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Creating great infographics

Infographic’s are media tools that have taken on a lot more significance in recent years.  Helped in no short measure by the rise of micro-blogging and sharing platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest.  A picture they say can be worth a thousand words – especially in today’s short attention span world.  How can you use attention grabbing infographics to reach out to a wider audience?  Read the following tips before you even begin.

Research your subject well

Dont just jump in and start to create your infographic straight away.  First research your subject and see if you can narrow down your broad niche to something much more focused.  For example if your business deals with automotive repairs then rather than creating one inforgraphic and try and cover everything consider how you can break it down into smaller subjects and create an infographic for each one.  For that example it could be “effects of worn tired on vehicle performance” or “why you should check your oil regularly”.  This will help you avoid many of the pit-falls mentioned in the next section.  At this stage you should also be collecting together any images or graphics your think may be useful to you.  You should also be collecting together a list of single line sentences that portray what you are trying to say in a concise manner.

A 1000 words does not equal a picture.

The saying that a picture=1000 words is very true but some people still seem to think that the reverse is true!  Once you have narrowed the subject of your infographic down enough though this should be easy to avoid.   A recent study has shown that people on average spend no more than three minutes looking at an infographic before they are off onto the next thing.  Look at your list of sentances or topics you have gathered and see if there are any that essentially say the same thing but in a diffent way and pick the better, shorter ones.

Organise your message

Remember you have at the most 3 minutes to get your message across.  In reality this is probably a lot less.  You need to grab the viewers attention almost immediately so you should start with your most powerful message or hook at the start.  In most cases this will have you starting with a question.  Similar rules apply here as when writing sales copy.  Use power words to grab the views interest.

Visualize it

At this stage it is always tempting to jump right in with your chosen piece of software and start creating.  While this approach can work well for some people.  These are usually people who have built up some experience in putting together infographics.  However, jumping right in will, no matter what your experience, cause you to make very similar looking projects.  For beginners jumping right in will cause more time wasted as you fiddle with your design.  So get that pen and paper out and do some rough sketches showing layouts etc.  Decide long before you use any software where text should be, what images should be used and the final order for your project.  Now going into your software you have a clear goal and only have to focus on the actual process of creating your design.

Know your software.

To start with you need to be spending your time on the design – Not trying to figure out how you make text yellow or turning an image into a mask.  With that in mind look at your design and decide how it is going to be made.  Use the software you are most familiar with and don’t be tempted to hit some torrent site for the latest and most expensive software.   Adobe After Effects is great but has a steep learning curve (especially without the manual!) there are many free alternatives that can do just as good a job but are much easier to pick up and understand.  The next post in this series will cover free software for creating infographics. Keep these 4 stages in mind and you can create an eye catching infographic that gets you message across in less than a minute.  Maybe sprinkle a little humor or twist into your message and get the balance right your views might even share your infographic on their social media.  The ultimate goal for any infographic is to try and utilize the viral nature of sharing on the internet.

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