Infographics and other types of visual content are among the best ways to reach an audience. But once you’ve made your infographic, how do you drive traffic to it? Much of the success of marketing infographics boils down to your strategy in the design stage — well before it is finished and ready to post online. But there’s still lots you can do to drive traffic to your colorful, fact-filled material once it’s complete. From understanding the latest design trends to continuous tests to find what works and what doesn’t, follow these practices to help with marketing infographics.
Stay Current on the Latest Trends and Best Practices
Infographics aren’t a new concept, but more effective designs and better ways to present information are constantly being discovered. For example, flat design became wildly popular in visual media throughout the 2000s and early 2010s. Fully flat design was praised for its minimalism, from stripped-down icons and charts to extremely limited color palettes. Today, however, flat design 2.0 is preferred because it capitalizes on the appeal of simplicity but adds more visual interest and clarity to a design.
Keeping up with modern design principles is one way to make your infographics marketable. But you need to look beyond the colors and icons as well. Infographics are full of details, and checking that the writing is tight, that the information flows and is well-structured, and that your company’s information is presented in an appealing way are vital to a quality product.
Understand Inbound Marketing
To succeed with infographics, you need to do more than just create a visually appealing design and tell a good story. An understanding of inbound marketing is essential. Apply these principals to help market your infographics:
- Use a variety of content to promote your infographic: Infographics should be one of several types of content you’re producing. Use social media posts, long- and short-form content, like blogs and white papers, and more to link to your infographics and other relevant resources on your site.
- Optimize your infographic for web traffic: Infographics are excellent for search engine optimization (SEO) because they retain users and provide information that’s considered more helpful than text alone. But the infographic itself needs to be optimized for SEO. Make keyword research a part of your content marketing strategy for infographics, and use image alt text and social sharing buttons to make your content appear higher in search results.
- Include a call to action: After sharing information with readers, consider concluding your content with a short sentence that uses a strong action verb to direct readers to other pages on your site. Be mindful, however, of where your customers are in the sales funnel at this point. If you’re just providing basic data, encourage your readers to learn more by following a link. If the infographic is closer to the end of the funnel, add a call to action that leads to a product or services page.
Try Interactive Infographics
Most of the infographics you’ll come across are static. They have one point to make, and they take the reader from a catchy headline to the presentation of data to the conclusion. This is great, and people use static infographics every day to drive traffic to their websites and share important information. But this isn’t the only tool at your disposal.
Static infographics are limited to telling the same story over and over.
Changing a static infographic to an interactive infographic or working with a design agency to come up with new material can help you create more engaging and marketable content. Interactive infographics adjust based on user input, so they’re highly shareable and are a wonderful way to attract readers.
Pick the Right Type of Infographic
Image via Flickr by GDS Infographics
Infographics are either static or interactive, but you also have several ways to categorize the information. Consider whether chronological, alphabetical, geographic, categorical, or hierarchical order is best for your content. Your choice will help you pick the best elements for your infographic. For example, a geographic format can use a stylized map to help readers visualize the information you’re discussing.
Once you’ve decided how you’d like to structure your content, you can pick a format to present the information. These are some types you can use to reformat your current infographics or create new material:
- A mixed chart, which uses multiple graphs, charts, and other ways to visualize data.
- A list, which uses icons and simple sentences or short paragraphs to structure the copy.
- A timeline, which uses a variety of elements but presents data chronologically.
- A how-to-guide, which is like a blog post but uses icons instead of subheadings to structure the copy.
- A visualized number infographic, which uses prominent graphic design and typography to make statistics more interesting.
Despite their simple appearance, infographics have lots of elements that you need to consider. Carefully review your options to create an infographic that best expresses the story you have to tell.
Fill Your Infographic With Quality Sources and Build Backlinks
Infographics are a user-friendly way to present content, but they’re also fantastic from a business perspective. With a little planning, you can load your infographic with backlinks and quality sources to generate incoming traffic, send users to other pages on your website, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
If you create an infographic that’s compelling and backed by solid sources, you’ll get lots of users to share it. But other businesses will want to share it, too. If another webpage links to content on your site, it’s called a “backlink.” Building natural backlinks to your site is a huge boost to SEO, so you’ll pull in even more users to see your infographic.
Infographics are excellent for establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. To achieve this, you need to clearly cite your sources. Finally, your infographic must present new information or established facts and statistics in a fresh and interesting way. If you’re struggling with this, work with a professional designer to make storytelling a priority. This will help ensure you’re creating content that no one has seen before and not just rehashing old data with a fresh coat of paint.
