You may hear the word “infographic” [information graphic] coming up more and more these days. What’s an infographic and why might you need one? I didn’t pay attention till Copyblogger created an infographic, 22 ways to create compelling content when you don’t have a clue. The first part of this infographic has gone viral on Pinterest; I even repinned it myself. It’s here: http://www.copyblogger.com/create-content-infographic/
What is an infographic?
According to Wikipedia and other sources, it’s just a visual representation of “information, data or knowledge.” A pie chart or bar chart with good labels would be an infographic.
Why are we seeing more idiographics these days?
People are getting more visual these days. Some information is easier to communicate graphically rather than textually.
As a copywriter, here’s my take on infographics:
The information must be direct and relevant. An infographic with boring, useless information won’t do much.
Successful infographics are simple and use illustrations to make their points. Almost anything can be presented as an inforgraphic. However, I believe that great infographics present information that’s easier to grasp as a graphic
For example, many of us will find it easier to differentiate our Starbucks orders with this infographic rather than a listing: http://lokeshdhakar.com/coffee-drinks-illustrated/
This info could be presented with text but it makes a bigger impact visually: http://thechrisvossshow.com/how-big-twitter-is-in-2012-infographic/
This infographic seems to be working against itself. The info is good but hard to read; the dancing labels in the lower right just add confusion. http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/weapons.html
Another will be hard to read and the graphics don’t contribute much to your understanding: http://thechrisvossshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/tumblr_lq9xuxFVS61qanrvyo1_1280.jpg
This “How Google Works” infographic has been wildly popular, with good reason. The graphic suits the topic. The authors are admittedly biased; they want to communicate, “Google is complicated and we can help you get through it!” The full-size version of this infographic is quite readable.
How you can use infographics
Make sure the top part of your infographic can function as a standalone symbol that can be embedded in blogs and Interest. Add the panel to your Pinterest account. Here are 3 ways to learn how to use Pinterest for business:
When you present your infographic, make sure to include code and permission so others can embed your infographic. The code is just straightforward html for a live clickable image. Include your name or logo. You don’t want to copyright: you want to everyone to include it!
Keep your infographic easy to read. Avoid jamming a lot of info together and using white on black, colored type or confusing layouts. The idea is to draw readers into your info graphic and make the information accessible.
Where to use your infographic:
your Pinterest account (3 ways to learn Pinterest)
Where can you get an infographic? I’ve seen listings on fiverr.com and would start there, as well as the usual low-end sources: guru.com, Rent-a-Coder, and Craigslist. Some graphics firms specialize if you’re seeking a higher-end version.