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Given the popularity of infographics, you’d be wise to consider using them to help achieve your content marketing goals. They can be great for social sharing, blog fodder and inbound links.

The last time I created an infographic I used – wait for it - Microsoft Excel. Thankfully there are now some far better options, and they're surprisingly easy to use.

I have compiled five of online tools that will help you to create infographics. They’re all free, though some require registration (or to connect your Twitter or Facebook account) and most have the upgrade options.

Hold on a moment!

Before you begin, consider that many infographics are often – to quote Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis – “high on graphics and low on information”.  

As such it is important to map out your story / message / goals before starting to work on the design itself. 

There’s a great post on the LEWIS PR blog that explains how to optimise an infographic, based around three key questions, which are:

1. What type of infographic do we want, and what type of data will we be collecting?

2. What parts of the infographic do we know already, and which parts will the designer determine?

3. What basic graphic elements would we like to use and how?

Sound advice, and it's worth remembering that old proverb about "he who fails to plan, plans to fail". 

Ok, let's now take a look at these lovely tools.

Easelly

Easelly allows you to create your own infographics using its ‘Vhemes’, which are infographic templates that you can customise. It does a good line in icons and graphics too.

 

Piktochart

We’ve used Piktochart to create some of our own infographics. It provides you with a choice of six free templates (more are available if you upgrade). Colour themes are easy to change, and you can create charts manually or by uploading CSV files.

Infogram

Infogram is very easy to use, with six templates, and - infographics aside - it is also great for creating standalone charts. 

Creately

Creately is a ‘diagramming’ tool, which can help you to wireframe an infographic before putting it into production. It includes a new real-time collaboration feature, allowing you to work on a design with a colleague or client simultaneously. 

Visually

Visually has templates that allow you to create infographics based around Twitter or Facebook data. Alternatively, and if you don’t have the time to produce your own infographic, then check out the Visually marketplace. They start from $1,495 and typically take at least 18 days to produce.

 

I'm sure there are some others out there but these tools are all useful in helping you to quickly make infographics online. What others have you seen? 

Chris Lake

Published 22 October, 2012 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (28)

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Nishadha ( Creately )

Thanks for featuring us. The timing of this post is also excellent since we just added US maps and World maps to our object library and added some level of interaction.

almost 4 years ago

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I love posts like this - the more tools the better! Some of these look excellent and I will definitely be tryong them out. Does anyone have any other favourites?

almost 4 years ago

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Malcolm Gibb

Sorry, no matter how useful this post is I loathe these kinds of posts on Infographics. Sure displaying data in an aesthetically pleasing way can and is useful for some topics, but with the amount of people jumping on the bandwagon and generating poor infographics for anything and everything hoping for links and virality it is ridiculous to make this an "automated process".

This is one SEO technique I believe will hit in a 2013 update, the more people abuse it with low quality garbage content the more scrutiny it will get from Google as a link building technique.

almost 4 years ago

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Tom Fordham

Really good article as we've been keen to release some data on the marketing recruitment industry through an infographic so will check these out.
@Malcolm - surely infographics as a whole can't be scrutinised. At the end of the day if the content of it is no good people won't share it and therefore links won't be achieved and won't need scrutinising? I'm not an SEO myself so I may be misinterpreting your comment? Is the sharing where the linkbuilding value of infographics comes from?

almost 4 years ago

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Malcolm Gibb

I'm not saying Infographics are bad, it's just that everyone and their dog are using them to visualise data that doesn't deserve or is appropriate to turn into an infographic. If a technique gets abused and overused to the point it is just spam it is just a matter of time before Google hits it and I think Infographics are almost close to this point.

Just do a search for 'recruitment infographics' how many results turn up? Look at the shares and virality of them? Do you really think your infographic will add value to your audience or the web?

almost 4 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Malcolm - I totally understand where you're coming from. For every good infographics there are countless bad ones. But that doesn't mean that we should discount them entirely.

almost 4 years ago

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Malcolm Gibb

@Chris I don't think I have suggested to discount them entirely. The post above outlines resources to make creating infographics an 'automated process' where anyone can simply slip in a few half credible facts, choose a template and out comes another half-assed infographic.

Don't get me wrong I have seen some extremely useful outstanding infographics that I check back to often. However for every amazing infographic there are about 100 awful ones that clutter the web up.

We have seen this before where particular SEO techniques get over used to the point of becoming spam and then get hit from algo updates. Not to mention infographics are essentially duplicate content.

I do use Infographics as an SEO, however only where there has been a solid case study or the like and it's not just a link building exercise.

almost 4 years ago

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Tom Fordham

@Malcolm As I'm not an SEO I wouldn't really be using an infographic to go viral, although obviously if it did that would be a bonus. I'd use it more as an alternative to a standard blog post not for the whole world but for our clients and customers who whilst they may be able to access the information if they searched for it we'd make it easier by providing it proactively.

