How to create an infographic in less than an hour [+ Free Templates]

Wouldn’t it be great if create infographics was as easy as writing old, text-based blog posts? Unfortunately, creating visual content like this usually takes a lot more time, effort, and let’s face it – skill – than the written word. Habitually.

But given the popularity and effectiveness of visual content in marketing today, you can’t afford to throw in the towel.

That’s why we decided to take all the pain and suffering out of creating infographic. Seriously – don’t give up just yet. You too can create professional-looking, high-quality, completed infographics in under an hour. I will prove it. First of all:

Then all you have to do is provide the content to use inside. It’s that simple. In fact, I’m going to show you how easy it is to create your own infographic by demonstrating with one of our 15 infographic templates in PowerPoint (photo above). Next, I’ll walk you through exactly what I did so you get a feel for how easy it really is.

1. Identify the audience for your infographic.

Infographics don’t just sell on design. You need to provide “information” as compelling as the “chart,” and in order to do that you need to know the audience your infographic intends to reach.

According to harvard business review, there are five possible audiences that can change the way you choose and view your data: novice, generalist, manager, expert, and executive. Start by comparing the ideal reader of your infographic with one of these five audiences – which one applies to your reader?

When you think about what data you want to visualize, let the five audiences above dictate how advanced your data is. A “newbie” audience, for example, may need data whose meaning is more obvious at first glance. An “expert” might be more interested in getting into the weeds of your numbers and posing theories around them. An “executive” has more in common with a novice audience in that they only have time for the simplest or most critical information, and the impact that will have on the business.

2. Collect your relevant content and data.

Using the audience you chose above, your next step is to organize all of the content and data that you will be using in the infographic. You can collect data from third parties or use your own original data. If you’re using third-party data, just be sure to cite your sources correctly, just like in any other good content.

  • Choose your data: Convincing data should be “comprehensive” enough to give your readers proper context around the data you are presenting. For example, a month-to-month spike in website traffic doesn’t mean much – until, say, you reveal that traffic has been steadily declining for the past three months. Suddenly you have a story of how you were able to reverse a downtrend.
  • Organization of your data: When collecting your data, make sure you know what story you want to tell through this information. Data for the sake of data won’t add value to your infographic at all.
  • Citing your sources: To keep your infographic uncluttered by a ton of different source URLs, a great way to cite your sources involves including a simple URL at the bottom of your infographic that links to a page on your site. You can also list the individual metrics used in your infographic and their sources, such as the full deal landing page that you are basing this free infographic on.

This way your infographic looks clean and professional, but people will still be able to access the sources regardless of where the infographic is shared or embedded. It can even bring visitors back to your site.

3. Choose your desired infographic template.

Your next step is to choose an appropriate infographic template to represent this data. The important thing is to choose a template that works specifically for the type of dataset / content you want to present. As you saw in the photo above, you can download our 15 infographic templates in PowerPoint and choose the model you want.

Some of your template options in the offer linked above include a timeline, flowchart, side-by-side comparison, and data-driven infographic. Here are some basic ideas for choosing an infographic template that suits the story you want your data to tell:

  • Side by side comparison infographic: This infographic design can help prove the advantage of one concept over another, or just explain the differences between two competing entities.
  • Organization chart infographic: This design is perfect for showcasing a new workflow for your organization, or how a linear or cyclical process works in your industry.
  • Timeline infographic: This design can tell a chronological story, or story, of a business, industry, product, or concept.
  • Infographic based on charts: This design is suitable for content creators posting a high volume of data and statistical information, making it a good choice for experts public, too.
  • Heavy infographic in pictures: This design is for content creators who are trying to reveal trends and information from shapes, designs or photographs – rather than just numbers and numbers.

4. Upload your template to PowerPoint.

For the sake of time (remember our mission is to create an infographic in less than an hour), I will create an infographic based on a compilation of steps and best practices that we have gathered in our guide, How to launch an inbound marketing campaign in 2018. For that, I chose the infographic template “World’s Greatest Timeline” in our collection of infographic templates, which is useful for my dataset as it will allow me to describe each step of the campaign creation process in order.

free timeline infographic template5. Personalize your infographic

Obviously, this is the longest part, but it’s also the most fun. Just find a catchy title, plug in your data / content and adjust the size and formatting of your fonts. Feel free to change graphics and colors, so that they are relevant to your brand and the data you provide. To further customize the look of the infographic, you can add or change the colors or font styles.

In this example, you will notice that I entered my text and changed the font colors to orange and dark blue, which is HubSpot’s signature:

custom infographic template with hubspot colors and content

You are also not limited by what the model includes. You can use PowerPoint software tools to create bar charts, pie charts, and other visuals to support your data. (Note: Download our free infographic templates for a quick reference for using the various PowerPoint features and tools.)

6. Include a footer with your sources and logo.

Finally, I have included a link to my source (which can be found here), as well as the HubSpot logo to let people know who created the infographic whether it’s shared on social media or embedded on other websites – which you definitely want, as one of the main benefits of the creating infographics is their ability to share.

personalized infographic footer with HubSpot logo and brand information

7. Add embed code and a Pinterest button, then post it.

The only thing you need to do is publish and promote your awesome new infographic. As I mentioned before, we recommend that you use your blog to publish it (including your list of sources), including a Pinterest button for visitors to easily “pin” your infographic to Pinterest, and create and add an embed code for visitors to share on their own websites and blogs, as we did above.

custom free timeline infographic template

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That’s it! It all took me less than an hour to set up – much shorter than it would have taken if I had started from scratch (not to mention a more professional look … and less expensive than hiring a designer).

That’s it! It all took me less than an hour to put together – a lot less time (not to say more professional) than it would have taken if I had started from scratch. Plus, it costs less than hiring a designer and using the resources you might want to save for larger campaigns.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for completeness.

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