At the core of a successful infographic is an intriguing infographic idea that appeals to your audience. (If you haven’t already done so, read part one of this blog post: The Best Infographic Ideas and Topics.) Almost equally important is the development and execution of your infographic. Just as a tree that falls in the forest may not make a sound, an infographic that’s not implemented correctly will not make noise in the digital marketing space. Let’s make some noise!
In this blog post, we will cover infographic branding, design considerations, landing page elements and promotion – all which will help answer the key question of how to make an infographic successful.
The Delicacy of Branding Your Infographic
Are you about to place your logo at the top of the infographic or mention your company immediately? Hold up! That’s a clear “advertisement” signal to your audience and you will certainly be setting yourself up for infographic failure. (Let’s face it – who wants to share or talk about an advertisement unless it’s a laugh-your-butt-off Super Bowl commercial?)
In some cases it is important to brand your infographic, however it’s best to include your logo at the end. We encourage our clients to include the words “Brought to you by” next to your logo and website URL. The readers of your infographic will have already engaged with your infographic when they reach your logo at the bottom. If they enjoyed the content, they’ll want to know who created it. That’s a great association with your brand!
Designing Your Infographic: Early Considerations
There are a few basic infographic design guidelines to live by when making your infographic. If not considered, then they can cause problems with implementation on your site and hinder your infographic’s success, leading to more development hours and budget.
Ask yourself, where will the infographic reside on my site? If you have a blog, then that is a natural place to successfully post your infographic. Or perhaps you’re creating a landing page on your site. Either way, determine the dimensions of the content area on your infographic landing page.
Generally, an infographic is around 700 pixels wide. If your blog content area is smaller than this, then design a narrower infographic. Ultimately what you want to avoid is designing an infographic that isn’t the appropriate dimension for where you plan to place it online. Shrinking of expanding the infographic after it’s designed will make it look grainy or be too difficult to read, all of which influence whether your infographic will be successful or not.
The color palette for your infographic is another decision to make before diving into design. Is your topic very comical? Consider brighter colors. Is it more of a serious topic? Consider colors that match the tone. Also, consider your site’s background colors, as you don’t want the infographic to get washed out.
Launching Your Infographic Successfully: Critical Page Elements
Ready for launch? Congratulations! You’re almost there. Before you slap the infographic image on a blog post, consider crucial elements that will enable your audience to successfully engage, link and share your shiny new infographic.
A first step is to include the right social buttons – as in, buttons for sharing the infographic, not ones that direct the user to your company’s Facebook page. You can easily select free social buttons from sites such as ShareThis and AddThis. I generally like to include at least Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Reddit and StumbleUpon. Place the social sharing buttons just above and below the infographic to maximize the likelihood that your audience will share the infographic.
Also consider creating open graph tags for your infographic page. This can ensure that when people do share your page on Facebook, for example, the appropriate image appears. And, providing social-friendly copy via open graph tags may mean more people will share your infographic if they don’t have to create the copy themselves. In particular, include og:image, og:title and og:description.
Another crucial element for your infographic landing page is to provide the embed code, generally placed just below the infographic. The purpose of an embed code is to provide your audience with HTML code that they can easily copy and paste to their site for re-posting your infographic.
The embed code will include the infographic image source and infographic title. Also, be sure to include a link back to your site within the embed code. This ensures your brand website is cited and linked to as the source when others re-post your infographic.
Equally important are the usual components of a user-friendly and search-engine-friendly web page. Use the keyword research you performed in the ideation phase of your infographic to help craft an optimized page title, enticing meta description and appropriate heading tag. It is also best practice to include a canonical tag within the <HEAD> section of the HTML code.
Last but not least, include some page copy! Your infographic is an image that the search engine cannot read. By including a few paragraphs of corresponding copy, you can help “tell” the search engine what your infographic page is about, and thus potentially rank for the target keywords. Also, introductory copy is a nice way for the audience to learn at a high-level what the infographic is about.
Ready, Set, Promote!
It’s best to strategize a promotion plan prior to infographic launch, including compiling a list of bloggers and websites to reach out to. Look for bloggers who have previously covered similar topics and seem likely to take an interest in your infographic. Take some time to get familiar with the bloggers or websites if you aren’t so already, so that you can carefully craft a powerful promotional pitch.
It’s easy to want to share your infographic with anybody and everybody. If SEO strategy is at play, consider looking at the domain authority (DA) of the news or blogger’s website. Domain authority is ranked out of a 100, and we typically like to pursue bloggers on sites with a DA of 30 or more.
You can reach out to bloggers on your list both in anticipation of the infographic and when it’s live on your site. Don’t be discouraged if you only hear back from a fraction of the bloggers on your list or time passes before you do. And, many times a blogger may very well re-post your infographic without letting you know, so keep monitoring your infographic coverage.
In your infographic monitoring, you may find that some people post your infographic without mentioning your brand or linking to your website. (Not everyone will abide by your nicely supplied embed code.) Part of the infographic promotion process is reclamation – reach out to those bloggers who don’t cite you and kindly ask them to do so.
Perhaps an obvious and simple step of infographic promotion is announcing your infographic on your brand’s own social channels. An additional avenue to consider is investing in targeted social advertising, as well as content amplification like Outbrain. If you pursue Facebook advertising, consider a promoted post on your page (to your fans) and a sponsored post(s) to a lookalike fan audience. These paid media tactics can give your promotion a running start to infographic success.
The idea is that the promotion and social sharing successes that you’ve earned – large or small – will accumulate like a snowball effect. Your infographic plays part of a larger picture of your brand, SEO and content strategy. If your infographic plays a part in those, then you’ve certainly mastered how to make an infographic successful!