With the constant demand for bite-sized information and visual content, infographic marketing is only going to grow in popularity as a format for digital content marketing. In fact, 65% of B2B marketers have used infographics for content marketing, which makes it one of the top five most used types of content. And 84% of respondents in an Infographic World survey found the medium effective.
So if you’re going to catch up with the competition, there’s no question that infographics should be a part of your content marketing mix. But that’s easier said than done because there’s a lot that goes into creating one. Not to mention the process of strategically promoting and distributing it.
This guide gives you an in-depth look at infographic marketing so you can successfully implement it. You’ll discover some of the top benefits of infographics as well as the best practices you should follow when creating one.
Why use infographics?
First, let’s try to understand why infographics work and why you should use them in the first place. Infographic marketing will help you:
1. Appeal to a bigger audience
Not everyone likes to read text-heavy blog posts and articles; some are visual learners and may prefer image content over text. Infographics help you appeal to people with different preferences and expand your overall reach.
2. Put a fresh twist on old content
Infographic marketing provides you with new ways to repurpose your old content and keep your blog constantly updated. Choose some of your older, text-heavy blog posts and convert the points into bite-sized information for an infographic.
Infographics’ are also a great fit for many social platforms that highly visual. They can help you expand the reach of your blog content by translating it into a format that’s perfect for platforms like Pinterest or Instagram.
3. Build high-quality backlinks
Authority sites realize the benefits of infographics too. Even sites that have an abundance of standard blog posts and may not be accepting guest posts might be interested in publishing an infographic as an alternative. This means you get to build high-quality backlinks and strengthen your domain authority.
For example, the influencer marketing platform Grin created an infographic on the ROI of influencer marketing.
In addition to publishing this infographic on their blog, they also submitted it to other authority sites including Egg Marketing PR, Venngage and Smart Insights.
4. Drive high-quality traffic
All these backlinks aren’t just for boosting your domain authority; they also help you drive traffic to your site. Some of the readers are bound to show an interest in your product or service after seeing your infographic. So they might decide to check out your site, thus boosting your traffic and getting more prospects into your sales funnel. In fact, infographics have been known to improve site traffic by 12%.
5. Establish brand authority
Besides more traffic and higher domain authority, getting published by a reputable site gives you clout. When an authority site decides to publish your infographic, it means they’re vouching for you, leading readers to see you as a thought leader in your industry.
6. Educate your audience
According to the previously-cited Infographic World survey, infographics are the most effective medium for learning and retaining information. So the right marketing infographics can help you get your message across more effectively as well as educate your audience about your products, services and industry.
7. Strengthen your social media presence
Infographics give you something visual and interesting to share with your followers. Not only will this engage them, it also makes them more likely to share your posts with their networks. This significantly boosts your reach and social media presence.
What can you create?
You now understand the benefits of infographics, so your next question may be what kind can you create? What type of information should you share and what works best in an infographic format?
If you’re looking to repurpose your own posts, look for content that can be easily summarized or illustrated. You might already have posts where quick bullet points or data visualizations help readers understand the key points of your content. These can help form the basis of an infographic. On the other hand, you want to avoid complex or nuanced topics that can’t be fully understood without a lot of clarifying copy.
Besides using infographics to repurpose information from your old blog posts, you can also create original ones to:
- Share relevant research data: You can present original findings from your research or survey as an infographic. Or you could even curate relevant statistics and data from multiple reliable sources and turn them into an infographic.
- Share relevant, fun facts: You could also put together some interesting facts relevant to your product, service or industry and turn them into an easily digestible infographic. These can be great supplements to existing posts that summarize them in a easy to scan way.
- Provide an easy-to-scan guide: Infographics are a great way to present instructions in a way that’s easy to process for the readers. If you have ‘how to’ content related to your products or services, create a bite-sized guide to help your readers learn how to do something. These also serve as downloadable assets that help users of your product or service always keep a reference on hand.
- Compare products/services: Infographics also make it easier to compare two or more similar products or services. You can compile all the essential information such as the pros, cons, pricing, etc., of different offerings within your own catalog or comparisons with competitors and turn it into an infographic.
Best practices for infographic marketing
Now that you have a better understanding of how infographics can benefit you and what you can create, let’s take a look at the best practices you should follow for effective infographic marketing.
1. Start with the right topic
Your choice of topic plays a crucial role in whether or not your infographic is a success. Ideally, you should avoid choosing a broad generic topic or you’ll find yourself struggling to narrow down on what information to include. So there’s a good chance your infographic will be all over the place.
