The great thing about marketing content that's mostly text (like this blog post, for instance) is that you can put in a few links here and there if you think your readers would find them helpful.
Actually, this blog post is a perfect example: It's about how to make your infographics clickable, but what if you don't know how to make an infographic yet? Instead of starting from scratch in this post, we can link to a different post about how to create infographics as a helpful resource. It's also a healthy way to get people to other pages on our website.
But what about when your marketing content is an image, like an infographic? Readers may come across a section they'd like to learn more about or a topic they don't quite understand where a link would be helpful to them. Good news: Using a free and simple tool called Thinglink, you can actually add in helpful links right on the infographic to help out your readers, encourage interaction, make your infographic more shareable, and drive traffic to other site pages on your website. Pretty cool, eh?
One way to make an infographic clickable is to custom code it -- and if you know how to do this and have the time, this option will allow you to customize it and set up tracking codes to your heart's delight. But if you don't know how to code a clickable infographic, or simply don't have the time or resources, then Thinglink is a great (and very quick) alternative.
What does it look like? Below is a small section of a a clickable infographic from Thinglink my colleague Ginny Soskey created for a different post. Hover your mouse over the image that small and you'll see a small, target-like button appear. These buttons are called "tags" in Thinglink, and when you move your mouse over them, they'll offer you another site page to link to.
Step 2: From your account's home page, click "Create" in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
Step 3: Upload an image file of your infographic by clicking the blue "Choose images or drag-and-drop here" button.
They support JPEG, PNG, and GIF images, and the maximum image size is 25MB. If your image has a lot of text, Thinglink recommends using PNG instead of JPEG. When viewed, the images are scaled down to 1024px (less if the original image size or embed size is less).
Once your image file is uploaded, you'll be taken to the editor automatically. It may take a few seconds.
Step 4: Add a title before you forget!
Step 5: Click anywhere on the infographic to add a tag.
Don't worry if it's not in the perfect place -- you can always move the tag after you add it onto the infographic.
Step 6: Edit the tag by adding a link or image address and text in the text box.
Add a link or image address. In Ginny's infographic, she added a link to another blog post on HubSpot's blog -- but you may choose to link to a social media page, a Click-to-Tweet link, a landing page, or somewhere else.
Because Thinglink doesn't offer a whole lot of metrics tracking, we recommend sticking a UTM code on the link you put in here so you can track how many people click through each link over time. You can create and track UTM codes using HubSpot or Google Analytics -- learn more about UTM codes and how to use them here.
It's worth noting that, unfortunately, Thinglink doesn't give you the option to open these links in new windows or tabs.
Then, input some text for the text box. (You can only bold or italicize it with a paid account.)
Finally, select an icon to use by clicking the black-and-white circle icon to the right of the text box.
Click "Save Tag" when you're done to save the tag. (You can always go back and edit later.)
Step 7: Place that tag where you want it to go on your infographic.
I find it's easiest to zoom in when you're moving the icon around. You can zoom in and out by clicking the plus and minus signs on the top right-hand side of the editor. To place the button closer to the edge of an image, simply make the little editing box surrounding the icon smaller by dragging one of the corners in, and then moving the icon where you want it.
Step 8: Add more tags as you'd like by repeating steps 5-7.
Step 9: Choose your "Sharing settings."
If you skip this step, your clickable infographic will be public to other Thinglink users searching for content. To make it private (i.e. "unlisted") to anyone who doesn't have the link, click "Sharing settings..." in the bottom left-hand corner of the editor and choose the settings you want.
Step 10: Save your work.
Once you're done adding tags, click the green "Save" button in the bottom right-hand corner of the editor. This saves your work in your Thinglink account, not your hard drive.
Once you've saved your infographic, notice you can go back and edit it, even once you've embedded it on your website, by clicking the pencil icon.
What are those other icons, you ask? The heart is Thinglink's version of a "Like" button, which they call "Touch." Next is your share button, which I'll go over in the next section. The last one is your stats button, which I'll go over in the last section of this post on tracking your infographic's success.
How to Share It On Your Website
Sharing your clickable infographic means embedding it on your website, sharing it on your social media accounts, or pasting a link to it anywhere you'd like. If you embed the infographic on your website, viewers will be given the same sharing options.
Step 1: If you haven't already, log in to your Thinglink account and open up the infographic you'd like to share.
Step 2: Click the icon with the arrow on the right-hand side of your infographic.
Step 3: Share your infographic on social media, email, or your website.
You have the option to share your clickable infographic on social media or via email, to copy a link for pasting anywhere on your website, or to copy an embed code and paste that in the HTML script of your website.
A note on the link: Unfortunately, the link they give is a Thinglink link, meaning it will send people to the infographic on Thinglink's website rather than your own website. This means that if you or your viewers choose to share the infographic using this link, they'll be sending people to Thinglink's site. I couldn't find a way to disable this, so just know that this doesn't set you up for great SEO benefits from your infographic -- if anyone embeds the infographic, it won't redirect people back to your post. It's up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
A note on the embed code: If your website doesn't support the regular embed code, then select "Iframe embed." You'll have the option to adjust the height and width of the embedded infographic.
To embed the infographic on your website, simply copy the code and paste it in the HTML script of your website.
How to Track Its Success
Thinglink doesn't offer a ton of ways to track your infographic's success -- it lets you see how many users have viewed your infographic, embedded it, clicked on a tag, and hovered over a tag. It also calculates your click rate and hover rate for tags. Here's how to find those stats:
Step 1: If you haven't already, log in to your Thinglink account and open up the infographic you'd like to track.
Step 2: Click the graph on the right-hand side of your infographic.
Step 3: Check out your stats.
Here's what the stats page looks like in Thinglink:
Again, you can see number of embeds, image views, tag clicks, tag hovers, hover rate, and click rate -- but unfortunately, you can't see which tags users clicked or hovered over -- that's a paid feature, as is being able to see how long users spent on your image.
If you used links with UTM codes in each of the tags on your infographic, then you'll also be able to track the metrics associated with those UTM codes. The advantage of using separate UTM codes for each tag is that you'll be able to track clicks for individual tags over time, which the free version of Thinglink doesn't allow you to do.
Thinglink is a great option for making clickable infographics when you don't have the time, knowledge, or resources to code your own. Test it out for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Originally published Nov 14, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017