Why Infographics? Because they are in, and for a number of reasons that cannot be ignored. Infographics are images that contain information, and even when they are for your business, today’s infographics have come a long way from showing simplistic charts and diagrams.
Images are pleasing to the eye, which is why successful blogs often include images with their text based content. Images can be posted easily on social media sites like Facebook, and a well-designed infographic can frequently create more user engagement than a lengthy post. This usually results in more traffic and, therefore, more customers. It is also easy for readers to scan infographics when they are in a hurry, or to simply save the image for later.
Creative infographics on any subject will draw admirers even from outside of your niche who will appreciate the aestheticism involved. If you can generate this kind of attention, you could very well pave the way for some much needed word of mouth publicity from unlikely sources.
There are a number of paid and free tools that can help you create stunning infographics for your business, and here are five of them. You should probably try each one of them to find out what suits you best, personally.
The part of the name after the period mark is the domain extension. In beta, currently, and absolutely free, this tool can really help you with your work even if you were never any good at creating visual art. You can use this tool on both Mac and PC. The canvas supports drag-and-drop and erase-and-insert facilities. You get templates and layouts to work with. Everything is intuitive and if you have the data ready, your infographic will be ready in no time. Just copy the code and embed on your site, or simply share your work on your Facebook page. The professional look will speak volumes about your expertise even if you don’t believe you have any.
You can probably spot the domain extension by now. This site is severely limited as far as its templates are concerned (only 6 for a free account and 4 more if you pay), but with the additional features that it offers, you barely notice it. Among them are automatic color matching the moment you enter text or choose a chart – saves you a lot of headache if you are not the designer type. You can also directly export all your data from Excel spreadsheets. Spruce up your infographic with interactive charts, maps, your own uploaded images, and even videos.
As with easel.ly, you get an embed code and social sharing options. You can also download PDF or PNG formats if you have a paid account. If you are really good, your work may be listed amongst the featured infographics on Infogram – and that could be another, admittedly minor, way of generating traffic and creating reputation.
Finally, a familiar extension! And lots of interesting features too. Perhaps, the most significant of them is the option to try it out even without registration. The interface is like that of an image editor and you collaborate with your team in real time from anywhere in the world where there is Internet access. You can even leave notes and comments on the project – literally on it, in post-it style. You can also work offline when you download the Desktop package. There are paid and free options, so there is really no excuse to not try this one out.
You can insert live links with this one, and there’s a full featured (but with only 7 themes) free option as well. Again, no excuse to not try this out. Apart from the option of having hyperlinked texts and images, the most important feature of piktochart is that you can either trust the readymade templates if you are an amateur or let loose the artist in you and add numerous customizations. If your priority is to create unique infographics, this is probably the best option yet.
5. Many Eyes
There’s one indispensable part to every infographic, and that is, reliable data. In addition to the data that you have on your own business, you will often need exhaustive research material on the topics that you are creating the infographic on. Many Eyes will give you that, with its many ‘visualizations’, and constantly updated data that is contained in them. You can either use the visualizations as they are or, a better idea would be to combine what you have here with the any one of the other sites that we have listed and make your work both aesthetic and authoritative.
A similar option that you may want to explore is Google’s Public Data Explorer. You can use it like a search tool and compare data by inputting your query.
Useful Last Words
The tools that we have listed above are as good as your ability and intention to make use of them. However, infographics are actually more than sitting at a user friendly interface and creating a fancy graphic. Infographics are taken seriously by most viewers, and even cited as authoritative sources. Additionally, if you have loads of information packed in one image, you would probably want to make sure it does not look like blocks of colored text. That would be boring, and wouldn’t do your business any good at all.
Sometimes, you need to go back to the basics, and in case of infographics, the age old pen and paper approach may be the best. Sit at your desk and plan your image. If it makes sense to you and your colleagues and if you ENJOY looking at it, you are probably doing something right. Iron out any glitches that you find, and then go for the final version.
You could also look around for infographics from around the Web to draw inspiration from. Just because you are a business does not mean you cannot have a sense of humor. If your infographics are funny, informative and aesthetically designed, you will have many takers for them. They are supposed to be a relief from the usual text based content, and if you keep that in mind, you will certainly excel in creating amazing infographics to really put your business out there.