Content, SEO, and Promo: The 25 Elements of Successful Infographics by Jenn Lisak. @jlisak / #25elements
Infographic production background: managed about 50 infographic projects over the past 2 years, including infographic production for Angie’s List, Chase Paymentech, ExactTarget, and Compendium to name a few.
Infographics take time, money, and man power to make them successful.
In our experience, infographic production takes about 4 – 6 weeks per infographic, pending approval processes for content and design. If you outsource infographic production, the average cost is about $3,000 per piece. If you keep it internal, the amount of time and man power it takes might cost about same if you factor in opportunity cost. Furthermore, it takes at least 3 people to create an infographic. Someone who creates and curates content, a designer, and someone who can approve the content and design in order to post the infographic online.
So, why do we bother producing infographics if they take so much time and money? Because visuals are much more powerful than text. 65% of people are visual learners, and visuals are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. In other words, infographics are a great way to depict information in order for it to resonate with readers.
Infographics are a 3 step process: developing content, optimizing for SEO, and promoting socially.
When producing infographics, you have to think about three different inbound marketing categories: content, SEO, and promotion. Let’s start with content.
1. Deciding on a topic is the most important part of infographic production. If you’re going to put in all of the effort, then it’s imperative that the topic will resonate with your target market. When thinking about a topic, I ask my clients the following questions: Is it relevant? Is it timely, and is it valuable? 2. It is important to define the keyword combination so that you can generate search rankings for that combination, which should be relevant and valuable to your brand. Ask yourself if that keyword will help people find you for the right reasons. Tip: The highest converting keyword combinations for search are long-tail, about 3-5 word combinations.3. Great title – this is just common sense. You want to create one that’s going to make people click.All three of these things seem to go hand in hand, so think about that when you start production. I generally like to define these before moving onto content production. This is a screenshot of an infographic we did for Compendium and ExactTarget, which is a good example of focusing on a topic that works well with a keyword combinations as well. We wanted to talk about mobile content, and we were able to come up with the title of “The State of Mobile Content Marketing.”
4. Research – every great infographic has research that supports its overall objective or mission. We always include research as a part of our infographics to make them more trustworthy. This particular screenshot is from an infographic we did for TinderBox, which was about closing the gap between sales enablement and marketing. We researched specific data that supports the conclusions made. 5. Target Market: Who are you trying to reach with your infographic? While I understand the importance of generating traffic and conversions, you want to generate the right type of traffic and conversions. Make your messaging as specific as possible. The quality of the lead is more important than the quantity.This was an infographic we did with Fatstax, an iPad sales app directory. They were very good about paying attention to addressing marketers and the sales team. They even identified at the top of the infographic what audiences they were trying to reach.
6. Sources – it’s always important to reference your sources at the bottom of the infographic. Furthermore, it’s always good to make sure your sources are reputable and known within your industry. It makes the information that you’re presenting more trustworthy.This was the source list for an infographic that we did for Fatstax. You’ll notice that we pulled research from well-known sites, such as Aberdeen, econsultancy, and MarketingProfs.Tip: For an even better user experience, we’ve been using superscripts within the content to reference exactly which content came from which source.
7. Opening paragraph: We always try to include an opening paragraph just as a nicety. It provides the visitor with some context as to what the infographic is going to be about.8. Core content: The primary content of your infographic should be a combination of statistics, facts, educational materials, and recommendations based on that content. Provide the reader with direction as to what to do, but use the facts and stats to backup your claims.This is a screenshot of the top of Angie’s List infographic we did. We always provided context in a thought bubble above the core content. 9. Call to action: Every infographic should have a call to action at the bottom that tells the reader what to do next. What do you want your viewer to do from here? Sign up for your email campaigns, download the expanded whitepaper on the topic? Website visitors like to be told what to do, and it helps you get to your conversion faster. Tip: If you are directing your reader to a landing page, a good idea is to also link the actual infographic image to that landing page.
9. Call to action: Every infographic should have a call to action at the bottom that tells the reader what to do next. What do you want your viewer to do from here? Sign up for your email campaigns, download the expanded whitepaper on the topic? Website visitors like to be told what to do, and it helps you get to your conversion faster. Tip: If you are directing your reader to a landing page, a good idea is to also link the actual infographic image to that landing page.10. Sponsors: When we create an infographic with a client, we also make note of who participated in the creation of the final piece. At the bottom, we include a image of the company logos with bylines of “infographic by” and “sponsored by,” as well as the urls to the company sites. That way, when the infographic is shared on another site, the reader will know who created the content.
