A picture is worth a thousand words.

The meaning behind this expression was the notion that images can convey a subject’s meaning far more effectively than a written description can.

This is backed by research. We are visual creatures, able to understand images instantly. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. What’s more, 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

It’s no wonder more and more marketers are embracing visual content as part of their content marketing mix.

One of the most popular visual content choices: infographics.

Infographics have continued to grow in popularity for their ability to take detailed data and organize it in a visual way that is easy to digest (with the possibility of going viral). However, not all infographics are winners.

Here are 6 tips to help you create an eye-catching infographic:

1. Simplicity always wins

Unnecessary complexity will kill your infographic. If it is overwhelming or overloaded with content or visuals your message will be lost.

A viewer should be able to understand the concept at first glance. Simplicity is key.

2. Tell a story

An infographic needs to tell a story. It should have a single, focused message rather than randomly assembled data points.

Start an infographic by determining your story or message first, then research for statistics or data that support your story. That will make it easier to create a seamless flow.

3. Strike a balance between visual and written information

Visual elements will bring content to life. An infographic should not be content-heavy, but instead should use graphics or visual elements to display the content.

Adding a few images or icons around the written content won’t be effective. A viewer will likely scan over all the information and focus in on the stand-alone graphics.

4. Cite sources and fact-check

You must cite your sources and fact-check. An infographic should use relevant, up-to-date sources. Cite all the sources at the end of the infographic. In cases where sources do not distract from the flow of the infographic, you can cite them within the body.

5. Watch the length and size

If an infographic is too big or too long you risk losing the attention of your audience. Be mindful of the reader’s experience. Recommended: width around 600 pixels and height no more than 1,800 pixels.

6. Include a call-to-action (CTA)

Don’t forget to ask the viewers to do something at the end of the infographic. Ask them to share the infographic, follow you on your social channels, get an exclusive offer or download an eBook.

7. Promote on social

Infographics are liked and shared 3 times more than any other type of content on social media.

Share your infographic across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, and encourage your followers or contacts to share with their networks.

Consider publishing the infographic on a landing page on your website in order to redirect social traffic to the original source, and make it easy for viewers to spread the word with social sharing buttons.

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