An infographic is information represented in graphic format. So, in effect, it combines two powerful mediums of communication, mainly text and images to deliver the requisite information to the reader. But, an infographic doesn’t just deliver information to the target audience; it does so in a manner that is highly engaging. In a world where, people are inundated with information, an infographic is a great way of catching the attention of the target audience, and making an impression on them.
It has emerged as an important internet marketing tool and is increasingly used by webmasters for link building, earning an authoritative reputation in their respective niche, and in general, ensuring that visitors keep coming back to their site.
Distribution of the infographic is a key driver of its success; this is because you want it to reach the right people. But, before you distribute your infographic, you will need to create it.
So, let’s get started on the best ways and practices that will see you not just crafting a beautiful, engaging infographic, but also reaching out to the right audience.
Answer the ‘Why’
The first thing that you should do is ask yourself why you need an infographic in the first place. I agree, everybody wants to use one as a branding tool, but only those infographics work that have a genuine purpose behind them.
The general purpose is ‘branding’ but you shouldn’t just create an infographic because it is a great branding tool. There should be something more to it. For e.g. you must look to offering information that solves a particular need of the target reader, or you must look to offer a particular solution to the reader’s problem through the infographic and so on and so forth. The idea is to deliver information that is useful.
This is the reason, why answering ‘why’ you need an infographic is so important.
Spend time Ideating
Great infographics are a product of even better ideas. Think of an idea that will make for a good infographic, which will cater to the interests and preferences of your niche. Remember, you might not be able to zero in on a crackling idea in the first attempt. So keep thinking and keep making a list of ideas. Not all ideas are good, so get rid of those ideas from the list, that you think are not worth it. Keep reducing your list of options, till you are left with just one idea that you think will do the trick.
Remember, the success of your ideas is not just dependent on the amount of time you spend thinking about them, but also relies on how well you know your target audience. Think of an idea that will suit their interests and preferences and not yours.
Now that you have frozen on an idea, you need to choose the perfect topic for your infographic.
There are plenty of people out there who believe infographics are a great idea. Also, you will be competing with the best minds in the industry, so a great topic is of paramount importance. You might have the right topic, but if you have the wrong idea, then your infographic will fail.
So, think out of the box, think different and think interesting. This is the key to zeroing in on the right topic. This is again an outcome of serious research. What’s advisable is while ideating, focus on a niche, domain, or industry that you have knowledge about or are comfortable with. This will help you identify the right topic for your infographic.
Wire frame the Infographic
Think about all the visuals and supporting content that you think fits into the topic you have identified.
This is a stage where all the sifting of the information takes place. You need to choose the best and discard the rest. This is essentially the stage where you are drafting your infographic, and you have the liberty of trial and error. By drawing up a skeleton of your infographic, you will get a clear idea about what it’s going to look like, and whether it’s going to work or not.
Flesh it out
Now that you have the initial draft in place, the real work begins. You need to now explore the topic you have chosen and keep improving upon the points that you have already identified while wire framing it. One of the better ways of offering information in this case, is by presenting statistics or by illustrating certain facts and/or figures.
“There is absolutely no doubt, people are going to pay more attention if you share real time information with them that is presented in a numerical manner or a fact based format; I speak this from personal experience.”
Choose the Right Color Scheme
Do what you will, but please choose the right color scheme for your project. Yes, images and catchy text is all well and good, but if the colors that you use aren’t good, everything is going to come crashing down.
Some of the better colors that you can use are pastels or blues. The key is that the colors should be such that they are not just attractive, but they persuade the reader to go through the infographic. The colors that you choose should be easy on the eyes, yet must make their point. The purpose of colors is to trigger a positive response in the target reader’s mind upon seeing your infographic. So, don’t underestimate their use.
Slam Dunk Graphics
Graphics are the most important component of an infographic. “It’s a fact that people are not really attracted to text as much as they are to graphics.” So, it is the kind of images that you use, which guarantee the eyeballs. So, you must choose them with care. Use only those that you know will hit the reader squarely between the eyes, and will capture his/her imagination. In other words, the right graphics are like the slam dunk shot. They take hold of your target audience and never let them go.
