How to Create an Infographic in 10 Steps | Blogging from NMX
By now, you have probably seen a ton of Infographics. These are the pretty visual images that tell a story with data. For examples, visit our Pinterest board where we have aggregated a lot of Infographics for Marketing
Did you ever wonder what goes into creating one of these great custom designed Infographics? It’s more than you may think!
I sat in a session by Graphic Design Company Lemon.ly at the New Media Expo (NMX) in Las Vegas recently where they took us step by step to create a high quality infographic. This blog post is about that process with some enhancement by our Innogage marketing team.
Start with the goal (the Thesis of your infographics). What are your 3 main points – what do you want to reader to walk away with? What is the conclusion or call to action (CTA)? (Read a post about how different CTAs can multiply and shape your content.)
2. Gather Data
You need to gather information and data and ensure it’s in a consistent format You don’t want to get caught comparing apples to oranges or your readers will likely call you out. Try to gather data from multiple sources – some internal and some external. Think about your high school term paper – you don’t want a citation page with a single source.
Look for trends, comparisons, relationships with the data. You will need to get creative in this step and put on what I like to call “data glasses”. Wearing data glasses means you look at the world in a different way. You don’t see a staircase, you see number of steps and you immediately begin to think about climbing the stairs thousands of times and how many vertical steps it takes to equal the tallest building in the world. A ruler to measure a single step and a quick search go find the height of the tallest building is all the data you need. Apply 4th grade math to do conversions and you’ve got an impressive stat.
A wireframe is a rough black & white sketch of what the infographic may eventually look like. It is meant to be a working document that can be moved and tweaked. My favorite wireframing tool is a big whiteboard and the camera in my iPhone. I sketch the design, take a photo and email it to my designer. Done. There are also some good software tools as well.
Be sure your Infographic tells some kind of story. The pretty graphics and fun fonts and data are all great but if there is no story to tie it all together, people won’t want to share it. If you tell a good story with your Infographic you may be surprised how many people you don’t even know will share your content with their networks.
This is mostly for the designers but it requires input from the marketer too. The Moodboard is where you select your colors, fonts, styles to use. If you need a push, Dribbble.com has images and ideas you can use.
This is the step where I get the heck out of the way and let those with skill work some magic. Be sure the design encompasses the look and feel of your brand and carries branding through. Do not forget to add a URL (preferably one where a digital copy of the infographic can be obtained along with a Call to Action. Also add your company logo, any tagline you have, and phone number. Remember that if your infographic is good, people will share it. You want them to share your brand and your contact information as well.
With all the work you put into your Infographic, you need to think through the launch carefully. Are there some bloggers who you want to notify about this Infographic? What about news outlets? Do you want it to live on your website or your blog? What social channels are appropriate for your launch?
Along the same lines of the launch is the promotion. Promotion can continue for days or even weeks post-launch. Note that if you want a news outlet to publish your infographic, it’s best to let them break it first. Work out with them how many hours or days after they publish your graphic will elapse before you post it on your own digital properties.
If you’re not going to measure it, don’t do it. Remember the URL I mentioned earlier? Make it a custom unique page and tie Google Analytics to it. Use a form on that page as a CTA and tie conversion analytics to the form completion. Use a unique trackable phone number on the infographic so you know if someone calls you as a result of receiving the infographic. Also remember to baseline your website traffic before and the week after you launch and promote the infographic. If you put it on Pinterest, track the repins and measure audience reach. There are many more metrics you could track – contact us if you want to talk it through.
I hope this helps. If you would rather outsource the whole thing because you are now completely overwhelmed, why not give Lemon.ly a ring. You know they rock the Infographic world.
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