An infographic is a visual representation of information or data. It combines the words information and graphic and includes a collection of imagery, charts, and text that lends to understanding a particular topic quickly and clearly. Infographics have become an increasingly popular marketing tool over the past decade and can be helpful for:
- Displaying research findings
- Raising awareness about an issue or cause
- Explaining complex information or processes
- Comparing and contrasting options
- Summarizing long content
The goal of an infographic is not only to inform but also engage. Bright colors, illustrated characters, and bold text is more likely to grab a reader’s attention compared to text on a page. Marketers use infographics to educate their audience about their business, boost social sharing and brand awareness as visuals are highly shareable, and list resources, ideas, and tips for the consumer.
Types of infographics
There are many types of infographics that can represent different types of data, including:
- Statistical: Uses a variety of data visualizations such as pie charts, bar charts, and line graphs. A statistical infographic is best used for displaying survey results or sharing important statistics as it focuses more on numbers, charts, and data.
- Informational: Typically the most text heavy. An informational infographic is best used for a niche topic or a topic that is new and unfamiliar.
- Timeline: Visualizes information over time. A central timeline is filled with dates and events branching out from it using icons, photos, or labels.
- Process: Provides an overview of the steps within a process.The layout is typically straightforward and easy to follow.
- Geographic: Uses maps as the focus in order to show data concerning population information, location-based information, or large sets of data.
- Comparison: Uses a side-by-side comparison template to compare and contrast options or show pros and cons.
- Hierarchical: Helps visualize hierarchies or organizations with a template such as a flowchart.
- List: Used to share a list of resources, collection of tips, or a list of examples in an engaging way.
- Resume: Takes the information of a resume and uses charts and visualizations to make the information seem more appealing and allow the candidate to stand out.
How to create an infographic
When creating an infographic, it’s important to know who the target audience is in order to choose the data and how it’s visualized. Once the audience is identified, content and relevant data is collected. This data can be original data or third-party data. If it’s third-party data, the source must be cited.
The next step involves choosing an infographic template appropriate for the data. Popular templates include side-by-side comparison, flowchart, timeline, graph based, and information heavy. There are a lot of free templates available through websites such as Hubspot and Canva. Once a template is chosen, the data is plugged in and the infographic is customized to the liking of the creator. When all data, citations, graphics, and formatting is finished, the infographic is ready to be published.