How exciting, you’ve just received approval to go forward with your first infographic design for your site, brand or business! Before jumping to gun and hiring a graphic designer, are you positive that you have everything in place to make sure your infographic checklist is ready to pull in the masses and maybe even go viral in the process?
The art of infographics isn’t simply having one, it’s the process and value that your infographic delivers once someone sees it for the first time. To get the best engagement and ROI from your infographic, there are some things you should know and study before getting started.
Below we have listed 8 of the most important factors and elements that every successful infographic must have. Before moving forward with your infographic design or handing the whole project off for someone else to manage, make sure you have all of these key points covered so your finished graphic looks like a work of art while also being a powerful branding too!
How to make an effective infographic
There are millions of infographic design inspiration floating around the internet. Many you’ve seen before, and even more than you will never see. The difference between the good ones and bad ones is more than just design, it’s also the value they deliver and how it’s promoted to different audiences.
1 – Make it a Great Story
One of the most important factors of a successful infographic is making sure you have a storyline in place. Since most infographics read like they are a story or break down the process of something, map out your data so it’s a progression that makes sense and allows the end user to want to keep viewing it til the end.
2 – Visual Design is Everything
Why are infographics heavily preferred over boring text information? Simple. It’s because of the way they quickly provide users with visual data and information.
With that in mind, if your infographic isn’t visually pleasing and doesn’t have a clean and professional look to it, it will also be treated with less respect and attention from your audience. At the same time, most websites and social network users will be less likely to share and post low-quality infographics to their audiences. For these two reasons in itself, having a great looking design is crucial towards the success of your infographic.
In addition to a clean and professional style, it’s also important to use high-quality or original images within your infographic. When it comes to colors, emotions will also come into play. View our previous article on the emotions of colors to learn more about how to engage with your audience by using different colors in different locations.
3 – Simplicity is Key
Infographics are great for consuming data because they eliminate most of the fluff that text-based articles provide. With this in mind, be sure that your infographics aren’t cluttered with text and have a lot of whitespace in between data points and images.
The easier it is to read and consume the information within your infographic, the more likely you are to find sharing success with it.
4 – Size Matters
When creating an infographic for your website or brand, you will also need to consider the size of your image as well. Many websites will provide the full-size file for people to download and access from their sites, but this is often too large for the average user. The ideal horizontal width for an infographic is 735 pixels, while the length should be under 5,000 pixels.
In addition to the physical size of your infographic, the file size is something you will want to monitor as well. Try not to publish huge data sized .png files, but instead post a compressed .jpg file instead. This will allow for faster loading and easier viewing on different devices.
5 – It’s All About the Data
Intertwined within the storyline for your infographic, is also the data that you will be providing to your audience. When delivering this data, keep all of our previous key points in mind — such as making sure it’s relevant, accurate and that text usage is minimal.
Some of the most popular infographic topics are ones that focus on business, technology, social media, and the economy — all of which are heavily influenced by case studies, reports, and data reports.
Many infographics struggle with the accuracy or timeliness of their data. While it’s easy to find data online on just about anything, it’s not easy to find the most recent data. When creating your infographic, try and keep the data as recent as possible and don’t include anything from beyond a year from the date of publication unless the date is specifically referenced.
6 – Shareability Across All Platforms
The majority of brands and businesses that invest time and money in infographic creation are doing so because of the social sharing aspect that they are often associated infographics. The common question here is, why are some infographics shared more than others? The answer to this question varies, but it’s mainly due to the content found within an infographic and how it’s marketed and shared afterwards.
A good example of a smart way to promote an infographic through social media, is to make sure you have social sharing buttons on your main site where you’ve publicly posted your infographic. When it comes time to share that same post and infographic on different social networks, it’s recommended to create custom images sizes for each promotion and not using your basic infographic file.
For more information on the best image sizes to use for different social networks, you can refer to this social image cheat sheet.
7 – References and Data Sources
As mentioned throughout this reference guide, the data and quality of your infographic is key. Without reliable data sources it will be hard to pull together a quality infographic that other websites will trust and want to share with their audiences.
During the pre-creation phase of your infographic you will want to make a list of data points you would like to include and send to your designer. Of these data sources, you will want to use only reliable sources and also double-check the facts if possible (find other sources that report the same).
Another quick tip to help with the promotion of your infographic after it’s completed, is to contact each of the sites and data sources used within your image. This can greatly boost the exposure of your infographic as many of these sites will likely promote it to their audiences as well (since they’ve been cited as a reliable source).
8 – Promotion. Promotion. Promotion.
The last element in this guide is the most important one of all. If you aren’t actively promoting your infographic after it goes live on your site, you are just letting it go to waste.
Millions of infographics are floating around the internet and there is simply way too much content being created on a daily basis to sit back and relax. To get the most out of your infographic, be sure to implement the following successful infographics promotional tips right away.
- Post to your site – This one is a no-brainer. Post the infographic to your site and make it easy for other people to share your content (through social sharing buttons and embed codes).
- Share on social media – It’s very likely you already have profiles across all of the major social networks. Kickstart your promotions by sending it out to your own audiences first.
- Contributing to other relevant sites – Don’t just rely on your own sites and audiences for infographic exposure. Many sites within your niche will offer guest blogging or infographic submissions that will allow you to provide content in exchange for getting exposure on other sites. This is a great way to potentially get your infographic in front of thousands of new viewers at little to no extra cost.
After completing each of the infographic design tips above, be sure to go back and repeat the process again. Finding success with infographics is all about continued promotion and getting them shared to new audiences.
Let Us do the Work for You!
We’ve covered a lot of information in this resource guide and it can be quite overwhelming if you are trying to create an infographic on your own.
Having designed thousands of infographics for many of the world’s top brands and websites, we know what it takes to create a winning design.
Contact our design team today for a free consultation and see how we can take the work out of the infographic design process!