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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Building a Better Infographic

    Posted by Jessica Bowers Hopson

    7 Ways to Make Your Design More Shareable

    Infographics are all over the web these days. They are great ways to provide shareable, visual content with your readers, not to mention being great for SEO.

    People love pictures and data. That’s what makes infographics so easy to digest and easy to share. Done correctly, they can be a great platform to share a lot of information in an organized, visual way. Done incorrectly, though, and you’re bound to end up with a mess of text, graphics and imagery that does little to effectively share your point.

    Before you can begin creating a compelling infographic, you need to start with a plan. Like any well-designed project, the better prepared you are, the better results you will see.

    Building a Better Infographic

    Consider these important components of an effective infographic before you even begin creating and distributing your image.

    1. Choose The Right Topic

    What makes infographics so easily digestible and sharable across the web is the topic—it must be something people want to read about. You could spend hours creating an infographic, but if no one is interested in that particular concept, you won’t see much success in terms of likes and shares. Instead, consider something more evergreen. Brian Dean advises selecting a topic that is hot enough to attract attention but evergreen enough to remain relevant several months (or even years) from now.

    Choose an evergreen topic for your infographics

    2. Organize Your Data

    Many people who set out to create infographics view it as an opportunity to cram as much information into a visual image as possible. A lot of complicated data is much easier to read if there are graphics and arrow and pictures, right? Maybe. But a lot of complicated data can still be complicated, no matter how many pictures you include.

    Experts suggest limiting your infographics to ten key data points. As you sort through your research, determine the most important concepts you want to convey. Once you have identified your main points, create an outline to determine the best way to organize these points. Information presented in infographics should flow logically as you scroll down or across the image.

    Your infographic data should flow easily

    3. Select Engaging Imagery

    The primary focus of infographics is the imagery used to communicate the data. When selecting visual elements for your design, choose high-resolution images or graphics. Your data is less likely to be shared if the resulting image is “blurry” due to low-quality imagery.

    When laying out the design for your infographic, keep it simple. Identify the main takeaway for your readers and use this as the focal point around which you organize the rest of your data and imagery. This will help keep you focused and help you tell a better story. Consider this template from Easel.ly as an example of efficient organization:

    Organize Your Infographic Logically

    4. Pick a Pleasing Color Palette

    In addition to selecting the right images and icons for your graphic, you need to be mindful of the color scheme used throughout. When choosing the color palette for your design, you want to make sure your colors are eye-catching but not overwhelming. Limit your color selection to 3-5 colors that:

    • Reflect the theme of the information you are presenting
    • Represent your corporate brand
    • Complement each other (Remember that color wheel lesson from Art 101?)

    5. Cite Your Sources

    Infographics are like research papers, you need to cite the sources of your research. Because you present information in bite-sized portions, it is a good idea to share a link where readers can learn more information about the topic or point. Most often, sources are presented as a list of links at the bottom of the image.

    Infographic Citations Should Be Included

    Before you go creating citation lists that are longer than your actual graphic, make sure that you are included proper citations based on properly-conducted research. Visual.ly, a leading infographic database, recommends the following when researching for your next inforgraphic topic:

    1. Confirm the data from the original source
    2. Cite the most recent data
    3. Do not cite information from user-generated sites
    4. Limit the number of sources used

    6. Size Your Image Accordingly

    Infographics are designed for sharing across the web. Everyone wants his own infographic to go viral. While not every piece of content (visual or written) can go viral, you can increase the likelihood that your infographic will be shared by sizing it to be easily viewed on multiple platofrms.

    Visual.ly provides a basic sizing chart again for reference. (Number 5 might surprise you!)

    5 Facts About Standard Dimensions

    7. Promote Your Infographic

    Congratulations, your infographic is created and ready to be shared. Before you send it into cyberspace, check to make sure your readers can identify who originally created the content. Does your company name or logo appear anywhere on the graphic? If not, it should! Infographics are great branding opportunities. You want readers to know who created the piece. (Plus, you worked hard on it—don’t you want to give yourself and your company a little credit for all of the time you spent on research and design?)

    Not only should you promote your company’s work, you need to promote the sharing of your infographic as well. Whether you promote your infographic on your blog, a web page or your social media profiles, create an embed code to include with your graphic to make it easier for others to include your infographic in one of their blog posts or social media updates.

    Creating a successful infographic starts with the proper planning and preparation. Now that you know how to optimize your infographic design for sharing, it's time to get started creating your image.

    Do you have a favorite infographic you've seen or shared? Share the link to your favorites in the comments below.


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    Find these examples and more at Easel.ly

    Topics: Design