Lessons Learned from our First Infographic
Linkbaiting content pieces like infographics have never been more popular. If you want to grow your links and improve your ranking, creating quality shareable and linkable content is the way to go. We really weren't sure what was in store for us when we created our first infographic and we learned a lot along the way.
Crowdsourcing is Hit or Miss
Not all infographics require them, but we wanted our first infographic to be powerful and professional, so we decided that we would need an illustration for the primary imagery on the piece. We didn't want to pay a lot as we were already putting in a ton of resources into this piece so we decided to try a crowdsourcing web site to get the illustration done. For those that don't know, crowdsourcing is a bit like eBay, but the other way around. You post your project and set the price you are willing to pay. In our case a number of illustrators submitted their entries. If there's one you like, you award the project and declare a winner who gets the amount you specified. The site we used - Crowdspring - was fairly low risk as we would have been out a nominal posting fee had we not received a submission we liked.
At first, I didn't hold out much hope that we were going to get something we could use. The submissions ranged from bad to, well, worse.
Then, as soon as we had all but given up we received the following illustration that pretty much drove the rest of the layout.
It's A LOT of Work
If there's anything I took away from Eric Ward's presentation last year at SES Chicago it's that "any link worth getting is a lot of work". Infographics are a LOT of work. I can count at least 10 people that were involved in the project. Starting from data collection to design to final distribution we put immeasureable resources into this piece.
Granted, we really didn't know what we were doing and we took extra time to plan but we started collecting data in August and didn't get this puppy out til mid-December. We learned a lot in the process and were able to get our second infographic done much more quickly.
It's all about Distribution
I'm not encouraging anyone to create an inferior product, but you really don't need to put together a stunning visual to have a successful infographic. To achieve your goals it's more about distribution. Here are some things you should do and/or think about related to distribution:
- identify distribution targets
- build lists
- contact targets more than once
- have a social media strategy
- make it shareable
- send a press release
- share with relevant industry associations and contacts
- send personal emails when possible
- encourage commentary
- encourage bloggers to make it their own
- submit to infographic aggregators
- use industry influencers as sources
Give Them Many Ways to Consume
It may seem like overkill, but we gave our readers seven different ways to consume and share the infographic outside of social media. Many of these strategies came post-launch by way of request from our readers...
- multiple embeddable images, including a thumbnail version
- YouTube video
- SlideShare presentation
- a "printable" PDF
In the End, It's Worth It
Despite the amount of work required, it was well worth the resource outlay. Our infographic is one of our most linked to URL's on our process serving network (over 65 linking domains) and has had thousands of views, not including the off-site views - YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook, etc. Our readers were socially engaged with comments, likes and tweets.
There are also the immeasurable benefits of trust and authority that come from creating something that supports and helps an industry. One client shared with us that she used the data to help sway a client to hire her. We had other clients tell us they have it printed out and hung up at the office. Those are the stories that you can't put a dollar value on or measure in Google Analytics when you are so closely tied to and dependent upon an industry.
And perhaps, most important, it was a lot of fun! It was an exercise that brought all our groups together to create something we can be proud of.
About our Infographic, and Credits
If you haven't seen the infographic to which I'm referring, you can check it out on ServeNow, a site that helps legal professionals find trusted process servers (amongst other things they deliver important legal documents). Paralegals and lawyers often have the choice between a sheriff or a professional process server. The bottom line is that the process server is going to be your best option.
I'd like to take all the credit, of course, for putting this piece together but that needs to go to our incredible team at Lawgical. In no particular order (Dom, Ian, Beth, Kimberly, Jeremy, and our developers).
Special thanks to Mike Belasco and Mike Vallano at SEOverflow (the best SEO in Denver) for inspiring us to create great content for our industries and to run like the wind from crappy SEO tactics.
Trent Carlyle is the CTO and co-founder of Lawgical. Trent works alongside the technology and marketing teams, developing products that help our clients grow their business and operate more efficiently. He has a passion for usability, search engine marketing and is involved in the local search community in Denver.