Infographics are all the rage these days, and with good reason. Through combining entertainment and information, a successful infographic can grab the attention of web users and become an excellent way to share information, improving brand awareness and helping to build links back to your website naturally.
However, not all infographics generate the level of interest that their creators hoped for, and now that so many companies are creating their own infographics it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that your infographic stands out from the crowd.
So how can you improve the chances that your infographic will be a success? Here are a few recommendations.
Like any piece of web content, the planning is the most important stage. Before you get to the fun stuff and start to create your infographic, make sure you know:
- Your target audience
- The type of content that will interest them
- What format you will use (timeline, graphs, etc)
- The topic (is it easy to visualize?)
- The purpose of your infographic (to inform, amuse, entertain, etc)
Take a look at some existing infographics and find 5 or 10 that stand out to you. Decide why these infographics work, and use similar techniques when planning your own infographic. It is much better to spend a lot of time on the planning stage and get it right than to go straight into the creation of the infographic and realize later on that it is not working out.
Cut Out the Clutter
A successful infographic should include all of the pertinent information in as few words as possible. Infographics excel where they provide a lot of information in short, manageable chunks that can be scanned quickly by readers. Take a look at this infographic to see how all of the information is provided using minimal text without losing any of the details. This is what you should be aiming for, because anything too cluttered will quickly deter readers.
At the same time, avoid overcrowding with your images. Overcrowding your infographic with images can be just as off-putting as using too much text, and this is where an experienced designer can help. You need to tell a clear, logical story that directs the reader from the beginning to the end, and too many images will only get in the way.
Create an Irresistible Title
Don’t forget the golden rule of just about any form of web content: it’s all in the title. Whether you are creating articles, videos, images, blogs or infographics, the title matters.
No matter how good your infographic may be, you need to inspire people to look at it in the first place. Remember, your infographic is not only competing against all of the other infographics for the attention of your reader: it’s also competing against all of the other content on the internet.
Your target reader is presented with hundreds of titles of articles, blogs, videos and other content every day. Give them a compelling reason to take a look at your infographic and half the battle is won. The infographic below designed for an audience of daily deal industry insiders is a good example of this:
“12 Months in the UK Daily Deal Industry”
The title is both descriptive, using keywords which the target audience will be familiar with like “daily deal” while not giving away so much of the content and findings of the research that potential readers can simply skim the headline and ignore the rest of the infographic.
Include a Call to Action
Why are you creating the infographic? There is normally a reason behind it, so you need to define your goals and then make sure that you increase the chances of getting a result by including a call to action.
Your call to action should come at the end of the infographic. You could simply include your URL and logo to encourage more traffic to your website, or you may want to include details of a special offer or competition. Some infographics are simply created for branding purposes, so your main aim may be to get it shared in as many places as possible. If so, you should include some simple code that webmasters can copy and paste to their own websites.
Whatever your goal, make sure readers know what you want them to do by including a clear and unambiguous call to action at the end of the infographic.
Promote Your Infographic
The last point focuses on what happens after your infographic has been completed, but it is just as important to its success.
You need to promote your infographic far and wide because the more people who see it, the more successful it will be. If you have an active blog with a loyal readership, publishing it on your blog may be enough to get the momentum going. But more often than not you will need to utilize social media, email marketing, guest posting, infographic submission sites, and other marketing techniques to encourage more people to share your infographic. You could even consider re-purposing the content into a slideshow or a video to get more out of the information.
However you go about it, make sure that you don’t go to all the effort of creating a fantastic infographic and then fail to give it the promotion it deserves.
Make Regular Use of Infographics
Once you have created and promoted an infographic, start the process over again. You’ll soon get the hang of it and you will learn the lessons from your previous efforts. There is no better way to improve the success of your infographics than to keep on creating them and learning from your mistakes. Once you find the right formula, you can make releasing a regular infographic part of your content marketing and branding strategy.