Marketers talk a lot today about infographics because they can be a very effective marketing tool. But despite the talk, there’s also confusion. It’s not particularly easy to define the term “infographic”, and more difficult still to use them appropriately.
So we’ve created an infographic about building successful infographics: “The Ultimate Step-by-Step Infographic Infographic”. But before you jump to it, let’s talk more about infographics and how to use them.
In short, infographics present data graphically to give the reader a valuable insight. They’re often heavy on stats, but there are also plenty of great flow chart, timeline, and comparison infographics. They are usually presented as vertical graphics, so the story unfolds as the reader scrolls down to uncover new information.
Infographics have multiple benefits in a marketer’s toolbox. They can:
educate and excite customers about your product or service category
position you or your company as an industry thought leader
provide bloggers, industry websites, and sometimes even print publishers good reason to use your information, just as you wrote it, providing more exposure for you – and great links back to your website.
But there is a secret to getting those media people to share your infographic (and traditional marketers may have a hard time getting their head around this): an infographic is not an advertisement. Want to talk about your product’s features/benefits? Great. But that’s an ad, not a successful marketing infographic. Bloggers will not line up to incorporate your ad, with a link to your site, into their blog post and say, “here’s great info”.
And there are other things that just don’t work. For example, when the data or process is either too simple (or too complex), an infographic will miss the mark. Infographics are great, but only when they’re the best fit.
So what is the right content to share in an infographic? Share insights that matter to your target audience. Do you make fishing lures? Don’t turn your product catalog into an infographic! But industry-wide sales numbers for the various categories of lures, or state comparisons of the numbers of fishing licenses sold might interest to your audience (and the bloggers and publications that connect with them). Obviously the possibilities are nearly endless, but you do need to think creatively and make sure you have access to the data necessary to pull it off.
Keep that in mind as you take a look at our step-by-step guide for creating an infographic. Of course, we also create these for our clients and we’d be happy to talk to you about using infographics as part of an online strategy.