infographics

Interactive Infographics: The Future of Advanced Link Baiting?

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November 21  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Elijah Vieau

Link Bait TechniquesIn the web space, infographics are still one of the best and most cost-effective marketing strategies to build hundreds, even thousands of links to your website. It’s actually quite amazing how viral a well-designed piece of information can become – especially on platforms like Twitter.

Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve watched web agencies (particularly small to mid-sized firms) explode into the industry spotlight all because of a clever infographic that was shared and reposted by the right kind of people i.e. information design junkies like Mashable.

Obviously, nothing stays “bling bling” forever and exploitation will eventually become the demise of this link building buzz tactic. So in the tradition of pushing boundaries combined with absolute curiosity, I find myself wondering what’s next. Then it came to me:

Infographics as we currently know them are static, just like the web used to be. Naturally this means it’s only a matter of time before designers and savvy marketers start to move towards newer technologies to further enhance the viral potential and “linkability”.

Interactive infographics… That’s insane… Or is it?

Enter HTML5 and CSS3

Don’t start panicking; I’m not going to write a guest post on Linkbuildr.com about web design best practices because that wouldn’t be very relevant, but as an Internet marketer and avid blogger, if there’s a new way to spread content that users go bonkers for  – I need to know about it.

HTML5 InfographicsAfter a few searches on Google I didn’t find much, and then I stumbled upon a very short but descriptive “challenge” of sorts posted by Mozilla developer and overall cool dude, Paul Rouget, where he asked his blog audience to design an infographic using HTML5 and CSS3.

This is exactly what I’m talking about!

Though there were only about 9 direct responses to his challenge via the blog post, I could already see the potential.

Just imagine how many more people would want to share awesome infographics if they were animated and interactive! The link building possibilities would be staggering.

Enter Live Data Feeds

Companies are fetching live data and using it all over the web, so why not take things a step further and fuse this functionality into traditional information design and create an attractive, viral piece of info-driven content where the data changes as time goes by. Not only would the content be highly engaging and attractive (thanks to HTML5 and CSS3) but it will also be up to date – constantly.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m insane, and the fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t even know where to begin to create my own Interactive Infographic, but from a marketer’s prospective more user engagement means more sharing – and this is what excites me.

What do you think? Too far off the edge or crazy linking potential?

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Infographic Marketing Strategies For Links & Brand Buzz

12 Comments
August 11  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

Marketing your infographics properly is a sure fire way to snag natural links, build brand buzz and gain social media followers. It’s a form of content creation that is relatively inexpensive to do and can continue to bring in links for years to come. The latter aspect really gets me excited because I’ve seen some crazy good links come in a year later from some great topical link bait. There’s no doubt that infographics have become the most widely used link bait tactic in the past couple of years, and I don’t that expect to slow down any time soon.

Source: Infographic of Infographics by Ivan Cash

There are millions of ways to tackle the creative end of things, the marketing, however, can be done either correctly or incorrectly. We’re all in the market for links from related sites, so make sure you stick on point. For the most part, I’ve seen mostly topical infographics being used with the right market in mind, but I’ve also seen others where the goal is to just get whatever links from whoever will give them to you. Not to worry though, you’ll want those related links anyway so focus on your niche.

There’s a lot of prep, or at least a lot we do, before starting your marketing efforts, so prepare your spreadsheet of choice. We’ll cover the tasks we lay down and hopefully this helps you structure your campaign better. I typically have this sorted while the client’s infographic is being worked on so that should be more than enough time to prep!

Last but not least, make sure your infographics “info” is really friggin awesome, because it’s going to make life a lot harder if it isn’t. How many infographics have you started reading only to quickly hit stop reading? This is where big flashy pie charts, numbers and eye catching statistics should be popping out like a 3D movie! You’re going to want to also provide an embed code with your infographic for ease of spreading; it blows my mind the amount of people who don’t do this.

