So, you want to create an awesome infographic…

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All hail the infographic.  It is like an express delivery system for information, that helps its reader digest and visualise complex statistics.  No wonder you want to create an awesome infographic.  People like them.  People will spend their time reading them.  You know, an old friend perfectly described the infographic recently.

If you consider a blog to be a book, then an infographic must be the graphic novel.

I have no idea why he said that. 

However, the fact that both the infographic and the blog post tell a story is a nice thought.  Also, the fact that the graphics cut through heavy reams of text to present a complicated statistical narrative is something worth hearkening to.

So how easy is it to build these marketing narratives?

Here are some things you need to consider if you are going to create an awesome infographic.

Answer to question on infographic

It all begins a spot of research

If you have read a few of these blogs, you will know that I have a thing for research.  It is one of the most important parts of any marketing activity.  Especially when creating content that is intended to be useful for your clients.  Every blog, in my own opinion, should not begin without some measure of research.

Even if you are well versed in the topic you wish to create an awesome infographic about, it doesn’t hurt to check your facts.  It doesn’t matter whether you have Dr. Spencer Reid’s intellect, or an eidetic memory, it makes sense just to check you’re not sending out of date information.

Sometimes things change in every industry.  But more importantly, sometimes you might be producing a well-constructed answer to a question that is simply not being asked.

Asking questions clueless

Research means social listening too

When we think of research, we think of finding experts in the field and learning from what they say.  But researching before you create content doesn’t entirely rely upon expert advice.  In fact, there may be far too much content out there on that particular subject.  In that sense you are going to just regurgitate your own version of an awesome infographic.

Sometimes the best research to do is with the clueless.  They are the ones that are asking the questions.  In fact, savvy industrialists sometimes come across problems for which they cannot seem to find a solution.

By social listening, and other forms of keyword research you are better positioned to find that gap that could easily be filled with your own content.

An awesome infographic is cool and fun

An awesome infographic needs a reason

As much as it is cool to play with piktochart for a little while, it is a waste of time at the end of the day if you are creating an infographic for the sake of it.  Having infographics for your business is cool, and yes they are fun to make.  Neither of these are good reasons to create an infographic at all.

It needs purpose.

Your infographic needs to serve something other than your desire to play with the internet.

Most of the time you are gating your infographic behind a form that is asking for data.  Considering that data has become coveted currency since GDPR, people will be a little upset with your brand if your infographic doesn’t help them at all.

So before you put mouse to software, make sure you know exactly the purpose your infographic is going to serve.  Is it going to be an informative way of delivering statistics to your prospect?  Is it going to have a practical use, such as a checklist?

A quick scan should be able to discern

We could all use a little focus

Mark Armstrong makes an interesting and graphic point in his How to Create a Good Infographic article.  “Stick to a single topic.  Multiple topics can make the infographic cluttered and overlong.”

This is a point to which I am inclined to agree with.  The narrative of an infographic has to be easy to understand, otherwise they would be reading a blog article.  At a glance, or at least a quick scan, your lead should be able to discern the important information from your infographic.  It shouldn’t tangentially meander down a spiral path into an irrelevant subplot.

You are not recreating Game of Thrones.

Keep focussed on the topic at hand and deliver precise information to your reader.  You would like them to trust your content again in the future.

A consistent design is key

An awesome infographic is an extension of your brand

You can have a lot of fun creating infographics.  I know that my colleagues would more likely wish to be tasked with that as opposed to a blog.  For creative people, though, it’s a dangerous occupation.  I mean it can be a bit like a toddler that has just arrived at nursery.  Full of energy.  Faced with every colour paint imaginable. 

You know happens next.

Psychedelic chaos.

An infographic is still an extension of your current brand and marketing strategies.  Unless you’re already marketing yourself as something wacky and fun, you will have to show a little restraint and make sure that you are staying on brand with your content.

It is important to be attractive and yet part of your brand as a wider whole.

Infographic lead magnet

How do you distribute an awesome infographic?

It might sound like a ridiculously obvious thing to consider.  What channels are we going to use to distribute these infographics.  Of course, you want to send it to everyone.  Fire it off on your next email marketing campaign.  Use all the social media sites.  Print it off and post it.

Steady on a minute.

Remember that your infographic serves you best as a lead magnet.  Making it the centrepiece for you next email marketing campaign might, in fact, be a misuse of your resources. 

If you are doing email marketing correctly, then you aren’t sending to contacts that haven’t already provided you with their details.  However, on social media, you could catch the eye of some strangers that would be willing to part with a few contact details.

Infographic question and answer

Wrapping up

A good infographic tells a story.  It delivers a question and an answer.  Moreover, the narrative should be coherent and satisfying.  In that sense the infographic is one of the trickiest forms of content to create.

There is a lot of discussion on the infographic.  Most people tend to view it as a way to get charts across to people.  Most of the articles written describe the infographic as a way of getting statistics and percentages drummed into people. 

This is a bit of a misnomer.

Yes they can do that.  They can prettify and glitz all those disgustingly hated ratios and percentages if you wish.  But they can serve other purposes.

Breaking down complicated processes and procedures for instance.

Or helping your readers keep track of some of their own activities.  You don’t need to feel limited by what some articles prescriptively tell you that an infographic is used for.

If you feel that there is something you would like to add to this discussion, or to deliver a point that I have not made.  Please comment below, it will help future readers

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