content

In this social media age, the power of visual content is becoming impossible to ignore.

By Midori Nediger

Content marketers, especially those trying to grow small businesses, have been using visual content to boost engagement on Facebook and Twitter for years. Now, visual content is emerging as a means for creating brand differentiation in the digital space.

And it’s no wonder! Studies have shown that viewers pay attention to images that carry relevant information. Researchers have noticed that visuals can help people understand information more quickly and retain information more effectively.

A simple way to work visuals into the content strategy of your small business is to repurpose existing content into highly shareable visuals like infographics. Infographics, which communicate complex ideas visually, are perfect for making tired content fresh and exciting. They make great anchor content for generating social buzz and driving traffic to your site.

Many small business think that creating infographics is best left to professional graphic designers. But if you’re running a small startup, chances are you don’t have a huge design team equipped to handle every marketing request you send their way. Fortunately, infographic design can be a breeze, if you use the right tools.

Here’s everything you need to know to create a beautiful infographic, from scratch, without breaking your budget.

Find great content for your infographic design

Great content can be hard to come by. To set yourself up for success, consider creating an infographic out of existing content that’s already performing well. If you’ve got a long-form article or blog post that you want to re-promote, turning it into an infographic will give you the perfect visual snippet to share on social media.

Since the best infographics are information-dense, the all-important first step is to summarize your content specifically for an infographic. Pick out the core ideas in that original piece of content; identify valuable facts and interesting statistics, and don’t be afraid to do some extra research to bulk up your data. Viewers tend to respond positively to infographics that include quotes from influential people, survey results, and relatable case studies.

From there:

  • Write a captivating headline that speaks to your target audience
  • Follow up with a two-sentence introductory hook
  • Create a bulleted list of all the key takeaways of your content in under 200 words

This strategy will ensure your infographic presents a concise, targeted, message that’s digestible at a glance.

Identify the right graphic design tool for the job

Design work that might take 4-5 hours in professional tools like Photoshop or Illustrator can be done in 30 minutes with a great infographic design tool. The top design tools for beginners feature pre-designed templates built with placeholder text, allowing users to easily insert their own content into existing designs.

Browse through the top infographic design tools, pick a template that catches your eye and aligns with your brand identity, and swap in your content. It’s as simple as that.

Boost engagement with unique visuals

To make your infographic as engaging as possible, look for opportunities to replace text or data with visuals like charts, graphs, icons, or illustrations. After all, your goal should be for your audience to remember your content from a glance.

A foolproof strategy that’s particularly effective for list-based infographics is to pair keywords with icons or simple illustrations. Alternatively, find exciting ways to visualize your data with unique infographic chart designs.

Be faithful to brand identity with logos, fonts, and colors

Finally, to truly make an infographic stand out from the crowd, customize the chosen template with eye-catching colors and fonts.

It’s a good idea to tie your business’s branding to the graphic so that your business can benefit from every single share. Place your logo or wordmark in the infographic header and a link to your website in the footer. Apply two or three of your core brand colors throughout the infographic; use light neutral colors for background elements and save bold, dark colors for text and key statistics.

Similarly, if you have brand guidelines that include typography specifications, apply those fonts to your infographic. If not, use this rule of thumb to guide your infographic font choices:

  • Apply one decorative font to the header to set the mood and grab viewers’ attention
  • Apply one readable font to body text

If you’re not interested in making a branded infographic and you need help picking an infographic colour scheme, check out one of the many free color scheme generators available on the web:

With custom fonts and colors applied, you should be ready to download your infographic. Don’t forget to export the infographic at the correct aspect ratio for your chosen social media platform and optimize the infographic file name, alt text, and meta description for SEO purposes.

Final thoughts

By now, you should understand the value of visual content for your business, and infographics are arguably the ultimate form of visual content for the web. Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of creating irresistible infographics, what are you waiting for? I hope I’ve inspired you to create your first infographic today.

Midori spreads visual communication tricks and tips as Design Evangelist at Venngage, a web-based infographic design tool. With a background in biomedical visualization, she’s particularly interested in helping people communicate complex information. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

Visual stock photo by Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock