The small business guide for how to make infographics
Here’s why and how you should create infographics for your small business. Discover the tools and techniques for success.
The internet is a noisy place, full of information and misinformation. It can be difficult to know how to stand out from the crowd, especially as a small business.
Sure, you want to create dazzling graphics and amaze your audience with your knowledge and skills. But that’s something only big businesses can afford to do, right?
You’ve probably seen infographics floating around the internet (they tend to go viral). In fact, 40% of marketers say that original graphics such as infographics drive more engagement than any other visual.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is that they make information easier to understand.
And the best news is: anyone can create them!
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to design and share infographics.
Let’s dive right into why you should be creating infographics for your small business.
Why should you make infographics?
As a small business, time is money. You need to make sure every marketing activity you do is pulling its weight because otherwise, it’s taking time away from other vital activities.
Here are just a few reasons why you should make infographics a priority:
They establish you as an expert in your field.
Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read in their entirety than blog posts or news articles.
Infographics are highly shareable and can be a great way to improve your SEO.
You can use them to showcase your new products and services.
Infographics can solve your customer’s queries. When visuals are used to explain a task,
Not to mention that infographics and other colorful visuals can increase sales by up to 80%.
There’s a reason why infographics remain one of the top 5 types of content favored by marketers.
When you distill your knowledge into something understandable and straightforward, you build trust.
Take plant-based recipe site Forks Over Knives for example. They regularly share how-to infographics on their Instagram to educate and support their readers.
This post on “How to trim an artichoke” has been incredibly popular for a couple of reasons:
It breaks down the action into four easy steps, with an accompanying picture for each.
The design is clean. The artichokes are without a background so you can focus on what’s happening.
Little arrows and graphics bring artichokes to life.
The language is simple and focused.
The image invites debate in the comments as some people might disagree about the best trimming method.
With these types of posts, they earn a reputation as the go-to place for advice on plant-based recipes.
Who wouldn’t want a similar thing for their business?
Whether the purpose is to entertain, educate, or inspire, infographics turn data into magic. In the following few sections, we will go over some of the approaches you could use for your own business.
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Recycle your content to create infographics
Recycling and re-using isn’t just good practice in everyday life; it’s also an excellent strategy for creating infographics as a small business.
Time is precious after all. You have to use it well. So why not draw on the content you’ve already spent hours, if not days or weeks, working on?
Perhaps you’ve written a blog, a book, a video, a webinar, a course, or something else entirely.
Transform it visually to extend its reach. This will introduce it to a new audience that might not have the time or patience to wade through pages of material or hours of footage.
Studies at Loyola College (Maryland, U.S.A.) into the use of color in newspaper advertisements found that 70% less time is spent finding crucial information when color is used correctly. Your audience will thank you for that time saved!
For example, this Idea Ink infographic summarizes in one image Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Without reading the book, viewers of the graphic can still quickly grasp the book’s main takeaways.
You can also add an infographic to your existing content. For example, you could:
add your infographic to your eBook,
add it as a supplementary resource to your video course,
or add it as a graphic in your original blog post.
Flower delivery service ProFlowers found early internet success by using an infographic-centric approach to their content. Beyond promoting their flowers, they share advice on anything from setting the table at Easter to choosing the right plants for your bedroom.
With this strategy, their Pinterest account now receives over 9.7 million monthly views.
Their approach is simple when it comes to their blogs. They cut their main infographic up and distribute it throughout the blog. Then, they share the full infographic available at the end of the post.
For example, in this guide to hanging indoor plants, each type of plant receives its own infographic. This is a great way of breaking up walls of text and providing readers with the information they need quickly.
Instead of having to skim to the end and go through a whole infographic, readers can just jump to the plant that interests them.
Having an infographic that can be easily broken up in chunks like this also maximizes opportunities for re-use. Each image can be shared as its own social media post. ProFlowers has done just this, including on their Pinterest.
The key to transforming a long-form piece into an infographic is to narrow down its main takeaway messages. Don’t try to include everything!
If you want more ideas to repurpose your content, read our guide.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the different tools available to make your infographic dreams become a reality.
Tools and templates to use
A few years ago, you would have probably skipped this step and sent your idea straight to a graphic designer. Or just sighed and added your idea to the “when we have the budget” pile.
But we have access to such a plethora of tools today that you can design and customize infographics yourself. And yet, only 49% of marketers take advantage of this by creating their own.
By using these tools and their templates, you can:
Save money — these solutions are all free or affordable
Save time by having a template for your company
Be consistent with your branding
Each of these tools has their own benefits and infographic templates, with comparable pricing options, so it’s often down to personal preference which one you’ll choose. Below, we outline five of the main ones.
