Avalaunch helps companies harness Infographics from the initial ideation stage all the way through to the promotion. They have experience in launching countless infographics across multiple industries. I met with Andrew Melchior to learn about how Avalaunch has successfully launched infographics for their clients.
Benefits of an Infographic
There are 6 main benefits that a business can expect from an infographic. Most infographics will provide some mix of the benefits listed below, but having a good idea of your primary objective will help structure an infographic to achieve the desired result.
- Traffic – First and foremost, infographics are a great way to drive traffic to a website. People love looking at infographics, so they often send large amounts of traffic to websites. A strong promotion plan is needed to ensure that your infographic will generate traffic to your site.
- Branding – Infographics can be good at positioning brands and building their equity. They are a great way to build your brand and associate it with a specific topic.
- Link-Building – One of the best ways to improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and get your company to the top of search engine results is to have other companies link to you. Since news sites and blogs often share infographics and include a link back to the company who created them, they can be very powerful ways to grow more links to your website.
- Direct Sales – In some instances infographics can directly drive sales to a business. Especially in the B-to-B space, exposing your industry to thought leadership and new ideas through an infographic can generate sales.
- Exposure – Infographics drive exposure to brands and can build general awareness. Good infographics are often picked up by leading news sites like the New York Times and Mashable, which increases the reach of your business.
- Social Content – Infographics are great social content and can generate likes, shares, +1s and more across social channels.
Most infographics will have multiple benefits and generate some level of traffic, branding, link-building, sales and exposure.
When a client signs up for an infographic, the first step is to do a creative brainstorm to generate the concept or angle for the infographic. The brainstorm starts with understanding the client goals and objectives.
The key to success in the brainstorming is to clearly define the objectives and strategy upfront. Most businesses don’t have a clear idea as to why they are creating an infographic or what they want to achieve from it. The strategy should be defined before the brainstorm begins so that ideas can be effectively evaluated.
The brainstorm evolves around the concept for the infographic. For example, if a ski resort in Utah is looking for an infographic they might want to strategically showcase why skiing is better in Utah. The brainstorm would generate concept ideas like the history of skiing, snowfall, weather related information, etc. Once a variety of concepts are created, they will be evaluated against the objectives.
Upon selecting a concept the next step is research to determine what information is available. Proprietary or fresh new data always adds value. The process is to research -> compile -> refine until the data tells a compelling story.
Once the data and story are clear, the next step is the creative design phase, where the designer and the client work together to best visualize the story.
Promotion of Infographics
Creating a great infographic is only the first step towards infographic success. A great infographic won’t deliver results if there isn’t a clear plan for promotion.
Some of the items that should be in your infographic marketing toolbox include:
- Building a network of relationships of people, bloggers and news sites that can share and promote your infographic. Having a network of people that you can ask to help will ensure that your infographic gains traction early on.
- Use your assets to help spread the word. Facebook, newsletters, websites, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other social networks are all great ways to share your infographic with your existing customers and fans.
- Pump it up with earned channels or ads: Avalaunch normally pushes graphics out through our earned/owned channels and hopes to see traction. If the content just simply isn’t right and it doesn’t get traction, then they’ll work through promoted channels to see if they can help it get some initial traction from there.
Some of the most common mistakes that Andrew sees are:
- Overbranding – the data and information should be the message, not the brand creating it
- Matching brand style guides makes it look like an ad, not an interesting piece of content
- Trying to sell when it doesn’t fit like inserting “buy now” buttons throughout an infographic
- Not being interesting in choosing a topic
Interestingness and Good Content for The Infographic Is Key
The most important thing is that you create an infographic that is interesting enough for news sites to pick it up. Here are some tips to hone in on socially interesting content for infographics:
- Research ideas on social media to see what people are already talking about related to your industry
- Look at top shared content in your industry and outside of your industry to understand what types of things are popular
- Install Flipboard and look at top stories in your industry
- Pay attention to what is trending on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Digg, humor sites, How Stuff Works, etc to get ideas and inspiration
- Use different keyword phrases and search a variety of news sites
Getting More From Your Infographics
Avalaunch has also had clients use infographics beyond online marketing content. Some businesses have used infographics as:
- Leave-behinds for customers
- Trade show boards
- Trade show collateral
- Sales tools
- Print ads
Example: Pinnable Business
Pinnablebusiness.com wanted to become an authority on Pinterest, so Avalaunch created an infographic for them to showcase their research and knowledge on Pinterest.
The infographic was posted on Mashable immediately and received over 5,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The infographic also sent tens of thousands of visitors to pinnablebusiness.com over several days and the overall site traffic went from double digits to five digits overnight.