5 Ways to Step Up Your Infographics

steps 10pcThere was a time when simply creating and sharing an infographic would net you a ridiculous amount of attention. Those days are long gone because now everyone has figured out the importance of visual content and therefore infographics are used much more frequently. Now, the space is competitive.

Your infographic has to be both more compelling and informative than the next. That’s not the easiest thing to accomplish, especially when you’re working with a particularly boring or dull topic.To stand out, you first need to understand what makes a great infographic. Once you do, you can implement the elements that are most important in your own content, hopefully making the finished product shareworthy.

Here are some ways to step up your infographics. Follow these tips and you should be good to go.

  1. Keep the Size Manageable 

Infographics are supposed to be long and filled with tons of facts, information, and pointers — we all get that. At the same time, you don’t want your audience to have to scroll endlessly to view everything you have to say. Keep the length, size and amount of information manageable for all parties involved, including you.

In practice, anything longer than 8,000 to 10,000 pixels is encroaching on ridiculous territory. In addition, the longer your infographic is the bigger in size it’s going to be. That means people who have to download the content may run into some issues, especially if they’re working with a slow internet connection or hard data caps.

To trim down the size if you’ve gone too far, just remove extraneous information. Try to keep your entire message to the point and focused. At the end of the day, you may have to trim off some of the elements you feel are necessary to fit everything into a smaller space. That’s okay, but make sure your message is still coherent and accessible.

  1. Avoid Cramping and Clutter

Infographics aren’t just about the information you’re presenting, they’re about how you do it. In short, that means the visual style, layout and design of the graphic are important. When it comes to graphic design, white space on the page is crucial. With it, the finished product looks more impressive and professional, it helps balance the design elements and it just makes things prettier and easier for your audience.

Therefore, ensure you have plenty of white space between the elements in your infographics. This will allow readers to be drawn to the different sections, facts and information in a natural manner.

Check out this infographic by Renegade Pharmacist about what happens an hour after drinking Coke. Not only is it a great size and length — the point we talked about above — but it also makes excellent use of white space around the various facts and elements.

Another great example is this infographic from CJ Pony Parts about organ donation myths. Each myth is addressed in its own block, all of which have plenty of free space to break it up. The design is clean and simple, which makes it easier to read and more visually pleasing. Notice how your eyes are drawn from point to point, and there’s never really a moment of confusion. You never have to ask yourself what to read next.

  1. Make It Easy to Share

If your infographic resonates with your audience, they will share the message with others. You want this, you know you want this, so why not prepare for it? Wherever you publish the graphic, ensure there are embed sharing links for all the major social networks.

You’d be surprised at just how many shares you can garner by making the process easier for your visitors. They’re more likely to share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or elsewhere if it’s just a click away.

Head on over to this infographic by the Visual Communication Guy and notice how many different ways there are to share the content. At the top of the post, there are options to pin it on Pinterest or even “Like” and share it on Facebook. Right at the bottom there are more sharing options for some of the lesser known networks like Tumblr, Digg and more.

  1. Stagger Your Designs

It’s likely you’ll be creating multiple infographics over time so an important thing to remember is that you should change up your design, layout or style with each project. That’s not to say you can’t borrow elements that worked out great in your previous publications, but you don’t want them to match frame for frame. That goes for your competition, too — try to avoid copying their design and style.

Come up with something unique for each new publication as this will both improve the final product and make it more shareworthy. Audiences don’t like to see the same recycled content over and over.

If you use a template to create your infographic then try to avoid copying it exactly as it is. Change up some of the design elements and make it your own.

You don’t have to go to a particular brand’s website or channel to see examples of this. Take a look at this infographics blog and just browse some of the content you see on there. Every publication has its own design and style. That’s exactly what you want for every infographic that you publish now or in the future.

  1. Always Provide Your Sources

When you’re presenting information and facts to others, you want to build trust. The only way to do this with your audience is to cite your sources. It shows your audience that you’re not just making stuff up out of the blue. That trust will go a long way in the future, especially if your viewers see you as something of an authority in your field.

Whatever you do, don’t ever forget to include your sources. It’s also a great idea (and may be legally required depending on how you sourced the information) to include copyright and sharing information somewhere on the page. That way, people know your content is safe to share and you want them to pass it around.

This interactive infographic by Rinat Ashkenazi, David Paliwoda and Jesse Williams has its own “about” section dedicated to sharing sources. If there’s ever a moment that you doubt the information presented, you can visit each source offered to begin fact-checking.

sarahSarah Landrum graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a PR Specialist writing in her free time. Sarah is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers. You can find Sarah tweeting @SarahLandrum 

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  • Ashley May Cannon-Rhea

    This post was extremely helpful. As a PR student I just finished making my first infographic and I honestly had no idea what I was doing but this article gave me some great tips and insight on what to do in the future. I had no idea you could imbed a sharing link with your infographics so that is something I will definitely be adding to my finished products from now on.

  • So helpful and useful. Thank you

  • Madison Chackel

    This blog was so helpful and informative. Thank you. I also wanted to ask if you had tips for knowing what information is most crucial and vital to an infographic. As their is often so much information that you want to share, how do you know what is most important? Also, I was wondering how you could possibly display qualitative information that you find is very important to your subject matter, even if it is not the most common to include qualitative data. I find it very helpful to include infographics on social media as well, however; how often do you find infographics on company websites or on PR blogs that often promote these companies. That could also apply to PR firms that have companies that often use infographics as clients? Thank you for this awesome blog post!

  • Sheridan

    This information is super helpful and crucial to me because in my public relations course we are working on infographics right now. It’s hard to nail the perfect infographic and understand how to reach your target audience. As the public relations world is continuously developing there are so many ways to get behind and these simple tips really clarify what an infographic should entail. I agree with the links and easy to share tip because you want your reader to share it with their friends to help your message get across to a larger audience. I have a question about how to finalize your infographic with a call to action at the end. What is the best way to approach certain situations where you want a call to action? What are some easy ways to get your audience more involved with the organization/company?

  • Very, very helpful… I agree too much is way too much and the point(s) you are trying to make get diluted. I would typically say only illustrate a narrative that makes 3-5 interrelated point and “see” if you could make these points visually, and then only add words for emphasis.

    Thanks again
    SharePoint Intranet

  • Hannah Engle

    This is such a helpful post. However, how do you know what information should be use and what information makes the infographic too long and not interesting anymore?

  • Matthew Witenstein

    This is a really helpful post! The way you separated everything into easy to read points helps a lot with engulfing the content. This post was a key part of the infographics that I made throughout this term in college.

  • Melissa Barnes

    I wish I had read this post before I made my final infographic for my PR class. This post made me realize what my infographic was missing, but I will use this post when planning infographics in the future. Thank you!

  • mahina

    Stagger your designs is probably the best advice I have heard regarding infographics. I think that when an infographic looks the same the whole time it gets boring and the information loses its pull. I agree that certain things should remain the same such as font and coloring but design should definitely change based on the data provided. I also agree with the template usage and how it should not be copied.

  • Miranda Nathan

    I agree that staggering designs is important when creating multiple infographics over time. I know that sometimes I tend to use similar layouts but I need to remember to change it up and to create a design that tells the story creatively and accurately.

  • Liza Horn

    I love the bit on staggering designs. Because infographics are becoming more and more common, it almost feels as though we’ve seen all possible design layouts. Being different and original will help the infographic stick out and leave a longer lasting impression on the audience.