Information graphics, more commonly called infographics, are a way to display information in a visual format. Infographics can help explain information that might otherwise be confusing, hard to digest, or not keep readers’ attention. Because this makes more potentially difficult information easier for the reader, infographics have been a popular form of link bait on the web. For many topics, infographics are more easily shared than a traditional article or academic paper covering the same statistics and data points.
Creating Information as Art: Graphics (charts, vector art, colors)
What makes infographics so appealing is their visual ascetic. A good designer can incorporate charts, vector art, and coordinating colors to create a single graphic which explains the complex topic. Because a graphic is easy to share, it is more likely to be reproduced on other blogs and websites rather than entire blocks of content.
Good design and readability is crucial to a popular infographic. Without it, the infographic can be overlooked and passed over, especially because the average Internet user’s attention span is now less than 60 seconds, according to a BBC article entitled “Turning into digital goldfish.” Social media users are even worse as they’re scouring lots of content daily. It’s important to hook them within seconds.
Typography is another visual element of infographics that cannot be ignored. Using creative, bold, or other engaging fonts make content more interesting to read. Even though it’s best to aim for fonts that are fun, making sure that they are easy to read will also help readers easily digest the content being presented.
Typography started when individual printers were creating fonts to use on their printing presses. Because there was no machine that could duplicate fonts exactly, different varieties were invented. This creative uniqueness has continued into modern design, making typography one of the best ways to create a unique design.
Some people may believe that infographics can make anything popular online. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The topic needs to be highly relevant, have interesting or unusual statistics, and be worth talking about. This can be done for any topic, even if it’s a boring or dry subject, if the angle is right. For instance, an industry which has remained stagnant for more than 20 years would make for an awful infographic subject but could tie in cultural elements or current events to interest a wide audience. In short, topics which are not ordinarily discussed have the potential of becoming viral.
Other great topic ideas include information highly relevant to the media that it’s placed on. For instance, Mashable, social media and Internet news site, has regularly popular infographics about the social media industry and its popularity.
For statistics or charts that are almost unbelievable, be sure to include your sources at the bottom of infographic or on your website. Just because an infographic looks appealing doesn’t mean readers are not going to question its validity. Double check statistics and make sure they aren’t over-exaggerated before posting the graphic online.
An easy way to cite your source is to put asterisk by the percentage, number, or quote which acts as a footnote. This will lead readers to the bottom of the page, where you could provide proof of your information.
Make Sharing Easy
Last but not least, infographics need to be easy to share. Including share buttons like the Facebook Like or Tweet Button, as well as other top sites like Digg, StumbeUpon, and Delicious can ensure that content will be shared quickly. Including Print and E-Mail list buttons are also crucial to many readers.
If you are having problems with sharing your content or are interested in using infographics to drive exposure, inbound links, and traffic to your website, BlueGlass can help. We provide viral marketing and linkbait promotion as well as social media training or strategic content planning that can help get your company or website going in the right direction.