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How to Avoid Bad Infographics

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If a picture speaks a thousand words, an infographic speaks a million. Indeed, marketers everywhere are getting amazing results from infographics. Well-crafted infographics are generating shares and traffic at unprecedented rates. This success of infographics has gripped the online marketing industry, inevitably leading to widespread adoption by content producers. However, in a rush to reap the benefits of infographic usage, marketers are increasingly ignoring infographic best practices, resulting in appalling content.

Many content producers are making the mistake of judging the success of their infographics by comparing to blog posts. Because a typical infographic will usually outperform a typical blog post, some content producers seem to believe that there is no such thing as a bad infographic. In reality, the fact that an infographic outperforms a similar blog post does not make the infographic a good one. An infographic is bad if it does not achieve its full potential. Today, we’ll give you some insight on how to avoid making bad infographics.

Don’t Clutter Your Infographics With Text and Images

Image via Flickr by rawpixel.com

Perhaps few flaws make an infographic so repulsive as stuffing it with too much text and images. The internet is filled with thousands of such infographics. Some marketers set out with the intention of converting a whole blog post into visual form. The result is normally an infographic that looks more like a puzzle than a tool for communicating. Such infographics keep the readers too busy figuring it out to share it. The key to avoiding stuffed infographics is understanding that not all content can be successfully made into an infographic.

An ideal infographic is not merely a blog post in visual form; it should tell a story. Therefore, the importance of choosing the right information for an infographic cannot be overemphasized. Infographics tend to perform well if they are made up of statistical data or content that contains numbers.

The number of words in an infographic may also affect its performance. Having little text and images is one of the factors that makes infographics so attractive. If the data you have can’t be stripped down to a few hundred words, then an infographic might not be the ideal format to relay it. Resist the temptation to pack too much text in the infographic and leave a lot of empty space. A study done on 200 viral infographics revealed that the most shared infographics contained an average of 396 words. It’s a good idea to keep the text to a few hundred words and the images to a minimum.

Don’t Ignore Keywords and Tags

Although a stunning infographic can go viral even if it has no relevant keywords, including relevant keywords can enable the infographic to rank well in the search engine results. Google cannot differentiate between the stunning images in your well-prepared infographic from the lifeless vectors on your competitor’s website. The only sure way to guide search engines to make sense of your infographics is by including relevant keywords and tags. For example, an infographic about a nonprofit donation campaign will do well if it has keywords like nonprofit, donations, and charity.

Like in blog posts, the most important part of an infographic is the heading. Take time to craft the title. Brief and eye-catching titles that contain a relevant keyword tend to perform well.

Mind Your Colors and Orientation

The use of colors in infographics is a double-edged sword. Blend the colors well and you’ll get a beautiful infographic that screams “share” wherever it goes. On the other hand, when you plaster your infographic with a clashing array of colors, readers will likely run away from it like the plague. An analysis of 200 high-performing infographics revealed that expertly blending complementary and contrasting colors produces good results. Infographics with well-blended colors are 10.6 percent more likely to be liked and 14.1 percent more likely to be tweeted. Infographics that use a color wheel scheme based on a single color are also very popular. Blue is the most common color in viral infographics. Other schemes use analogous, complementary, and tetradic colors to get their points across.

The orientation of the infographic is also important. The analysis mentioned above found that vertical infographics are 28.9 percent more likely to be tweeted and 41.7 percent more likely to be embedded into other sites. Therefore, unless you have a specific reason that prevents it, make your infographic vertical. Equally important is the font you use. Clear fonts like sans serif in infographics tend to perform better than gimmicky fonts. Large font sizes will also give a much-needed boost to your infographic.

Avoid Overused Infographic Templates

There is a plethora of infographic-making tools and templates on the internet. Such tools can enable marketers to pump out numerous infographics at minimal costs. But the catch is that those same tools are used by thousands of other bloggers to produce more or less the same infographic designs; you end up with an otherwise beautiful infographic design that has already been shared millions of times. Needless to say, your audience will give it one glancing look and move on.

While it is true that even professional graphic designers at established marketing agencies may use those free tools in some of their operations, the designers are skilled at using specialty tools. Established marketing agencies also have another advantage over using online design tools — they have strength in numbers. The creatives at a good agency will keep new ideas flowing in and ensure that you get unique infographics every time. CopyPress has hundreds of graphic designers and writers whose goal is to produce fresh content for every job.

The wave of infographic production that gripped the internet years ago shows no signs of waning. If planned and designed well, an infographic can take your content marketing strategy to the next level and drive traffic to your site. If you endeavor to use relevant keywords and tags, choose the fonts and styles carefully, blend the colors expertly, and avoid stuffing the infographic. You’ll find that your infographic will likely perform well.

About the author

Ernest Walugembe

Ernest is a copywriter. When he is not churning out website content and marketing copy, he is writing opinionated blog pieces on the topics he cares about.