As the world (and the web) become ever more visual, small businesses are seeing the power in creating infographics as a marketing tool.

Consider this: tweets containing infographics were retweeted 832% more than text-only posts. So if you want your marketing to go viral, put some compelling information in a snazzy form. Here are seven steps to create an attention-getting infographic, even if you don’t have a design degree:

Originality Counts

“Don’t just repeat information that is already public,” says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation. “Combine resources, do research, conduct a survey yourself and then translate that into a logical infographic.” Your goal should be to teach your readers something, so they’ll want to quote and share your material. Need some inspiration? Every year, Hubspot creates a list of the top infographics that showcase simple but impactful ideas like “Cost of living around the world” from a moving company and “How music affects your driving” from an insurance company. The key: keep your target audience in mind, rather than aim for something for the whole world.

Short and Sweet

Choose the right kind of data for an infographic — easily digestible. “Infographics are best suited to bite-sized data points, bulleted facts, and number-based information such as percentages and statistics,” explains Dan Redding, founder of Magnetic State design studio. “Too often, I see people struggling to make infographics out of lengthy paragraphs and long quotes. Lengthy text content really isn’t suitable for an infographic. “Keep the infographic focused on a single topic.

Let It Flow

Just like you would when designing a website, consider the user experience of viewing your infographic. Think about how the statistics flow into each other and be sure they build to a finish line. Start with your most compelling facts. For an example, an infographic on how the body falls in love begins “Hubba! Hubba! The ventromedial prefrontal cortex judges physical attractiveness in milliseconds.” If you wonder what happens next, so will everyone else.

Be Colorful

“Color can be used to highlight important stats and designate sections of a graphic,” Redding says. “It can also be used to brand the design with a company’s brand colors, making them effective promotional tools.” Consider how an infographic on the “the job description of a billionaire” is enhanced by color, which focuses the eye on key areas rather than just being visual candy.

Use Free Tools

Numerous web sites allow you to create an infographic for free or at minimal cost, including easel.ly (which offers a dozen free templates that are easily customizable with a library of arrows, shapes and connector lines); piktochart (which allows you to modify color schemes and fonts, insert pre-loaded graphics and upload basic shapes and images); and venngage (which has a simple three-step process for making infogragraphic — chose a template, add charts and visuals, customize your design).

Don’t Be Shy

An infographic won’t help your company if no one knows who produced it. Put your company info, including your website, company logo, and phone number at the bottom of the infographic.

Spread the Word

When your infographic goes live, promote it on social networks. “Facebook, Stumbleupon, and Reddit all have paid promotion abilities that can work very well in terms of generating exposure,” says Jared Carrizales , founder of Heroic Search. “But social isn’t enough. Get a prospect list together of people who would probably like/share your infographic, then let them know it exists with a personalized email.”

 

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