20 Tips for Creating Useful and Eye-catching Infographics
In 2011 we got Pinterest, then along came concept of infographics (2012). All over the internet, people – and businesses – took to infographics like small children to mud puddles.
Infographics provide a ridiculously easy and fast way to share information. Infographics are entertaining and visually stimulating. Most of all, people like sharing infographics because they are fun.
What is an Infographic?
Put together the words “information” and “graphic”, and you have information conveyed in visual form. It is also commonly understood that infographics most often contain multiple, related facts about a single topic.
When Pinterest first burst on the scene, the big viral share incentive used to be pictorial witty or wise quotes but these have become over-used. If you really want people to share your information, present it as a well-thought- out infographic.
The format alone virtually guarantees viral sharing… provided you follow these 20 tips to make sure your infographic doesn’t disappoint.
1. Be timely and relevant.
What’s on people’s minds, right at this moment? That’s the question to ask yourself when sitting down to create an infographic.
For example, this infographic was featured on the Netmatter blog INFOGRAPHIC: advertising budgets in 2016 (created with piktochart)
2. Create evergreen infographics
If you can’t be timely, be relevant – and what better way to ensure this than to make your infographic is always highly relevant to your core niche members.
For example, if your target customers are all young mothers, an infographic entitled “5 Things to Know About Stroke” by the American Heart Association is far more likely to be viewed than one entitled “15 Essential Engine Parts for your John Doe Tractor”!
Simple infographics are just as effective as those with a lot of data.
An evergreen topic is information that:
- Your intended audience will always need
- Doesn’t change over time
3. Deliver what you promise
The quickest way to ensure your infographic is shared consists of giving people the information they are looking for.
A good example of this is the 1800PetMeds.com infographic called the Pet Poison Control Chart.
Infographics are no less immune to irrelevancy. Our first example, “End of 2012 (Not the World”) you might think would at least reference the Mayan Apocalypse – the first thing most people think of when you read “2012” and “End of… World” all within the same title.
When you open it, however, instead of the witty and entertaining infographic you were expecting, you get another infographic… on what seems to be year-end data for a specific company:
The general reader not belonging to that company could be left feeling anywhere between nnoyed at having their time wasted and regretful over the opportunity that the creator of uch a great title completely missed, when it came to entertaining and connecting with the itle topic’s true audience.
4. Use infographics to share complex information instantly
A picture is not just worth a thousand words – it can eliminate the need for them altogether. Infographics are especially useful for sharing figures, percentages, graphs, pie charts and other data of the sort that often seem to make heavy reading when presented in text paragraphs. Seeing something compared side-by- side gives a much better grasp of the topic than data conveyed by mere figures.
5. Use comparisons.
People love comparisons. In fact, a comparison between A and B is often what they are actually searching for.
Titles containing the “A vs. B” formula – such as “Google+ vs. Facebook” – are irresistible to those searching for information on either the A or B in your title.
6. Keep it “above the fold”.
One of the biggest challenges seen in infographic information sharing – data that disappears off screen, so that one has to scroll down to find it. The real problem with this: The reader instantly loses the easy overview that infographics should deliver. It’s no longer a case of “information at a glance”, and that can be disappointing. Plus having to scroll backwards and forwards, trying to compare data, can be irritating. While scrolling is not as big an issue as it once was, it is always a good idea to give people the most important information up front. It is what makes them want to scroll for more information.
You can do this by making your pictures and text smaller, so that all your data fits onscreen whenever possible.
7. Make your infographic unique
Try to share information that no one else has yet thought of or explored, rather than creating your own version of a Google+/Facebook comparison. Just make sure it’s highly relevant to your target viewers. Topics that are on everyone’s mind make wonderful infographic fodder – just as long as you give them your own new “twist”.
8. If you make a “True or False” infographic, make sure you include both true and false examples as in this example from Key Home Inspections
If your examples are all true or all false, this seems to narrow the entertainment factor and people tend to lose interest before finishing your infographic. And if you were planning on springing the exception to your rule at the end of your infographic, don’t try to be clever – people may bale on you before your big finale. Besides, it’s the contrast element that people like the most.
9. Vary the type of infographic you create
Suit your delivery method to your audience. Are they big on entertainment? Try a “True or false” format.
- Do they need to sort out confusing facts? Run a comparison between their two biggest interests.
- Have they got a question? Answer it.
- Do you need to quickly educate your target customer? Try a “Timeline” format.
- Want to get the most shares and increase your audience? Pick a topic that is trending or seasonally relevant: (E. g. “Ten Worst Christmas Day Presents Ever”).
Other types of infographics:
- “Little known facts about…”
- “How to…” (e.g. set a formal dining room table; iron a man’s dress shirt)
- Process mind-map
- Single graphic chart with multiple elements (e.g. map)
- Mixed chart (with variable elements such as text, head shots, statistics, etc.)
The popularity of a topic will affect your infographic’s viral potential. For example sex, celebrities and humor always grab huge shares of general audiences.
For more specific audiences, you need to know their most pressing need, issue, interest or passion.
10. Share your infographic!
This doesn’t mean just one posting on your Facebook news feed as you sit back and wait for your infographic to go viral. Instead…
- Share it specifically with influential people in your niche – on their wall. (Make sure it is highly relevant to their friend/audience base!)
- Share it via Pinterest – not just in your own pinboards, but also on specific “Infographics” boards. (Just search Boards with the keyword “infographics”.)
- Share via other social networks. Twitter, SlideShare, StumbleUpon, Digg, Instagram, to name just a few.
- Share it on infographic-friendly sharing sites. Those currently most popular include:
o Reddit Infographics
- Share it regularly. This doesn’t mean bombarding your viewers. Just keep an eye and ear out for cues and opportunities to share it again. And after a few weeks is a decent interval for another general share.
- Share it on your blog. Talk about why you created it, and what you learned: What was the most eye-opening fact, and what it means to you. Most of all, what it offers your viewer!
One blogger even recommends sharing your infographic via press releases, if you can turn the story of your infographic into something to reach viewers of the publication or directory where you’re sending your press release.
10 More Quick Tips
- Make sure you include sharing buttons with your infographic – especially on your blog or website/
- Involve JV partners by asking them to contribute data – and then allow them to co- release the infographic to their subscribers at the same time you do.
- Use your infographic to brand your business. Concentrate on speaking as the authority on your niche – not on driving people to sign up pages or links.
- Ask your audience to share your infographic! Remember that all-important call to action.
- Use infographic web apps like Easelly to create infographics quickly (they provide ready-made, tested templates you can use).
- Create infographics for mobile – and then promote them with a QR code. (Sites like Easelly even provide mobile theme templates.
- Put your website URL as straight text – not as an anchor link. You want people to remember your site name this time, rather than click through.
- Tell your audience where they can get more infographics (your site or Pinterest boards).
- Include your share buttons at the end of your infographic instead of anchor links (you’re less likely to be penalized by Google).
- Track your infographics. You can:
Set up Google Alerts
- Track through Facebook Insights and other social network tracking systems
- Track through social media managers like HootSuite
- Use paid ads or paid infographic sites that provide tracking software or apps
CREATE INFOGRAPHICS USING THESE 5 FREE TOOL
Creating great infographics is a learning process, so just start creating and improving your infographics as you go along. See which infographics get the best response, get feedback from your readers and keep on creating.
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