CM 101: Infographics: How to Stand out in a Sea of Words
Two million blog posts are written EVERY DAY! What if there were a way to make your content stand out and cut through the noise?
Here’s a hint: your brain thinks in images, not letters and words.
When communicating with an audience, take advantage of this disposition. Images and illustrations can certainly supplement any blog post, but what if we could show an entire blog post in one image?
Infographics are the answer.
You’ve seen infographics before and probably spend a little while looking at them. So we’re all on the same page, this is what they look like:
Infographics combine pictures, data, and words to form an easy to understand image. No matter your audience, infographics are going to be easier to digest than a blog post. Your infographic should stick with the theme of your blog and answer a relevant question for your reader. Infographics aren’t all about looking pretty; they’re about delivering information in a way that’s more convenient for your reader.
Infographics should be posted on your website, pushed out through social media and sent to other relevant websites. Keep promotion in mind when designing your infographic. It should be able to stand alone and tell a story. It won’t always be living on your blog. Someone could share the image on social, and now your infographic is out in the wild. Make sure your brand is present somewhere on your graphic so when people encounter your image out on the web they know the original source.
View the full image to see how they end with a strong call to action.
The magic word in marketing
Infographics have a better chance of going “viral” because they’re easy to share. This is every marketer’s dream, but don’t get too excited. Making anything go viral takes a lot of work. Just creating an infographic isn’t going to lead to explosive growth automatically. You’re going to have to promote this heavily for it to have any chance at getting the thousands of eyeballs on your content.
There are dozens of potential avenues to promote your infographic. Neil Patel outlines many of them in this article on Quicksprout. In short, be prepared to schedule a bunch of social media posting and outreach. You’ll also have to do some manual outreach to influencers and popular blogs that target an audience that would see value in your infographic.
One good thing about infographics is that you don’t have to get a stranger to read a 1,000+ word post of yours. Your infographic can be seen at a glance making it much easier for someone to share!
To get a start on a subject for your infographic, look through your blog posts. Hopefully, you’ve done a content audit. A content audit will make it easy to browse your content for common themes.
Are there posts that you could combine and synthesize to make an infographic on a given topic? Maybe there’s one post that is full of information and would lend itself to a visual format.
You don’t have to look internally for ideas. Trends in the news and current events can provide great opportunities for infographics. If you’re interested in selecting a topic, watch this video from Quicksprout University. They go through the process of researching ideas and finding topics that are unique. The whole video is very informative and worth the watch if you’re considering creating an infographic at any time.
There are are thousands of infographics already online. If you want to see a few for inspiration, look on visual.ly. The abundance of infographics means you have to choose your topic wisely. No one needs another image rehashing what is already out there. Your company knows something special and interesting so pick something you’re uniquely positioned to cover!
Once you’ve chosen a topic, you’re going to need to gather information and data for your graphic. Many infographics are data-driven, but you don’t have to go this route. The NOAA infographic mainly used pictures to reinforce text ideas. Neither format is better or worse. Just choose which is appropriate for your topic and feel free to make it a combination of both!
If necessary, gather the appropriate data. Once you crunch the numbers and have some insights, begin to outline your infographic. If you’re outsourcing the design, you’ll want first to sketch out your ideas for what it should look like. Be sure to include preferences on style so that the end product fits your brand. If the design will be done in-house, bring your data and meet with a designer on your team to get your ideas on the table to make sure you’re on the same page.
This probably didn’t take long to sketch, but I’m sure it saved the designer hours of time when making the more polished version!
Creating an infographic is going to take some design work, but there are many services ranging from high-end to DIY all over the web. The rise of infographics as a B2B content marketing tool has led to firms that focus specifically on designing infographics and data visualization. Get price estimates and see what is right for your needs. Remember that you can reduce the cost of the designing by sketching out your vision first.
Infographics aren’t right for every situation, but they can be a valuable addition to any content marketing strategy. If you don’t have in-house design help and don’t have the budget to pay a designer for this piece, then it might have to wait. Regardless of your ability to create an infographic tomorrow, you should have a new lens with which to view your content: visually. When readers come to your site, how are your visuals enhancing the experience? We’ve written about how a wall of text will stop readers in their tracks. Writing scannable content can help alleviate this problem, but so can informative visuals.
Before you go, check out this stunning infographic from Neomam.com. I promise you’ve seen nothing quite like it!