When it comes to digital marketing, there are few techniques more widely used than the infographic. And when used effectively, they can provide a serious boost to any content marketing campaign. As noted by Forbes, “When your content is compelling, design can and should be used to communicate this information.” Many companies have found infographics to be an effective manner to communicate content in a clear and concise manner.

The problem is, many infographics produced today are pretty horrendous. Many are confusing or simply fail to provide relevant facts. And while some infographics are able to stand on their own, others become completely useless when removed from the context of the article with which they were originally published. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why infographic production has fallen in decline in recent years.

But effective infographics can supercharge a content marketing campaign, and indeed, continue to be more effective than other types of online content. Research by BuzzSumo found that on average, infographics vastly outperformed all other types of content in terms of online shares—especially on social media.

It’s clear that when an infographic is done right, it can provide a big boost to an article or company. So what makes an infographic truly effective?

Keep it Simple

One of the most common pitfalls of creating an infographic is trying to cram too much information into a relatively small space. This can become especially problematic for mobile users with smaller screens, who are unlikely to stick around to read blocks of small, hard-to-see text.

Of course, text overload isn’t the only way an infographic can become overly complex. While you want to create something that is visually engaging for users, it is important to keep the design simple and free from unnecessary clutter. For example, Newswhip shared this infographic as an example of a cluttered, clunky design that quickly becomes too complex to understand:

An excellent example shared by Newswhip on how not to make an infographic. The design is so cluttered, it’s hard to tell where to begin trying to digest all the facts.

The idea behind using visuals in the first place is to create something that helps people understand the topic being addressed. If there is too much text or a hard-to-understand visual representation of data, the infographic has already failed.

Informative and Interesting

The whole point of an infographic is to provide a simple visual representation of interesting information in a way that is easy to digest. As such, the most effective infographics typically have a narrow topic of focus in order to remain concise and illustrate this information in an easily understandable way. For example, this infographic by Henry Day Ford provides very specific information on one element of the Ford F-150:

Besides using a nice illustration of the vehicle’s interior, the infographic focuses on only on the “new driver-friendly features” to make this infographic much easier to understand.

By focusing on one particular aspect of the truck (in this case, some of the 2015 model’s features), the company’s infographic is concise and provides relevant information to the topic. The entire content of the infographic can be digested in about 30 seconds or less. And of course, the dealer’s logo is prominently displayed for all to see, so that viewers are able to associate the infographic with the brand.

In addition to being useful, the information provided by an infographic should also be unique and interesting. The best infographics provide a unique spin on a given topic, either by consolidating information that was previously spread across the Web into one succinct summary or presenting new facts that were previously unknown. The more unique the information provided, the better an infographic will stand out from the crowd.

Visual Appeal

The need for infographics to be simple and informative should not overshadow another important element of infographic design—creating something visually appealing. After all, more often than not, an appealing design is what will initially draw in viewers to take a look at the content in the first place.

Visually appealing content is also key to shareability. In a world where marketers and others are frequently looking for a way to “go viral” and generate more inbound links for their website, visual content of any kind has proven to be a consistent strong point.

If you’re trying to create a successful infographic, using visuals the right way is vital to success. Kissmetrics recommends using a limited color palette, sticking with one or two font styles, and using differences in size and color to help create a narrative flow and “visual hierarchy.” And like any advertising techniques, your design should be tailored to fit the needs (and preferences) of your target audience.


For many, successfully implementing infographics into a content marketing campaign is easier said than done. But by implementing these and other best practices, companies can ensure that their infographics will be able to provide a valuable boost to their digital marketing efforts, regardless of the industry being represented.

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