Infographs (aka information graphics) are visual representations of information. You have probably encountered an infographic without realizing it. Examples include metro or mass transit maps, weather charts, site plans, and graphs. A good infograph will:
1. Show (large) amounts of data in a clear and concise way
2. Encourage the eye to compare different sets of data and the mind to think about the content rather than the design
3. Have a clear purpose
4. Have meaningful stats
Why does this matter to me?
As a math major I am very excited to see the emergence of infographics in marketing materials for associations and corporations. I have always believed that statistics are a good way to convey your ideas. For example, using an infograph of your membership statistics in your membership brochure is a quick and easy way to convince people of the value of joining your organization. With the overload of information available to us now-a-days, a quick look may be all you get from potential members. If you can show them a picture instead of requiring them to read paragraphs of text, you can capture their attention and make them want to read further or follow up with you.
“In fact, businesses that publish infographics grow their traffic an average of 12% more than those that don’t.” -Hubspot
How to make an infograph
There are endless options when making a pictograph. Here are FOUR things you need in order to make a good one:
1. Your theme
This may seem hard at first but there are many good and free resources that will give you a template to start with. Picking a theme is as easy as creating a free account and clicking on the pictograph you want. See #4 of this article for a list of some of these free resources.
2. Pick 2-3 colors
It is important to keep it simple. You are going to show them information using pictures. Don’t use too many colors to distract them from what’s important. Pick 2-3 colors to use throughout your theme. This includes images and text.
3. The stats
Most likely than not, you already have the stats you want to use. If you’re using a decent AMS/CMS, there are reporting tools that can tell you information such as, how many members you have, what state or country they live in, occupation, industry, age, etc. Pull this information and create meaningful stats.
4. The (free) tool
Here is a list of free tools you can use to create your pictograph
– Piktochart – this one has the best variety of free templates and it is what I used to create the infograph below.
– Microsoft Powerpoint – this is a blank canvas. OK, it’s not necessarily free but most of us already have it so it doesn’t involve additional investment. You can download 5 free infographic templates for PowerPoint from Hubspot.
– infogr.am – this has limited templates but has the ability to make some nice charts
– easel.ly – 15 neat templates
– Venngage – lots of nice free templates here. Only weird thing is that it makes you checkout with $0 carts when you want to use each template. You can also pay more to track social analytics.
The cool thing is, with most of these free resources, they provide the logos and images you need to represent your data – no need to create your own graphics!
Using these four things, I created a pictograph for the Small Staff. Big Impact blog. It took me about an hour to create this beauty. The best part is that when I update this infographic a year from now, I will have new stats that I can compare the last year ‘s process with and I will be able to see the improvements and growth of this blog.