Are you looking for a way to bump up the shareability and SEO juicyness for your content? Consider jumping with both feet into the world of Infographics.
You’ve probably seen them as you browse around the internet reading your favorite blogs. Those awesome images that are used in blog posts to display information or processes. You could be thinking “How can I get one of those for myself?”.
Here’s an important tip to ponder: With the ability to encourage readers to share your content AND link to it, you cannot deny the appeal that infographics have and the impact on your overall Social SEO strategy.
When you think about it, every business holds expertise in something that can be turned into an infographic. If you have a complicated topic (or even a boring one), creating an infographic on it is your way to spice it up and Say It With Pictures!
In this article, I am going to share with you a few of the options you have. You might be surprised to find out how easy it can be to get your hands on infographics.
What is an Infographic?
Also known as Data Visualizations, infographics bring your knowledge and ideas to life using a graphical and artistic style of representation.
How to create Infographics
The core infographic is made up of 3 parts: Visual, Content, and Knowledge.
There are 5 essential steps to a good infographic:
- Skeletons and Flowcharts – using words and arrows, and data grouped together with flowcharts will simplify the process and visually connect everything.
- A Color Scheme – colors convey a wide array of messages and helps to keep the reader confined inside the process described in the infographic.
- Graphics – Theme graphics define the visual design, and Reference graphics are typically icons and pointers.
- Research and Data – it’s important to thoroughly research the data that you’re presenting and it must be backed up by established facts.
- Knowledge – in the end, a good infographic will not confuse the reader or make them feel like an idiot. Your goal is to impart your knowledge in the simplest way possible.
As a matter of fact, here is an infographic of Infographics. Go figure.
Where to find data for the research process
How to create graphs and charts for your infographics – more than likely, you’ll want to put at least one graph or chart in your infographic image. If you don’t have desktop software to put these together, then there are some great free sites to help you with these. Peruse some sites at:
- Stat Planet http://www.sacmeq.org/statplanet/
- Hohli http://charts.hohli.com/
- Creately http://creately.com/
- Many Eyes – http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/
- Google Public Data http://www.google.com/publicdata
One particular article you might find helpful is “30 Places to Find Open Data on the Web“, when you’re in need of a place to find data to support your infographic design. Combine the data you find with the free sources to create graphs and charts, and by golly you’ve got yourself some great elements to put into your infographic.
What are Word Clouds?
Word clouds are attractive arrangements of randomly positioned words, where the most important words are bigger than the others. These are fun and easy to create. By far, Word Clouds are the quickest type of infographic for you to create.
- My Favorite is Tagxedo http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html
- Wordle http://www.wordle.net/
- WordItOut www.worditout.com
Here is my Tagxedo example I created simply by putting in the url of one of my own webpages. I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect as the result!
And here’s something I did in Wordle -
Ready-to-Customize Infographics templates
If you are just starting out, don’t have a big budget for marketing graphics, and feel like you want to tackle the job yourself, then using infographics templates can help speed up the process. While I found them to be slightly limited, I think they are still a great way to get your feet wet.
- Warrior Forum http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-special-offers-forum/499696-10-killer-infographics-dirt-cheap-brand-them-yourself-private-label-rights.html
- Photoshop users – Graphicriver templates http://graphicriver.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=infographics , and http://creattica.com/infographics/mix-and-match-infographic-templates-psd/63250
What about custom designed Professional Infographics services?
These are a fabulous resource for top-notch custom graphics that are created specifically for your project. Top-notch designs equal top dollar, but if it’s in your budget, then these will bring you the absolute best results in the form of traffic and backlinks, offering the best SEO benefits.
However…don’t fret, if you don’t have about a thousand dollars tucked away in your marketing budget for a custom infographic designed just for you, the nice thing about most of these sites is that they have a library of infographics for you to use or embed into your own content, just so long as you link back to them and/or the original company it was made for. To be certain, simply ask them via their contact info how you can use the infographics on their website or look for the answer in their FAQ section, as per Visual.ly: “Are these visualizations free to embed on any website? Yes! You can use our embed code to put visualizations you find on our site anywhere you can imagine. After all, the point of a visualization is to be seen! Simply hover over the graphic, click “embed”, choose the desired width and “copy code.”. “
Visit these other businesses for really creative Infographics services and designs you can snag/borrow:
- http://columnfivemedia.com/ ,
- http://www.tabletinfographics.com/ ,
Some even have a subscription where you get their latest designs emailed to you. How convenient!
Want a HOT IDEA? Embed a couple of these infographics into a PowerPoint presentation and upload it to Slideshare.net. Include your own content and images into the mix, close with links to your website and a call-to-action to sign up to your newsletter opt-in form, and VOILA…. you have just created an impactful and visually appealing piece of shareable content that feeds your list-building efforts, and can even be embedded back onto your own website.
Where are the Infographics Generators?
In researching this topic for the article, I kept looking for (and wondering about) some infographics generators. I thought for sure that some really smart people would have come up with a few of these by now, either online or desktop software.
I was hoping to find something that you put your data, information, and images into, select a style or template, and click a button to generate an infographic. I’m guessing it’s too much to ask for. One can hope, though. I still think someone, somewhere, will make it so…as Capt. Picard would say.
To my surprise, this market has not been tapped the way I thought it would have been. Either I just could not find them or they haven’t been created yet…with a few exceptions.
Intel has the “What About Me?” online generator that takes your social networks and creates a fantastic infographic based upon the data. It’s free, easy, and really quick. My three favorite words when it comes to creating graphics. Take a look below at the one I did for myself, which pretty much sums up all I talk about these days: Tech, Food, and Videos. Yep…that’s about right.
Along the same lines, be sure to check out Visually at http://visual.ly/ , an up-and-coming service that is gearing up to offer some cool functionality for creating your infographics online. Currently, the generator is only producing infographics about Facebook and Twitter data, but they are preparing for many more topics for you to build your infographics around.
“You no longer need expensive software, extensive design skills, or number crunching ability. We’re building a tool that will allow everyone to quickly and easily create professional quality designs with their own data.”
Pretty darn awesome!
Here’s an infographic I just created using their online builder. I selected a Twitter Faceoff between me and a randomly selected famous person that automatically changes with each page refresh. Very fun!
Inexpensive resources to get Infographics created
When you don’t want to even think about creating it yourself and you don’t want to pay a premium to have one created for you from the companies listed above, then try your hand at these options and see if you can find someone with the needed design skills.
How are others using Infographics?
I don’t know about you, but it always helps me to see what others have done in order to give me some ideas for my own. Take a look at these Infographics examples: http://pinterest.com/mashable/infographics/
Why use Infographics?
For starters, they are more likely to be shared via social media than a standard blog post or article, increasing the overall reach of your content. You can get this type of benefit even from infographics that are not original to you.
While it may be costly or time-consuming to create an infographic that is custom to you, the biggest impact of doing so can come from having your graphic and website linked to by a bazillion people (a slight exaggeration). If you have an original infographic on your hands that has valuable information for a wide variety of people, you can easily find yourself with tens of thousands of backlinks to your website. The SEO benefits alone could be well worth it!