A popular option for infographics, reports, and other graphics, Venngage features infographic templates and easy solutions for turning complex data into charts.
If you’re concerned about using a new tool, Venngage has a well-thought-out onboarding program. It asks you questions about your business and layout preferences to make template suggestions.
Then, it guides you through the process of creating an infographic for the first time.
There’s a wide choice of templates, so one of them will be suitable for your business.
Pros: Great for handling large data sets, plenty of design options, and a brand kit. Can integrate YouTube videos, polls, and forms.
Cons: No option to animate, cannot quickly resize to suit different social media platforms.
Cost: Free for up to 5 designs. Paid plans go from $19 a month for solopreneurs and small businesses to $49 a month for full access.
Canva is the swiss army knife of design. It offers a template for just about every design need you have, including infographics. With one click, you can resize your infographic from being Instagram-sized to Pinterest-sized. You can also download them in various formats, from png and jpg to MP4 and GIF.
Easy to use with drag and drop features, Canva also has a Canva Design School to help novice designers understand the basics and create high-quality infographic designs. It includes courses, tutorials, and events.
Canva also works well for team collaboration, allowing you to leave comments on designs and save them as templates for your team to re-use.
Pros: Perfect for non-designers with great resources such as the Canva Design School. Resizing options are also a plus, as is the ability to create animated infographics.
Cons: The charts remain basic, so this tool isn’t ideal for complex data sets. However, you can embed assets from various other platforms if necessary.
Cost: The free account doesn’t include the brand kit and resizing options. The pro plan is $12.99 a month.
You might wonder what PowerPoint is doing in this crowd, but think again! Sometimes the tools we take for granted have hidden capabilities!
You can resize your PowerPoint to your requirements and export it in various formats to make it work for you. PowerPoint’s SmartArt can help you create sophisticated design elements, including pie charts and flowcharts.
Pros: You probably already own it (if you’re a Windows user), so no need to become acquainted with a new platform.
Cons: Not as intuitive as tools explicitly made to create infographics.
Cost: Free if you already own it. Otherwise, it’s part of a Microsoft Office subscription — the personal subscription is $69.99 and includes Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
Easel.ly is entirely dedicated to infographic design and is particularly good for educational ones. It’s easy to use and comes with various options such as animated graphics, hosting for YouTube videos, and data visualization options.
Pros: Cheapest by far, and very easy to use. You can resize your infographic with a click. While that doesn’t include social media sizes, you can input those manually.
Cons: Limited templates and remains quite basic in style, which might not suit your needs.
Cost: Free with a limited amount of graphics and templates. Their paid plans go from $2–5 a month depending on whether you are a student or a business.
Piktochart is another firm favorite for the creation of infographics. It’s a versatile infographic maker with plenty of design choices, templates, and features like the built-in color scheme. The setup is based around content blocks, which is great if you’re creating a long infographic.
(Content blocks are sections in your infographic, such as a video section or a pricing section. In Piktochart and other infographic software, you can drag and drop these sections around quickly, swapping them with others to see if it improves your visual flow.)
Piktochart is also ideal if you have complex data to share, as it gives you the option to import data from Google sheets or a CSV form.
Pros: Fantastic for creating beautiful infographics from complex data. Built-in color schemes make it easy to change your design to suit your branding quickly. It has an array of design tools to satisfy novice or experienced graphic designers.
Cons: Most expensive option shared here. No way to resize to suit different social media platforms. No animation features beyond embedding YouTube videos.
Cost: Free for up to 5 designs. Pro version is $24.17 a month or $16.50 per user for a team.
How do you choose between all the different infographic tools?
Ultimately, the tool you choose has to help you achieve your goal with as little fuss as possible.
Start with what you want to create and where you’ll be sharing it, and see which one suits your purpose best.
For example, if you want to create Instagram infographics primarily, then Canva is your obvious choice. If you are making an infographic based on a report with complex data, Piktochart is a strong option.
So now that you have your options of tools, it’s time to discuss where you’ll be able to share your infographic.
Where do you share your infographic?
Today, infographics come in all shapes and sizes. From the traditional long and narrow format to Instagram carousels — some are static, some are animated, and some host videos. You can use them on your social media platforms or integrate them into your digital products.
In this section, we’ll walk through the leading platforms and how to utilize them best.
Your website should be your first choice for your infographic, as it will be the easiest way for people to find it if they try to track down its origins. Hosting it on your website also gives you room to contextualize your infographic and have more control over sharing options.
