By now we have all done it. Seen an infographic so interesting that we have been compelled to immediately post it on Facebook, tweet it, forward it in an email or share it on LinkedIn. You may have also chosen to feature a particularly good one in your latest blog post.
Given that creating good infographics is not the easiest thing is it worth taking the time and attempting to do so? And if you do, how can you ensure it does what you expected it to?
The Basic Benefits of Infographics in Content Marketing and For SEO
A good infographic is a lot more than just a pretty picture. Here’s a look at some more compelling reasons infographics can make great content for almost any niche.
Addictive and Attractive
People love facts, figures and statistics. Add some compelling images and graphics and just like that, you have addictive content that will engage readers while also offering the kind of useful information Google expects good content to do every time
Easily Scanned and Viewed
Human beings are highly visual and because 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual you need to tap into that “optic nerve” as quickly as possible with your content.
Eye-tracking studies have shown that internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.
Have an important message you want to convey that people will actually remember? Add an infographic to it. Studies have shown that people can recall 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later. Compared to about 10% of text only content three days after it’s read.
Big SEO Benefits
Not only can infographics, when shared, draw new and increased traffic to your website but they are also great link bait. If people use them on their site – which they will if they are interesting and informative – they will have to link back to you. This can be a great way to get links from sites much ‘bigger’ than your own that might never have considered linking to your site before.
Demonstrate an Expert Understanding of the Subject
The research and understanding required to create an infographic will display your knowledge and position you as an expert on your category or topic, even if the fact you make use of come from many other sources – which they often do.
Tips for Creating a Viral Infographic
As you can see, when they do ‘go viral’, infographics can be a hugely effective way to get a marketing message across, bring wider recognition to your brand or idea and boost your SEO. And while you can never be certain that your infographic will catch the attention of the masses – or at least your target audience – there are some things you can do to help its chances of doing so:
Identify a Real Goal
In order for it to be of use to you as a promotional tool, you need to define exactly what your goal is for your infographic. Do you want to build your ‘brand profile’ by educating and/or entertaining people or are you trying to acquire customers or sell a product? By answering these questions, you can determine just what kind of information and content to include.
Tell A Singular Story
Although an infographic contains a number of different pieces of information they should all relate to the same central idea and tell a cohesive story. Creating a great, shareable, infographic involves coming up with a way to impart facts, figures and information about a single idea in a new way, not just jumbling some random facts together and adding cartoon clip art.
Get Your Facts Straight
To avoid embarrassment, make sure that the facts you include come from a reliable, accurate and verifiable source. When you think the piece is finished, make sure that you go back and ensure that any numbers you have included are absolutely right as well, as an extra zero added or omitted by mistake can change everything!
Go for Good Design
The appeal of an infographic is also its design and visual appearance but that does not mean you should go so overboard with the visuals that the actual message gets lost. To create a good balance between the two elements try looking at some of the infographics that have personally appealed to you in the past for help and inspiration.
There are also an increasing number of softwares and web-based applications that can be utilized to great effect if graphic design is really not your ‘thing’. Good options include Visme, Easel.ly and Canva.
Make It Super Sharable
In order for an infographic to go viral people have to share it and so you do need to make it as easy to share as possible. Besides the very obvious links on major social channels, offer an embed code so that people can add it to their own websites or blogs with ease.
To make it even more sharable, offer a PDF that can be downloaded and printed off. And don’t forget that as it is an image after all to add it to a site like Pinterest, a place that you may not think of as a promotional site for information – but where actually more images are now shared from than any other single spot on the Internet!
A blog or website that is filled with nothing but infographics will not appeal to many, and won’t do much for your overall onsite SEO, so that is NOT what we are suggesting. However, the occasional well executed infographic included as a part of a structured content marketing plan has the potential to offer benefits far beyond what you ever imagined a simple image could.