The first time I came across an infographic, I was intrigued. That time, I found infographics are informative summary of articles and at the same time, an entertaining way of presenting facts and figures. I mean how many people you know who are willing to read pages and pages of plain facts and figures not matter how much they love them? But infographics solve this problem by injecting fun into boring data.
Hang on. For the benefit of those of you who were asking “infographics?” or were going to Google for the meaning, well, here’s a simple description of what are infographics.
What are infographics
Infographics is short for information graphics and like the name suggests, is a visual representation of information or data. The aim is to present important information in a graphical format in order for these information to be shared or read quickly and clearly. A common example of infographic is the transit system maps or the shopping mall’s floor plan.
In this knowledge-hungry society of ours, information is plentiful and because of this, reading up on all these information sometimes can be challenging. We have tried to bookmark sites with the intention to read them later but we might never did. We have tried to key in information into our mobile devices but that was tedious work. At the end of the day, let’s admit that there is just too much information and too little time!
But an infographic changes this by incorporating data (even complex ones) and communicating them through a mixture of design and text. Kind of like a visual summary.
My designers have created a few infographics for this site. The following are a couple of them:
Benefits of including infographics on your blog
According to a study on Twitter’s users, tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. Doesn’t this statement makes you rethink about the importance of including images (in this case, infographics) especially in your posts?
But what exactly does an infographic do for your posts? Let’s find out.
Which would you think would your blog readers spend more time on? A blog with text only or one with text and images? Silly question but you get my point.
Infographics tend to grab attention faster and more effectively than text would. Why would you pick up that travel magazine rather than say, the accounting text book? Because it is more attractive.The same goes for your blog posts.
Not only is the infographic eye-catching, it also tends to be more persuasive in getting readers to continue reading and for first-time visitors to return. That’s the power infographic has over plain text posts!
Remember how companies used to release long wordy press releases. Admit it, most of the time, you did not finish the entire article and those times that you did, you only scanned through it.
Yes, we are a generation of “scanners” today. We scan (OK, you can call it speed reading if you like) through documents, blog posts, news articles, books and so on, to filter the interesting ones from the boring ones. We hardly ever read each word.
So, if you were to write long blog posts without adding any visuals, visitors do not find any motivation to return to your blog, even though your facts are well-researched and writing style is great. Images are good but in order to stand out, you should consider including infographics.
Infographics summarized the important facts in your post and arrange them in a single combination of images and text. Text are there to provide brief explanation of the points while images are more appealing and tend to stay in our minds longer than words. And that’s what we want our readers to do, right?
Infographics are by nature, easily shared.
With social networks being so popular and the current trend of sharing stuff over the Internet, infographics are probably your answer to having a viral post. People these days, have more ways to share what they like, e.g. Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Having an informative infographic that is beautifully designed will improve its chances of being shared. When it does, you can just sit back and watch your traffic increase exponentially!
Because infographic is so sharable, you can take advantage of this fact to increase traffic back to your site. On your infographic, you should always include your domain name, and perhaps your website’s logo and tagline. As it gets shared, your domain name is also shared. Curious readers or those who wants more information will naturally look up your website.
As a result, you get more traffic, increase your subscribers and have a higher SEO rating. Subsequently, your credibility too will increase because of the value that you are adding into your blog. Isn’t this what Google is looking for in their search engine algorithm?
While infographics are usually a plus for blogs, there are certain things that you should take note of when creating your infographics. These are mostly common sense but I felt that I should add them here as a reminder.
- If you decide to borrow existing free-to-use infographics, then do ensure that the facts and figures are up to date. Make an effort to check if the information still rings true. The last thing you want is to provide wrong information to your readers.
- Still on the borrowing of infographics topic, make sure the information stated in the infographic matches to the ones on your blog. You will do more harm to your reputation if what you wrote in your post differs from your infographic.
- The last is to ask yourself the question “Would I be interested in this infographic?”. If you find your infographic appealing, chances are so will your readers and vice versa.
Tools to create your own infographics
If you are like me, you will be wondering just how you can create your own infographics. While there are more infographics found on the Internet these days compared to a few years ago, it is not easy to find an infographic that matches exactly what you were going to say in your post and at the same time, is free-to-use! That’s because infographics are tailored to suit the information projected in the writer’s post, rather than being a generic image that is applicable to various topics like what images are.
So that leaves us limited choices which include creating our own infographics. Fortunately, instead of having to rely on our drawing skills alone, there are tools which can easily and quickly help us create a professional-looking infographic. From informative facts to online resume to social media habits, these tools can help you create your very own infographics. They are amazingly simple to use and most utilize the drag and drop concept to enable you to make your creative masterpiece.
These are some of them. Some of these tools are free while others require payments.
Though it is still a beta, Easel.ly is gaining popularity because of its easy and fun ways to create infographics. All the features that you can use are displayed on your artboard. There are quite a number of visual themes or as they put it, vhemes. Some are professional while others lend some fun to the whole infographic. Just drag and drop the vhemes onto your artboard and you are all set to create your masterpiece. You have to check them out to appreciate the vhemes!
Besides vhemes, you can also add objects (e.g. people, animals, food etc), change the background color, add shapes, insert text (i.e. title, header and body) or if you like, you can even upload your own images.
This is one of the largest community for infographics. Think of it as the Facebook for infographics. Users can use keywords to search for the infographics that they are interested in e.g. animals. If you find the one you like, you can also share it through your social networking websites like Facebook.
The company is committed to :bringing information and data visualization to the main stream”. What this means is that not only do they showcase infographics, they also serve as a marketplace and community for artists, publishers, designers, researchers and even the average you and me. These users are free to create and share their creations with other users through Visual.ly.
If you are not a designer but have interesting ideas, you can get in touch with the company and they may even be delighted to partner with you.
If you would like to create a timeline infographic, then check out this website. You can upload images or videos from other sites like YourTube or blogs or even music sites if you like. Dipity too, allows sharing via social networks.
There are 4 different timeline infographics, i.e.
- Original format – individual events can be linked to display additional information
- Flipbook – in a slideshow format
- Topics – there’s a list of topic that users can choose from
- Map – it incorporates Google Map
How about charts? This is what Infogr.am is great for besides creating infographics. They have a handful of templates that you can choose from the application. Basically, it works just about the same as the other tools mentioned above.
But what sets it apart is that it is introducing the world’s first video infographic creator soon! This should be really interesting and can help take infographic to the next level.
In this technology era, where blogs are competing for visitors’ attention with YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, bloggers need to be able to create something to attract visitors and to keep them coming back for more. Illustrations have proven to help draw the crowds in.
There’s no denying the importance of infographics in our blog posts. This concept reflects the way the new generation is reading. What is there not to love about infographics? I mean, can you think of a better way to highlight your content and at the same time, inject some fun into your post?
If you have yet to add some infographics into your blog, well, it is about time you consider this. With so many different infographic tools available, creating infographics is now much easier and less time consuming. Check out some of the tools shown above. Give them a try and see the difference.
If you need help in creating your own infographic, please get in touch with us. My designers and I will be delighted to help you…