How to Reach Wider Audiences with Infographics

Infographics are popular for good reason. Done well, they simplify complex data sets or processes, turning heavy information into inviting content that swiftly arrests reader attention, builds interest and builds qualified engagement.

Additionally, because they are visuals by their very definition, infographics are more likely to be shared on social networks than plain text messages, and additionally carry extra weight with the algorithms that dictate what we see on search engines and social networks.

In many cases, infographics often represent important strategic messages, such as a visual map of a new service, a guide to a process or a primary expression of an expensive, high-value piece of underlying content, such as a study or white paper.

Infographics are important and effective, but many brands underuse these assets, failing to distribute them much beyond the company blog and a few Tweets. Here are some ideas for generating more traction with high-value visual content.

  • Earn some media: Loop the PR team into the production of the infographic. Especially if the infographic summarizes data of some sort, chances are good there’s an underlying story in which industry media would find interesting. Pitch the story (and accompanying visual) to a relevant publication or web site as an exclusive, before you publish.
  • Have your designer create snippets of the most compelling facts from the primary image, and format them with social sharing in mind. Each will communicate a discrete and focused message, creating a distributed portal back to the primary content piece. (This example from CipherPoint illustrates one key, compelling fact, grabbing attention.)
  • Create a slide deck comprising the various elements of the infographic, and offering more detail when appropriate. Post it to SlideShare. Embed either a lead capture form or (at the very least) a clickable link to more information. SlideShare has its own discrete audience, and the decks have extra utility on your blog and amongst your sales team.
  • Animate it. Turning an infographic into a sweet animated video is a popular trend and can be done a much lower cost than video productions requiring camera crews and significant editing. Video is among the stickiest and effective content, due in no small part that the site we all use to host video – YouTube – also happens to be the second largest search engine behind its parent company Google.  (See this collection on Vimeo.)
  • Use the infographic to attract audiences to related, higher-value owned content, such as a downloadable survey or white paper. Distribute the infographic in a press release that discusses key findings or data, and links to the related media in the call to action.  (Here’s a good example from a company called CloudPhysics, which coupled a newsy press release with an infographic to promote a study.)
  • Be sure to use the image to illustrate blog posts, press releases and any other messaging you distribute to promote related content, such as webinar invites, or promotions of white papers or study results. The data are unequivocal – content with visuals generates better results. However, the majority of news releases are text only. Visuals give your messages a real leg up in the competition for audience attention.

One infographic can deliver a spectacular amount of long lasting value for the brand, and even more importantly, multiple opportunities for the organization to reach and engage audiences.  However, to deliver capitalize on the power of this important type visual content, you have to have multi-channel distribution strategy for your brand’s infographics.

Author Sarah Skerik is a B2B marketing and PR pro, specializing in integrating public relations, social media and content marketing to reach qualified audiences and deliver measureable results. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik or connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/sarahskerik

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