As social media plays an increasingly significant role in marketing and SEO, infographics have become a mainstream part of online content. The idea is simple: have some important data you need to tell people? Show them with a diagram. It will take longer to produce, but it’s quicker to read and far more likely to be shared by impressed visitors to your site.
There are three main types of data visualisation you’ll encounter: there’s the map, which typically involves areas broken down by particular facts or categories; the chart, which presents straight-forward statistics as a standard graph; and the timeline, where data exists as a flowchart or continues in a string along the page.
The world of real estate marketing is perfectly suited to infographics. Average prices or popular property destinations lend themselves to maps, while changes in property values over time are easily captured by a chart. But where do you start? Here are seven steps to make a splash.
Find some unique data
Data is the key to an infographic. Visual design is important, but your pictures need to have a solid factual base – and it should be something that is genuinely interesting. Google Public Data Explorer is a useful resource for national statistics, but if you can reveal something new, people are far more likely to pay attention.
Where can you find unique data? Your property portal, with its user profiles, property listings database and international scope, should be your first port of call. The most expensive property areas in Spain. The average number of days houses take to sell in Portugal. The country with the most houses for sale. Your website can provide you with all of these statistics.
Plan your layout
Brainstorm a layout in advance to avoid having to undo your work halfway through. Things like symmetry and spacing are important – as is making sure that your individual diagrams are the right size. Are your numbers clear? Do your colours match? The end result should be eye-catching at first glance and reward the reader with more detail upon further examination.
Use pictures not words
You’re making an infographic – the emphasis is on the second half of the word. Try to show your data with nice big icons and pictures (with an emphasis on the word “big”). This will make your information far quicker to process. It’s not a golden rule by any means, but try to remember that fewer words are usually better.
Vary your data types
No-one likes to look at the same thing over and over, so your data and visuals should have a strong sense of variety. If you’re looking at house prices in Spain, break that down into different categories, such as property types, major towns or popular regions. Then present each data group in a different format: bar graphs, pie charts, line drawings, circles, maps, word clouds and even doodles are an option.
For a full range of tools to create attractive diagrams, Hohli’s chart builder is worth a visit, while Creately works well for flowcharts. For more control over your creation, Google Docs and Microsoft’s Excel have also improved their chart customisation of late.
Don’t break copyright
Size does matter
The saving and sharing of your infographic is as important as the scale of information it contains. It needs to be big so people can read it (as well as to fit in all your data) but if it’s too big, people will struggle to download it. Using a program such as InDesign or Photoshop can help you customise your file’s resolution and get the balance right.
Look at other infographics
It’s always a good idea to check out existing infographics to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, there have been some excellent real estate infographics in recent months. Some of our favourites include a chart comparing US states in terms of which sex sells more property, which combined unexpected data with a simple map layout, and a diagram detailing how to “ghost-proof your home” for Halloween, which had a novelty appeal that matched its distinctive cartoon illustration.
Crucially, from a real estate marketing perspective, both were widely shared by property websites and non-property websites alike.
Here they are:
(From Credit Sesame)
A good demonstration of using a variety of data types is this Giving Housing a Hand infographic from Mint:
(From Mint Life Blog)
And for an example of how to be ambitious in both content, variety and scale, this home affordability infographic is hard to beat:
(From Smart on Money)
Inspired by these, TheMoveChannel.com today released its first infographic, providing a quick overview of France in terms of its property market.
This is what it looks like:
Visit TheMoveChannel.com to see the France: At a Glance data up close.
Filed under: Marketing Tips