An infographic is a graphic visual representation of information or data. They illustrate information clearly and quickly in a graphic format – which would otherwise be lengthy and complex in text form. They are the visual equivalent of a soundbite.
Infographics are ideal for communicating with an online audience whose attention and time are both very limited.
Infographics are generally made available online using social media, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn. A compelling infographic will often be propagated to a large audience as a result of readers' interactions with the content, e.g. quoted tweet, retweeted, forwarded/shared, up voted, liked, viewed, commented. This organic amplification of the audience makes infographics attractive for organizations or individuals looking to promote themselves through social media.
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Infographics can help: build brand awareness and reputation; generate sales leads; increase subscribers to newsletters and social media accounts; drive traffic to websites, online stores and social media accounts.
Infographics can vary widely in their type and style. However, a characteristic that all infographics have in common is that they are “stand alone”, which is to say that they do not need any further explanation to be understood.
The most common types of infographics are: statistical; informational; timeline; process; comparison; geographical; hierarchical; and list. Some infographics are a combination of two or more types.
From a style perspective, some infographics can be very graphic-heavy and others can be a graphic-lite visualization of data.
Note that infographics aren't just for social media. Once created, they can be (re)used in different electronic, print and physical assets, including: presentations; videos; training materials; newsletters; sales emails; posters; brochures; mobile apps; background wallpapers for computers and mobile devices; books/e-books; reports; flyers; and online store products such as T-shirts, framed prints, etc.
There are different types of infographic content creators, including: individuals; not-for-profit organizations; governments; NGOs; educational institutions; commercial product and services companies; and media organizations.
Content creators will tailor their infographics to the intended audience, e.g. sales prospects, space enthusiasts, general public, students.
Characteristics of successful infographics include: an interesting topic that readers will want to share; well researched and accurate data; and a visually compelling design.
Additional Information For The Curious
Part 3: Guide to the Stars (of Space Economy & Technology Infographics) Non-Commercial Content Creators (pending)
Part 4: Guide to the Stars (of Space Economy & Technology Infographics) Media Content Creators (pending)
Part 6: Guide to the Stars (of Space Economy & Technology Infographics) Social Media Channels Characteristics (pending)