The rise of infographics in the 21st century has been truly monumental. These days, it’s hard to open Instagram, flip through a magazine, or even ride down the highway without an infographic being presented to you.
These colorful illustrations of information are everywhere, and there is no better time to learn how to utilize them. In this article, we’ll break down what an infographic is, the different types of infographics, and why and how you should use them in your marketing.
Buckle up, and get ready to become an infographics mastermind.
What is an Infographic?
If you’re reading this post, you probably have at least a vague idea of what an infographic is; but beyond the fact that it’s a chart, diagram, or illustration that uses graphic elements to present information in a visually striking way, what is it, and where did it come from? (And, yes, that definition did come from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.)
Essentially, infographics were created to deliver small chunks of information in bright, intriguing packages. They can come in hundreds of different forms, including statistical displays, political presentations, and even food advertisements.
As for its history (which is actually very rich and complex), the invention of the infographic is accredited to Scottish inventor William Playfair. His first public infographic was a pink and yellow line graph with captions illustrating the price of wheat in the United Kingdom versus what the UK was paying for labor. From there, the idea of showing information in a pretty, clean, digestible format exploded.
What Are The Types of Infographics?
In the world of infographics, people will tell you there exists anywhere from seven to an infinite number of types. While all these claims have merit, we’re only going to be exploring two main types of infographics: informational and timeline. While these may sound similar, and they are, they are two very different ways of explaining something. Let’s examine both types.
1. Informational Infographic
An informational infographic is what you see plastered on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. These are the formats typically used by social justice organizations, cell phone companies, and pretty much anyone else on social media that wants to get a point across.
The reasoning is because these graphics are easy to make, easy to understand, and easy to respond to in small pieces. They (typically) don’t overload the eyes and they draw in their viewers.
You can find examples of these organizers pretty much anywhere on social media (but here are some cute ones to look to).
2. Timeline Infographic
A timeline infographic is exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of information formatted onto a linear timeline in a cohesive manner, typically in chronological order. The reason this type of infographic is being explained here is because it is the largest variation in format from the informational infographic.
Instead of being square, bright, and maybe a bit out of order, timeline infographics are straight lines (though they can be curved, jagged, or broken lines), typically in duller colors, and in an order that makes sense with the message being presented.
In using these types of infographics, be sure that the format can remain visually appealing while still providing insight in a streamlined manner. Here are some examples to help you get familiar with timeline infographics.
Why Use Infographics in Your Marketing Strategies
Although infographics are everywhere, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them in your own marketing strategies; after all, the reason they’re used so frequently is because of how effective they are.
Using infographics can help your audience retain information up to 82% better than when you simply use words. Needless to say, getting good at using color, visuals, lines, fonts, and images could be vital to your marketing techniques.
Whether you’re selling tan in a bottle or advertising cell phone services, infographics will help you make your point in a way that is more informative and more memorable.
In any marketing endeavor, having a solid grasp on how to make, use, and manipulate infographics is a valuable skill to have in your set.
If you want to get better at utilizing infographics (you should), there are, as always, tons of classes available online to help you understand when and how to use which types of infographics.
To start you off, here are a few videos from Lynda and here you can find everything that SkillShare has to offer in the infographics department. If you really want to take your infographics knowledge to the next level, this link will show you where to get an official certification in infographics.
Last Notes on Infographic Marketing
There is an innumerable number of ways to conduct marketing; infographics can be the most useful one you know. Knowing how to organize information in an effective, engaging way is truly valuable. So learn the skills, practice your presentation, and get to creating!