The recent rise in social media usage has taught us many things. One of the most striking is how visual human beings truly are. As a result, websites, blogs and social media accounts that use great visuals are typically more successful and see more engagement from users than those that rely on text alone.
Growing awareness of this trend has led to the rise of the infographic. An infographic is a visual depiction of data that helps users to learn more about a topic. This combination of visual imagery with statistics and facts makes information easy for a user to digest at a glance. In fact, some studies even show that users remember information learned through infographics more easily than data obtained by other means.
As a result, infographics have been successfully used in sales campaigns, marketing efforts, education initiatives, internal company trainings and more. Given that, many companies are eager to create their own infographics to compete in an increasingly visual marketplace. This is easy for firms that have a large staff of designers on hand, but not everyone has access to those resources.
So how can people who are not designers make their own infographic? Check out these five tools:
Infogr.am is a simple, free tool that allows you to create more than 30 types of charts. For comparison, Microsoft Excel – the analytics tool used by many small businesses – offers only 11 types of charts.
This allows for much simpler visualization of data. Data can be imported from Excel into Infogr.am and can then be published in PDF format or easily embedded on your website. If your data is sensitive, you can also password protect it before sharing it with others. Overall, Infogr.am is a simple infographic tool with many features, all at no cost to the user.
Piktochart offers drag and drop infographic creation for $29/month. The service’s “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) platform makes it easy for users with no design or technical skills to use when creating infographics.
Currently, the tool includes 90 templates of varying quality. These premade starting points give you an easy to use and effective way to turn your data into great infographics. You can then share your creations via social media or download print quality files. If you’re curious about the tool, but don’t want to commit to a paid plan, you can try the Piktochart editor for free for a limited time to give it a test run.
Like many of its competitors, InfoActive lets you turn your data into visuals in a fairly straightforward manner. In addition, this program allows users to interact with that data. This means that users can add their own experiences to the data, allowing it to change in real-time. This feature allows data to continue to be “real-time,” whereas other infographics can quickly become outdated, making it the most “social” infographic tool currently on the market.
This IBM tool doesn’t offer the premade themes that other programs on this list provide. As a result, it may be better suited to those who are somewhat more technically inclined.
However, the visualization styles included offer some features the others don’t – including heat maps, word trees, tree maps and word clouds. Many Eyes also allows users to compare a set of values, see parts of a whole or track rises and falls in data over time. If your data is more trend-based than statistic-oriented, the program is definitely worth a look.
This paid service creates some of the most widely seen infographics on the market. Visual.ly brings together marketers, designers and data experts to create stunning visuals that bring your message to life.
One fun program feature that’s great for internal presentations is its ability to create web traffic reports based on your website’s Google Analytics statistics. In seconds, you can have a visually pleasing and informative report on how your website traffic has been trending over the past few weeks. If you don’t feel comfortable designing on your own, the program can match you with a designer (though this is considerably more expensive and time intensive than doing it yourself).
These five infographic creation tools allow you to easily visualize your data and to share it with your community in a fun, engaging way. Depending on your design and technical skill level, you may prefer one tool over another, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different programs.
But whatever option you choose, be aware that creating a visual representation of your data can take your firm to the next level. These tools can be used for internal purposes, helping you to understand your firm’s target market, goals and website traffic. Alternately, they can be used to help educate your audience, drive sales and distribute your marketing messages. Whatever your goals, creating stellar infographics is an important part of standing out in an increasingly visual marketplace – so get started with your first graphic today!