How to Create an Infographic

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 6.55.01 AMThis is the 23rd post of a 50 article series for beginners building marketing at B2B startups.

Inbound marketing requires a variety of different content types to appeal to various personas in our audience. Some people enjoy reading long ebooks, while others would prefer watching a webinar. One of the more popular content mediums is infographics: well designed graphics that visually display data to tell a story.

Infographics have the potential to be virally shared because of their visual appeal and ease of consumption: targets can glance over them quickly to get the idea without applying effort to reading a book or watching a webinar. However, infographics can be difficult to create, especially as a startup. Here is a breakdown of best practices to get us started:

1. Identify a data source

The first step in making a great infographic is figuring out where the data is coming from. There are often industry influencers and trade organizations that are publishing surveys and collecting data about industry performance. Especially as a startup, it is often best to partner with one of these folks and give them data credit in the infographic. Look for interesting data that could be displayed visually. Some ideas include:

  • % growth in industry trends from last year to this year
  • Metrics sorted by type of player (i.e. small business vs. enterprise)
  • Popular metrics (i.e. average revenue per customer for our industry)

These are the interesting data points that targets will be intrigued to see visually and thus are more likely to click through to the infographic.

2. Determine how the data can tell a story

An infographic is simply a visual story. It can’t just be throwing a bunch of numbers on the screen and making them look pretty. We must carefully consider which data points we are including and how they build upon each other to tell a story that ultimately supports our product.

For example, my team has created infographics that show the most popular fitness tracking apps and wearables, which helps to solidify how important technology is in the fitness industry since we are selling a technology product.

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3. Define the aesthetic

Each infographic we make needs a unique aesthetic. What design choices can we make that most effectively highlight the data and tell our story? A few considerations:

  • Make the numbers BIG so they quickly pop out
  • Try to minimize sentences and use short labels instead
  • Avoid paragraphs except for the introduction at the top
  • Use colors and different styles to separate sections in a long, scrolling infographic

4. Use email marketing to drive traffic

Once the infographic is designed, we should use our standard mix of inbound marketing tactics to drive traffic to the content. This includes an email blast, social media posts and blog articles. Remember, our goal is to expose the infographic to as many targets as possible to increase the probability of sharing.

5. Build CTAs into the landing page

The tricky aspect of infographics is that unlike other content mediums (i.e. ebooks), they are not gated. In other words, targets do not need to fill out a form to see an infographic. This makes it more difficult to use infographics to convert targets > leads by capturing their contact information. To address this, we need to build various CTAs into the infographic and its landing page. This typically includes:

  • Make the infographic clickable and link to a demo or content page
  • Have a CTA button below the infographic that likes to a demo or content page

6. Measure results

Finally, once an infographic is launched and driving traffic, it’s time to measure results. As we publish more infographics, it’s valuable to benchmark them and tighten our messaging to appeal best to our targets. Some infographics might be more successful at driving conversions while others might just serve as top-of-funnel awareness pieces.

When we measure attribution of an opportunity or customer, we should use closed loop marketing to determine if our infographic played a role in the nurture journey. How many contacts that are now opportunities or customers viewed the infographic?

This post is part of a 50 article series on startup marketing

Greg Skloot is a technology entrepreneur and marketer. He is currently VP Growth at Netpulse, the #1 provider of mobile apps for health clubs and a $40M VC backed software company in San Francisco. At Netpulse, he leads marketing, operations and strategic growth. Previously, Greg was CEO and Co-Founder of Attend.com, where he built the initial product, raised $3M and hired a team of 30. Contact Greg at skloot.org/contact.



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