In fact, articles featuring infographics were found to get 72% more views than those without — another reason to include them.
Top tips for hosting an infographic on your website:
Embed it into a page or a blog, don’t force people to download it (unless it’s a gated resource).
If using it in a blog, cut your infographic up into smaller images and spread them across the blog, sharing the full-length version at the end.
Ensure that you have sharing buttons on your page or blog, so it’s really easy for a reader to pin the infographic or share it to their network.
Offer an embed code (if possible) to encourage others to add it to their websites. You can generate that code for free using Siege Media’s Generator here.
Don’t just post it once on your site, then forget about it. Go through your old content to see where you could link back to it. Bear it in mind when creating future content too.
Today, various businesses use infographics on Instagram to educate, inspire, and entertain their followers in a visual way.
Unlike a traditional infographic, the format on Instagram is usually that of a carousel, with each image revealing a different point. This gives creators more room to fit information without having to cram it all in one small square.
For example, ADHD Couple creates adorable images like the one below, which taps into their audience’s everyday problems. As you scroll through the carousel, you’ll eventually land on an ad for their planner and how it can help to break the productivity shame cycle.
What works about this approach for them is that it stays consistent with their feed which is populated with images of the same style.
For more tips on using Instagram for small businesses, check this guide out.
Out of all the social media platforms, Pinterest suits the traditional format of long infographics the most (a 2:3 ratio recommended by Pinterest). So if you want your infographics to have an impact on this platform, it’s recommended that you design infographics in that format.
Conduct any search on Pinterest, and you’re guaranteed to stumble on many infographics.
Here’s exhibit A:
When it comes to sharing strategies on Pinterest, there are a couple of practical approaches:
Share your infographic from elsewhere, linking back to your website or blog.
Share the “front cover” of your infographic as a teaser (see example below, courtesy of Julia On Purpose). For example, this could be the repurposed first page of your Instagram carousel, with the size changed to suit Pinterest’s requirements.
Once posted on Pinterest, share your pin to any group boards related to your topic.
For more ideas on how to best use Pinterest, check out our guide on using Pinterest for your small business!
LinkedIn and infographics are another match made in heaven.
Whether you choose to present your infographic as a standalone image, an animated GIF, a video, or a set of slides, your infographic is likely to make an impact. There’s a definite appetite on the platform for information presented clearly and freshly.
For example, presentation coach Jeremy Cassell uses slides to share his advice in a digestible format:
Depending on your infographic, you could also submit it to one of the many dedicated infographic sites to increase its reach.
Here are some websites you can submit your infographic to:
This section is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Almost every social media network is receptive to infographics — the trick is to adapt the format to suit the platform.
Armed with these ideas of where to share your infographic, we can now move on to the final section, which recaps the most important do’s and don’ts of infographics.
Do’s and don’ts of infographics
Remember that in most cases, less is more. Infographics shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with information.
Keep a good text-to-image ratio. You don’t want to fill your infographic with long blocks of text. Make sure an icon or graphic balances out each section of text.
Think of the visual flow of your infographic: is it clear where the eye should travel? Are various elements competing for attention at the same time?
Watermark your print. That way, if your infographic gets detached from its link, people can still find their way back to you. This is usually placed at the bottom of your infographic.
Cite your sources, including if the source is your content. This adds credibility to your image.
The above example by BODY by Blogilates is an excellent example of all the do’s: it’s easy to read, the information is neatly organized with a good flow. The only thing missing is a source in the image, but the caption accompanying it includes a quote from a registered dietitian.
Have text too small to read or in a font that is difficult to decipher.
Share information from dubious sources or leave it uncredited.
Try to cram too much in a small space — leave room for your information to breathe.
Lose focus by trying to cover too many subjects in one infographic.
Make infographics a part of your marketing strategy
Infographics have evolved to become a trendy way to share information. 65% of buyers are visual learners — so creating infographics is a great way to impart knowledge and appeal to your audience.
Here are some of the key takeaways from this article:
There are various approaches to creating infographics. One of the easiest for busy small businesses is to rework existing content into more digestible graphics.
There are many tools out there that can help you create infographics yourself, such as Canva and Piktochart. The important thing is to make sure the tool you choose is adapted for where you’ll be sharing your infographic.
You can share infographics on many platforms, including your website, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
There is no standard infographic shape. Choose the format that is most adapted to where you’ll be sharing your infographic.
Less is more: remember that the point of the infographic is to clarify information, not overwhelm your reader.
Whatever your business goals are, infographics are a great way to connect with your audience. With so many affordable and user-friendly tools out there, you have everything to gain by creating your own.