The next thing we have to think about in relation to infographics is SEO. The keyword combination that you have chosen is imperative to the success of search rankings for your infographic. It is important to include the keyword combination in different parts of the page and content structure.
11. URL Slug/Permalink: Change the permalink (before you publish the page or blog post) to include the keyword combination. Generally, we cut down to just the focus keyword combination unless it isn’t applicable.12. Page/SEO Title: While the page and SEO title can be different from one another, it is also important to incorporate the keyword into both. You can incorporate different keyword combinations into the SEO title to potentially rank for other combinations. For example: Page Title (what the reader sees on the page): The 25 Elements of Successful InfographicsSEO Title (what is displayed on the browser tab): Elements of Successful Infographics | Infographic Best Practices | Awesome Infographics
13: Meta description: This is the short description of what people see underneath the page title in the search result. Give a brief (140 characters) introduction to what the infographic is about, while including the keyword.
14: Image Art Tag & Name: Rename your image to describe what the image actually is, and include an alt tag with the keyword combination. Images rank in search engines as well, and visual searches are becoming increasingly more popular.
15: Content Surrounding the Infographic: When providing an infographic on your site or in other places, make sure the content surrounding the infographic (description, author’s note, etc.) includes the focus keyword. Write content for people, but also tweak it a bit to include those keyword combinations in your blog post.
Once the infographic is done, we have to think about
Now that you’ve created this great piece of content, it’s important to get it out there! Here are a couple of places where you can share your infographic to gain some traction. 16. Visual.ly Sign up for a visual.ly account for your company and share all of your infographics on that site. People can search for different topics and you can be a part of those search results. 17. Blog It is always a good idea to write a blog post about the release of a new infographic. Plus, Google will index the text on that page, which will increase the likelihood of you ranking for the desired keyword combination. Tip: While it is not an exact science, for the most part, the best traffic days for B2B sites are on Mondays and Tuesdays. 18. Slideshare If you have the resources to do it, after you have created the vertical infographic, have your designer create a landscape PDF (slides) of the infographic. Upload it to your Slideshare account as slides and voila!19. StumbleUpon You can use paid StumbleUpon ads to get quick and big traffic to your infographic. And it’s cost efficient. 20. Email Email marketing is here to stay. In your next email newsletter, create a CTA in the sidebar of the core content of the email inviting your subscribers to check out your new infographic.
21. Resources Section A lot of companies are incorporating resources sections on their websites, to include whitepapers, video, webinars, and, now, infographics. If you have a Resources section, create a category for infographics and upload them there. 22. Sidebar CTA Most websites have a page construction with a right hand sidebar. In the sidebar, create a CTA encouraging viewers to check out your new infographic. 23. Home Page Slide If you have a slider on the home page of your website, design a slide specifically with a CTA that links to the infographic.24. Email Signature You can even include a link to your infographic underneath your contact information in your email signature to get more views from your clients and contacts.
25. Social: Of course, share the infographic link socially, but make sure to tailor your messaging for each social network so that you can increase click throughs. Facebook: Upload a screenshot of part of the infographic, then include a short description and a link to the landing page. Post between 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., or between 3 - 5 p.m. Twitter: Write a short tweet (11-15 words), including the link and relevant hashtags. LinkedIn: Write a short status update (16-25 words), including the link and relevant hashtags. Google+: Handle similarly to a Facebook update, except include hashtags or keyword combinations in your update as well. Pinterest: Have you design create a custom image for uploading to Pinterest, which includes the title of the infographic in the image. Then write a short description and link to the landing page.
The one other element that is really important with infographic production is design. Find a designer who can conceptualize data really well, use colors in an aesthetic way, knows how to use space, and who can take direction.
Need more information? Feel free to email me at jenn @ dknewmedia.com. Or check out the infographic at http://jennlisak.com/25-elements-of-successful-infographics/.
By Jenn Lisak
#25elements / @jlisak
• Director of Content Strategies,
DK New Media
• Managed about 50 infographic
projects over the past 2 years
• Created infographics for
Angie’s List, Chase
#25elements / @jlisak
3. Infographics take time, money, and
man power to be successful.
#25elements / @jlisak
5. • 65% of people are visual learners.
• Visuals are processed by the brain 60,000x faster than text.
#25elements / @jlisak