Atwill Media
Infographics: What They Are and How To Use Them

Infographics: What They Are and How To Use Them

TL;DR is a popular internet abbreviation (meaning Too Long; Didn't Read) used when something is just too long and convoluted for the reader to bother to attempt to read.

Designed to be very easy-to-read, infographics usually have a mixture of fonts and numerous graphic elements to them. These elements can really be a combination of anything from pie charts, to simple arrows, and/or maps. The primary goal of the infographic, and the graphics used within them, is to grab a reader's attention and hit them with quick facts they can quickly read and, hopefully, easily remember.

When I was participating in my first internship, I was asked to create an infographic for the non-profit organization for which I was working. The infographic, intended to convey important and relevant data and Census statistics, needed to be "fun" to read. Pouring over Census data and statistics is a task that can be daunting, and one many would simply find boring. We must face the facts! Many times, readers don’t want to be bombarded with stats, numbers, and walls of text.

Here is the infographic I designed, for an example.

There are an infinite number of ways you can go about creating your own infographic, but no matter which way you choose, be sure you start with good, solid data and information. Do your research!

Here are a few tips to help you with designing your own infographic:

  • The simplest way, especially for those who don’t do much design work, is to do a Google search for an infographic generator/creator. This search will bring up numerous good options including one I have used before for a class project, http://www.easel.ly/. Easel.ly is extremely user-friendly, provides you with a number of templates that can get you started, and doesn't require you to create an account to give it a try.
  • Other, more adventurous, designers might use Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Illustrator to create custom designs.
  • Keep in mind that your infographic needs to be appealing and easy to access. You want the design elements and text to flow together into one comprehensive piece.
  • Know your own weaknesses. If you don’t have knowledge of design, don’t pretend that you do and simply grab images from a quick Google search and place them around with your facts in Comic Sans along the sides. A bad infographic could be just as detrimental to your business as a great one can be beneficial. Thankfully, for those of us who are not graphic designers, sites like the aforementioned http://www.easel.ly along with http://piktochart.com/ and https://infogr.am/, are there for us to use.

Once you have your infographic put together there are several ways you can use them. Mine was used as an inclusion in a packet to be distributed; but they can also be hung on walls as informational posters, posted on social media sites, on websites, in blogs, in e-mail blasts, and wherever else you can imagine.

I am going to focus on using them on your own website/social media site because that is generally what most small business owners would do with this type of collateral material.

A few of the main reasons to use infographics as the way to communicate information about you/your brand:

  • Visual appeal – The visual appeal of an infographic can more effectively grab the attention of your target audience, as opposed to a block of text.
  • It is a shareable/reusable piece of collateral material – Share these types of materials on your social media sites along with your websites, and make sure to make them shareable when you do. This is the only way to gain attention in all of the social media traffic.
  • It is a proven successful method of effectively communicating to your target audience.
  • It can make sometimes hard-to-understand, or somewhat boring, information easier to "digest."
  • It allows you to highlight your knowledge on the topic you choose.
  • Infographics help build brand awareness.
  • Infographics can go viral.

Recently, infographics have become extremely popular and an in-demand means of effective communications from businesses to their customers. You can find infographics for practically any subject online with a simple search.

Suffice to say, infographics are a great way for you to get a message directly to your customers, and that’s the ultimate goal of every business. Or, in other words...

TL;DR – Go make yourself some infographics!

Post Tags:Design

Jennifer Thompson

Contributor Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a Paragould, Arkansas native, and graduate of Arkansas State University with a degree in strategic communications.

She has worked in the field of journalism around Northeast Arkansas for the past 15 years as a writer and editor. She is currently a public relations specialist and freelance writer.

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