Visual content marketing isn’t really a new thing. Newspapers and magazines have been doing these for years even before the advent of the Internet with very innovative print ads published along with news and articles. With advances in media and online technologies, visual content marketing has evolved into something more innovative, eye-catching, and very effective in getting people’s attention and interest. Among these visual tools, infographics has emerged on top.
In the strictest technical sense, an infographic is basically a visual rendition of data or information using charts, graphs, pictures and other visual elements that can be used as a representation of information. Infographics have become very effective tools in visualizing information into graphical form that is more digestible and popular among the online community, making it an effective digital marketing tool for business owners and digital marketers.
However, designing and creating an infographic and using it as a tool for content marketing is much more complicated than simply making graphics or charts. The designer and infographic creator must know how to effectively convey the meaning and context of a particular set of information in graphical form that online readers can understand and appreciate. The following describes some very important Do’s and Don’ts that digital marketers should know and understand when creating and using infographics for content marketing.
Do’s When Creating Infographics for Visual Content Marketing
1. Do “Show” Information with Your Infographic
There is a “graphic” in infographic which, in the most basic sense of the word, means representing information in visual form. An infographic doesn’t need long paragraphs and jumbles of text to convey information. What it needs is to make use of pictures, graphics, and other images to present data in a very visually stimulating way that people will understand, appreciate – and enjoy.
When using infographic for content marketing, you should carefully plan out how to present your information in visual form. Bar graphs and charts can present this data but they may not be as visually stimulating as other innovative forms of graphics that you can use to represent a particular piece of information. The key here is to make your targeted audiences understand the information you are trying to convey using these images – without them having to read long texts.
2. Do Tell a Story with Your Infographic
Everyone loves a story, whether online or offline, and this is one of the key strategies successful digital marketers use for content marketing. As another form of content, infographics should also tell a story that would be interesting to targeted audiences, but doing so in a visual way. Basically, an infographic should have a flow like this:
Problem – Solutions backed with Data – Conclusion – Call to Action
Every reader of your infographic should have their own “A-ha!” moment after viewing your content. You can do so by providing them with a primary hook that they can take away from the information that they have digested from the visual contents of your infographic. Your story should lead or center around your hook, which should also be clearly emphasized or highlighted so it can effectively get your targeted audiences’ attention.
3. Do Research Reliable and Credible Information with Your Infographic
Information presented through your infographic should be well researched and obtained from reliable sources. Focus on data points related to your story or problem area that you think would be very interesting to your targeted audiences. A piece of information that you get while doing research may be interesting but if it does not blend well with the rest of the story, it would be best to forego this data and use it on another related infographic instead.
The key to infographic success is to visually present information that will educate your targeted audiences. It should also be up-to-date and as current as possible. It would be best if your data is something new and not just borrowed from other infographics. Even if your infographic is superbly done from a visual perspective, but if your information is not accurate and not reliable, then you will just be presenting information that will mislead people – and that may cause you some problems in the near future.
4. Do Use a Good Color Combination with Your Infographic
Infographics is all about visual stimulation. Even If you have really great information to present or a great story to tell targeted audiences, but if you have lousy and uninteresting visuals, then your infographic will simply be ignored by even the least pickiest online user. One element that could really spell the difference between the success or failure of your infographic is your color combination.
Your choice of colors should complement each other well, or you’ll end up with an eyesore and not a visual masterpiece. Note that great infographics can be really viral content so you should consider choosing a more universal theme and color palette that will blend well not only with your own website but with your targeted audiences as well. It would be best to check out sample palettes and color wheels on sample sections to see which would look great according to your preference.
The 3-color palette rule can be a safe one to use if you have difficulty choosing the right one. It simply means choosing one light background color, and select two more colors to make distinctions or separations based on your topics or sections. If you need more variations, shades of your primary colors will do well. Lastly, choose a font color that will stand out and be readable against your background and panel colors.
5. Do Think Outside the Box With Your Infographic
Creating an infographic that would look like any ordinary Excel spreadsheet or using a basic infographic template, you would not expect your content to go viral and reach more marketing mileage with your targeted audiences. Ordinary is boring, and boring will never get the interest and attention of your targeted audiences. You need to think outside the box and be innovative and creative in creating your infographic if you really want to make a big impact with your audience.
You can work on your panels, use multiple columns instead of one, on how your information flow that would be quite different from the standard vertical path or flow. You can create very eye-catching headings for each of your sections or even break up sections, putting some in very creative shapes and backgrounds that would set it apart from the rest. The possibility can be as wide as your imagination – so let it flow!
Don’ts When Creating Infographics for Visual Content Marketing
1. Don’t Settle for Ordinary Charts and Graphs
If the infographic you will be making would just look like any other ordinary Excel, you should not expect a client to hire you for content marketing or potential client/customer perceiving your company as an expert in your field. A creative and effective infograph goes beyond merely putting charts and graphs. You need to be more creative in presenting information without looking like ordinary pie charts, bar graphs or line charts that ordinary commercial software or applications can churn out.
Of course, you may need to present certain data using charts and graphs. If you need to make do with these visual tools from a certain context, you need to spice the visuals up a bit, making it more unique and more your own. Try to get inspiration from really good infographics but of course you should not copy innovative ideas from other people pixel by pixel.
2. Don’t Settle for Typography if You Can Represent it More Visually
Based on certain types of context and information, you need to present data or make an emphasis using certain typography. Digital marketers using infographics for content marketing can sometimes take the shorter route and simply fall back on using typography and provide emphasis by simply changing font colors or enlarging text.
Instead of falling back on and relying on typography to make a point in your infographic, be more creative and really think through how you can use visualizations to represent a particular set of information. If in your research you encounter and need to highlight a particular piece of information or very juicy statistic figure, try to visualize how you can represent this information using a uniquely made chart or graph or other visual tool you can make use of.
3. Don’t Assume Everyone is Familiar With Your Topic
The purpose and success of infographics is that they educate people using eye-catching and very interesting visuas. Even if you’re targeting a particular type of audience, a broader and wider audience may gain access and view your infographic. It is for this reason why you should make your infographic very easy to understand, regardless of your targeted audiences. Try to lessen use of technical jargons and abbreviations, and if you do use them make sure you explain or present them in understandable terms.
4. Don’t Use Templates or Clip Arts
Don’t expect your infographic to go viral if all you use in your content are lame clip arts or templates downloaded from somewhere that would make your content look like those of a thousand others. Clip arts are used by other people in a wide variety of applications, some of which may be quite familiar with many people. Using such clip arts will not be very impressive with your targeted audiences and this will not go well with your online reputation.
Using originally designed and created graphics will separate you from the amateurs, creating a name for your brand, and increase your credibility as a business marketing your brands, products or services. If you can’t make your own graphics, it is advisable to hire a freelance graphics artist who can make original works of art for you at very affordable prices.
5. Don’t Let Your Infographic Market Itself
Many business owners and digital marketers make the mistake of simply setting up their infographic and let it market itself. Just like any material used for content marketing, you need to be pro-active with marketing your infographic using social media, blogs, and other available digital marketing tools available. Promote your infographic and do it regularly.
As a final word, it would be very important to emphasize the importance and effectiveness of infographics as a tool for content marketing. However it would also be very important to remember that infographics can only be effective as a content marketing tool if you did things properly, from basic to key strategies, to fully represent information through visual elements that people will understand and appreciate. Let these Do’s and Don’ts help guide towards this path and create infographic masterpieces that your targeted audiences will truly love.