As a B2B marketer, you’re in a constant battle for consumer attention. The modern consumer is exposed to thousands of brand messages each day. So how do you stand out?
To cut through all of that noise, marketers are starting to make their messages more visual. In no place is this more apparent than the explosion of infographics. Infographic design service Visual.ly estimates that between 2009 and 2010 alone, the number of infographics increased over 50x.
This growth has created a tremendous demand for data visualization designers that can supply eye-catching infographics for the thousands of eager marketing departments looking to cash in on the growing trend. Unfortunately, this demand has also catapulted prices for well-designed infographics into the thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, the demand for infographics has also led to the emergence of a number of free tools that allow marketers to create infographics of their own– no design skills required.
Visual.ly is an online tool that is looking to do for infographics what PowerPoint has done for custom presentations. The service provides a wealth of custom templates that users can choose from to insert predetermined data sets. Data sets are drawn from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Data.gov through data APIs. Visual.ly also allows you to customize datasets by inputting specific social accounts and hashtags.
The tool is simple, straightforward, and easy for almost any marketer to use. The only drawback is the limited amount of data that can be used through the service’s various APIs. I expect many marketers would prefer to input their own data rather than data that is publicly accessible. However, if you are looking for a service that provides both data and design, Visual.ly is probably the right choice for you.
If you’re craving more personalized data in your infographics, then Infogr.am may be a better option. Infogr.am is a Latvian startup (Hey! Pardot is a Latvian word!) focused on making the job of creating infographics easy for even the least graphically inclined. Like Visual.ly, Infogr.am offers a number of graphic templates and themes for users to choose from and a slick WYSIWIG editor to drag an drop desired elements.
What sets Infogr.am apart from its competitors is the ability to add your own datasets directly into your infographic. You can upload an Excel or CSV file or simply fill in data through copy and paste. Once you have completed your infographic, Infogr.am allows you to publish to your social media platforms or embed in a forum or blog. The service is fast and straightforward, and will continue to offer more themes as the platform grows.
Google Chart Tools
Google Chart Tools is the least user-friendly service on this list, but is the most effective when it comes to visualizing real-time data on your site. So if you’re more tech-savvy and looking for graphical help, or if you can bug your IT team to go the extra mile, Google Chart Tools can make a big difference to the way data is displayed on your site.
Are you using infographics in your marketing? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.