As content marketing becomes one of the most important elements of SEO, more and more people are using infographics. Real quick, for anyone not familiar with infographics – they are those cool images that display lots of data and information, but in an interesting and visual manner (Scroll all the way down this post to see an example). They are a great way of creating a piece of content that can get a lot of social shares and even generate some great backlinks, not to mention the direct traffic they can generate.
If you want traffic, social shares and backlinks, a monthly or quarterly infographic is a great strategy. Here’s are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you get started.
Don’t borrow data from other people’s infographics.
For that matter, don’t borrow data from any source that isn’t reliable. The accuracy of your infographic should be one of your main goals. Matt Cutts (head of Google’s spam team) has said, “The infographic may be neat, but if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people.”
Do great research and find interesting data points for your infographic.
Wikipedia may be a great starting point, but dig deeper. You want your infographic to educate your readers and offer something unique. Use your own personal expertise on the subject, as well as the data that deep research can uncover.
Don’t use lame clip art or a template.
What makes infographics so special is their originality. If your infographic starts to look like everyone else’s or it uses common clip art that we’ve seen for years, it isn’t going to be very impressive.
Do use clip art
…as long as it is put to use in an original manner. Also, use Photoshop or some other software to make it your own. If you aren’t a graphic designer, hire one. The difference between an amateur infographic and professional infographic will definitely be apparent in the final product.
Don’t make your infographic overly data heavy.
The point of the infographic is that it’s visually interesting. If the majority of the infographic is words or numbers or any kind of text, and it isn’t balanced with images, then you might as well just write a blog article or post some boring spreadsheet.
Do find balance between images and data.
You need both in order for the infographic to be at its best. Use colors, graphs and pie charts to communicate complex data in a simple way. Note: matching your brand colors and fonts can be great for branding, but sometimes it makes sense to use colors that work with the theme.
Don’t make your infographic too product specific.
This is not a sales pitch for your product of company. The goal is to get lots of shares, so making your infographic specific only to your direct clients will limit you from achieving that goal.
Do consider your audience and what topics interests them.
Just because you sell flowers, that doesn’t mean you have to make an infographic about flowers. It can be about romance, relationships, or even gardens. The broader you make it, the more people it will appeal to and the more likely it will be to get shares. Just make sure you stay “topically relevant.”
Don’t “set it and forget it.”
Posting an infographic on your blog or facebook, tweeting it or putting it on Google+ is only the beginning. Just like any other content, it requires some promotion.
So… Do promote your infographic.
This may be the most important “Do” on the list. Creating a great infographic is a lot like creating a great product. Even after it’s created, you’ve got to get the word out. To promote your infographic, you’ll post it among your usual social circles, of course. But then go the extra mile. Search for other websites that could benefit from posting your infographic. Contact them, and persuade them to post it. Get in touch with social media power users and ask them to use their influence to promote your infographic. Or hire a company that can do these things for you. Make sure that all the time and investment you’ve put you’re your infographic gets put to good use and promote it like crazy.
Bonus Do: Go back and promote your infographic on a regular basis. Build links to it for a minimum of ninety days, and then go back in six months and give your infographic a refreshed promotion. If you build one for Valentine’s Day 2013, don’t forget to promote it again in 2014.
Infographics are a great piece of the content marketing recipe that not everyone has figured out. Sure, lots of people have thrown one together and posted it on their blog, but there are still very few of them that are really implementing a complete INFOGRAPHIC STRATEGY. If you’re going to invest your time, money and resources into creating an infographic, you might as well follow these dos and don’ts so you can make the most of it. Best of luck and let me know how it goes.
David McBee is an internet marketing consultant who writes the blog, “Let’s Translate. Making Sense Out of Internet Gobbledygook.” David writes about many channels of internet marketing but has a passion for link building and infographics.
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