5 Common Infographic Pitfalls to Avoid at All Costs

Content Marketing


Infographics should be a critical (and fun) part of your content marketing mix, but it can be difficult to get them just right. At Marketo, our infographics serve 2 main purposes—1) we use them to entertain our audience, get social shares, and get hits on large publications such as Mashable and Inc. Magazine, and 2) we use them to help describe how a product or service works. But in order for them to have the desired effect, we have to choose the right topic, pick the right stats, and design them to convey our message in a fun and shareable way. While it sounds simple, this can be tough, and we have learned a lot along the way.

I’ve put together the top 5 infographic pitfalls you should avoid at all costs:

1. Not Using Reputable Data Sources

Since most infographics include data visualization and statistics, you need to ensure that you are using reputable sources. And this can be challenging because we know how tough it can be to find statistics that support your infographic’s narrative. Certainly, it can be tempting to use that stat you found on that less-than authoritative website that backs up your main thesis, but try to make sure that the stats you use come from well-respected industry publications and studies. This is especially important if one of your infographic goals is to get published in a large publication because they will scrutinize your sources.

2. Not Properly Citing Your Sources

And that leads us to pitfall number two–not properly citing your sources. As with any content asset, you want to make sure you cite all of your sources and cite them properly. For an infographic, it is best to add them to the bottom with the complete URL. Take a look at an example:

Cite Your Sources

And don’t forget to list any sources because the large publications will check each data point to make sure it is linked to its source.

3. Not Proofreading Enough

With infographics, you have to proof spelling and grammar about six times, and that is not even an exaggeration. Due to the nature of the graphic and the small font, it is incredibly common to let typos and errors slip by. Even at Marketo there have been times where an infographic with a typo went live, only to be taken down an hour later in order to fix the error. Your best bet is to proof the graphic multiple times and with multiple people. You will be surprised by the errors a fresh set of eyes may find. A tip while proofreading is to magnify the graphic so that you are only looking at a few large lines at a time.

4. Not Including a Proper Embed Code

You want people to share your infographic, right? And you want to get inbound links with that infographic, right? Including an embed code in your infographic post is a great way to not only encourage easy sharing, but to also ensure that you get proper attribution in the form of inbound links. Plus, including an embed code makes sharing your infographic on the website of a reader very easy.  Not sure how to create an embed code? You can try an embed code generator

Your embed codes should be added to the bottom of your infographic and will look something like this:

Embed Code

Make sure to provide instructions for embedding and add the link you want the embed code to link back to. In this case, we want our embed codes to link back to our marketing automation resources page.

5. Not Promoting Your Infographic

Infographics are time-consuming and expensive, especially if you are using an outside firm. In fact, a good infographic can be upwards of $4,000—the same amount you might pay for an ebook design. So you want to make sure you have a promotion plan nailed down. Remember to set achievable goals for your infographic and then create a plan that maps to those outcomes. If you are working with an infographic design firm, most likely they can do PR outreach for you. Make sure you set some time aside to chat with them about what sort of outreach you want and your wish list of target publications. From there, they can work to get your infographic published. For your outreach, make sure you: post the infographic on social networks, support those posts with paid ads, send out an email blast if appropriate, and add your infographic to your lead nurture tracks. You want to make sure you get your moneys worth!

Infographics are a fantastic way to get your audience to share your content and to get some inbound links. Just make sure that you don’t fall victim to these pitfalls, and you are on your way to infographic greatness!

What are some other pitfalls you have fallen victim to when it comes to infographics?