Use Infographics as Pillar Content
Pillar content is a way to structure any information you want to share on a particular subject. The idea isn’t new — one of the most obvious examples is how a book is structured using a table of contents and multiple chapters. You can apply the same principle to any topic you want to explore with a website, e-book, or similar comprehensive platform.
First, brainstorm to identify subtopics related to a general subject. Each of these subtopics can be explored with an infographic, blog post, white paper, or a mix of content types. Second, consider how your subtopics are connected to each other and to the main subject. Use internal links to and from your infographic and all other relevant pages on your site to ensure that you’re sufficiently marketing your infographics across your own pages.
Pillar content is wonderful for driving traffic up toward a central topic. This structure makes it easy for readers to navigate your content and learn about all the info you have to share via straightforward, cleanly designed infographics.
Use Infographics to Complement Long-Form Content
If you have long-form content, like a comprehensive article, e-book, or white paper, you’ll probably only get a few visitors who read the entire piece word for word. And who’s to blame them? In an era where attention spans only last a few seconds and skimming is the best you can hope for, asking users to buckle down and get through 10,000+ words is a tall order. Of course, you want to include a range of content types, from tweets to short blogs and extensive essays, for SEO purposes and to help establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
When you do decide to draft long-form content, you can significantly improve the copy’s readability with an infographic or two. These are excellent for breaking up walls of text, and readers are likely to go straight to your infographics when they land on a page that has lots to read. If you want to make your infographics more marketable, pair them with long-form content. Plus, when you share your long-form content, you’re also sharing the infographic — and vice versa.
You can further complement the material you’ve published using social media updates, short blog posts, and other short content that links to either the infographic or to your long-form content. This will help you meet a wider audience or to at least meet your readers on whichever platforms they prefer. It will also help you move traffic across all the different content types you’ve created.
Aim for Quality, Not Quantity
Visual media is effective, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go overboard and lose traffic on your site or fail to get the traction you expected. To find success marketing infographics, prioritize quality and only create this type of content when it’s relevant to your brand and you have something to say that’s best shared with this medium.
If you’re curious about how many infographics you should be making, consider what would be natural for your brand and look at what your competitors are doing. Checking other companies’ infographics can give you an idea of what you like and don’t like, and it can inform your decision about how many infographics you’d like to use on your webpage. Check whether you’re using too many or too few, and adjust accordingly if you want your infographics to get some more attention.
Narrow Your Focus
Infographics are great for getting readers to learn more about any subject. But it’s important that you either have a compelling point to make or you’re connecting facts in a new or intriguing way. It can be hard to do this when you’re discussing a topic generally, but you can really sink your teeth into content that explores a niche part of a topic or subtopic that readers may not have considered.
The “Did you know?” angle is common in infographics, and as you research samples, you’ll find many that pose a question and provide data to make succinct yet interesting points. Use this technique to educate readers about little-known facts relevant to your industry. As an added bonus, narrowing your focus will help you come up with several subtopics to create pillar content. If your infographics aren’t getting the attention you want, try redrafting them into a more-intriguing format.
Test What Works and Adjust Accordingly
What works for someone else may not work for you. To ensure that you’re marketing your infographics to the best of your ability, you need to monitor your results and conduct AB tests, call-to-action copy/placement tests, and other types of tests for marketing content to see what variations deliver the best results for you. Testing and adjusting your infographics is another service that a digital agency can help with.
Work With a Design Team to Create a Content Strategy
Infographics are no longer a trend. This content, along with other types of visual media, accounts for a majority of the communications shared online, and this practice is expected to become even more popular in the future. This is because images do a far better job of holding readers’ attention than text alone.
With the increasing popularity of this type of media, it’s now possible to create your own infographics using templates online. If you’re serious about marketing them, however, you’ll find far more success working with a design team that knows how to build a custom infographic tailor-made to meet your design and storytelling goals. This guarantees that your content won’t look like it was pressed from a cookie cutter, and a marketing specialist can also recommend ways that you can promote your infographics or use them to complement other types of content that will go on your website or in your e-book.
If you’ve made the effort to produce quality content, you want it to be seen and shared. Follow the above tips to take control of marketing infographics, and don’t hesitate to work with a professional if you want to give your marketing strategy a boost or total overhaul.