Infographics are a fantastic way of getting a spike of traffic to your site, and a way of engaging yourself or your company in the field you are involved in. Athough the effectiveness of infographics naturally fluctuate from campaign to campaign, sticking to these 10 points will hopefully help you maximise your infographic’s chances of getting off the ground:
1. Pick your subject matter
This is already probably the most crucial area to get write when producing an infographic. If the subject matter is not relevant and engaging, then no matter how well designed and planned the campaign is, it is unlikely to get any traction. Asking yourself these questions often help:
- Is my subject matter a current talking point?
- Is my subject matter controversial, interesting, informative and/or unique?
- Is the intended audience likely to share my infographic?
- Will media/newspapers be interested or will be likely to publish my infographic?
2. Research your audience
Once you’ve decided on your intended audience, look into traits of that sector in more depth. This will often help you angle your info graphic in a more direct and poignant way. Would your audience want to be inundated with facts, or are they more susceptible to a humorous approach?
Also, finding out what existing websites your audience visit can help you plan what sites to target when you attempt to distribute your infographic.
3. Pick your tone
As I touched on above, different audiences will prefer different tones, dependent on their traits. For example, targeting people who work in Logistics would usually prefer a factual and analytical approach etc. Putting yourself in the shoes of the audience often helps you discover what they like, what they dislike, and what they are likely to share.
Some tones that I have felt to be effective are:
- Controversy (Being bias) – This often spurs on discussion
- Being informative/ accurate, but not big-headed and a ‘know it all’
4. Research your subject matter
To ensure you don’t get tripped up by experts in the field you are aiming at – always ensure your infographic is watertight in accuracy. You are putting yourself in a position to influence, and if your infographic is inaccurate then you lose credibility with your audience and the media contacts you will want to liaise with. To help ensure your infographic is indisputable, consider the following points:
- Always use reliable sources
- Try not to interpret your sources incorrectly – quote them word for word if need be.
Here is where the fun begins. Now that you’ve done all your research – consider the best way of visualising your results. Sticking to these points should maximise your infographic’s potency:
- Keep the concept clear and concise
- Give it a memorable and effective theme
- Keep it relevant
- Keep it original
- Keep it clever
Obviously linked with the concept, the design determines how well you render your initial idea. Here’s a few pointer’s to ensure you keep your standard of infographic design high:
- Try and stick to vector artwork – Not only does this help guarantee an ultra-crisp and precise output; it also helps out with file size. Having a lot of images can risk in varied image resolutions and large file size. Such inconsistencies can ruin the credibility of an infographic as soon as it is presented to the user.
- Visualise your statistics clearly – Whether it be a chart, graphic or text, ensure that each section is presented in the most effective way possible. After all, the stats should be the most important thing on your infographic. Try linking these visualisations with your theme. For example, a medical infographic may have a thermometer to visualise the cost of the NHS to the UK tax payer etc.
- Consider the effectiveness of your format – As you want your infographic to be on multiple blogs on multiple websites, you want a format that will fit seamlessly on them. A popular fomat is 600px width. However, don’t be limited to this if it doesn’t do your infographic justice. Just make sure your format is universal and accessible to everyone.
Once you’ve designed your infographic, test it with colleagues and friends. Try and gauge their initial natural reaction, and don’t be afraid to embrace criticism. Reactions such as these show you’ve conveyed your point well:
- A laugh (if it is intended to be funny!)
- An opinion about the content of the infographic (not the design) e.g. $41 million in 2009? Really!?
- Design comments such as “Wow” or “That’s clever”
You’ll be surprised how many people will react the same way to a successful infographic. If you get looks of confusion then reassess the clarity of your graphics.
Export your infographic at the best high quality/low file size ratio. Keep you files no more than 1MB. Ideally you should aim to keep them below 500K, but it can often prove difficult. Again, using lots of vector graphics instead of images should help you keep the file size down. Like any web based medium – quick load rate can be crucial to you conveying your message effectively.
9. Plan campaign and set targets
Once you are happy with your infographic, you should organise where it’s going:
- Write an associative Press Release to woo influential journalists and media moguls. Email or call them and sell them the concept.
- Befriend influencers on twitter. Use sites like ‘Klout’ and ‘We Follow’ to find influential people in your targeted field.
- Submit your infographic to relevant blogging sites and social media sites such as digg and stumbleupon.
- Synchronise and prepare your release at the most effective time possible (e.g. before a release of a product). Timing is everything in order to make sure your graphic is seen and shared by the maximum amount of people possible.
Push the button and (hopefully) watch your creation spread across the web!
Here are some examples of infographics we’ve done in the past: