There 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Sarah 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