By Candace Nicholson
It may seem as if the heyday of infographics has passed us by, but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the world of business. Not only have infographics shown a proven increase in website traffic for many entrepreneurs, but they’re generally accepted as the best way to communicate a detailed idea to a large audience.
More website traffic can result in better leads, as well as provide you with an opportunity to adapt your services for stronger conversions. Additionally, with an infographic put to proper use, you can convey a message that shines a spotlight on an industry issue your company resolves that your competition may not.
However, infographics are only an asset if they’re well executed. If the goal is to reinforce your brand as an authority in your industry, then taking the right steps to build an infographic that works for you is going to require the right tools and know-how.
Research & Summarize
Some think the hardest part about producing an effective infographic is the design and layout. Yet, crafting an idea that speaks to your clients and industry peers is no easy task. Research and validating source information is where the real hard work begins.
Your infographic idea needs to withstand the scrutiny of a close inspection. That’s why citing sources to support your statements will show that you’re knowledgeable enough to know what affects your audience, but humble enough to recognize not everyone is going to simply take your word for it.
After you’ve bolstered your idea with research, creating a concise and dynamic way to express that data will be your next challenge. Paraphrasing the facts in helpful figures and images is what makes infographics such a boon to the marketing world. However, you must be careful not to oversimplify. Summarizing the most important information without sacrificing context will make your infographic stand out in the crowded field of content marketing.
Create or Delegate
From courier to accountant to graphic designer, most entrepreneurs are used to wearing many hats to meet their business needs. Enterprising people like to do it themselves. So if you count yourself among them, look to online tutorial communities like Lynda or Skillshare to walk you through the basics of how to build a visually engaging infographic without a hefty price tag.
But online tutorials may be time consuming and can leave you with mixed results. To avoid that uncertainty, resources such as Infogr.am and Gliffy.com can be your next best friend. However, if you want to create an infographic that’s truly unique and stands out in a virtual sea of charts and figures, hiring a graphic designer may be the strongest choice. Designers know how readers respond to visual data and often seek new ways to share an idea that doesn’t mimic other artists’ work.
Point & Promote
Small business owners can find infographics playing a highly valuable role in their marketing plan, but in order to be truly effective, the creative bundle of facts and figures has to be distributed where your customers can find it. If you operate the majority of your business online, the next logical step is to share your new infographic with your social media circle.
Your company’s infographics should be easy to share on all of your social media spaces, but pay special attention to those highly visual avenues like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Provide access to your source code where readers and potential customers can download or embed your infographic with ease.
But don’t limit yourself to where everybody knows your name. Step outside your circle and submit your work to infographic distribution websites like InfographicPlaza.com, AllInfographics.org and InfographicCafe.com. Many of these sites are free, and give you the opportunity to reach a much wider audience than your current clientele.
Infographics like most marketing tools require follow through, so be sure to answer any questions related to your creation quickly and thoroughly. Monitor your distribution and keep up-to-date on the sources you cited should any information change drastically. With accuracy and ingenuity, an effective infographic can distinguish your business from the competition and expand your current customer base like never before.