Identify The Influencers:

So get out your spreadsheet and think of each point I make here as its own area or tab within it. We’ll need to start finding the social people out there that are within your vertical and you might stand a chance to get a share from their end. Hopefully most of you are already quite active on Facebook, Twitter and have made nice with a few bloggers. Your reach can potentially lead to huge success. To demonstrate visually, let me refer you to the picture below:

Image Courtesy: SocialMediaToday.com

Twitter: – I definitely like to have at least 25 of my most active Twitter friends on my “to contact” hit list for D-Day. Tactics like pulling a pre-emptive strike by contacting them a day or two early to see if they’d be willing to help spread the content are also a good idea. This social network alone can launch your infographic into viral orbit if you’re lucky so make sure to target the beefy and influential users that you are friends with. If you don’t really have strong ties with 25 users on Twitter, then make a list of 50-75 people you can contact in hopes of matching the same ROI… best of luck there! There are always infographics being marketed on Twitter, so check out what’s going on there to get some ideas. (Hint) Guy Kawasaki LOVES tweeting about infographics so much that I cannot tell if he’s getting paid to or not… either way, you get him you’re golden!

Facebook: – This one is tricky because you’re not usually friends with your digital cohorts at this level, just your mommy, friends from school and perhaps a girlfriend/wife if you’re lucky. The same mentality from Twitter applies here. Prep who you can contact to potentially get the Facebook shares going like wildfire. Hopefully your brands Facebook page has some decent followers that can start that initial push. If not, this one will be a tough nut to crack. I’d check for groups and fan pages as well for your brand, then get ready to share with those folks too.

Key Blogs: – This is the really tough part. I’m sure you do enough link begging, but now you need to infographic link beg. Break down a list of the best blogs in your niche and get to it because, again, just a couple shares can lead to big things. If the content is any good, blogs should jump at the chance to collect some of the hype that goes with it. You’ll be able to see which blogs have already shared an infographic from others, which blogs have a “submit news/tip” form and you should also find some other contact details like their Twitter and other social media information. You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll get from fellow bloggers and if they’re fans of your brand, then you’re in for an easy day.

Forums: – While I don’t recommend signing up to your niche’s top forums to spam them with your infographic, I hope you already have built a rep. Forums spread content like wildfire, so identifying the forums that will help launch this to a different crowd is quite important. A lot of niches won’t be so lucky, so if you have a big forum option, make sure you utilize it (or at least prep your accounts for future use). Forums are great for marketing and making friends, and mixing the two together will keep you out of trouble and in a good brand spotlight.

Reddit/Digg/Buzzfeed/Delicious/ETC: – There’s no doubt that Digg still has a lot of influence in spreading your content. The same goes for a number of other social news sites. Unfortunately, the chances of going hot on Digg are next to none unless you pay for it. Yes even after they “changed” their algorithm, the website is still dominated by a few users who get most of the stuff to the front page. Reddit is a deadly serious site that requires no spamming about on your end! Submit that sucker to the appropriate subreddit and hope for the best. If you content is good enough, it should do alright in the right subreddit, but then again, even Reddit votes are bought.

Buzzfeed is also a great place to get your infographic going around the web like crazy. You can buy front page spots for this, but you best have $3000-$5000 PER DAY to spend on this. Because of the huge price tag, the site can send a lot of traffic and get your infographic around if you’ve got the green. The other social media sites out there are up to your reach and influence, including niche specific social sharing sites. This is what we do, so if you’re looking for infographic marketing help, get in touch.

Link Analysis & Social Media Recon:

This is a no-brainer, but do your homework on other infographics both inside and out of your niche. While it’ll give you an idea of what to expect, it will also lead to other market help you may have overlooked in your initial setup stages. There are a whole host of search and link tools out there that will break down the anatomy of an infographic success story. Here’s what we use to do a quick rundown:

- Link Research Tools – know who and what links to a successful past infographic campaign. Take special note of the infographics that provided an embed code, and the ones that did not. You’ll see how the linking patterns evolved and this is pretty important stuff to know. LRT can also report back on the number of social shares which can be valuable information if you know how to interpret it.

