What is an infographic and why are they important? – WAU
Infographic is a content that unites verbal and visual information, transmitting concepts more quickly and easily, ensuring greater understanding for the reader. Infographics usually contain illustrations, graphics, sounds, GIFs and other types of media.
The creation of infographics can seem like a challenge, after all, it is necessary to mix attractive design with quality content. But don’t worry, it’s much simpler than it looks!
But first, in order for you to be able to unravel the mysteries behind the creation of infographics, you must first understand why they have become a worldwide trend.
The use and placement of these materials has grown exponentially in recent years, more precisely, since 2011, when searches for the topic increased by around 800%.
The reason for this to happen was the perception that, in digital environments, the most objective and easy to be absorbed contents stand out.
After this discovery, the production of these materials became a priority in many Digital Marketing strategies. By the way, infographics are 30 times more apt to be read compared to running texts.
Sensational, isn’t it?
Now that you understand the context of the rise of infographics, check out what the other points covered in our infographics guide will be:
What is an infographic?
Infographics are visual content that use both verbal and non-verbal texts – which can vary between images, illustrations, pictograms, etc.
It is a perfect blend of text, visuals and design, in which one complements the other, with the aim of always improving the reader’s understanding.
Therefore, do not think that only textual information is responsible for transmitting knowledge, since we are referring to a joint work of these elements.
In practice, we see infographics in various media present in our daily lives. In the newspaper we read during breakfast, in the news, books and especially on the internet (in ebooks, websites and social networks).
The internet is made of information and when the information we want to transmit is not so attractive, or has a slightly higher level of complexity, infographics are the perfect way to inform and attract the user’s attention.
What are the benefits of betting on infographics?
We have already mentioned here that this is a trend and that it is highly attractive content, right?
If you still need more reasons to adopt infographics, check out this list:
- Infographics represent statistical data in a way more intuitive and easier to consume, since they translate or expose numbers in a more pleasant way, not least because there is nothing more intimidating than lines and more lines of data and incomprehensible graphs;
- They have an absurd potential to become viral in view of its attractiveness and ease of sharing;
- Because of its viral nature, more people will be redirected to your page, ensuring greater opportunities to reach higher search engine positions;
- The arrangement of elements in this type of material facilitates a more dynamic reading, because each piece of information has its own space in the piece, making it easier to find;
- Infographics can increase your website traffic by 12%;
- They can also be great branding tools, since you can – and should – use them to reinforce your brand identity.
What visual aids are used?
For the creation of infographics, some visual concepts must be understood.
Infographics use different visual languages in order to transmit information clearly and quickly.
Understand what they are and when to use these languages:
We use verbal language when the graphic / imagery representation of one of the items in the infographic becomes too complex or simply less efficient.
Instead of taking the risk of trying to represent something in a way that can be misinterpreted or misunderstood, the corresponding word is used and this can be written or spoken text (in the case of a video infographic with voiceover).
This feature is used when what you want to represent is very broad or abstract. Contrary to popular belief, it is not because it is an infographic that everything in it needs to be an image.
Commonly, verbal language is used in titles, legends, text blocks, values and quantities (among other numerical information).
When using this language, avoid very long texts.
In infographics, texts have the function of aiding comprehension, and not of passing on the complete message.
If not, it would not be an infographic, but a page of book with figures.
In this category we can find elements that represent abstract concepts like arrows indicating directions, elements that indicate movement (like lines used to indicate that an object is moving, like the example that follows).
Elements such as graphs, tables, diagrams, lines, etc. also fall into this category.
The pictorial language encompasses more literal representations of concrete objects in the physical world.
They can be photographic and realistic representations (as in the example given on the ship) but they can also be very synthetic and iconic illustrative representations.
It is important to remember that when we talk about visual representations, especially in the less literal ones, be very careful because different people interpret different things.
These interpretations are influenced by several factors, such as cultural difference and the context itself.
This means that we should not use our own values and take them as absolutes.
If you show an icon that represents a butterfly to someone and that person says that it looks like a car engine to them, you must rethink the image you chose to represent your butterfly.
