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Ah, infographics. These one-stop visual representations of interesting data and information have enjoyed world-wide appeal across every industry imaginable, as they speak to visually-tuned creatives, data gurus, roaming consumers, and industry professionals alike! When done correctly, they’re easy to take in, captivating, and quite useful.

There are a lot of reasons to create your first infographic: a great infographic can build your authority and showcase your industry expertise, illustrate stimulating perspectives that allow you to rise above your competition’s online presence, pare down intimidating amounts of data into understandable concepts to effectively communicate an idea, spread your company branding across social media channels and increase traffic flow to your website, bringing you closer to your target market than ever before.

The big idea? Infographics Get Attention. Lots of it. Attention means Awareness—and that’s the first (and might we add super-important) stage in the Growth Cycle Marketing process. Think about it: today’s educated consumer is out there researching your industry, and your products and services. You’re looking to drive traffic to your website to show that consumer just how top-notch you are and just how your products and services will meet and exceed their unique needs and expectations.

Here’s How to Get Crackin’ on Your First Kick-Ass Infographic…

1. Define Your Target Audience

Different people absorb content in different ways. There are 101 different types of content you can use to create Awareness. Get in the mind of your target demographic. Think about how you can grab their attention—quickly. Are infographics the answer?

And hey, if your business is B2B, don’t rule out infographics as a tool. All business, whether B2B or B2C is also H2H. That’s human-to-human. Behind every business is one person looking to fill a need, be it for their entire company or only for their department—it doesn’t matter: they’re still a person and you need to reach them.

2. Think Strategy

Don’t create an infographic just to create an infographic. What is your objective with this infographic? Do you have a compelling story to tell your audience backed with irresistibly interesting data? Will your infographic be branded? Will it be clickable? Where will that click take the clicker? Will you set up a means to share your infographic? What are your goals for this infographic and how will you measure success?

3. Storyboard & Research

Start with your story. What are you trying to illustrate? Categorical information, like superpowers? A timeline of events, like the evolution of game controllers? Geographical data, like a wind map? Next, research the data you need to back up your story. Be absolutely sure you’re referencing reliable, reputable sources. You want to build trust and inspire consumers by providing kick-ass info and interesting and accurate data. Don’t risk damaging your reputation with poorly sourced information.

Sketch out a rough idea of what you’d like the infographic to look like. Be flexible in the face of revisions and change, and note areas that may need a little extra visual punch to really make it pop. Also, make a list of all your sources, especially when quoting percentages and other statistics. A small-print source list at the bottom of your infographic is a great way to remain reputable and show you did your homework.

Looking for inspiration? Check out Cultivate’s The Land of [Infographics] Pinterest board for tons of cool examples and ideas!

Looking for inspiration? Check out Cultivate’s The Land of [Infographics] Pinterest board for tons of cool examples and ideas!

4. Enlist a Creative Crew

Take your vision to the streets. Or to your internal marketing team—that’s fine too. There are a lot of free infographic templates out there that are easy to use, BUT, if you want something really unique (which, trust us, you DO), then you should kick it up a notch and go the professional route: at minimum, hire a graphic designer, plus a copywriter/editor. Consult your brand identity manager to ensure you’re integrating the look and feel of your brand. Hire a talented creative agency to take care of everything in one swoop and avoid the hassle.

5. Get the Word Out

Looooove your infographic? Great! Spread the word! Publish your infographic not only to your website, but also on all your favorite social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget Pinterest, as it’s a popular, primarily visual platform chock full of consumers constantly clicking for more eye candy. Add it to your email marketing strategy and LinkedIn profile. Feel free to send out tactful invites to key influencers inviting them to check it out. You might just have a viral hit!

Your objective here is to elevate the web presence of your business and create Awareness, kicking off the Growth Cycle Marketing process. You can ONLY do this with a kick-ass infographic. A hastily crafted, unprofessional, unbranded, free template infographic that isn’t well-researched or unique won’t do you any favors. In fact, a crappy infographic makes your company look bad. Real bad. So don’t shove this off on your poor intern.

Great infographics have viral potential. This is the age of the infographic and people are just eating this stuff up. Don’t miss out on this huge trending opportunity to create Awareness and stimulate your business growth.

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