Over the past year, I’ve worked on approximately 20 different infographics for a single client. One of the most frustrating things about the process has been the unevenness of the response. Even if we do everything seemingly right, an infographic might not take off.
After a string of disappointing infographics, I decided to go back over every step and figure out what we had missed. After fixing the way we work with our design firm (hint: for best results, compile your own research and craft your infographic’s storyline before handing it off), we revamped our outreach process.
Infographics are a unique type of content. Unlike a blog post or other content you might ask a blogger to link to, infographics are meant to be embedded, to live on the blogger’s site. While it can be a win for both creator and blogger, asking a blogger to run your infographic is akin to asking them to run a blog post you wrote in advance without consulting them.
But the bottom line is that standards are going to be different. It’s one thing to ask a blogger to link to a tool or article — he need only agree that the content is useful to his readers — but if you ask him to embed your infographic, you’re asking him to take a different level of responsibility for the content.
Is it correct? Is it well designed? Is it well-written? Is it interesting, surprising, or funny? Is it confusing? Why will my audience care? Was it created by someone legit?
Once all this sunk in, we started debugging our outreach process. We realized that our pitches needed an upgrade.
Here are some best practices we uncovered along the way, especially after consulting two of the best experts on the topic, Chris Bennett with 97th Floor and Justin Briggs from Distilled, both of whom spoke about infographics at Distilled’s Link Love 2011 conference.