Infographics have become a mainstay in marketing these days. They are here and they are a critical piece of marketing. Yet if you are struggling like I am with the creation of your infographics, maybe it’s time to discern what tips and tricks help with creating highly visual, viral infographics. The painful truth is; I really suck at creating beautiful infographics. However. I have set my mind to change that. How about you?
As a Marketing Coach and consultant, I was asked to help a new client with their content marketing. Content marketing encompasses a wide range of channels. (to see a complete list check out the resources below). On the whole, we are familiar with the mainstays – blogging, white papers, case studies, email marketing, and infographics- to name a few.
One key factor of content marketing I rarely see mentioned is that to be most effective, multiple vehicles should be used across all of your platforms. Indeed, we have heard it recommended that you should re-purpose old content as often as you can. I know that I reuse content in several ways that utilize multiple platforms.
- I often use phrases from older blogs in my newer blogs.
- Take a video and turn into a blog.
- Take a blog and turn it into a video or podcast.
- In BNI meetings, I use my content all the time, to tell my story to a group of professionals.
- I have several blogs that I’ve thought would be great in another format, i.e. an expanded eBook, a white paper, etc.
- My best content gets shared in my email newsletters.
Re-purposing the blog: 8 Tips to Figure Out Your Why
I wrote a blog in January 2016, 8 Tips to Figure out your Why. I have wanted to turn this into an info-graphic for a while. It kept calling me, telling me – I’m supposed to be an infographic. Yet something was holding me back from doing that.
The first time I ever attempted to create an infographic was in 2013. I was working on my very first Social Media certification. At that time I found it particularly challenging. As things are often difficult the first time you attempt them, I was not surprised. Check out my 1st info-graphic here, created on PiktoChart.
Over the years, I have created a few other infographics. Some of them were beautifully created. Others I’d rather not talk about. This has been a format (graphically) I have not “deep-dived” into.
Here are a few of those- and I’m surprised at how few I’ve actually done.
From left to right:
- ‘Are you a bad statistic’ – one of my very first and the one I’d rather not mention; created in PiktoChart.
- ‘Setting the Mood’ made in Fotojet.
- ‘Who contributes…’
- ‘Data Loss….’ &
- ‘Accountability’ made in Canva.
New Creation Tool Options:
Recently, the tools we can use to create graphics have gotten more prolific and more sophisticated. As these new tools became available, I started adopting these easier to use platforms.
Canva is my current go-to for creating graphics. I’ve attempted to create infographics there but felt I haven’t always been successful. Creating 1 square piece of social media graphics I understand; this is easy for me to do. But to start putting squares together, or to create a visual of a larger piece of information that needs to be communicated, isn’t as easy to do as I would have expected.
I wondered if it was the software that I was using. Or was it that I lacked a basic understanding of the rules or guidelines for creating beautiful infographics? I knew that the time factor was a big issue. It takes longer to gather the data and visuals for multiple blocks of information, rather than a single block of information. It was time to delve into these areas to find a greater mastery of this vehicle.
Discovering Best Practices – Adding Extreme Value
I started by looking at articles with topics like ‘what makes a great infographic’, ‘best practices for creating beautiful infographics’, etc. I have included in the resources several articles on infographics that I used during this process.
It seems that it’s critical to have a plan, pick a theme, gather all the data, and design a layout that is straight to the point and concise. And yes, it takes some time to do all of this. It definitely isn’t a quick endeavor. The last piece of advice I garnered was that it must have value. Ding Ding. 💡 ❗ YES!
The Forbes article, What is Content Marketing, was my epiphany moment. Could this be my missing piece? Which really stymies me, because this is one of my defining core beliefs for all my content.
It must have Extreme value to the target audience.
This made me revisit the infographics that I was trying to create for this experiment. Below are the XX graphic tools I used to create my infographic, with a review of each.
I decided to look at several pieces of software to find out the options and determine where the disconnect is. I will be using the blog previously mentioned as my test.
The Creation Tool Platforms
The platforms I choose to test out were Vennpage, PiktoChart, Easel.ly & Visme.
Of these 4, PiktoChart was the only one I had previously used. See above infographic (Setting the Mood).
Freely download either a png or jpg
I started out with Vennpage for this project. The first plus for me was that there are examples to inspire me. (find these examples under the Gallery menu item.)
To get started you have 5 choices to create your graphics:
Of these, the first 2 stand out for me as different options. Each of these has several types of projects to select from. See example:
My analytical mind was impressed with the categories in the menu dropdown options. Since the creative side was having difficulty understanding what type of information can go into an infographic, this drop down definitely addresses this. Check out the Vennpage Infographic options.
Several of these templates are actual guides with tips and instructions scattered throughout. Definitely worth checking out.
Because my chosen blog for this example is Informational, I used this type of template to create my infographic.
I didn’t try to download until I was finished with this project. I noticed that I was unable to download unless I upgraded.
Sharing was a limited option – I was not able to ‘Share Privately’; ‘Sharing Publicly’ had to be placed on VennPage’s public page, before I could share to one of my social media platforms. The social media platform choices are Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.
This site was one I had used previously.
PiktoChart dashboard breaks down your choices into 3 categories:
Your choices once you land on the Infographic dashboard are Free templates & Pro templates. There are approximately 11 basic templates to choose from in the free options. In the Pro option, the choices are many.
When it came time to download, I was given a couple of options. To remove the watermark it required upgrading to a monthly/annual fee.
The Easelly website was simple with a nice editor and examples created by other users and posted to the gallery labeled ‘Public Visuals’.
In the editor, there is a selection of free themes and elements, the basics to get you started. Upgrading gives you access to a much larger selection.
At first glance, Visme has a minimalist dashboard. A quick click on the ‘Create New Visme’ and it was just like the TV premiere of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. From black/white (Minimalist) to Living color.
As you expand each section, your options are varied. The whole look of this was clean, much more than any of the other websites. It was great on my senses and without the jumble, it was easier to make selections.
I was most impressed with their Ad Banner section. Their Presentation section looked like it was well developed also. Nevertheless, this article is about infographics. At first glance, their selections seemed jumbled. It turns out there are sections, the challenge was scrolling down to them. When I scrolled down, I found sections named: ‘Featured’, ‘Process’, ‘Timeline’, ‘Informational’, ‘Hierarchial’, ‘How to’, ‘Anatomical’, ‘Business’, ‘Sales & Marketing’, ‘Non-Profit’, ‘Health & Medical’, ‘Education’, ‘Resume’, ‘Science & Technology’. This user would recommend having a menu for these. They did have a search box and several hashtag options to get you started.
What else is out there:
There were many options to choose from and this researcher/writer has a life, so I would love to hear what you use and why you like it.
My final thoughts:
And here are the infographics I created: From left to right: Blue infographic made in VennPage; Aqua marble background infographic in Easel.ly; Pink strip block/Aqua Block made in PiktoChart
An alternate option, especially if you are not creatively inclined or just out of time is hiring someone. Here are a few options:
I also recommend doing a local search, always start with your local business resources. Often an infographic designer will have other names, such as Digital Marketing, Graphic Designer, Brand Manager, etc.
My Resources for Creating Beautiful Viral Infographics
These are the resources I used to determine if I was following the right guidelines.
Content Marketing Institute – How to Create a Best-in-Class Infographic Series in 6 Steps
Vennpage – The Ultimate Infographic Design Guide: 13 Tricks For Better Designs
Cleverism – The Ultimate Guide to Infographic Marketing
Social Sorted – Beginner’s Guide To Creating Images For Social Media [Infographic]
Forbes – What Is Content Marketing?