How to Effectively Research, Plan and Market an Infographic

Infographics are currently incredibly popular in the world of online marketing, and with good reason. They are a unique product that allows a company to display a large amount of useful information in an aesthetically pleasing manner, and they encourage sharing, which builds links back to the company.

Many companies are still learning effective infographic design processes and syndication strategies, often times spending quite a bit of time and money to produce an infographic that 1) doesn’t match their original intention or 2) just doesn’t get shared as much as they hoped it would. At Consorte Marketing, we’ve had quite a bit of success with our process, which we will be outlining below to help you on your road to a successful infographic.

Step 1: The Brainstorming

So you’ve decided you want to create an infographic. That’s fantastic, but what exactly will it be about? Often times the first idea you come up with won’t be the one you carry out, so be sure to write down a few totally different ideas. Make sure to get as many people involved as possible, and not just the decision makers, so the brainstorming process includes multiple points of view. Below are a few points to consider when jotting down ideas:

  • What is your company’s main objective? Can you think of an idea that would support it?
  • If it can support it, is it interesting to other people? If not, don’t expect it to be shared!
  • Does your idea provide valuable information to potential readers?
  • If it helped their bottom line, is the information valuable enough that a competitor would utilize it?

There’s a nugget of gold in that last point. When you’ve developed an idea that is interesting and valuable enough that a competitor would be inclined to share, put a stick in it because you’ve got yourself a winner.

Step 2: The Research

Congratulations, you’ve got yourself a great idea for an infographic. Now comes one of the most important aspects of the process: research. In a world where blatantly incorrect information can be posted on the Internet, it is very important that the driving points of your infographic are backed by solid, irrefutable facts. Most people inherently trust what they read on the Internet, and it’s your job to provide them with an interesting, shareable graphic that does not betray that trust. Below are a few things to look for in the research phase of your process:

  • If a non-competitive industry leader has a web page that supports one of your driving points, be sure to cite them. If your infographic is attached to a trusted, leading website, that trust will be transferred to your readers.
  • Always try and cite your own website as an authority on the infographic.
  • Avoid using facts from less-than-honest looking websites. After all the work you are putting in, you don’t want to be discredited because you cited a shady website.

Every non-opinionated fact on your infographic needs to have an authority cited that backs that fact up. Make your readers and competitors feel like they are viewing a trustworthy graphic, and they will be more inclined to share with friends and clients.

Step 3: The Outlining and Design

You’ve got a clear idea of what your infographic will entail, and you’ve got the facts that back it up. Break out a pen and paper, because it’s time to start outlining. Now, if you’re thinking, “I have absolutely zero artistic talent” then fear not. At this point you’re not worried about how it looks at all. Your goal in this step is to outline all of the text for the infographic and decide on the information architecture, and decide what imagery you want to use. Use your research and note taking from the previous step to outline how you want the text to flow. Research imagery that supports that text, and look at similar infographics for inspiration. For example, let’s say you wanted to do an infographic on affiliate program management. Research imagery that relates to that field. How about an image of dollar signs? Or a shopping cart? When you have a clear idea of the text and types of images you want to use, consult a designer and get to work! Below are a few tips for this phase of the process:

  • Make sure your outline portrays your carefully chosen information in a shareable manner.
  • Avoid long blocks of text. They are much more difficult to read due to the size of most infographics.
  • Make sure the imagery you choose supports the text. Imagery for its own sake does not help – it should help tell the story.
  • Your outline needs to be crystal clear for the designer. Information always gets lost in translation, and you want to reduce that chance.
  • When you get a design back, make sure the text is big enough. Nothing sinks a potentially successful infographic faster than text that is too small to read on a computer.

When your designer gets you the first draft back, review it with a fine-toothed comb. Don’t be afraid to ask for a revision if necessary. If you hire a designer you’ll be paying a pretty penny, and you want to ensure you are happy with the final product.

Step 4: The Marketing

After countless hours of brainstorming, research, outlining and design, you are now staring at a finished infographic. Now comes the part that the stakeholders in the project really care about: what do you do with it? Luckily, there are several different methods of infographic marketing, all of which we have had success utilizing. Below is a brief breakdown of two popular methods:

Submit your infographic to as many infographic directories as you can. Most get quite a bit of traffic, and if you get approved, you’ll usually get a link back to your website. Success! We’ll point you in the right direction on this and send you to Paddy Moogan, who compiled a great list of infographic directories. After that, don’t be afraid to reach out to related industry websites, to see if they’d be interested in posting your new infographic. Remember, the worst thing they can say is no, so create a list of websites and make some phonecalls!

By completing the above, you’ve got a great start to marketing your hard work. With any luck, your infographic could go viral, but even if it doesn’t you’ve created many authority backlinks to your website by way of the steps above. Great job.

We hope that this post is able to help you produce a quality, informational infographic. It’s an incredibly fun process, and it’s very rewarding to see all of your hard work and patience pay off in the end. Now go on, start the brainstorming!

 This is a guest post by Consorte Marketing.