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19 Sep 2011

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda… Done an Infographic

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…Done an Infographic

If you haven’t noticed, there is an infographic explosion happening. Some would debate that infographics are over-used and too time-prohibitive, others would say that content is made more interesting and impactful, simply by adding a visual spin. Like most things though, you get out of it, what you put into it. And when all the right ingredients come together, infographics can be leveraged for links, build engagement, drive site traffic and give your audience variety in their consumption of your compelling content.

According to Nielsen’s new Social Media Report, we are spending as many hours online as we do in front of the television and are constantly being driven to consume content. In this information-overload state, infographics offer a refreshing alternative in an already noisy space. Data is served up in an easy to digest, quick-to-interpret manner and can be shared via social media buttons or embed codes.

Radha Subramanyam, senior vice president for media and advertising insights and analytics at Nielsen in New York recently commented: “Social media is becoming increasingly mainstream.” As a result, “there’s a need for companies to engage even more strategically in the space, than they already do.”

So let’s explore the reasons…

Why You Should

  • You can go beyond the traditional story-telling format of an article and connect the reader to content on a sensory level.
  • You have the ability to influence a person’s perception of information and leave a lasting visual impression.
  • You can leverage as a unique link building tactic through promotion and placement on third-party sites.

Why You Would

  • Make people aware of a relevant issue
  • Help others to grasp the “big picture” of a situation
  • Influence an attitude towards a particular subject

Get Ideas Here:

Cool Infographics: highlights some of the best examples of data visualizations and infographics found in magazines, newspapers and on the Internet.

Visual.ly: highlights the best visualizations on the web. Use it as a source to check out current design and topic trends

Pinterest: a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share images you find useful or interesting online.

Content Brainstorm Examples:

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda...done an Infographic

How You Could

In designing your infographic, keep in mind that it’s a delicate balance between being the bright shiny ball that attracts users and being a visual turn-off (too noisy, too lengthy, too many icons, etc. ) So here are the basics to get you started:

  • Determine what information you want to represent
  • Research some great facts and statistics
  • Verify sources (email a request to the source asking permission for re-use). Check out research studies on government sites which typically give clearance as information is considered public domain.
  • Stick to a simple layout – focus on giving a quick snap shot of complex data
  • Make sure it is legible and scalable (you should always be able to enlarge the image for optimal viewing)
  • Draw conclusions
  • Include SEO-rich copy to accompany the graphic in the form of a brief overview or summary
  • Include your URL (Embed code) and social sharing buttons

Summary

Now that you have developed your infographic, get it in front of your audience! Feature on Facebook, send out an email blast to your customer database, distribute an online press release announcing new content available for re-use, post to an image site such as those previously mentioned for infographic ideas, or reach out to niche bloggers for placement on their sites. And while the initial investment in research and development of an infographic may be time intensive, the flip side is that you have unique content that maximizes your authority and boosts site traffic.

In honor of National Talk Like a Pirate Day, here’s a recent infographic developed by Vertical Measures for Keiser University College of Golf.

Golf the World: Keiser University College of Golf

What has been your success rate with infographics? Share here!