Infographics are hugely popular with businesses looking to attract more attention online. But what exactly makes them effective? I’ve put together five key elements your infographics need to have to help make sure your readers love them and that they help you reach your strategic marketing goals.

They’re Attention Grabbing

This starts with having an irresistible headline combined with a captivating header image, either as a separate teaser or as a crop of the whole graphic.

Then, you need to make sure your infographic is in the right places to get the attention of the right people. Place it prominently on your blog and social channels to get your existing audience on it and give it an enticing introductory descriptor. It should clearly explain the value you’re bringing to your readers, so be specific and unique. You could also pitch your infographic to other publishers to get a seen by a whole new audience or look into advertising options.

They’re Unique

Learning something not widely seen elsewhere can be a huge draw. So, avoid rehashing old topics. People are much more likely to share a piece of content that’s unique so that they can position themselves as thought-leaders in their social networks. Infographics receive three times as many likes and shares on Facebook than any other visual materials (if they’re good!).

They’re Well-Researched

When you do pick a unique topic, use the most up-to-date information you can find from credible and reliable sources. And use that data to support the narrative of your infographic, instead of just throwing stats on a page. Ensure your research is comprehensive so you don’t leave questions unanswered for your readers.

They’re Readable

Infographics are great for breaking down complex processes and concepts. Researchers studying learning aids found that when text instructions were accompanied with images, as opposed to plain text, people accomplished tasks three times more accurately. Another study measured that, on average, when illustrations provided relevant content, people retained one-third more information.

In addition, people are more receptive to images than plain text, by about 30 times. But this doesn’t mean you can just throw a bunch of images together and expect results. Infographics need to be laid out well, skimmable and easy to follow. A good strategy is to tell a story with your infographic, especially if it solves a problem you think your target audience is experiencing.

They’re Cool

The key to creating an infographic that your readers are going to read and share is in the design from the colors to the typeface to the call-to-action. Finding a combination that is visually compelling and unique is a challenge but it is vital.

Finding colors that work well together can be tricky but a great tool is Adobe’s free color tool. Playing around with color rules to find a unique set and exploring palates that others have created are both quick ways to make sure your infographic stands out.

The typefaces you use should be representative of both the topic and your brand. Modern, sans-serif fonts like Futura are perfect for discussing the latest innovations in wearable technologies while a serifed font like Bodini might be a better fit for a discussion of 18th century painters.

Further, having a clear call-to-action at the end of your infographic will make it memorable for the reader and give them a nugget of wisdom to tell their friends about.

Why Wait?

Infographics can be a great way to quickly create a connection between you, your existing audience and new readers. A lot of readers don’t have time to dive into a 1,000 word blog article but can be more receptive to the visual nature of infographics. Take advantage of these characteristics and create well-designed, engaging infographics that are going to entice readers and promote your brand.