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Infographic Feeding Frenzy: 4 Tips for Wading the Waters of Data Visualization

Posted on May 23rd, 2012
Written by TopRank Marketing
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  • Infographic Feeding Frenzy: 4 Tips for Wading the Waters of Data Visualization
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    TopRank Marketing drives results with content, influencer, SEO & social media marketing.

    Note from Ashley: Please welcome this guest post from Shawna Kenyon, an Associate Account Manager with TopRank Online Marketing.

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, if that’s true then how many is an Infographic worth? Infographics are all the rage right now, and it’s not surprising B2B marketers are paying attention. When people talk about infographics we often hear the phrase ‘data visualization’. That’s because we have the means to transform information that could otherwise be deemed bland or boring, into something creative and compelling.

    There is a method to the madness.  According to studies, 83% of learning occurs visually whereas people only remember 20% of what they read.  In a world of information overload it is essential that we present our customers with information that is easy to read, digest, and share.  Below I have included 4 Tips that will keep you from going off of the data visualization deep end.

    #1 – Walk Before You Run

    It’s tempting to jump head first when creating an infographic, but that’s how projects get messy and end up behind schedule.  In order to effectively create and market an infographic I recommend answering some basic questions that will set your team up for success.  These questions could include:

    • Who is the target audience?
    • What is the response you’re looking for?
    • Is the infographic going to speak to a specific service or niche, or to the brand as a whole?
    • What format will you use?
    • What color themes best represent core messaging?

    Once you can answer the questions above, the next step is to consider how the data you’re trying to convey can be represented visually. And remember, this is an INFO-GRAPHIC so there needs to be a mix of useful information and eye-catching images. Too much of one or the other can leave the reader feeling disenchanted and confused.

    #2 – Know the Goal

    By now we all know that goal setting and working to attain goals it is the best way to accomplish desired outcomes. Infographics are no different. We rarely succeed with one hand tied behind our back so do yourself a favor and understand the ‘why’, before tackling the ‘how’. When setting goals ask yourself:

    • What are you trying to achieve with this information?
    • Is the goal inbound links for SEO?
    • Increased traffic?
    • Social buzz?
    • All of the above?

    #3 – Share and Share Alike

    It’s no accident that companies of all industries and sizes are tackling social media head on. It works. And it works on a number of levels. Now is not the time for tunnel vision. Get the word out and make it easy on your readers to do the same.  Some of the steps you can take to increase sharability include:

    • Adding social share buttons (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +)
    • Know when to publish your content. For instance avoid publishing on Sunday mornings and holidays. Friday afternoons are also not ideal as people are getting ready for the weekend.
    • Use calls to action. Though it may seem obvious, your number of shares can increase dramatically when you tell readers how you’d like them to share your content.

    #4 – Promote, Promote, and Repeat

    If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If an infographic is published, but nobody knows how to find it, does it have an impact? My guess is you already know the answer to that question. An infographic is like any other piece of content; it needs to be promoted in order to be successful. There are dozens of tactics you can implement to increase your infographic’s visibility online. Here are just a few:

    • Create a blog post
    • Schedule Tweets that speak to specific
    • Break it out into a PDF and promote on Slideshare
    • Promote via email blast or email marketing campaign
    • For 11 great infographic marketing tips, be sure to check out this article from Lee Odden

    In the end there are no hard and fast rules to creating and infographic. However, there are many blog posts, presentations, and yes infographics out there that can take the fear out of creating your own infographic.  I’m curious to know what experience you have had with infographics or how you feel about infographics as a consumer.  What do you think is the most important part of an infographic?  Why do you think some infographics succeed, while others fail?  Do you have a favorite infographic that you would like to share with our readers?