6 tips for creating infographics that destroy the competition

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With the internet awash with infographics, can yours stand out?

Infographics are everywhere. Small businesses and large organizations alike are using these immersive tools to convey valuable information and reach customers who are fascinated by visuals. The only question is: are your infographics standing out?

Infographics by the numbers

If you haven’t given infographics a try, then you’re missing out on what others have already discovered to be a powerful marketing tool. Before delving into some tips and best practices, let’s highlight a few relevant statistics and data points as explored in this infographic on, well, infographics.

  • Only 20 percent of text is remembered, while 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

  • In April 2015, the term “infographic” was searched 62 million times.

  • Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than an article.

It’s obvious that infographics are valuable. And while a large percentage of marketers are now investing in them, the truth is that many of the ones circulated around the internet are low quality and ineffective. Make sure you aren’t wasting your time!

6 tips for standing out

If you want your infographics to get noticed and be shared, then you’ll have to focus on the details. Here’s some advice worth heeding:

  1. Insert written context

Infographics are visual by nature, but this doesn’t mean you can totally ignore the value of text. In order for an infographic to be successful, there needs to be some context and explanation of the graphics and data.

Merging text and visuals in a cohesive infographic isn’t always easy, but is always necessary. You can check out this example from Amerisleep in their infographic on the science behind sleep to get a better idea of what it looks like. The infographic includes plenty of text explanations for contextual purposes, but also includes appropriate graphs, charts and icons.

  1. Make it unique

If you run a Google search for a popular topic and add infographic to the end of it — something like “healthy foods + infographics” — you’ll notice that there are dozens already in circulation. In fact, it can seem like every topic is already covered. How can you come up with something new?

The trick is to get creative and put your own spin on existing topics. Content marketing consultant Barry Feldman suggests examining your most popular blog posts and turning them into infographics, synthesizing large ideas that are too complex for a written blog post, or creating an infographic to communicate product instructions in an original format. There’s ample room to get creative — you just have to think.

  1. Use a compelling color scheme

Something most marketers don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about is color. In all likelihood, you pick a color scheme that either fits the topic or relates to your brand. However, make a point of being more meticulous the next time you design an original infographic.

“Subjective as it may be, we can agree that colors affect our moods, perceptions, and adds context to our content,” marketer See Mei Chow says. “There’s tons of psychological research to back this claim. Hence, selecting the right color scheme will potentially enhance the effectiveness of the message that you want to get across.”

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stick to two main colors and use no more than four colors in total. When you’re tempted to add more color to an infographic, Chow suggests using more shades or whitespace instead. For your reference, here’s a good example of an infographic with a compelling color scheme.

  1. Don’t overcomplicate things

Because infographics are visual pieces of art, marketers tend to lose focus of the overarching goal and end up complicating things. What starts out as a simple idea can quickly turn into a complex infographic that includes way too much superfluous information and irrelevant details.

Whenever you include a new element or section into an infographic, ask yourself what purpose it serves. If it doesn’t increase the validity of your statement or make the infographic more aesthetically pleasing, leave it out.

  1. Optimize for sharing

Infographics are obviously designed to drive traffic back to a specific page — or enhance brand recognition at the very least. While publishing the infographic on one website or sharing it on your company’s Facebook page is great, the only way to generate a strong return is by encouraging sharing.

The more an infographic is shared, the more it helps you accomplish your marketing goals. But how do you encourage sharing? Well, the first thing you have to do is optimize for sharing. Whenever you publish an infographic, make sure you include share buttons, as well as the HTML code that allows people to paste it onto their own blogs.

  1. Aim for consistency

When it comes to naming the different types of infographics, it’s easy to feel like Tom Hanks in Forest Gump touting the versatility of shrimp. There are flowchart infographics, timeline infographics, list infographics, comparison infographics, map infographics and more. Since there are so many different kinds, you have to choose one and stick with it. Combining multiple elements into a single illustration will only result in confusion.

Tap into the value of infographics

Simply designing infographics isn’t enough. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of this high returning visual content medium, you must create unique infographics that smash the competition and drive traffic to your website. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get to work. 

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