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What are infographics, and how can online retailers use them?

Definition: Infographics are a visual marketing asset that use a combination of text and images to rapidly convey information about a given topic. In marketing, infographics are generally used to highlight a problem or issue relevant to the viewer, then explain how to solve the problem.

Why do online businesses publish infographics?

Infographics have the potential to be widely shared, making them an effective tool for a retailer to gain notoriety as an authority in the field. A unique and engaging well-made infographic is an opportunity for a business to demonstrate its expertise - and do it in a way that connects well with the people viewing it. Though infographics can incur a decent expense, a successful one generates a number of benefits:

  • **Inbound links,**which help a website's overall SEO performance

  • Press citations, increasing brand awareness

  • Social proof which can be utilized on a company's website to demonstrate authority

What Makes A Good Infographic?

Despite their simplicity, infographics are difficult to master. The best infographics follow these three elements.

  • A Logical Progression of Ideas: High-quality infographics are created like stories - they have a beginning that introduces the issue, a middle full of evidence proving the issue really exists, and a conclusion that explains how to solve the issue. It's a natural, sensible progression of ideas - and it's what viewers expect to see. Infographics should always have one overall idea that holds true throughout (here's a great example of restaurant statistic infographic).

  • Quality Design: Each infographic should be uniquely designed to suit the topic of the discussion. "Template" and "fill-in-the-blank" infographics are measurably inferior because their design can create dissonance in the viewer - if what they're seeing doesn't match the flow of ideas, they'll just leave.

  • An Emphasis on Content: Infographics are not sales pitches - quite the opposite. In fact, for the most part, they shouldn't even focus on the idea that something is being sold. If potential customers recognize that a problem exists, and they feel it's affecting them, they'll naturally start to look for solutions on their own - and that's when the rest of the company's SEO efforts matter.

Catching Fire or Fizzling Out

Most infographics tend to either explosively spread through a community — or fizzle out and remain unnoticed. Accordingly, when a business invests the time and resources to produce one, it should be done strategically. This means:

  • Focusing on a topical angle that hasn't been covered by a popular infographic

  • Pushing the content as much as possible when it's released (put it in email newsletters, social media posts, etc.)

  • Encouraging citing links back to the company's site

  • Only investing as much as the company can safely lose if, despite everything, the infographic fails to gain traction

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