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3 Infographic Musts: Build the Right Foundation

So you’re ready to get serious about making your message viral? Anyone managing an online presence knows: images make your message sticky. Clever graphics can be hollow without thoughtfully chosen words. Enter the infographic!

Maybe you’ve nailed down the key messages and even have a few samples your team likes. Before you set to work, and certainly before you launch your infographic, make sure you’ve taken into account these three areas:

1. Set your eye on the bullseye

Where are you aiming? What does success look like? Your creative team will make better recommendations for copy and design if they’re clear on what outcomes would be most desirable. If you are responsible for meeting the targets, it can feel risky to set them. Do it anyway. If you can’t fail, you can really win and you won’t learn anything either.

  • Measure eyeballs and engagement. You can measure online awareness with your infographic across all your online channels. Your creative team will plan for the unique attributes of each channel. You can build a landing page for your infographic so you can track actions taken.
  • Track press. Specific industry and general press often build credibility, if it lands in the right place. It’s helpful to know which publications would provide the broadest reach to your target audience.
  • Clarify the desired action. The gold standard for media ROI is action. If you’re educating employees or patients, you want people to do something. If you’re promoting your services, you want qualified prospects knocking on your door.

2. Know Robin Hood, as she is today

If you’re trying to cultivate an authentic emotion or action in your audience, you need to know if she prefers wood arrows or aluminum. Does she prefer jerky or granola on break? In other words, you need to know him or her. Well. How can you do that systematically?

  • Map the hero’s journey. While the final infographic should be more haiku than epic, you should understand the various tests your hero faces. What’s getting in the way of success? What are the various ways your hero has navigated the journey? Your creative team will noodle on this context, and perhaps find creative ways to present these issues.
  • Don’t waste her time. Even heroes can be reluctant to start something; can you articulate the “what’s in it for me?” to your target audience? If you want to show your respect for your target audience, put right up front what your program, product or service will deliver. Be specific.
  • Put her picture on the wall. Real or fictional, define the actions and attributes of your target audience. Layer in things he or she might say, so you get the visual and copy tone right. If any of that sounds hard, you need to step away from your desk and go talk to real people first.

3. Be awesome, on a tiny screen

Most of your readers catch up on their to-dos in the stolen minutes in the pediatrician’s office or waiting for a team meeting to begin. In other words, on their phones. Instead of on instantaneous WiFi viewing, your audience is likely to see your very important infographic at Etch-a-Sketch speed. For a faster load time:

  • Rely on static graphics. Like salt in your soup, a pinch of animation goes a long way. Animation is visually captivating, yet has two issues. The whole Wi-Fi issue above, plus you want an infographic that can be scanned—your audience can visually hop from headline to headline to determine if the content is relevant to them. There are ways to make your infographic sing on a full desktop screen and on a phone, if you plan in advance.
  • Budget for custom visuals. Your infographic has to compete with all the sophisticated, creative communication online and in print your audience sees every day from direct-to-consumer marketers. Most likely, you’ll use graphics versus photography. Build into your budget room to create sophisticated visuals. It makes it all pop.

Would you like support making your infographic hit the mark?

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