Infographics are an essential piece in the 21st-century marketer’s audience-engaging toolbox, however, they can often fall flat and gain no traction. So before you spend hours of resource, ask the following questions and understand your infographic campaign now before it’s too late.
1. Who will care about our infographic?
It’s really important for the success of your infographic that it have a clear audience and purpose. Simply speaking, it needs to have someone who will care about it for it to travel well.
If you are aiming it at the general consumer, consider if is this something that’s going to be discussed by people when they are socialising at the pub, or does it take too much explaining? If it’s not something you could summarise and share easily, it just won’t travel.
If you are trying to get this infographic seen by a specialist audience, is this useful to them? Trying to explain something they already know will mean your infographic falls flat, but if you can tap into a specialist topic in a new and unique way, you’re probably onto a winner.
It’s not uncommon for marketers to contact journalists for opinions and feedback. Try speaking to someone in the target audience and get their honest feedback, it might save you time and effort, or help to make your content far better.
2. Has this already been done?
It’s always worth reviewing the marketplace before investing in an infographic, and learning from what’s already been done.
One way to do this is using Google image search; simply pop your keyword or topic into the search and then select ‘images’ (you may need to be more granular or specific with your search, or try adding ‘infographic’ to see more relevant results).
We also like tools like Buzzsumo, which will show you the type of content that’s already being shared in your niche, and which might provide more insight into what works well, and highlight any over-saturation, too.
The fact that something has already been covered is not necessarily a negative, but it does influence the places that might want to feature your graphic; if they’ve featured something very similar before, you’ll need to be aware of it when you pitch it in (assuming your graphic is intended for link building purposes, of course).
If there is a previous similar infographic that’s not quite up to scratch, you might be able to find a gap in the market for a better designed, more up-to-date alternative. Ultimately, you need to be offering something new to the user.
3. Can your content be summed up in a tweet or a shorter blog post?
If the answer is yes, there’s really no point creating an infographic for the sake of it. Make a blog, share it on social media, but save your resources for the next big piece of content.
4. Does the infographic present the data clearly?
At a simple glance, the user should be able to obtain information quickly about what this infographic is offering them. Ensure that data is designed with clear visibility in mind. Find someone with a keen eye for design or even get some external thoughts and utilise the /r/Infographics subreddit for their insight.
Try and look at your infographic through fresh eyes. If you can’t work out what it is trying to reveal from a quick look, it needs refining. We always try to start with what we want the infographic to show, then we question how well that’s been achieved. This is especially pertinent when it’s part of a PR campaign; does the infographic show the story? If not, it needs to be refined.
5. Have you considered social media?
Having an infographic that can be spliced into small digestible segments means you may gather social coverage as well as the desired publication coverage. This social aspect can help in your outreach as a content’s shareability is a top consideration for publications and bloggers alike.
In the same respect, have you considered social sharing? If the infographic is located on your own blog, ensure social share buttons are present to encourage an extended reach once someone has realised what useful content it is.
6. How are you presenting your infographic?
Organising an embed code for your infographic should be a consideration if you are outreaching it to publications, especially the larger organisations, they will expect an embedding option as a minimum.
To easily embed your infographic into a HTML code you can use a tool like embed.ly which will allow you to share your infographic with ease and professionalism.
7. Have you cited your sources?
Your data needs to be backed up with the sources from which it came. A footer containing this information situated next to the company/organisation logo typically is standard.
In the introductory copy, it could also briefly mention where the data was from if this will add weight, for example the Office for National Statistics is unquestionably authoritative so should be included in your copy.
8. How is this going to be promoted?
Whilst we have discussed social media aspects, if you are planning on promoting this piece you do need to have considered the process behind it.
Doing some brief outreach research beforehand will give you an insight into how plausible your plan is with the content you are using. Check out key targets’ Twitter accounts and look what content they have published before so that when you go to outreach you can offer them unique content that you know they need.
It’s key to have your outreach techniques well-oiled before sending out your infographic to keep it efficient and effective.
You may think your infographic is breaking boundaries, but if you find it hard to explain to your friends on a Friday night, things need to change.