Infographics are used heavily in just about every niche now, and vary from deadly boring to downright amazing.
But what makes the difference between the two?
It all boils down to this: infographics go viral because they catch the attention of the audience they are intended for. If the person or organization creating the infographic doesn’t know their audience and doesn’t know what that audience wants or needs, the infographic is going to be dead in the water. Before you ever sit down to create an infographic, take a good long look at hat
Before you ever sit down to create an infographic, take a good long look at who you’re creating it for and why.
Before infographic creation: Consider your demographic
When you consider the people that make up your target audience, pay special attention to the major points of their identity as consumers.
Stay-at-home parents, Millennials, retirees, or entrepreneurs – those are all defining characteristics that shape marketing and purchasing behavior.
Taking time to understand what works best for your specific targets can provide a lot of relevant information. Just as an example, marketing statistics find that stay-at-home moms prefer visuals linked to useful content that is shared over social media. Sounds like a job for an infographic, right?
Questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your demographic:
- “Who is buying my product / listening to my message?”
- “Where is my audience most active?” (Email, Facebook, blogs)
- “What do marketing statistics and findings tell me about my specific audience?”
- “Are there any influencers in this area that I could reach out to?”
Once you’ve compiled those findings, decide:
- Where to share your infographics the most (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs).
- Which influencers you want to share your infographics with.
- How to design an infographic that your audience will enjoy.
Planning your design: Understand their tastes
Knowing the general demographic within your audience isn’t always enough to get them interested in your content or infographic. After all, what if your target audience is professionals in a specific business sector, with many types of people scattered throughout?
You can’t cater to each person’s tastes; you have to aim for the group as a whole. This is why it is important to consider what your target audience generally responds to, or gravitates towards. For example, let’s say your website connects to younger, college-aged audiences. In general, infographics that are more colorful, graphic-based, and have short, easy-to-read snippets of text (with relevant content) will be consumed at higher rates than an infographic designed for, say, an adult professional group (based on marketing analysis).
Which infographic do you think would gain more attention from a college-aged audience?
Both of the above images count as infographics, and they would probably be quite popular in their respective demographics. But your job as a marketer, business owner, and or entrepreneur is to know for sure which one your demographic would prefer.
To figure out the visual preferences within your audience:
- Learn from those that have come before you. Find websites or businesses that have traffic or sales that you want to emulate, and see what their audience interacts with or ignores.
- Do your research! Plenty of marketing sources will provide valuable insight into a variety of markets, audiences, and demographics. All you need to do is search for them.
- Pay special attention to what gets shared on social media and focus on creating content that caters to infographics. This means targeting email, print, social media, and website traffic campaigns towards your up-and-coming infographic content.
- “Will people in my audience respond well to this type of image?”
- “Is my current content visually appealing? What can I change if not?”
- “What past content (written, audio, etc.) will translate well into infographics?”
As long as you start designing infographics that are aimed to please your audience, you’re a step ahead of the curve. Always keeping your eye on your audience (and how they are changing) will serve you well as you continue to produce infographics that generate results for you and your business.
Creating infographics: How do you know if your audience likes them?
Now that you’ve thought through your process and have begun to design your infographics, you get to release them into the wild. This can be one of the best things you’ve done for your lead generation, marketing, or content campaigns – or it could totally flop.
Obviously, the difference is in the effort and thought you put into creating useful and relevant infographics that your audience responds to. But how will you know if they’re responding?
Track the popularity of the infographics you share, whether from emails, social media, blogs, and even print material. This is the best indication for how much your audience likes your content.
Not sure how to tell if your audience likes your infographics?
- When you first start releasing your infographics, it’s difficult to tell if people will like what you’ve created. Play around with colors, style, and text length to see what gets shared more and what doesn’t.
- Try to gather analytics from who shares your infographics, how many people click-through to your landing page, and what they engage with once they are there. Advanced analytics can help you narrow down your audience, what you can do to get them to convert, and how to improve upon your infographics to better serve them.
- Follow which people share your infographics, and encourage them to share them in the future. If they share something, it means they like it, and if they don’t… well, you know you need to improve on something.
One step ahead: Innovative infographics
Once they’ve mastered the basics of infographic creation and have a pretty good thumb on the pulse of your audience, many businesses and entrepreneurs tend to get complacent. With the rapid advancement in technology, especially visual tech on the Internet, complacency is a no-no. You want your infographics and visual content marketing to “wow” your audience, right?
Your current infographics campaign may be increasing your web traffic, conversions, or sales, but people like to see innovation. Your business is always growing and changing (hopefully), and so is your audience. Focusing on where the two intersect, and expecting that intersection to change, will keep your customers loyal and your brand strong.
The infographic below is animated; doesn’t it just catch the eye? What could you add (or even subtract) from your infographics to make them this appealing?
Once you have a general idea of what your audience is responding to, ask yourself:
- “Is there something I could be adding to my infographics to stay ahead of my competition?”
- “Am I noticing any trends in visuals, graphics, or animation that my audience would like?”
- “Do my infographics reflect well on my brand?”
- “Is there something I want to try, or a direction I want to take my business that I could test with infographics?”
Of course, now you have to implement your findings, test them, and adapt them to fit your audience. Maybe you’re targeting retirees; what sort of animations or interactive infographics could you create to get them to engage with your product, services and message?
If you’re wondering how to continually awe your audience and keep them loyal, remember:
- It never hurts to try something. See how your audience reacts, and adjust accordingly.
- Your audience will let you know what they want. Listen.
- Keep your eyes and ears open; you may be an early adopter of new tech if you do.
- Make subtle changes at first; don’t scare off your hard-earned audience because you want to blindly race ahead of your competition.
If you’re actively pursuing what is new and exciting in infographics, like GIFs or interactive options, you’ll be leading the charge in visual marketing and your audience will continue to stick along for the ride.
No matter what type of infographic you find your audience responds best to, they will stop responding if they see the same old thing day after day, year after year. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
The key to success with infographics
Always remember that you’re creating content for your audience, not just for kicks.
Infographic content should be quick, concise, and to the point, but should also be beautiful enough to grab a person’s attention and keep it.
Remember who you’re making your infographics for, and continually improve upon what you produce. The key to success lies in the people who support you, so always remember who you are serving with your infographics and other content.