Making your own infographic is a lot like trying to build your own car; it can be a disaster. If you want a car that runs and provides reliable transportation, you should probably get one from a reputable manufacturer. The same is true with infographics.
Are Infographics Easy to Make?
There’s been talk circulating that making infographics is easy. There are countless books, articles, and template tools that give the backbone of creating an infographic. And since it’s “easy” everyone is doing it. Businesses everywhere have been lead to believe that an infographic will drive traffic to their site, spread the word about what they do, and eventually up their sales. They see an infographic as an easy fix-all and a cheap solution to getting attention, and its because of this attitude that they fail. Most of the time they’ll go with the in-house infographic and build one right then and there. This piece will likely be sloppy, poorly designed, heavily biased, and virtually unreadable.
So how does a business avoid making these mistakes? The answer is to hire an infographic agency that knows what they’re doing. Most of the time big businesses don’t have a sufficient department for creating infographics. So instead they throw together a ragtag team of members from the marketing department and a free-lance graphic designer. The result is a group of people who are trying to make infographics when all they know how to make are commercials.
Here are some nuances that they don’t tell you in those DIY infographic guides.
Tell a Story
First off, not everything is an infographic. A pie chart is not an infographic: it’s a pie chart. A table of numbers that was digitally rendered is not an infographic, it’s just a table of numbers. True infographics have distinct features that set them apart from other pieces of graphic art. An infographic tells a story in a unique way.
Preparation is the Mother of Victory
An infographic is more than just a snazzy piece of design. It fits into an elaborate and well thought out business plan. Promotion is a huge part of what makes the infographic an effective marketing tool. Releasing an infographic out onto the web without any kind of promotion plan is like expecting your homemade car to make a trip across the country right out of your garage. It’s probably not going to work.
Branding Won’t Help You
Finally, when it comes to branding, less is more. “But how will people know what our business is if it’s not spelled out in big letters at the top?” you may complain. Curb your natural appetite for slapping on logos and let the content of the piece do the work. If the subject matter is smart, simple, and a general good read, viewers will almost always make note of who requisitioned such an interesting piece.
It Takes a Team
Just as it takes a whole team of highly committed and skilled individuals to assemble an automobile, so too does the infographic require the right set of people. The research team provides well thought out content and breaks down the story in an easy to read format, the design team then transforms that text into expert design, and finally the promotion specialists generate links by getting the piece into the hands of people who will share it. Infographics aren’t made overnight (usually) and neither are the people that create them. No single person, not even a single department, can create an infographic worth seeing. It takes an experienced team.
If you want your infographic to work, trust the experts.