Online marketing and social media tips for business from Shannon Belew, best-selling author of "Starting an Online Business For Dummies, All-in-One"
Infographics helped many companies make headlines last year. Visually appealing, the splash of graphics and images simplified the consumption of information, even sometimes very complex data. Not to mention, they were fun to share. For a while, many online publishers, including news, tech and business websites clamored to feature a well-done infographic and share it with their online audience. But that was then… Has the shine worn off of infographics? Perhaps a better question is, should infographics remain in your content lineup for 2014?
While online editors may now be more discriminating when it comes to including infographics sourced from other contributors, there is indeed still a place at your content table for an infographic, or two. That’s because online audiences still respond very favorably to visual content in general. That’s right, people really do love infographics, videos, Vines, memes and more. These seemingly trendy pieces of visual content still grab your attention – and they are still easy and fun to share. Speaking of sharing, many optimization experts continue to tout the SEO benefits of infographics – because they can add up to lots of social shares and plenty of links back to your website or blog. That’s a definite win in SEO world. Another important benefit of infographics is that it is a good way to re-use content (both data and images) that you’ve already created. Infographics can be a nice way to repurpose your content, when done well.
When including infographics in your content plan this year, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
1. Quality over quantity: It’s best to create one or two really good infographics rather than dozens of poorly designed or non-helpful infographics.
2. Be useful: Because the world has been inundated with infographics, the best way to stand apart from the crowd is to provide really good or interesting information. Create infographics that tell a compelling story. Whether your goal is to educate or entertain, the data you choose to share should be useful. As a reminder, it’s also important to include sources for any of your data at the bottom of the infographic (this is also useful for folks like me, who like to dig deeper and learn more when interested statistics are shared!).
3. Be different: There are now lots of templates available that make it easy for you to quickly create an infographic. If you are like me and are not a graphic artist, or if you have a limited budget or scarce in-house resources, templates can be effective tools to use. When possible, however, customize the template as much as is allowed within the design so that it doesn’t get lost in the crowd of sameness. The same holds true with the data you use. Especially in B2B, I see a lot of the same statistics shared. To make your own mark in this world of content, try to find and share information that is new or different.
4. Brand it: Once you’ve created an amazing infographic, don’t forget to put your own stamp on it, so to speak. Be sure to include your company name, logo, and a link (or URL) back to your website or blog. And, it’s really nice if you include a snippet of code that makes the infographic easy for others to share (and for you to track the shares!).
Below are two examples of infographics I’ve seen recently that do a good job of standing apart from the crowd. The first is truly informative and helpful; and the second is well-designed and interesting. Have you created or seen an interesting infographic? If so, please share links to them in the comments.
This infographic was found on Social Media Today and I really appreciate the attention to detail and the usefulness of it!
This is a great representation of statistics covering email trends. I spotted it recently on Business 2 Community. Again, it’s easy to understand, visually appealing and useful. They also did a nice job of branding and adding resources.