The 7 Key Elements to Creating Successful Infographics

If you are looking for an infographic tool to start making stunning images with no design experience, check out this post: 20 Cool Infographic Makers That Will Turn You Into A Designer

The 7 Key Elements to Creating Successful Infographics

Communication has changed so fast in the last decade that it is almost another language.

Tweets, likes and shares were not in the marketing lexicon. If you said to someone a few years ago that you would send them a “DM” on Twitter or “mention” or retweet them, their eyes would have glazed over.

And it not just Twitter language, it extends to Pinterest, and “pinning” has also been added to the dictionary.

The visual web

The change extends not just to the words and platforms but the visual communication. We are rapidly moving to a visual web that communicates with 6 second videos captured on mobiles using social visual platforms like “Vine”. We have fast growing social networks that destroy the communication (photos or videos with a text) after the receiver has read or viewed the message. That ephemeral and temporary service is provided by the exploding social network, SnapChat (which has just turned down a $3 billion cash buyout from Facebook).

We all know the importance of images and photos to drive sharing on Facebook. Twitter has just added images to the stream and research shows that it increases engagement. That is why infographics creation and sharing has exploded in the last couple of years. Short attention spans require optimizing communication that tells a story in a glance.

Creating successful infographics

Infographics are the combination of text and images to create maximum impact. There are two core  activities to infographic success.

  1. Great design
  2. Successful promotion and marketing

Designing an infographic that isn’t marketed properly is like building a great car but not telling anyone about it. It remains parked and hidden in the garage.

Here are the 7 key elements to creating successful infographics that has been put together by Donna Moritz at Socially Sorted.

#1. Story

Tell a story that isn’t about you but your audience. You need to work out what is an area of interest that will be relevant to your audience. Listen to what blog posts resonate, what gets shared the most and what drives the most traffic.

Don’t make it about your product!

#2. Style

Style is subjective but a good designer will know from experience what works. Chunk it down so you are capturing the main points. It needs to be hierarchical and digestible.

Less is sometimes more.

#3. Simplicity

Minimalist design is an art form that limits the types of fonts, shapes and image styles. It means avoiding confusion by creating flow and connection

#4. Size

Optimizing for size means considering the number of pixels (735 pixels is best width for Pinterest) and also the size of the file. You don’t want the infographic to take a long time to download. In terms of length you don’t want it too long. Try creating an infographic that is 1,500 to 2,000 pixels in length.

#5. Statistics

If you want to create impact about growth and have lots of stats then infographics are perfect for that. Make sure they are factual and reliable, current and helpful.

#6. Shareability

Make your infographic easy to share. Provide an embed code. You also need to make sure it gets shared by letting influencers and your fans on social networks know about the “awesome” new infographic that you have just created.

Success is not set and forget.

#7. Source

Make sure you attribute and let your audience know where you got the facts and figures from. Credibility is an important factor for a successful Infographic.

7 Priniciples of an Awesome Inforgraphic

Infographic source: Socially Sorted

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  • Britany Robinson

    I’m curious how important you think design capabilities are when creating a nice infographic. I’d love to try my hand at it, but I’m a writer with basic design skills — certainly not a designer. Can infographics be successful even if the design looks amateur, as long as the information is useful and it looks decent?

  • http://WWW.EXTRA-CASH-ONLINE.COM/ Robert Connor

    Just awesome stuff Jeff!

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing the post! This is really useful..

  • JeremySeoChicago

    Excellent stuff! We’ve always loved infographics and are considering creating some to show the impressive results we’ve gotten from SEO campaigns. Excellent!

  • Michael Keating

    Hi Jeff, great post! I wanted to let you know this post is duplicated over here:!oVCh8

    Not sure if you were aware that two exact versions of your post were out there floating on the web…


    • Jeff Bullas

      Yes, I am aware of that and my content is syndicated to them

  • Viktoriya Semyrodenko

    This is awesome! Infographics are my favorite type of visual content – they are mostly easy to comprehend and make it easy to retain the useful info.
    Sadly, due to my short attention span I have never been a fan of long texts. A good infgraphic helps me learn faster and if it can also be funny – double points!

  • Reshu Rathi

    Very engaging post Jeff! I particularly found point # 1 and 7 very useful. When creating infographics, it’s very important to come up with a timely and compelling story.

    My two cents:

    1) Unique title: Create a catchy and unique title to attract attention. Use a tagline to summarize the content of the infographics as it will make it easy to

    2) Use minimum text in your infographics so that graphic doesn’t look crowded.

    3) Make sure your infographics is of right length. Strike a balance between too long and too short to make it look effective.