Now that we know all about it, let’s move on to the next step!
What are the types of Infographics?
With the vastness of new media emerging in the digital world every day, infographics also take on new forms and new platforms.
This allows us to explore several resources for the best transmission of information.
There are basically three types of infographics: static, animated and interactive.
Although infographics are more easily found, this does not mean that they are less laborious to execute.
When the infographic is just a static image, it becomes even more challenging to express and define the information.
The data needs to be well organized and, there is usually a lot of textual information in static infographics.
See the example:
This infographic was made to explain the complexity of the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. For this, the ship itself was illustrated so that each part could be explained.
Note that on the inside, the cut of the ship was illustrated or a photo of the interior accompanies the text information.
Infographics like this need to be very well organized so they don’t get confused. The sources, the spacing and vents must be very balanced.
Too many details to worry about.
Animated infographics are a widely used resource. In them, through mobility, information can be better divided and organized.
Taking the aircraft carrier’s infographic as an example, if it were animated in the form of a video, the entire text content could be replaced by voiceover.
The aircraft carrier parts could be shown in linear steps.
3D animation features could be used to show the interior of the ship, for example.
All of this would facilitate the understanding of the final content.
The problems are the technical difficulties in the execution of this material.
Professionals who master 3D animation and modeling are expensive and an infographic with a very high level of complexity can cost a lot of money.
However, animated infographics don’t have to be that complex. See the example:
In this infographic video, the explanatory phrase is combined with animated visual resources to explain the growth of social networks.
In this example of how to make an infographic, the theme is the same, but this time without voiceover, just written data to be read, aided by animation.
The examples above (made by the amazing infographics site Pictoline) are animated gifs that explain different themes.
Gifs generate high engagement on social networks, learn more about making Gifs by clicking here.
This type of infographic also requires an advanced technical level, since it will involve, in addition to animations, programming knowledge.
The infographic must be manipulable by the user, so that he can “walk” through the infographic information on his own.
SUPERINTERESSANTE magazine – which is very important in this regard – has some excellent interactive infographics, like what can be accessed by clicking here.
How to make an infographic?
Now that you have learned about the wonderful world of infographics, the long awaited time has come to know our step by step!
1. Define your goals
Have you noticed that when we don’t set a goal, in any situation, we tend not to move?
This is not only useful for life in general, but also for the creation of infographics, as it is essential to know what results you want to achieve and, perhaps even more important: why and for whom to produce such material?
To find the answer to this question, it is also necessary to obtain the following answers:
Who is my persona?
The definition of persona who should contact your infographic should be a priority, after all, this data will determine the type of approach, the language to be used, the visual style and much more.
Learn how to create your persona right now with the Persona Creation Guide:
What doubt does my content have to solve?
Then, understanding what problem you would like to solve is one of the bases for developing the rest of the material, because only then will you know what to write about and, even better, will be able to reflect if the theme of the content is, in fact, relevant to your persona .
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time developing an incredible infographic that just doesn’t interest anyone, do you agree?
What return do I want with this material?
This questioning goes even beyond the creation of content, since it relates to your entire digital marketing strategy.
So, do not worry about spending a little more time thinking about the answer and defining the objectives with the infographic, as it is essential that it is well aligned with your proposal and business.
Where will it run?
The answer to that question is intrinsically related to your strategy and your persona.
Through it, you will define the most suitable platforms to transmit your material, in order to gain engagement from the public and, also, to determine the format of your infographic.
2. Collect data, many of them
Infographics are considered to be rich materials, so they need to contain interesting, current and, above all, reliable information and data.
So, the next step is to search for this information on the web. Consult sites that are references in the proposed theme, research – such as those produced by Inteligência Websites Are Us – and also be sure to extract data from foreign sites.
At that moment, feel free to get as much information as you like, fill pages and pages of references and bookmark thousands of sites, as this will only help you to have an even broader understanding on the subject, in addition to facilitating the crossing of data and the verification of doubtful information.
Tip: do not forget to always write down what are the sources of each information, many infographics expose their research sources in the footer, giving credibility to the piece and its brand.
