The 5 Questions That Give Infographics Purpose

When an infographic gets traction and contains good data, others will refer to its stats in their content and share the infographic on social media. However, inbound links and shares don’t always generate actual business value.

Infographics have to reach the right audience and make the audience take the right actions. By considering these five questions, you’ll create an infographic that has a purpose.

1. What Outcome Proves That The Infographic Was Worthwhile?

Avoid spending time and money creating infographics for vague goals like thought leadership. Better goals include measurable outcomes like generating a specific number of leads, turning a certain percentage of current leads into buyers, or improving search ranking placement.

Also, look beyond the number of shares or new followers that you get. Unless influencers share your infographic or your new followers become valuable leads, shares and likes won’t justify your infographic investment. Instead, create an infographic geared toward a specific and measurable goal.

2. Who Needs to See The Infographic?

If your target audience includes “people who might purchase your product” and “people who influence the people who might buy your product,” your target audience is too broad. The ideal audience consists of people who want to buy the product — from a company just like yours.

Identify what your company does better than anyone else and what you offer that other businesses don’t. Then, ask yourself which kinds of buyers (or people who influence potential buyers) would appreciate your company’s unique selling proposition. Generate two or three personas of people who would respond to your infographic. Remember that a response means more than a social share. It means executing your ideal outcome.

3. What Does the Audience Need to Learn?

Your audience needs to learn something from you that will motivate them to carry out your goals. A good infographic can meet the following learning needs for your audience:

  • To synthesize complex data. Some data tell a story, and your audience needs to understand that story. Once you’ve revealed the story, your audience will more clearly see a need to buy.
  • To understand a trend. Your audience’s industry is changing, and your infographic explains how. Then, it ends by demonstrating how your company can help them meet new challenges.
  • To visualize a process. Your audience wants to accomplish something, but they’re not getting it done. Your infographic explains why and how your company can make a difference.

Once you’ve identified a purpose that you can summarize in a single sentence, find the hero statistic — the statistic that will grab their attention. Then, arrange the other stats beneath it or around it to construct a coherent narrative.

4. How Will the Audience Interact With The Infographic?

As you design your infographic, think about how your target audience will find it (or receive it) and what the audience will do once they have it. If you want the infographic to lead them to other content pieces, include hyperlinks to those assets. Alternatively, if you want the audience to email it or share it within a social network, consider the preview snippet, file size, and whether it’s best to embed it or link to it.

Always consider your call to action before finalizing the design and distribution method. If you want to generate leads, offer a chance to download the infographic from a landing page. For lead nurturing, include a call to action connecting the recipient to the sales team.

5. How Will You Test It?

Testing happens in-house and continues after the infographic goes live. Don’t just test the infographic with the marketing team. Ask some sample audience members whether the infographic makes sense to them and how they like different design elements such as layout, color scheme, headline, and copy.

After you start distributing the infographic, analyze how the audience interacts with it. Note which channels prove most effective and whether the calls to action work. If your infographic doesn’t catch on, A/B test some different elements. The smallest tweaks, like changing the headline, can have a major positive effect.

Make Something Useful

Creating an infographic can be a lot of fun for the marketing team, but always keep your eyes on the goal. Your objective isn’t to appear on a social media blogger’s list of “Top 10 Mind-Blowing Infographics.” It’s to get the right outcome from your intended audience.