You Don’t Have to Be an Artist to Create Quality InfographicsBy Charles Costa
“Content is king” is one of the biggest rules in the marketing world, however even the greatest material is a waste if nobody actually reads it.
Today content marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to boost the credibility of your brand but things like podcasts and blog posts take significant time to absorb. In a world where you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of your audience, you need to stand out from the crowd.
Infographics are a great way to do this because they allow you to take almost any type of information and turn it into something that can easily catch fire on social media. When it comes to shareable content, images top the list due to most people preferring visual material. For many, one of the biggest challenges to integrating infographics into their campaigns is price and effort. If you hire a graphic designer to create an infographic, the typical price is around $500-2,000 depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Fortunately by using readily available resources, you can create infographics yourself without retaining a graphic artist.
If you’re looking for a tool which allows you to hit the ground running with your ideas, easelly is the tool for you. Even before you create an account, easelly allows you to choose from a pool of hundreds of templates. From there, you’re able to use the visual editor to customize the infographic to fit your exact needs.
Although easelly is simple enough for a child to use, the tool still is versatile enough to allow professionals to create quality infographics on their own. This is possible because easelly has a wealth of pre-made shapes and graphics to be used instantly. Simply drag and drop the elements you want onto the template, add your text, and you’re ready to go.
Aside from being a great infographic creation tool, easelly allows you to share your creations through their community. Although this is optional, this feature makes it possible to choose from a variety of pre-made templates created by others.
For situations where you need to create charts, graphs, maps, or you need different image resolutions for your project, Piktochart is the solution for you. Aside from providing users with a simple to use interface with plenty of pre-made graphics and hundreds of templates, Piktochart also has built in spreadsheet tools to allow you to input data and generate charts as needed.
The biggest downside of Piktochart is that the free edition requires a watermark on all infographics and any infographics you create are automatically published for public viewing. The pro edition is $290/year and is a bit more robust plus the watermark requirement is lifted and sharing your infographic publicly is optional.
If this sounds like it’s what you’re looking for, here’s an article on how to create a slick infographic with Piktochart.
Infographics aren’t just for showing static information. Today, information is always changing rapidly which is why being able to create infographics with real-time data feeds is vital if you want to make sure the content you put out is accurate. Infogr.am is a simple to use web based tool which allows you to create infographics rapidly with minimal graphics experience.
The key difference this tool has from other solutions is support for real-time JSON data feeds. This means you can have your visuals automatically adjust to accommodate changes in your data sources.
Infogr.am has a free plan however it only allows you to publish your infographic online for public viewing with a watermark. The mid-tier $19/month plan allows PDF and PNG creation and real-time data feeds however you’ll still have to include a watermark. If you want to add a custom logo to your images (typically a must for any corporate infographic), then you’ll have to sign up for the $50/month Infogr.am plan.
Although charts and graphs alone aren’t the most attractive methods for showing data on the web, they’re still crucial elements for making complex information understandable. While you could use a spreadsheet tool to generate charts as needed, Google Developers offers a robust solution for developers to use standard code to create charts on the fly.
Aside from just generating static content, charts created with the Google tools can be animated and configured to respond to user actions (e.g. showing additional information on mouseovers). The biggest benefit of these tools is that Google Developers is free for most small applications and, of all the options in this article, it is the most powerful.
Keep in mind, Google Developers does not provide a user-friendly web interface for generating content. Unlike most of the solutions mentioned in this article, this option is specifically geared towards programmers who are looking to visualize data within their applications.
The Importance of Basic Research
Although it’s fairly easy to create your own infographics using the tools mentioned above, you need to make sure that you tailor your infographics to your audience. As discussed in another SitePoint article, before creating anything, you need to do basic research to ensure that your materials add value to your audience.
As always, quality is better than quantity. If your material isn’t going to make the reader feel like they gained something, then you shouldn’t bother with infographics at all.
Have I missed anything? Please let me know below!