3. Select and write
It’s time to let go!
Do you remember all that incredible data and numbers?
So, it is necessary to select among them the best, based on which ones suit your proposal and which are more interesting for your persona.
Also eliminate data that is very similar, the least current and those that do not have as much impact as our goal with the infographic is draw attention.
That done, get ready to fit that information into small blocks of text, in addition to creating a memorable title.
Bet on words that convey the idea of something new, amazing.
4. Make an outline
Like any artist, before picking up the brush – or the mouse – you need to sketch your final art.
That way, define the place where each information and visual element will fit. If you prefer, even make variations and see which one you like best.
This is an extremely important step, as you will be able to define in advance the information hierarchy, arrangement of some elements, the style and many other particularities of your material.
In addition, you will be able to plan more carefully every detail of the piece, avoiding silly mistakes and ensuring the assertiveness of your content.
5. Create your infographic! (finally)
The time has come to bring your infographic to life! But first you must choose how you want to do it.
There are two options: (1) use graphic design software, such as Adobe’s, or (2) use free editing tools.
Regardless of how you decide to proceed, you must define some design characteristics of your material, such as:
- Layout: In the case of templates, there is not much to do about the layout. But for those who choose to build their layout from scratch, it is necessary to think of a natural flow of information, which is intuitive and clear to the reader. To help in this mission, a good way out is to use grids.
- Use of colors: It is important that you follow the institutional color palette in order to ensure a cohesion between your content and your brand.
- Typography: Select a font that has good readability and that is well related to the style of the infographic. That is, if your material follows a more stripped down path, why not invest in a source that represents that same idea?
- Size: This element will depend on where you will publish your piece – on Facebook or your own blog, for example -. Therefore, pay attention to the sizes most used in this medium and those that guarantee greater legibility.
- Illustrations: Now that you have a visualization of what your infographic would look like, think about what types of visual elements you would like in it. You can use pictograms, icons, vector illustrations, photographs and also GIF’s!
- Breath: The breathing area in the design starts from the idea of leaving some spaces blank or without elements, so that there is an adequate distance between each one of them. This allows information to jump when looking more easily.
6. Review and test
In the final stretch of the creation process, we have the review and testing stage. Often ignored, this is an essential phase for the success of any and all content. After all, thinking that we don’t make mistakes is the first one, do you agree?
That is why, read and reread as many times as needed, check if all the texts and data are correct, if the research sources have been entered, if it is pleasing to the eye and if the infographic performs well on different devices.
7. Generate traffic and leads
After all the previous steps have been completed, all that remains is to insert a call to action – or call to action – directing your persona to what they should do next.
Would you read a blog post? Download an eBook? Share the material on social networks?
You will define this according to your strategy objectives, outlined in the first step of this guide.
A, and don’t forget, advertise and promote your infographic on social media. The engagement of your audience in sharing the material can leverage your results and surprise you!
Did you like our walkthrough? Then also check out our metalinguistic infographic on how to make an infographic:
What are the best tools to create infographics?
Just as we talked about in step number 5, you can make your infographics with the help of free online tools, for example:
To use any of them, just register, select a layout that has more to do with your content and insert the information. After that, just adjust your preferences and voila!
What are the best tips for making infographics?
To give you a boost throughout this whole process, we have selected some bonus tips to help you produce the best infographic possible. Check out:
- There is no standard format for infographics. At the same time, for the piece to be better suited to different media, the ideal is that it is, at most, 700 pixels wide.
- When looking for icons and pictograms to insert in your material, you can use Freepik. And the best: it is free!
- Use embed codes so that your infographic is automatically incorporated into your blog. That way, you can also disclose the social network in which the content was posted and, on top of that, you avoid having to post the same material several times on different platforms.
I hope this article was useful for you to learn how to make an infographic and I hope to see several infographics created by you in the comments. Oh, and be sure to check out our infographic on the Customer Journey, both to get ideas and to understand how the consumer will get to your business!
And if you want to learn more about digital marketing, check out the courses at WAU University!
Any doubt I am available. A hug!