Do you want to learn how to make an infographic without wasting valuable time and money? In this guest post submitted by Amy Cowen, you're going to discover a time and money saving way to create epic infographics for your blog! Rock on Amy!
Most publishers shy away from infographics because they either don’t know how to make one that is absolutely beautiful, or they believe that the benefits won’t justify the cost if they decide to hire an expert to create them.
This is a rather detrimental view of infographics, especially when we know that infographics tend to get more views – around 15 % more to be accurate -, and get more easily shared than any other type of content, barring videos.
In fact this source explains how infographics are likely to be shared and liked on social media 3 x more than any other visual content.
And as for the importance of using visuals in content; Content with relevant images gets a staggering 94% more views than content without! Source.
OK enough small talk, let's get down to business.
One of the greatest concerns that marketers have is connected to the relatively short lifespan that infographics have.
Think about it; you spend a couple of work days researching your topic, organizing data, communicating with your team and the designer, only to see your work go down the drain after a couple of weeks or a month.
This is the natural progression of an infographic. They are increasingly popular and tons of them get published on a weekly basis, so there is really no point in getting upset about it.
The trick is to publish graphics closely intertwined with your business, to really hone in on a subject, and deliver quality content. Of course, it would be ideal if you could drastically cut down the time you spend preparing an infographic right?
Well, I'm are here to tell you that there is a way!
Making everything from scratch is pointless and time-consuming, especially if you already have content that can easily be turned into a great visual.
Just think about the ton of blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and white-papers you’ve published in the past year. How many email blasts and newsletters did you send to your audience? The numbers are probably staggering. Chances are you have more content than you know what to do with.
Granted, not everything is great infographic material, and some pieces will require additional research and polishing up, but you’ve probably cut your work in half.
So, how to get about it?
Go through your content. This means going back to those first pages of your blog pulling every "quality" blog post and every article you’ve ever written.
Check out those miscellaneous folders on your computer. Then sort out everything you’ve found by topic. This will give you a general idea about how many pieces of content you have at your disposal.
Now comes the tricky part – evaluating how useable each particular piece of that content is.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t picture it in the first couple of paragraphs, it’s probably not worth your time.
Sort everything by the amount of work it’s going to need to become an engaging infographic.
Create folders labeled ‘Too much work’, ‘Moderate work’, and ‘Low-hanging fruit’. You don’t have to use those labels, but you get the point.
The important thing is that you can easily find what you are looking for, and you can ballpark the amount of time you’re going to need to invest in polishing up the content.
Now we’re coming to the fun part, or the difficult one, depending on how much you enjoy writing new and revisiting old content.
Remember, the point is to cut the time needed to create an infographic, so pick the content that you can adapt in half the time or less it takes you create new content.
However, make sure that the content in question is valuable. It doesn’t matter if it's old; there are always people who will find it fresh and new as long as it is not a snooze-fest or a complete time waster.
Highlight everything that can be made into bullet points, lists, process; this content is easy to visualize and therefore, good for an infographic.
If your information is a bit scarce, do some research, and enhance the content with some fresh data or statistics. Updating an old piece of content is always a good idea; data change, and you do not want to publish something that is riddled with incorrect information.
If you have a lot of content you want to adapt and rework, it is going to take some time, regardless of how much you streamline the entire process.
If you can’t tackle it alone, consider including your colleagues or hiring a professional content writing service.
Hiring a reputable designer can cost a lot of money, and your total cost will go up if you decide to repurpose a lot of your content.
You can go the low-cost route, paying peanuts for an infographic, but I highly advise against that. You will only end up with an eyesore that will end up hurting your brand more than helping it.
There are two ways you can get around this problem.
You can touch base with a designer you like and try to negotiate a bulk discount. Sometimes you can get a decent discount if you commit to ordering a certain number of graphics in, let’s say, a month.
If you have contact details of designers you’ve previously worked with, reach out and make a proposal. You might be surprised at their response.
Alternatively, you can take a couple of days and research some design tools that are available online. Most of them are rather simple, and if you have a flare for design, you might be able to pull it off, especially because these infographics don’t have to be particularly stellar, they just have to not suck!
Here are three of the most popular tools for creating infographics; take a look at them if you decide to give it a try yourself.
Piktochart is probably the most popular tool you can use to create your own infographics.
The free version allows you to pick between several different templates but they will all have a Piktochart brand on them.
While this might not be an issue in some cases, it’s not visually appealing, and a free version is perhaps not best suited for the purpose of business.
Monthly subscription to Piktochart Pro costs $27 but gives you an opportunity to choose between more than a 150 different templates.
You will also get an option to play with various charts, elements, and infoboxes, as well as to add videos and other elements.
Piktochart is a great tool, but it has a slight learning curve to it. If you’re not prepared to really commit to it, you might want to give this one a pass, and look at some others.
Infogr.am has a free version, but it is very limiting as it allows you to download your graphics exclusively as a PNG, which is not extremely useful.
The paid version will cost you $19 a month if you decide to subscribe for a year, but you can pay $25 and subscribe only for a month.
You will have your choice of around a hundred different templates, color schemes, and other elements. You can also add charts to the graphic, but won’t have an option of adding videos.
Infogr.am is easier to master than Piktochart but lacks some advanced features. If you value simplicity and don’t want to end up in over your head, then it might be just the tool that you are looking for.
Another fantastic visual content and infographic creation tool you must try is Easel.ly.
You can create a free account, or pay just $3 per month for a pro account, which is fair to say won't break the bank.
The free account is very limited, with only 60 free images and around 10 fonts to use. Where as the Pro Account gives you the choice over 1000's of free images, 50 plus fonts, dozens of pro designed templates and even access to a designer to help you with your infographic creation.
Deciding against creating infographics can be detrimental to your business. You cannot ignore the stats for starters!
Again, they generate 94% more views than your regular content would – and around 3 times more likely to be shared over social networks.
Just ask yourself this... What would Bruce Lee do in this situation? He would create some kick ass infographics is what he would do!
Nicely designed infographics will let you grab the attention of the crowd that might not be otherwise very interested in your content. They don’t have to be ground-breaking or superbly executed; they just have to be a part of your content mix. Repurposing your old, evergreen content is a great opportunity to create engaging infographics and reach a new audience.
Amy Cowen is a content marketing strategist who specializes in maximizing the commercial impact of the content. She manages her own team of content writers at Aussiewriter.com and contributes to different sites and blogs on marketing topics.
Do you need a graphic designer to help you create some powerful visual content for your blog or website! Don't have time to make an infographic yourself? Get in touch with me with your ideas, and let's make something happen! Click here to begin.