Infographics are one of the hottest trends in online content today. The best infographics present new and unique information in a visually appealing format. The worst don’t tell readers anything new — or present the information in such a way that it’s all but impossible to figure out what the infographic is trying to say.
Because infographics are so important to a content strategy, you need to do them right. A well-designed graphic will be pinned, liked, shared and discussed, expanding your reach and drive traffic to your website. Honestly, the best case scenario for a poorly designed infographic is that it will disappear without getting any negative attention. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and if you make some of the most common mistakes with your graphics, you could damage your brand and your online image.
So before you release your next infographic out into the world, make sure that you haven’t made any of these errors.
It’s Old News
The best infographics are those that offer new information or a fresh perspective on old information. There are literally thousands of infographics on the Internet. What makes yours different? If you’re just regurgitating the same information that everyone already knows, the chances of your content going viral are slim to none.
It Doesn’t Have a Point
Developing fresh content is challenging. You might even argue that there’s nothing new under the sun. Still, there is not benefit in creating content for the sake of creating content.
Before you begin designing your infographic, spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish with it, and create the piece with that in mind.
Don’t leave your readers wondering exactly what they were supposed to gain by reading your infographic.
You Don’t Attribute Your Sources
Just because your information is presented creatively doesn’t mean you can get creative with your facts. Accuracy and reliability are still important, and you should attribute your information sources. And check the reliability of your sources before you add information — using incorrect information only reflects poorly on you.
The Design Is Hard to Read
Six different fonts. A dozen colors. Large blocks of text. Unrelated or poor quality graphics. Any one of these can hurt your infographic, but when you do all of them, your brand suffers. Ideally, aim for a 70-30 mix of images to text, and do not use more than two or three fonts. Use complementary colors; multiple shades of one to three colors usually work best. Stick to a simple, clean design and readers will be able to understand your point.
The Design Isn’t Responsive
You know people use mobile devices more than PC’s. So why is your infographic optimized for computers only? Take the time to ensure that your work can be seen in all its glory on every platform or you’ll lose traffic.
It’s All About You
You want to promote your business. That makes sense. But if your infographic is all about your brand instead of sharing useful information, readers will dismiss it as advertising and move on. Again, think about the goals for your design and create a graphic that is related to your business but not specifically about your business.
Users Can’t Share It
The whole point of creating an infographic is to encourage users to engage with it and your company, to share it with others. Make it easy for that to happen. Create embed codes so that bloggers and site owners can easily add your infographic to their sites. Add social sharing buttons. Share the work on your own social media feeds so your followers can see it and share. Going viral requires some legwork on your part.
Good infographic design is clear and well-organized. If your content doesn’t flow properly, or if the arrangement of elements leads to confusion, you will not get results. Insist on the same clarity of communication in your infographic that you would for written work.
It’s Too Long
Readers like infographics because they contain easily digestible chunks of information. They aren’t looking for a 3,000 word think piece. Stay focused and relevant; if the topic is especially complex, consider breaking it down into a series of infographics.
It’s Too Simple
A pie chart or bar graph is not in itself an infographic. If you cannot create a more visually compelling design yourself, hire a professional designer. Releasing boring or uninspired infographics will lead users to think your company is boring and uninspired — even if that isn’t true.
Infographics have become an important tool for SEO and a means to reach new audiences. Take the time to do them right or risk irreparably harming your brand.