Coming up with content for your infographic can be tough, but if you need some help there’s some insight you can glean from this post from Jey Pandian. Once you have the content and focus down, then it’s a matter of fine tuning a few things (or scraping):
1. Clip art
In this digital age there’s no excuse for using poor graphics unless the intent is sarcastic. Don’t have someone on your team who is skilled in this area? There are tons of skilled freelancers looking for work, and if you’ve hired an agency to build an infographic for you, their work should be top notch. If you don’t think it is, then bring it up to them. As with anything related to your online marketing campaigns, it’s an investment. So make sure anything you review is up to your standards.
2. Dated information
Research is a vital part of any infographic. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking up which city in the United States has produced the most NFL Super Bowl MVPs or what the current average CD interest rate is now compared to what it was 10 years ago. The information has to be the most up to date you can find. Finding this type of information is a lot more labor intensive than looking at the first few results in Google or looking on Wikipedia.
3. Unreadable typography
I love cool and eye catching typography as much as the next person, but if I can’t read it then it’s useless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for unique approaches to presenting information, but one thing is for certain, the user has to come first. More than trying to impress everyone in the design industry make sure the users (who are the ones that will be sharing and linking to it) can read it and understand what’s being presented to them.
4. The same topic as one released just before yours
When a popular holiday like Valentine’s Day or Christmas is approaching I can guarantee you several infographics around these are going to be made and plastered everywhere. The same goes for any new case studies or industry announcements that have been published. Anytime something substantial has been reported the infographic fur will fly. Unless you are going to be significantly better to stand out in the noise why not look at cresting infographics about less cluttered topics that might allow the spotlight to shine on your data rather than be lost in the crowd.
5. Multiple links to your site in the embed code
You’re doing an infographic for the sake of just getting links right? Yes? Dollar to the swear jar. While you want people to share and embed the infographic on their site don’t stuff the embed code with several links. There should only be one, either to the infographic page or to the homepage of your site. Also don’t include a link to the design company or the research company, if you used one. If you didn’t white label the product then you can write a blog post on your own site and highlight the awesome service those companies did for you.
Less links in an embed code, the less spammy it looks. Keep it simple and don’t trick people into linking to your site more than once when they’re only looking to do so once.
6. Poor grammar
Where do I begin? It’s embarrassing to work so hard and invest money into something only to have it fall short due to a grammatical error. When you get down to the final review of the piece before it goes live, make sure you get the content scrutinized by a grammar expert. Seems silly, but it’ll be even sillier when you attempt to push something to the world with some grammatical errors in it.
7. Bit.ly resource links
If you’re digging through pages and pages of SERPs and pages of pages of research sites for information I can bet the URL you’re going to find the information on is going to be pretty lengthy. And it’s one that might not fit on one line when you list out the resources that the information has been found. Bit.ly links (or whatever shortener you use) are cleaner looking, but they don’t always work and it’s just more above board with your audience. Even if they don’t want to take the time to type out the full URL they can at least see the root domain and go check out the site for themselves.
If you really have to use Bit.ly links, it’s up to you and your team. I think they’re great for social media and other places where there are character limits, but personally (and this is a personal point) I don’t think they should be used in infographics.
8. No story is told
One of the most underrated elements in an infographic is the story. This is especially true if you’re working with dull information. Telling a story can keep the reader interested and make the information flow more natural versus just bullet points.
Basically,don’t cheap out on infographics. I’m aware there are several companies all vying for your company to choose them to work with, or maybe you want to make one. But as a person who loves reading and sharing infographics, don’t cut corners if you can help it.
If you know one item might not be very strong (let’s say the graphics won’t be the best) then make sure the research and other elements of it are rock star standard! As with a computer build, your infographic will only be as good as its weakest element. So if you have to trim the budget here and there, make sure everything else is the best it can be.
The opinions in this post are those of the author and not necessarily of Marketing Pilgrim.
Joshua Titsworth is an Analyst with Vizion Interactive who is passionate about all things Internet-related. When he isn’t online tweeting or blogging, he’s playing TMNT with his kids or Mario Kart with his wife.