Rising to the Top in a Sea of Information: Creating Great Infographics

sumall_birds_discussion_data_twitter_tweet_bigdataHow to create original infographics to engage your target audience

Market research suggests that infographics, sharable graphics that compress data into attractive and easy-to-read images, can increase publishers’ traffic by up to 12 percent. But despite their inbound marketing potential, infographics can also get a bad rep when they’re used as cheap ploys to garner as many clicks as possible without truly offering their audience anything valuable. Use these tips to create memorable visual information that your audience will love.

Determine Audience Interests

While businesses would love to believe that their target audience’s primary interest in life is the product or service they offer, this is unlikely to be true. Stay away from constant self-promoting, as your audience will perceive it to be shameless and you will lose its interest quickly.

Instead, focus on the potential and shared interests of your readers and create infographics that may directly or indirectly relate to your industry. This can mean comparing the pros and cons of different products, discussing your industry’s past or future or showing how your product is made. The goal is to come across as an industry expert.

Keep in mind when developing your infographic content that there is such a thing as “evergreen” material. As founder and CEO of Copyblogger Brian Clark stated in his recent webinar, “The hardest thing to do with content marketing sometimes is to repeat yourself.”

That’s because marketers tend to feel as if their content is useless if it’s not original. However, topics that consistently generate some level of popular interest are perfectly alright to use as infographic material as long as you can present it in a way that appears unique.


Use Smart Design

Creating an effective infographic means using an appealing design and organizing data effectively. Here are some basic pointers for designing an infographic:

  • Use a colored background. The majority of websites have a white background, so it’s important to use a color that will ensure your infographic doesn’t blend in.
  • Use a narrative style. Infographics are essentially stories told in visuals. Part of the appeal of infographics is that they allow the audience to experience a beginning, middle and end of a story in a very short time. Maintaining a narrative style will help keep your audience interested until the end.
  • Get creative. Traditional graphs will always have their place. That said, some of the most successful infographics break out of the mold and use fun and unique methods of conveying data.
  • Think minimalism. People enjoy infographics largely because of the ease of absorbing information without having to read a block of text. Keep reading to a minimum to avoid overbearing your audience.
  • Consider translatability. If your market lies in multiple countries, it may be important that your infographic is easily translated. Again, keeping text to a minimum is key.

Think of Infographics as Guidelines for Inbound Marketing

According to research by Content Marketing Institute, 84 percent of marketers who believe their content marketing is ineffective have no documented content strategy. Rather than thinking of infographics as a one-time social media boost with a limited shelf life, try to conceptualize them more broadly as a guideline for your inbound marketing plan. Here are just a few ideas for expanding your infographic into different forms of content:

  • Break data into several main points and produce a blog or article on each
  • Develop the data into a presentation
  • Produce a short animated film based on your infographic
  • Compile information, text and visuals into an e-book to use as a giveaway for e-mail list or blog subscribers
  • Produce a podcast series expanding on your information

When used wisely, well-designed infographics can engage your audience in a whole new way. Select topics of relevance to your target audience, even if that means not promoting yourself directly, and use organized and effective visuals to convey your relevant data. By investing the time and energy into creating unique infographics, you can end up with original visual content that directs more users to your site as well as provides you with a breadth of content possibilities.

Infographics present a unique opportunity to engage with your audience. Have you learned something new about infographic creation? Will you start creating your own infographic?

We look forward to your responses in the comments.

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