Creating an infographic is a great choice for many brands, as these visual assets give you the power to tell a story or break down information in a compelling way. Since infographics have so many moving parts, however, it isn’t always easy to do them well. Stop turning out subpar graphics and learn nine tips for a successful infographic.

Have a Clear Goal in Mind

Image via Flickr by Andreas Krispler

You wouldn’t write a blog post, a long-form article, or an eBook without an end goal. You shouldn’t even think about creating an infographic without having a clear goal in mind, either.

Start by asking yourself which one or two key points you want readers to take away from the infographic. Keep them as straightforward and as memorable as possible, and make sure they’re relevant to your brand. Next, consider how you’ll develop a story that supports those key points and think about how you can keep your audience engaged as they take in the larger narrative.

Choose the Right Format

In many cases, the type of story you want to tell will dictate the format of your infographic. No matter which format you choose, though, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to follow and that it has the right balance of text and images.

Since infographics have so much potential to reveal a lot of information, it’s tempting to pack in as much data as you can. Remember that your readers will only remember a small fraction of the information you share, and if they can’t navigate the infographic easily, they’re likely to click away. That means you’ll want to keep the format simple and leave plenty of white space so readers can focus easily and pause when necessary.

Know Your Audience

Just because you want to create an eye-catching infographic doesn’t mean you have a stellar idea for one. Try to avoid the trap of developing an infographic that looks great but isn’t really relevant to your audience.

Instead, take the time to figure out what your audience wants and design your infographic around their needs. Answers to pressing questions, major revelations regarding an industry, and intriguing statistics are all fair game, as long as they apply to your audience. Remember that your infographic doesn’t need to resonate with every internet user. It only needs to drive interest from your target market.

Incorporate Your Brand

After working hard to develop a great infographic, the last thing you want is for the graphic to look generic. That’s why it’s essential to incorporate your brand into the infographic, making it easy for readers to identify your business from a mile away.

While you can do this by incorporating your logo into the infographic, you should also do much more. Use your brand colors in the background and in the text, and consider developing a signature style if you’re considering a series of infographics. Don’t forget to include your website, social media handles, and other key ways for readers to connect with your business.

Double Check Your Data

Data is the backbone of every great infographic, so it’s essential that you rely on data that’s both current and accurate. Since one error can substantially decrease the impact of your infographic or even make it irrelevant altogether, it’s in your best interest to double check every piece of data you reference.

Always trace data back to its source, rather than pulling information from a third-party article. Include links and sources at the bottom of the infographic, and take screenshots of the data for your own reference.

Don’t Forget the Title

Compelling images have a way of drawing in readers, but every successful infographic also needs a great title. After all, you have to set the stage and let readers know what to expect before they start consuming your content.

Keep the title as simple and as eye-catching as possible, and resist the temptation to use a lengthy statistic as the title. Once you’ve decided on a title, place it at the top of the infographic, just as you would for a blog post or for an article.

Make Viewing Easy

No matter how much information you’ve packed into your infographic, you have to make it easy to read. Make sure that even the smallest text is legible without having to zoom in several times, and ensure the infographic doesn’t end up so large that you can’t share or embed it easily. After all, if the file size becomes too large, some readers may not be able to view or download it at all.

Remember that an infographic doesn’t need to include every possible piece of data. If you find that it’s become overwhelmingly large, consider breaking your infographic into two or more components.

Create a Promotional Plan

Even the best infographics fail to go viral automatically. Instead, it takes a carefully crafted promotional plan to get an infographic in front of the right audience.

First, you’ll probably want to share the infographic on your social channels, and you may even want to pay to promote it. If the infographic could do with a little more context, consider writing a blog post or even a series of posts that incorporate it.

Don’t stop there, though. Reach out to influencers and other prominent figures in your industry, and ask them to share or write about it. You may even be able to write guest blog posts or syndicated blogs to increase your infographic’s reach substantially.

Measure Your ROI

You’ll never know how well your infographic has achieved the goals you established if you don’t measure the return on investment (ROI). If you want it to drive traffic to your website or generate social shares, use Google Analytics or social insights to determine how successful you’ve been.

If your goal is to build links and increase brand awareness, you’ll want to track where the infographic appears. Keep track of the influencers you’ve reached out to and try a Google reverse image search to locate your infographic in unexpected places. Finally, calculate the resources you’ve put into creating and promoting your infographic and compare that with the results you’ve achieved.

Even when you know the best practices, creating an awesome infographic can be tough if you don’t have the right creative resource or monitoring tools. Connect with the CopyPress team to create a successful infographic that will resonate with your target audience.