I don't totally understand how infographics are used for linkbuilding - is it as simple as people hope that it's shared and as such brings traffic back to the site - to do this do you need to put a link to your own site within the copy on the infographic or should it always be referenced back to you anyway?

almost 4 years ago

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Superb Search

Great article Chris. So happy I found this on my Twitter feed & favorited it. Will definitely save me a few pounds in the future!

In regards to the discussion in the comments section, I do believe infographics provide viewers with information in a great visualized way. In my view, it attracts viewers to a brand and somehow makes the communication between brand and consumer a whole load more personal than just reading a block of text on a web page.

However, I do agree that infographics should be used sporadically and only when the data that is being visualised is considered highly important and interactive for its viewers.

almost 4 years ago

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Shei Wah

Infographic will work well so long as they are applied in the context of a well thought out content marketing strategy.

over 3 years ago

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I always thought that users should try and stay away from tools so they are more likely to create a unique infographic - some of the tools posted however do look quite good though, will have to check them out.

over 3 years ago

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Zennith

It's great that these tools are available and they can produce decent results but I do agree with Tom's comment that if you want something really unique that will stand out a bit more, there's no substitute for using a human designer.

Another big issue with these tools is that they don't take into account accessibility - things like text size/ratio, colour contrast and not using colour alone to represent data can be easily incorporated so that people with visual impairments can view the content. Infographics also can't be navigated by a screen reader so it's best practice to include a text alternative - which is also great for SEO since it can be indexed!

Access iQ has produced an accessibly infographic (on web accessibility in fact) as well as an article on how to create an accessible infographic, though you have to register on the site to get the article.

over 3 years ago

Eric Layland

Eric Layland, President at Canna Ventures

Most infographics should not be confused with data visualization. Typically they are the equivalent of eye candy: easy to consume, low on nutrients. Perhaps they better labeled the Reader's Digest or Cliff Notes version of data visualization.

In moderation and understanding you really can't base business decisions on them, they have a place.

over 3 years ago

Ana Jenkins

Ana Jenkins, Digital Content Manager at Visa Europe

Yes, there are many horrid infographics and obviously design agencies can produce better, bespoke ones. We should not underestimate the strong "self regulation" around them though - silly ones don't tend to go very far.

If people and organisations have compelling, strong, desirable data and creative, but not design skills, then these tools seem to open great opportunities to present information better.

over 3 years ago

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Loft Insulation

Many thanks, would like some more templates if anyone knows where to find.

over 3 years ago

Carl Duncker

Carl Duncker, Digital Marketing Consultant at Maverick Digital Media

Love infographics! These tools are great for any digital marketer. Cheers!

over 3 years ago

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Josh Kuperus

Very helpful article. Thank you. I now plan to use infograms on a website I'm launching tuesday!

over 3 years ago

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Rohan

i used to make infograph with the help of powerpoint and then doing tricks with it in photoshop but your article made me get rid of that. i tried infogram and that is working for me.thanks for such great article.

over 3 years ago

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Mahender Reddy

I am into pinterest marketing recently and loving these infographs. I tried to make few infographics with Easel.ly and Infogr.am where Infogram was too easy and good to use for me. Article is very helpful for those(like me for small businesses) who are looking for cheap and simple infographics.

Cheers!

over 3 years ago

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Nick

I think infographics are a great tool for anyone wanting to connect with thier audience however it's sometimes difficult to know what to put in your graphic. I think also this is where some these templates will be useful for someone like me wanting to use infographics but not too sure how to go about the whole process. Thanks

over 3 years ago

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Jade

Thank you, very helpful, Also is a basic knowledge of graphic designing is necessary for creating infograms?

over 3 years ago

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Christa Avampato

Thanks so much for this list of resources. Very helpful for a project I am doing.

over 3 years ago

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Adnan Shahid

Thanks for such good list of resources

over 3 years ago

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Punit Tongia

Thanks a lot. Very important list.

over 3 years ago

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jayr

this is a very big help especially on me as an infographic artist. thanks a lot buddy, im gonna make this page as my personal source.

about 3 years ago

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seo link, http://infographics.li/ at 77070

i think this is very important information for every one.Beneficial and i appreciated you.i wanna discus on this topic.We are providing a big deal in USA.i which infographic templates, infographic template, Buy infographic Templates etc.For more detail visit here : http://infographics.li/

about 2 years ago

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Havas World Wide Digital, SEO at 560034

I think infographics are a great tool for anyone wanting to connect with thier audience however it's sometimes difficult to know what to put in your graphic

Regards
http://www.havasworldwidematrix.com/

about 2 years ago

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Mats Forss, CEO at desigggner

Thanks for sharing this one.

I think the best tool to create infographics is definitely Adobe Illustrator. Why? Because you have endless possibilities to make up any kind of an infographic design. Web is full of illustrator tutorials If you don't know how to use it. It's easy to learn fast.

I have created several awesome infographic vector templates with modern colored designs. These sets have sold thousands of times. I also have a free infographics vector template for you to start with.

This might be a little self-promotion, but I promise you'll find a ton of value from these infographic templates. Thousands have. You can make infographics so much faster and still keep them running at high quality design.

Head over to http://desigggner.com for more.

almost 2 years ago

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