Marketing infographics are a vital tool in your content marketing arsenal.
Infographics are a graphical representation of information, data, processes or knowledge. You should consider using infographics as a part of your content marketing strategy. They provide a powerful visual asset that further builds value for customers. However, they are not for all businesses. You need to think carefully about whether they are right for yours or not.
Why should you use infographics?
As with all content marketing the key is to provide value by educating or entertaining.
By doing so we can obtain awareness and start to build our online audience. Once we have an audience we use content marketing to drive sales.
At the same time content marketing allows us to build trust with our potential customers and existing customer base.
What is so special about infographics specifically though? Infographics allow us to display a large amount of information in an appealing and easy to digest visual asset.
Infographics deliver a lot of information while still being engaging and not requiring any large time commitment from a potential customer. They are much faster to consume than a blog.
As a result of the graphics have a higher chance of virality than standard images or text based information. This is compounded by the particular channels on which infographics are used which will be discussed below.
Infographics: why aren’t they used much?
Despite this, infographics are an underutilised tool. They simply aren’t used that much by businesses. This leaves open opportunities for us.
Why are infographics not used that much? Simply put, they’re time-consuming and costly to produce. This means that many companies do not use them to their full potential.
The main reason for this is that many online businesses start with the content they want to display visually rather than starting with the design and working backwards.
I’ll talk about how to cost effectively and quickly produce infographics by starting with design and working backwards to content. Basically flipping the process. This allows you to get infographics done very quickly and cost-effectively
Should you use infographics for your online business?
First though we need to discuss whether you should be using infographics for your online business.
Whether or not infographics will be a useful content marketing tool depends on your market.
Because of the natural limits and constraints of infographics they are not ideal for all channels of distribution. Therefore we need to make sure that infographics work on the channels of distribution that makes sense for your market.
Infographics are too large
The main “issue” with infographics is that they tend to be very large (generally long) static images. Only certain social networks and other online channels specialise in this type of media.
For examples most infographics do not work well on Instagram. They tend to be too long or detailed for the smaller square format of Instagram.
Any long and extremely detailed infographic will generally just not work that well on a mobile device. Simply put, the density of the visual information requires too much zooming-in for it to be comfortable on a mobile device. The result? Your audience will bounce off.
Infographics are static
Infographics are for the most part static images. There are ways to animate them but that’s beyond the scope of this article.
Because of this if your market is primarily found on video-based channels like TikTok or YouTube then infographics are again not an ideal medium.
Infographics on Pinterest
On the flip-side infographics are perfect for channels like Pinterest.
Pinterest is in fact a natural home for infographics and you’ll find many being distributed and shared there.
I recommend heading over to Pinterest and specifically searching “niche + infographic” to see what’s already available and how healthy the interest is.
This is great if your audience are to be found on Pinterest as infographics a perfect fit for this platform. For your information, Pinterest tends to skew heavily female and slightly older than most social media networks. 71% of the users are female and 35% of them are aged between 35 and 49. They tends also to be a higher level of education and income than average.
If this describes the demographic of your market you’re in luck: infographics on Pinterest are maybe a perfect channel/format match to reach this market on Pinterest.
This is not to say that you should not use infographics if you audiences isn’t on Pinterest!
Instead it is to say the first you need to know where your audience hang out and then you can gauge whether infographics are a suitable and effective way to reach them.
Match of the media to the audience!
How to make infographics
There are two basic methods you can follow at this point:
- You can write the content and then convert into a visual infographic.
- Alternatively you can start with a visual design and then fit your content to the design.
Design is always more time-consuming and costly than writing content.
As a result I recommend you start with a templated design and work backwards to fit your content into that design.
The particular tool I recommend using is Canva. Canva is basically an online form of photo shop stuffed full of premade templates for you to use for your business.
Canva has a very generous amount of infographic templates for you to start building your infographic from.
For instance here is an example of a five step process infographic template:
This is a very basic template with very few graphic designs included. There are more complicated designs for this is a good example start with.
Using Canva you can replace the text, colour and basic design elements of this infographic to match your own content and brand.
From a practical point of view this would mean creating a five step process based on the infographic for your audience.
This sounds simple but most businesses fail to do this! They instead would write an 8 step process and then realise “darnit it won’t fit in any template” and will instead go and hire a designer for a few hundred pounds.
Don’t do this: instead find the design template you like and conform your content to the template! Make your life easier.
For instance I might produce an infographic on how to optimise your blog for SEO. If I was writing content for this and wanted to start with the above template I would make sure that I break the process down into five steps. Not 4, not 6 but 5. This would allow me to fit it to a pre-existing graphical template.
The alternative would be for me to write my content and then either look for template that fits my content (time consuming and limits my choices) or hire a desire to create one from scratch (costly). Both add a lot of time and/or expense to the process.
Instead starting simply with a pre-existing graphical template and moulding my written content to that template I can have an infographic done in minutes rather than days.
It sounds simple and obvious but many many businesses get this all wrong.
Creating an infographic
Once you have found a template your content creation process is the same as it would be with any content marketing.
You already have the basic outline of the content based on what is in the infographic. Now simply create the text as you would any normal blog article. Once you have the text plug it into the template and you’re done.
As with all content marketing do not simply talk about yourself and your company. Instead focus on providing genuine value to the readers of your content. This makes it much more likely that your info infographic will be viewed, saved and shared. This is a particular power of infographic so do not ruin its intrinsic virality by filling it with sales messaging or talking about yourself too much. Provide value first and the market will do the work for you!