The Science Behind the Most Popular Infographics

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Audiences love infographics because they are easy to understand, easy to share, and provide something of value with very little time invested. This helps explain why search volume for infographics has exploded over the past few years. Digital marketing firms love infographics because they have proven to be an immensely effective method of generating positive attention for their clients. However, with the ever-growing number of infographics being published on a regular basis, it is becoming harder and harder for producers of the visualizations to stand out amongst their peers. But what is it exactly that makes an infographic so popular? What separates the quickly forgotten infographics from the viral phenomenons that provide traffic for years after they are published? Is it luck, or is there a common set of factors linking these successes together? We wanted to find out if there were common features among the most popular infographics, so we performed a deep analysis of the 1000 most shared infographics in the past year using Buzzsumo. We looked at characteristics like height, width, character count and color palette to see what the most popular visuals had in common. See the results below, and if you’re interested, get the data and a free infographic promotion eBook here. One thing to note, while our share data is accurate, there is some margin of error in the word count/colors and etc, which were counted by humans. Even at around 90-95% accuracy, there are still some interesting takeaways here. This study reiterates the refrain that content producers need to know their audience. The type of content that will work best among business-focused LinkedIn users will not necessarily be the content that resonates with the typical Pinterest user. But in general, some best practices still remain. WANT TO GO FURTHER? Interested in not just creating optimal infographics, but promoting them as well? Check out our special bonus area below to get a free infographic promotion eBook as well as get access to the infographic study data. You might also be interested in our recent post with 75 infographic examples. Don’t do infographics yourself but interested in having them developed? Check out our infographic design services.

Ian E.

Ian E.

San Diego, California, United States

Ian is an avid writer and reader who has years of experience in public relations, digital marketing, writing, editing, and strategy. He works for a top content marketing firm in San Diego and loves writing about anything related to business, marketing, technology, travel (incl...

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