7 Tips for Creating Awesome Infographics

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, February 09, 2015
Matt Carrington, PR Daily

Infographics are all around us.

Although they have come under some scrutiny in recent years, done well they are an extremely useful way of presenting data in a cohesive way that allows you to easily compare and contrast key findings. With good creative work, they can also be a really attractive piece of marketing communication.

When pulling your data together for an infographic, you must focus on a topic that is engaging to your target audience. However, once you have all the data, have created a beautiful image, and have it all set to go, you’ll want to maximize its effectiveness, so here are our top seven tips for doing just that:

Size matters

Always provide a high-resolution version of your image. If press or bloggers want to share it, they’ll need it in high resolution, so don’t limit your options before you start.

It’s also a good idea to build a smaller version of the infographic, or an “infogram,” which will appear as a small, attractive image when shared on Facebook and Twitter. Typically an infogram is a concise part of an infographic that can be viewed as standalone content.

Though not essential, this will make outreach a lot more successful, as you can offer bloggers an infographic to host on their site and an infogram to share online. The infographic must look great, but you should make sure it is also the right size for your website.

What’s in a name?

Get your title right. The page should have a catchy title and an introductory paragraph, as well as a few more paragraphs outlining the highlights. If posting into a blog, make sure you have a catchy post title that can be easily shared on external sites and by bloggers who may want to reference your work.

Brand it

Don't go overboard with the branding; less will usually be more during the outreach process. Bloggers will appreciate being affiliated with an established brand, but they know their worth and won’t feel comfortable providing free advertising for you. Make a judgment call that makes sense for your audience.

Break it down

Breaking down the infographic into sections can help make data easier to digest. If you take this approach, you should still provide the full infographic at the bottom of the page so that users can still view your creation in all its glory. A great example of this can be seen here.

Offer your insights

Don’t leave your infographic as a standalone piece of communication. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to showcase data-led insights.

The infographic is also more likely to be shared and linked to if it offers real value to people. Adding extra tips/stats/data could turn the onsite page into a resource that would be easier to pitch to bloggers and journalists. The bonus info also will encourage people to share it.

What’s more, providing insights to back up your statistics will increase the topical relevance of the page, enhancing the chance your content will rank well in searches.

Reference

Enhance its credibility by referencing all the great data sources you’ve used to compile your infographic. Make sure you use clickable URLs so that blogs/sites can actually find all the information in case they want to add something when publishing the infographic. This includes referencing research that you may have completed in-house as well. These should be placed at the bottom of the page.

Build it, and they will come?

Finally, you must consider the visibility of your infographic; after all that hard work, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. Make sure you share it across your social networks, as well as engaging with your influencers to share it through their sites.

The content will generate SEO value for your brand, so ensure that appropriate links are included.


3 Deadly Mistakes of Infographic Creation

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, February 09, 2015
Eric Siu, CEO, Single Grain. Founder, Growth Everywhere

Google’s search volume for infographics dramatically increased more than 800 percent in just a few years, according to Hubspot, and overall inforgraphic production has risen 1 percent daily. The rising trend may point back to our learning preference. The Social Science Research Network reported that 65 percent of people are visual learners, making infographics and other images a crucial part of your content marketing strategy.

Content marketers and businesses are taking notice of infographics' power and popularity. KISSmettics published 47 infographics in just two years, helping it generate 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains in the same time period. They have also received 41,359 tweets and 20,859 likes. The site estimates that if it had spent just 5 cents per visitor, it would have amassed a $125,000 bill. Its infographic and content-marketing efforts only cost around $28,200. 

Let’s look at how visuals effect social media. Facebook photos command 53 percent more likes than the average post. Image-based social networks such as Pinterest boasts over 70 million users with 70 percent located in the U.S. With a skyrocketing trend towards visual information, businesses can benefit from creating infographics. Here’s our round-up of three common mistakes made while creating infographics, and why you should avoid them at all costs.

1. Too wordy. As referenced above, 65 percent of people are visual learners. Of course, text can play an important role by giving context and explaining the corresponding infographic wherever necessary, but should be short in comparison to graphs and illustrations. Go in order of importance and use graphs first. If you can’t describe your point with a graph, find an illustration to use, with text serving to give more context to the piece.

Spend some time on your infographic’s design to make them more visually commanding. Make your infographics stand out with big, bold numbers and statistics to support your messaging. Check out the infographic The Most Popular Books of All Time, from Love Reading as a compelling use of mixing graphs and illustration. 

2. No branding. Consider the three main purposes of infographics: expertise, driving referral traffic and SEO. Brand your content to ensure your infographics help achieve all three purposes. The simplest way to brand an infographic is by adding your company name, logo and website address at the bottom to show ownership. Anyone planning to share it by social media or re=post it to their own site will know who to link to without hunting down the information.

Remember to add your details to the top of the infographic as well. If you are an expert in your industry or niche, adding your logo and company name makes it easy for people to find you and recognize your brand. New and emerging companies need every opportunity to brand themselves to build recognition. Aside from making sure everyone knows who you and your company are, branding an infographic can help protect it from unscrupulous marketers passing off the infographic as their own.

Check out the infographic, The High Cost of Multitasking, by Fuze, to see the ideal way to brand an infographic. Notice their logo, business name and website address all displayed attractively at the bottom.

3. Too long. According to Neil Patel of KISSmetrics, an infographic shouldn’t have more than 6 main points. Otherwise, you risk giving the reader too much information to digest.

Patel discovered infographics with six main data points get more tweets than those with five or seven. If it’s necessary to include more than six main data points, divide it into several parts instead. Remember to let the reader know the infographic is part of a series by adding serial numbers so they can follow along accordingly. Or add a line at the bottom of your infographic asking your audience to read the rest of the series.

Infographics can be short and still serve a powerful punch, but also shouldn’t be rushed. They require care and time before your business will benefit from SEO and social-media recognition. Get started by making your infographics easily shareable by adding social-media widgets on your site or blog posts, and asking your audience to spread the word.