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infograpic
Supposedly a picture is worth a thousand words. Those words were never truer than they are in reference to expanding your online customer base. It doesn’t matter how good a writer you are, endless blocks of text on your website, Tumblr or Facebook page will scare people away. However, you don’t have to give up words completely. In fact, well executed infographics can enhance your white papers and website text.

Expanding Your Audience

One consequence of the “always on” connectedness of the Internet is that attention spans have become shorter. Back in the 1960s, it wasn’t unheard of for a single commercial to run for two full minutes. Today, it’s almost unheard of for commercials to run that long. Your potential audience is multitasking whether they are accessing your website on their laptops or clicking through your app on their Smartphones.

Infographics are just plain fun to explore. In addition, a well done infographic provides a vehicle to convey a significant amount of information in a manner that is quickly processed. This allows customers to obtain the information they need and want in an easily accessible manner. You can enhance your infographic by providing a link to your press release, white paper or other written media for readers who want more information.

Converting Words to Pictures

One way to use an infographic is as a summary of your written products. While it’s possible to convey a great deal of information in an infographic, it’s a mistake to attempt to convert every word into a chart or a graphic. Instead, extract statistics, talking points and section headers and convert those pieces of information into a visual format.

If you’re creating an infographic from scratch rather than summarizing a longer document, take some time to determine what the overall theme of your infographic will be. Consider what elements would best convey your information in a coherent manner. While infographics provide visual appeal, they aren’t just decoration. Readers will be put off by an infographic that doesn’t have anything of significance to say.

The Right Tools

It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money, or even any money at all to create an infographic. Even if you have no design training or skills, and don’t wish to hire a web designer, it’s still possible to create appealing, effective infographics with software that is available through the Internet for little or no cost. The following three programs make it possible for nearly anyone to create appealing infographics.

  • Visual.ly: Visual.ly consists of a database of infographics. to use as inspiration. You can also use Visual.ly’s templates and tools to create your own infographics free of charge. If you are really at a loss, you can contract with a designer within the Visual.ly network, but the cost is steep; as of November 2012 fees to work with a designer started at $1,495 US and went up from there.
  • Infogr.am:  Infogr.am makes creating an infographic nearly automatic. Simply upload your data in an Excel or .csv spreadsheet, and the software will automatically convert your data into visually appealing charts and graphs.  You can’t beat the price – it’s totally free of charge.
  • Piktochart: Piktochart is a drag and drop software program that allows you to insert shapes, icons, vectors or text into your chosen infographic theme. The basic Piktochart program is free. With the paid version, you also have your choice of color schemes or fonts. As of November 2012, the paid version cost $29 US per month, or $199 US per year.

Christian Boughner works a freelance graphic designer. He is a passionate part-time writer, blogging  frequently on how art can drive business success. Click for information about infographic design.


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