You know how popular and effective infographics are, but what does it take to create a successful one?
Here are six easy steps to craft pure content marketing gold:
Step 1: Choose your topic, and research your audience.
Before you start writing or gathering data, what specific audience do you want to target? Who would benefit from reading an infographic about the topic you’re considering? Make sure that aspect is crystal clear before committing to an infographic design.
Decide on your call to action early on. Establish the purpose of the infographic before getting too far down the road.
Step 2: Review your data, and consolidate the cream of the crop.
What are the most impressive or enlightening statistics you want to highlight? What is the main point you are trying to prove or hammer home?
Key data points can drive your infographic, so it’s important to identify these early in the process. Highlight anything that could become a head-turning talking point.
For example, if you are creating a “Best times to post on social media” infographic, look for data related to interactions, impressions and shares that bolster your claims. You could pull one impressive stat, such as “Eighty percent of professionals read Twitter between noon and 2 p.m.,” then break it down further with data about user locations, preferred devices and other relevant supporting information.
Be judicious with data; less is more when it comes to numbers. A handful of eye-catching statistics can make your data pop, but careless splattering of numbers can drown your message.
Step 3: Craft the copy.
Once you have identified your audience, nailed down your topic and selected choice cuts of data, now it’s time to write—concisely. Break down key points into digestible chunks for the reader.
There’s no specific word count rule here, but keep it tidy. No one will complain if you clock in under 400 words.
Step 4: Design your piece.
This is crucial. Unleash your creativity, but make sure your graphic has a sensible structure and a seamless visual flow. The data must be represented in a clear, concise way.
Deciding on a style is important. Whether you’re working with a designer or crafting the piece yourself, consider color palettes, typography and illustrations that subtly tie your topic together. If you are designing your own infographic, try Venngage, Canva, Piktochart or another similar resource.
Consider eye-catching iconography and patterns/textures that fit with your brand.
Step 5: Review, review, then review again.
After your design is complete, take time to edit, review and revise your piece. It should be reviewed multiple times by more than one person. This is the best way to catch mistakes, and it’s a good way to give the infographic a test run.
How does it flow? Does everything make sense? Is it compelling and easy to understand? Solicit honest feedback from your colleagues.
A single typo, inconsistency or mistake can ruin your infographic, so take your time in the review stage.
Step 6: Publish and promote your piece.
Quite often, infographics get created without a clear plan for promotion. That’s a recipe for getting lost amid cyberspace clutter.
Your team should strategize on how to maximize exposure. For example, Pinterest is a great platform for infographics, but does your target audience use Pinterest? Is your piece more suited for a LinkedIn crowd? Is your infographic mobile-responsive? Whenever possible, have your designer create social media-friendly thumbnails that showcase a snapshot of the content.
The infographic should be live on your blog page, accompanied by a short description and a call to action.
A version of this post first appeared on SmartBug Media.