Infographics are one of the easiest ways to get all the information you need out on a product or service. They are generally very easy to understand as they were created to make this process even easier through the image descriptions. It also makes it more fun to read about something new when good quality graphics are involved.
Check out this ultimate infographic marketing guide:
Building Your Own Infographic: This is the ideal method, but it’s not always possible (time, money, design talent), but if you can make them yourself, then it’s way better. Here are a bunch of tactics for how to do it right, and later on we’ll talk about the alternatives.
1. Create content that people actually want: The graphic below (let the fighting begin about whether it’s an infographic or not – #NoData) describes the types of content you should aim to include on your infographics to make them effective.
2. Infographic research: Repeat after me: There’s no point in being pretty if you’re not useful (some playboys might argue with me there), an infographic really needs to be both. It should be eye-catching and use content that makes people want to look at the whole thing. Some have so much information crowded into them that they’re not enjoyable. Design (which we’ll get to later) is critical, remember simple rules of whitespace, bold typography, color palette and readability. The research is where you make it relevant to your target audience. The best infographic about the decline of the quality and strikeability (is that a word?) of matches would be bugger all use to all but the freakiest of pyromaniacs, no matter how beautiful it looks, so the first thing you need to do is think about statistics. For the record, I think old school sandpaper matchboxes were waaaaay better in the 80s. And so was the music. How to research infographic data: This is actually quite a hard part depending on your industry. Often you’ll need access to a research company account (which can be pricey). Pew Internet have a wealth of resources – and of course their own infographics to illustrate them And surprisingly, most if not all of it, is completely free – so this is a great place to start if you can find something relevant to your target market.
3. If you find great data, add it – otherwise just make something epic: People seem to get super pissy with you that it’s not a real infographic if it doesn’t have giant % characters or pie charts on it. Here’s my quick take – information doesn’t need to be purely numerical. So a graphic with information on it is an infographic whether or not it’s statistical or not – I really don’t care. If you can find data, great, add it – but don’t let it’s absence stop you from creating your (info)graphic. Remember, pretty and useful
The Datagraphic: That’s my new name for a graphic with data on it btw. You’ll have found this data in the research phase earlier. But how do you use it? Well people are very visual so adding the following will really help your ‘Datagraphic’ go a long way:
- Pie charts
- Line & bar graphs
- Big stats with % next to them
- Tweetable factoids containing key stats and quotes
- Newness – make it topical
- Originality – in your research phase, pay careful attention to what’s already been done. This is analogous to submitting an article to a blog or magazine and making sure you’re not submitting something that’s been covered before, or recently
4. Infographic Design & Data Visualization: Not everyone’s a rockstar designer – or knows how to create infographics which tend to have a very particular visual style, so if you or someone on your team can’t do it, don’t be afraid to outsource it to a company or a freelancer that specializes in infographic design.
6. Making your Infographic go Viral: One of the things I liked was the list of directories that you can use to extend the reach of your work of art (or hideous attack on the senses). Adding Pinterest to the list too as it wasn’t on the original and should be. You’ll see a few of these later as you can use them both as a resource for finding ones to borrow, and also as places to house your own work.
- Daily Infographic
- Cool Infographics
- Infographics Archive
- Infographic Journal
- Infographics Showcase
- Visual Loop
7. Using Your network: After spending a lot of money or time to create your masterpiece, now is the time to call in favors and mobilize your network. How? email all the big hitters in your email list and ask them for a favor. This is how I would ask for a favor:
Subject: “[Quick Favor] Could you share this post re: xxxxxxxx for me?”
Then provide them with a brief explanation as to what it is you would like them to share, and provide some tweetables (discussed later) ready and waiting for them so you’re not wasting their time (we’re all busy).
Tip: Remember to add that they can always hit you back up for the same, where you’ll share for them when they need it (they’ll appreciate it and it’s only fair). This helps foster relationships and build a stronger social network with your influencers.
8. Finding Infographics: If you’re going to follow the route of using other’s work with your annotated opinion (curation basically) – Don’t forget to tweet at the person/company you borrow content from and link to them in your post as a thank you.
How to Use Them: Most infographics have an embed code to encourage others to use them on their blogs. So grab these and add them to a post. You can still make successful content by utilizing someone else’s content as your base – just make sure that you add new value to it to make it even more useful. Extrapolating some information to re-write as text is important to extend the original thought of the graphic (build on the ideas of others – #ThanksIdeo) – which also helps SEO as you’ll have text in your post, this way you’re creating new content – from someone else’s idea. Think of it like a remix.
9. Adding value: Remember, it’s not just about the infographic. You still need to capture peoples attention to the extent where they’ll understand what it’s about and why you are blogging about it. Reminder: How to Add Value
- Adding some original thought
- Spark conversation by either critiquing it or using it as inspiration for another discussion
- Include others: Do a round-up of infographics on a given subject
10. What’s the proper etiquette for re-using others work? BIG point here. If you’re going to use the content of others you need to remember to do all of these things:
- Ensure you link the graphic back to their original post – a simple courtesy but also gives your readers the option to see a bigger version
- Thank them on Twitter (and other networks when you spread the word)
- Include a text link (with nice anchor text for SEO love) below the image to the original post or their homepage – although their embed code may already include this – add it if it doesn’t
Things You Should Do For all Infographics: Regardless of whether you designed your own infographic or sourced one from elsewhere, there are certain things you should always do to ensure they get the attention they deserve. Here are some examples:
11. Add Pin It buttons
12. Tweetables: Set up important and entertaining stats formatted as TweetsAn example of the tweetables you should add to the end of every infographic you post.
Just remember it is the quality and clarity that is going to make your infographic go viral so focus on that.
What is your experience with inforgraphics?