Maintain the Flow
Think of your infographic as some article you might be writing, based on a particular topic. In this case, wouldn’t you focus on maintaining particular flow? Well, the same thing holds true for an infographic. In fact, this becomes doubly important and a tad more difficult when you are creating an infographic. This is because your content switches from text to graphic and back, and so on and so forth. This is where it gets important to get a grip on the proceedings and be very clear about what you wanted to say and how you want to say it. Right from the beginning to the end, you will need to maintain coherence between text and images. If you falter anywhere, your infographic will go nowhere.
Ok, now let’s get right down to distribution, because by now, you must have created the infographic that you think is perfect, but it still needs to reach your audience.
Let’s see how that can happen.
It all begins with identifying your Audience
Who is your audience? Answered that question yet? No? Well then get cracking. You can only reach out to an audience, if you know who it is. You can’t just hope to use a few marketing channels and hope that your infographic reaches your audience. Conduct research; go through the feedback received by your business or its websites, go through your existing customer base and work your audience out. Once, you know who it is, you can use the online marketing channel, that you think will help you reach out to them best.
Press Release Submission
Do the simple things first and do them right. You might have already used many a press release to advertise the launch of a new product or your redesigned website, or for that matter the launch of your business or blog. Well, now that you are going to release an infographic, why not submit a press release for the same? Simple!! What’s more, ensure that the PR is SEO optimized. This will achieve two things, firstly, it will contribute towards your overall SEO/link building efforts by bringing in inbound links and secondly it will help you market your infographic. That’s double benefit for very little effort. So, give it a try.
BUT, here’s the catch…. you can benefit from a PR only if it’s well-written. So, what is a well written infographic all about?
- A – It has an impressive title. It makes you want to read the PR.
- B – It makes its point in an engaging manner, meaning once a reader begins reading the PR, he/she want to go through the whole of it.
- C – The reader believes that, the PR and the infographic that it is marketing, is actually going to be of some help.
- D – It’s relevant to the ‘killer’ title that you used, and lives up to its promise.
Use Social Media
There is no way in the world that you don’t have Facebook or a Twitter account. So use them to market your infographic. Yes all you need to do is tweet about it or place a link on your Facebook page, and wait for it to go viral. You will find that before you can say ‘infographic’, it is all over the Web.
The best thing about releasing your infographic on social media is the fact that you know it’s reaching the right people. You can either pick and choose the audience (read people on your network) who you want to send to, or you can go the whole hog and send it to everybody.
Here’s something else that you can do. Make sure that the web page that hosts the infographic has social sharing buttons. Also make sure that users can easily embed the infographic on their own website or blog. What you are doing here is you are leveraging the popularity of your website to help your infographic go viral.
Submit it to Infographic Sites
There are sites whose sole focus is promoting infographics. Yes, all you need to do is create an infographic and submit it. These sites will do the rest, and you can get inbound links from them. What’s more, the fact that there are so many sites out there means the demand for infographics is ever increasing. They want more! So, there is every chance that even a bad infographic will be chosen by them. But why depend on luck? Create a good infographic, which ensures that no site will say no to you.
Also, by perusing these websites and blog directories, you will even get the much needed inspiration for your infographic.
Here are some of the infographic submission sites you can use:-
Don’t make it too complicated for yourself, or you will just end up leaving your infographic mid way. If you are creating an infographic for the first time, then identify a simple topic that you can work on with relative ease. As you keep making infographics, you will get the confidence to try out something that is more complex.
When I started out with infographics, I had no idea about how to go about crafting them, but what I did have was the confidence in my ability to create something good, something useful and something that worked for my audience. So, don’t get overwhelmed by the prospect of creating an infographic. It’s difficult and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, it is a wholly satisfying process. When you have finally created an infographic, and you know you have put your heart into it, the feeling of satisfaction and achievement will be immense. This is what will help keep you churning out more and more infographics. It’s very much like success. Once, you have tasted it, you want more and more of it.
Oh yes! Before I end, here’s something else you should know. You don’t really need to follow a stringent process of creating an infographic. You can create a process all on your own; what you need to be is comfortable with this process. So, there is no Step A and Step B right up to Step Z. Be your own person and create the kind of infographic that you like and which you yourself would like going through.
Before you get tired of reading a long post, let me end this one here and come up with more ideas and thoughts on making your infographics viral and get maximum benefit from it in the next follow up post. There are many other already known and unique ways an infographic can be promoted and I should be able to share them with you soon.
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