team, agency, or freelancer can help the design team truly understand the goal and reasoning for creating the image. Doing topic ideation can also help to make sure that your infographic ideas align with your sales and marketing goals.

2. Do Research

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you can begin your research. It’s important to have an editorial team or agency that understands the difference between fact and opinion, and how to source the most accurate information. This helps maintain the bonds of trust and loyalty your brand creates with its customers. Make sure you’re vetting your sources and double-checking your information.

Using your own data and subject matter experts can help assure that you’re promoting the most up-to-date facts to your audience. When researching, it may be helpful to collect more information than you need for the infographic and then pare it down as you work through the rest of the design steps.

3. Choose a Design Platform

Before you create content, know which program you intend to use to design the final infographic. This can help you in subsequent stages to create images and written copy that integrate with the program. You may choose online software with templates, such as Canva, a graphic design program like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, or a program like Microsoft PowerPoint. The software you choose may depend on your design experience, accessibility, or cost.

4. Start Writing

Infographic content may differ from other written content pieces. It needs the right balance between statistics, data, and narrative message. You may also use persuasion if the infographic includes a call to action. Using trained copywriters can help with this because they understand how to find the right ratio of facts and a story to make the infographic flow from start to finish.

5. Create a Wireframe

Wireframe is a technical term for a visual project outline. This is the first step in the actual design process. It helps you understand what the finished product may look like when it’s done. Wireframe design may take a few stages and revisions before you get the one you want. The designer may not initially understand the direction of the infographic, and may add elements you’d rather eliminate.

This may be less likely if the designers take part in the project from the ideation phase so they truly understand the direction of the project. This can increase the chances of shortening the wireframe phase.

6. Develop the Design

After wireframe approval, you can start the traditional design process. This is the stage where the actual infographic takes shape. All the data and text combine with the visual elements to create the piece your audience sees when they visit your website, social media, or host location. Graphic designers use their skills, stock photos, and other digital creative tools to develop the exact piece for which you’re looking.

7. Make Necessary Revisions

It’s important to review and edit your design closely before you publish it. The tiniest detail on a polished infographic could be the difference between getting or not getting a conversion. With an entire team on the project from start to finish, the review and revisions period may take just a few days before your content is ready to publish. Going through longer rounds of editing during the writing stage and the wireframe stage can make the revision process go faster. Think of the revision stage as quality assurance. It’s about checking for small mistakes rather than completing large content overhauls.

Tips for Designing an Infographic

Use these tips to help you when designing your infographic:

Pay Attention to Organization

Infographics present a lot of information, so organization is important. If you cover too broad a topic and include facts that don’t relate to one another, it might confuse your audience. Consider the story you’re trying to tell with your infographic from start to finish and review it for flow. Are all your pieces of data and blurbs necessary to tell the story? Can you remove any and have the infographic still make sense? Delete any unnecessary parts to give a more succinct overview of your topic.

Save Your Content

When you’re working on a digital creative project, save your work often. Saving repeatedly throughout the process can help preserve your work in the event of a computer glitch, internet outage, or another technical issue. Consider saving your work in multiple locations and formats, including on your device and in the cloud. This allows you to have a backup in case the original file becomes corrupted. Saving in multiple places and formats also helps if you need to revert to a previous version of your work.

In the digital world where readers have shorter attention spans, infographics are helpful ways to tell your stories. Your interesting statistics and narrative can help make the visuals memorable for your visitors and turn them into brand-loyal customers or readers.

If you want to learn more about infographics, visit our infographics hub on CopyPress.com.

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