Get very specific with the topic so it’s easier to pick out bite-sized information to include. For example, instead of creating an infographic about “blogging tips,” get more specific with a checklist for starting a blog, tips to improve blog traffic, and more.
At Sprout, for example, we created an infographic on how to build social relationships with influencer marketing. This makes a lot more sense than an “everything you need to know” type of infographic, which for a vast topic like influencer marketing will require us to fit in too much information into a single infographic. This infographic instead focuses on answering a few key questions in a visual way.
2. Follow a coherent timeline
Whatever story you want to tell or whichever design you plan to use, it should follow a logical timeline so people can process the information in a way that makes sense. Your infographic should have a flow that takes readers through a coherent journey. This means you should focus on creating step-by-step processes, chronologically ordering your information, numbering your information, etc.
Think of a visual storyline that fits with the information you want to provide, and then develop a follow that makes the most sense.
In our social media best practices infographic, for example, we used a list-based format to convey our message and grouped relevant data points together under each section. This infographic also follows a flow from starting with the initial steps of developing a social strategy to ending with more complex and ongoing tasks, giving it some narrative structure.
3. Choose the right color scheme
We can’t stress enough on the importance of your color scheme when creating infographics for marketing. First of all, you should pick colors that complement each other. And it’s ideal if you can implement your brand colors into the infographic for consistent branding. But this may be a little bit tricky because you have to consider colors that are pleasant to the eye.
In every Sprout infographic, you’ll notice the use of defined brand colors like the shades of green that are part of our visual style guide. However, you don’t want to visually overload every single infographic with only your signature brand colors. In many cases, this can detract from readability, which is why we use white space and other balanced sections in the state of social media team infographic below. It’s likely that your design team has already defined secondary, complementary brand colors as part of your social media style guide, so this can be a great starting point for figuring out ways to vary your infographics.
4. Choose the right fonts
Font is another crucial consideration that can make or break your infographic design. The goal is to provide valuable information, so it needs to be readable and easy to process. It’s best to avoid fancy fonts that are hard to read and instead, go with simple ones that give your infographic a professional look.
In addition, your choice of fonts should also fit your brand image–whether it’s fun and bold or sleek and professional–as well as the topic theme. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t use every single font that looks good to you. This could result in concept overload and your infographic could end up looking messy, not to mention difficult to read.
The following infographic on strange dishes from history, for instance, only uses two typefaces that are both easy to read. Instead of using fancy fonts, they play around with the graphic elements to give the infographic some substance and a visual appeal, while keeping the larger blocks of copy highly readable.
5. Make the most of white space
White space is another crucial element in your infographic because you don’t want something that’s completely overloaded with graphics or cramped visual elements. Doing so means you’ll have a hard time conveying your message in a way that makes sense to the readers because there’s too much distraction. Make the most of white space to separate points, graphical elements and sections.
For example, check out the use of blank space in the following infographic on the history of infographics. Spacing is used to clearly separate different sections and chronologically order the flow of information.
6. Brand it
While the main focus of infographics is to educate your audience, your infographic marketing efforts should also help people discover your brand , especially if you want to gain links and visibility on sites other than your core web domains and social profiles. That’s why it’s crucial that you brand any infographic that you create. This involves implementing your brand colors and fonts into the design, as well as adding your brand logo at the end of the infographic.
Here’s an example from Freeflush Rainwater Harvesting.
7. Cite your sources
Unless you’re presenting original ideas and research data from your company, don’t forget to cite your sources in the footer. This adds credibility to your infographic and reinforces the reliability of the information provided. This also means you should only use information from reliable sources such as peer-review journals, surveys from reputable companies and the like.
For example, Happify created an infographic on why exercise makes you happy. And they’ve cited multiple peer-reviewed journals and other reliable sources at the end.
Finally, promote your efforts
If you want your infographic marketing efforts to succeed, you need a consistent promotion effort. This means sharing your infographics everywhere besides getting them published on reputable sites. You should also publish them on social media and infographic directories and share them through email and blogger outreach.
You could even publish them on SlideShare if you want optimal reach. Be sure to take the steps needed to make your infographics shareable on all these platforms without sacrificing quality and design. You might need to crop them into multiple pages that meet the design specifications of each platform. Check out our always up-to-date guide on social media image sizes for more tips on resizing your content for various networks.