Infographics are everywhere these days. Unfortunately, most fall short of one simple goal: to be read by their target audiences. They are either not sized correctly for maximum exposure, too confusing to be understood, or simply too hard to read due to formatting issues.
Back in the 1980s when USA Today first began running infographics, they were simply small boxes that graphically communicated a single piece of information — either as a sidebar to an existing story or as a stand-alone.
Somewhere along the line, the word “infographic” changed to mean an unreasonably large image that tries to communicate every last thing about a topic or issue.
It sometimes seems like the goal now is to overload the reader with a slew of images, graphs and text in a bevy of hard-to-read fonts. However, by following best practices you can craft infographics that actually can get media placements on newspaper, TV and radio websites.
So here are five tips for creating infographics that can be distributed on more places than just your website, Facebook page or Pinterest account:
• Size it Correctly: If you want your infographic to run on media websites, you have to make it fit their templates. It can’t be too wide, as media sites need space to run ads, menus and promotions alongside it. If it’s wider than 600 pixels, most won’t have room to run it! And it can’t be so long that readers grow bored and media websites get frustrated because it’s longer than their typical page length. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 1600 pixels long.
• Mind Your Colors: Color is crucial — especially when it comes to fonts. Make sure fonts are readable, even if a media website were to shrink your infographic a bit to fit available space. Leave the pastels for Easter eggs and use bold font colors.
• Don’t Overcomplicate It: A good infographic flows, keeping readers moving through it as it tells a story. Eliminate excess arrows, superfluous asides and tables-within-tables. We once received an infographic where the text wrapped around the entire image, twisting and turning — and even appearing upside down in some places. Don’t be this client.
• Edit Yourself: Keep it as simple as possible by telling only one story. It shouldn’t include every last fact and figure about the subject. If you have so much to say that your infographic seems to yawn down the page forever, you’ve said too much. If you’ve crammed-in so much info that your fonts are too small to read, its time to start cutting. If you have this much data, make a second infographic and distribute it at a later date!
• Don’t Be Too Promotional: Your infographic shouldn’t be all about your product or service. It should be about a topic of interest to the reader — and your product can be spotlighted therein. This means no excess product shots, prices, coupons or special offers. Your logo may be beautiful, but thats not why readers will be viewing your infographic!
When it comes to crafting an infographic that can be distributed on media websites, keep this old adage in mind: “When in doubt, cut it out!”
And when you’ve crafted the perfect infographic, don’t leave media placements to chance. Rely on a trusted infographic distribution service that will guarantee real media placements. Here at StatePoint we offer a service that will easily and quickly generate editorial coverage on approximately 725 media websites across the country. Contact us for samples – including clips and live coverage reports.