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You don't need graphic design experience to create a compelling infographic. There are multiple sites that offer aesthetically pleasing templates, many of which are free. — Getty Images/10'000 Hours

Infographics are a great way to grab a user’s attention on social media and build brand awareness. One report found that infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content. However, it can be daunting to create an infographic if you have no design experience.

There are dozens of tools — many of which are free — that can help you create a shareable infographic to promote your business. Follow the three steps below to start making infographics that will benefit your online marketing.

Step 1: Decide what information you want to share

Infographics are best suited for sharing a lot of data in a compact way. Many people learn visually, and infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles. This means that there is plenty of material you can cover using a simple infographic.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to choosing a topic for your infographic. Many marketing teams use infographics on social media to repackage e-books, blog posts, or other forms of thought leadership.

“Infographic marketing provides you with new ways to repurpose your old content and keep your blog constantly updated. Choose some of your older, text-heavy blog posts and convert the points into bite-sized information for an infographic,” wrote Sprout Social.

Other good content for an infographic could be new research or data, fun facts, and a comparison of two similar products or services. The information you choose to share will play a role in the format you use.

There's no limit to how you design your infographic, as long as it flows well and follows design best practices.

Step 2: Choose an infographic format

There are many layouts you can use for your infographic, many of which are available in premade templates. As you search for a design you can customize, it’s useful to know which formats are the most common.

  • Comparison infographics compare and contrast two products, services, or ideas.
  • Marketing infographics show a new product, summarize a blog post, or highlight a business achievement, with the goal of building brand awareness.
  • Process infographics take you through a step-by-step guide demonstrating how to do something or how something is made.
  • Timeline infographics communicate key dates in the company’s history, a schedule for an online contest, or a road map for a new product release (e.g., something time-related).
  • Statistical infographics highlight key data and research.

Lists and how-to guides also make for great infographics. There’s no limit to how you design your infographic, as long as it flows well and follows design best practices.

[Read more: 10 Best Ways to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing]

Step 3: Customize a template

Unless you have design experience, or have a designer with whom you will work, it’s easiest to create an infographic from a template. Sites like Canva, HubSpot, easelly, Venngage, or Piktochart all offer templates, many of which are free.

Customize your template so it looks consistent with your brand. Use no more than two or three fonts to keep it readable. And choose colors that complement or align with your brand. “The color scheme should fit the infographic’s topic as well as your brand. If you’re writing about cancer deaths, avoid a fluorescent color scheme; if you’re trying to sell baby clothes with your infographic, stay away from a black and red look,” recommends 99designs.

You also want to make sure your infographic is sized correctly. Most infographics are 800 to 1000 pixels wide. You can make the infographic as long as you need to fit all the information, but be careful about the length. Most people have a limited attention span, so keep your visual focused and simple.

Once you’ve customized your infographic, download it in the right file format for your social media channels or for your presentation. This could be as a JPEG or PDF, depending on the tool you’re using.

[Read more: How to Give a Killer Business Presentation (Even If You're Nervous!)]

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