Dental Marketing: A Dentist’s Guide to Creating an Infographic
You’ve seen them all over the internet—graphics, beautifully arranged with text that conveys information in a quick, succinct manner. They are easy to skim and easy to share, making them the powerhouse of the blogging and social media world. But infographics can only be made by graphic designers, right? And my dental practice doesn’t have any content unique enough for an infographic, right?
With just a little bit of work and a keen eye, you can make a beautiful infographic on par with those made by professional graphic designers in their professional programs, utilizing your firsthand knowledge of the dental industry—in just four steps!
An infographic is a great departure from the run-of-the-mill text-based blog post and can pack a visual punch when it comes to delivering information and making it easy to share. In order to create these graphics, all you need is a rudimentary understanding of PowerPoint and the hour you would usually spend writing your weekly blog post.
Step One: Gather the Data
Hard data is the foundation of any great infographic. If you have your own data, gathered from your patients or from studies you have conducted, gather it all into one place so you can survey it and decide what you want to use and how you want to format it.
If you are using someone else’s data, make sure to properly cite your source at the end of the infographic. Graphics that use data collected from other sources, usually list links to all of those sources at the very end, so as to not clutter up the content with references.
This data should be unified in purpose. It should all be able to fall neatly under one title, without having to stretch and explain how the percentage of patients that have cavities relates to the percentage of patients that have dentures. There are titles, however, that would cover both of these of topics.
Trying to cram data that has nothing to do with your topic into an unrelated infographic will only be distracting for your viewers. If you have great stats that just don’t fit into this graphic, save them for the next one.
Step Two: Choose Your Format
While creating an infographic might have been relegated just to professional designers who were familiar with programs like InDesign or Photoshop, you can now use a program as simple as PowerPoint to create your infographic.
You can even find free templates that make the infographic process as easy as inserting your information and adjusting the fonts. These templates are especially useful if you are going to share the graphic via social media like Pinterest, which favors clean lines and large text with interesting and focused graphics.
While whitespace is important, too much of it can kill an infographic. Information should be tightly, cleanly packed. Alternate the size of the text to create emphasis and to draw the eye. A good rule of thumb to stick to, especially if you are new to any sort of design, is to pick three colors and stay with them.
Try to choose two fonts, one sans serif or serif that is fairly standard, and one font that is more interesting but is still readable. Juxtaposing thick with thin or straight with italics is always a good way to draw the eye and add interest—just don’t go overboard. Too many fonts will look messy, cluttered, and unprofessional.
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Step Three: Add Your Content
Once you have your template in place, start adding your data and content. Just as you do when you write a blog, think about what will be most relevant to your readers. What content do they want to see? What data will be most interesting or useful to their lives?
If your infographic is, for example, “Ten Little Known Facts about Wisdom Teeth,” start your infographic with the most shocking or interesting statistic that you have—like that 35% of people are born without any wisdom teeth at all.
Change out your graphics so that they reference your specific data and topic. Microsoft Clipart is a good place to look for graphics, or create your own from the shapes menu on PowerPoint. This program also has tools that make it easy to create different kinds of charts from your data.
If your blog has a specific color scheme, consider incorporating that color scheme into your infographic. And don’t forget to add your references at the end.
If you are not using a template but still want to use PowerPoint, outline the space for your infographic and use a visual reference as an example of how to arrange content and graphics so that the finished product looks clean and professional. As a rule, more than two fonts, more than three colors, and unedited text will make the infographic look messy.
Step Four: Post it!
Once your infographic is completely finished and you have read over the content to make sure it contains no errors, it is time to publish it. Select every element in your infographic (ctrl + A) and use PowerPoint’s “group” function to keep it all together. You can then copy and paste it into Paint, where you can save it as a high quality JPEG for publishing on your blog.
Your infographic will only need a little, if any introduction, but make sure that it can be easily shared, with Facebook, Twitter, and, most importantly, Pinterest buttons along the bottom of the post.
Share it on your social media and start promoting it so that it gets the visibility it deserves.
While the first infographic may take more than an hour, especially if you do not use a template, you can quickly and easily speed up the process, now that you’ve made your first successful graphic!
Image source from 1dental.com.