Content Marketing

Rated I: For Strong Infographic Content

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At Marketo we have a pretty interesting and diverse set of infographics – covering topics from marketing automation and social networks, to kittens and bacon. But those are just examples of how versatile infographics can be as a content medium. So why aren’t all marketers leveraging the blockbuster power of infographics?

Infographics for everyone!

Unless your target market hates visual content (we’re not judging!) then infographics are probably something you can add to your content repertoire. They are an awesome way to clearly present complex information. For example, if you have an interesting but dense report that you’d like more people to engage with, try translating that information into an infographic. People absorb visual content faster and with greater ease than reading the same information.

Production

There is generally a little bit of fear when you do something for the first time. Don’t be afraid to jump in–you’re not in Jaws! Feeling hesitant can come from many places, but often it’s because of tight resources (staffing or finances). Infographic creation doesn’t have to strain an already strapped team; in fact, the process can be pretty quick and pain-free. Here are the basic steps to get started:

Step 1: Find your story- Get your content stakeholders together and identify what your audience will find compelling. A good way to get started is by looking at content that has been successful in a larger, longer formats. Once you’ve agreed upon the foundation content, brainstorm the angle of the story you want to share.

Step 2: Gather your data- Ideally, you’re working from a larger piece of content like a report, white paper, or data set. Take a critical look through the content and find the interesting bits – grab all of them. You’ll ruthlessly cut the excess later in the process.

Step 3: Layout- Assemble your information in a format that fits the story you defined in Step 1. This is the part of the process where you take a critical look at every entry and data point to make sure it is on message, flows with the story, and supports the objectives your team identified. If it doesn’t fit, now’s the time to edit.

Step 4: Design- Finally, brainstorm and decide upon a catchy headline and an awesome theme. Choose a theme that is fun, but doesn’t overwhelm the information you’re sharing. Ultimately, you want the theme to compliment and enhance your information, making it even easier for the reader to consume. Your design should include your branding. In some cases, the brand is woven throughout the infographic, and at other times it is added to the end.

In my experience, the design process can be a little daunting for a small team. They may not have the resources or expertise to execute it themselves and/or don’t have the budget to hire an external design resource. Don’t fret – there are plenty of amazing resources on the internet (yes, I totally just wrote that). Do a quick search and you’ll find a bunch of awesome companies that offer affordable self-serve infographic design. It may take a few iterations, but in the end you’ll have a cool new piece of content – totally worth it!

If you do have the resources, get your layout information over to your design team and discuss the best way to lay out the information.

A couple more tips for you before you jump in:

– Make sure you include citations! It’s the internet, people are going to fact-check you. The data might be your own, or it could come from tons of research—just let the viewer know where it came from.

– Make it shareable by including buttons to social networks and pre-drafted social messages for your viewers. Infographics are fun and interesting, people are going to want to share them—make it easy.

– And finally, have fun! You’ll learn something new from each piece of content you create, and your infographics will consistently improve over time.

Have you already created infographics for your brand – what tips would you share? If you’re just starting, what questions do you have? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.