Home > Marketing > 3 Tips for Effective Infographics: Data, Design and Distribution [UML]

3 Tips for Effective Infographics: Data, Design and Distribution [UML]

infographics types of content

Infographics remain high on the marketing list of tactics.  It’s versatile content piece that can complement and add powerful visuals as part of an integrated campaign.

This week I looked at Google search data for the word “infographic” (and variations) and found interest continues to grow at a steady pace.  This was true for both the one-year and five-year trends.

We see infographics in content marketing survey results as well.  The data puts infographics in the top five types of content created by B2B marketing shops.  This trails traditional staples including case studies, videos and white papers.

But Those Troubled Infographics

Still, I see many infographics that are very troubled for two primary reasons.  First, rather than tell a story, these infographics tend to bunch disparate stats and cram them into colors.  It’s the proverbial lipstick on a pig.

Second, the stats used are sourced questionably – and I do not mean survey methods here (which is another issue).  When you investigate a link cited in an infographic as the source, chances are that link cites another link, which cites another link, and this goes on and on.

Pretty soon you’ve gone three hops and still don’t get to the data point of origin.

When marketers start mashing several data sets together in this fashion, it’s not only junk data, but could very well be misleading information.  As we get ready to enter a highly competitive content marketing new year, businesses that do this are gambling with something that’s hard to gain and easy to lose: trust.

And that’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML] – infographics and the data, design and distribution thereof. As is on the occasional Saturday, I’ve rounded up three links around an idea, that I’ve vetted and recommend for your perusal.

1)  Data visualization

data effective infogrpahics“Though infographics may use data visualization, data visualization is not always an infographic,” according to a piece titled Data Visualization vs. Infographics by Killer Infographics.

Data visualization, the piece says, illustrates raw values, delivers information, offers objectivity.  Typically, this is better used in newsletters, white papers and eBooks.

By contrast, infographics ought to visualize stories, take a stand on an issue and it is subjective. They recommend the use of infographics for blog posts, case studies, which struck as an interesting possibility and other marketing content.

Don’t forget to include them as attachment or links in related news releases, pitches or other media materials. You need PR, content marketing and social media all working on the same play.


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2) Design fundamentals

design effective infographicsPiktochart offered a trio of tips in a piece titled, 3 Basic Design Principles For Effective Infographic Making.  The article offers simple advice for color choices, typeface, and white space:

“White space literally makes your infographic ‘easy on the eyes’ for readers.”

I think we need to see this in many other functional areas as well, from website design to software development.  Many try to shove too much onto a page, where the user would benefit from an experience that’s facilitated, or directed, through the effective use of white space.

If it takes too long to find what’s needed or interesting, because it’s too busy, then the infographic is bound to be a bust.

3) Distribution sometimes tops data and design distribution effective infographics

Growista, a site that says it studies data storytelling, recently analyze a whole bunch of infographics: What I Learned Analyzing 1,000 Infographics.

The author provides eight findings from this review including this one which I thought was most important:

“There is a direct correlation between the domain authority (DA) of the domain the infographic is on and the number of shares it receives.”

Domain authority is an estimate of how well a site will perform in Google search.  It was created by a company that sells software tools to search marketers called Moz.  It’s not a perfect measure, but it’s a solid educated guess.

So, what does that mean?  It means just having good data and design isn’t enough to get distribution.  If your site doesn’t have a high estimate, then give your PR team time to pitch that infographic to a site that does before you publish it yourself…if you want marketing reach through distribution.

If you’d rather improve your own site’s authority, well that is what this content marketing thing is all about.  If you put the time an effort into it now, it opens up a lot marketing options later.

Hat tip to MarketingProfs where I first learned of the Growista study.

* * *

In the course of reviewing content for this roundup, there were several others that didn’t fit into the three-article UML format, but I thought useful to share:


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Photo credits: CMI/Marketing Profs, Killer Infographics, Piktochart and Growista

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  • Hey Frank,
    Thanks for mentioning my study. Domain Authority is really hard to compete with, as my research showed. It’s possible to have your infographics compete in a competitive industry without it (look at me!), but you have to have great infographics and work hard at promotion.
    Niel

    • Make sense. Few are willing to share stuff from a site that has yet to earn credibility.

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