- Twitter Search – I love seeing who’s sharing infographics around Twitter, especially in my target niche. People who are already enjoying them are more than likely to give yours a Tweet, so why not beg/ask? This will also lead to seeing how their followers react by checking out the RT love that that Twitter user’s post got.

- Google Blog Search – While we could perhaps just use regular old Google search for this, I want to know specifically which blogs are engaging infographics. Those older posts are a potential spot to drop a link to your related infographic as well, even though that might be a bit spammy in some people’s eyes. For the most part, a few choice blog posts isn’t going to hurt anyone and if the moderator approves it, then you’re good to go!

- Google Discussions – You’ll definitely want to know what forums were picking up past infographics because they’re the breeding grounds for natural links and viral activity. Since you get time stamps on posts, you can tell with your own eyes how that piece took off (or didn’t).

Infographics Gone Viral:


Image Source: Marissa Louie ( Her old site is now dead and links to Viagra )

Hopefully you have all your prep in place and you’re ready to rock once your infographic is good to go. The launch is an exciting part of the whole process, if not the most nerve-racking, so enjoy it and learn from it! There is a good chance you’re going to come up with nothing but fail, but don’t let that discourage you. We continue to see links come in over a year later for past infographics so it will be worth it no matter what if your content is good.

There are a few key places to which you can submit your infographic making life a lot easier as well as providing some initial links to the piece. Remember that people love this type of content so there will be browsers that will kick off the viral aspect of it all. The list provided here is not the end all be all, and more sites are popping up all the time so keep an eye out (hint: set an infographic Google Alert).

Infographic Sites:

- http://infographicsite.com/contact-us/
- http://infographr.tumblr.com/submit
- http://infographicsgenerator.com
- http://videoinfographic.com/submit-infographic/
- http://www.reddit.com/r/infographics
- http://www.infographicas.com/?page_id=39
- http://www.infographicsshowcase.com/submit/ (costs $100 for a review)
- http://www.infographicsarchive.com/submit-infographics/
- http://www.cloudinfographics.com/submit-infographic/
- http://submitinfographics.com/submit-infographics
- http://www.newsilike.in/submit-infographic/
- http://videoinfographic.com/submit-infographic/ (video infographics only)
- http://www.infographicpost.com/submit-an-infographic
- http://theinfographics.blogspot.com/p/submit-infographic.html
- http://visual.ly/
- http://dailyinfographic.com/contact
- http://iheartinfographics.tumblr.com/submit
- http://infographicsbin.tumblr.com/submit
- http://fuckyeahinfographics.tumblr.com/submit
- http://www.styleandflow.com/submit/
- http://infographipedia.com/submit-infographic-4
- http://www.omginfographics.com/submit/
- http://infographic.co.za/submit/
- http://www.bestinfographics.info/submit-infographic/
- http://iinfographic.com/submit-brilliance/
- http://www.infographicgallery.com/contact/

Submit A Press Release:

Why not? If you’re working on an infographic that has a really big reach, then you need to set aside a budget for a press release or two. I’d recommend using PRweb.com’s social media package as well as a release from Market Wire. Some news sites definitely pick up infographics and you an see for yourself with a simple Google news search. I cannot stress enough the importance of the content here for any sort of decent exposure.

Attacking Your Contacts like A Boss:

This is another time when all your prep comes into play. Just like with any viral marketing attempt, be on the ball and make sure you’re out there interacting and keeping the chatter alive. If you’ve got your social media vote buys on the ready, then make sure those are off to the races because you can forward those voting links to people who matter on your end.

Your Blog / Youtube / Newsletter:

I hope to the social Gods that you have at least two of those in place. Your company blog will most likely be the first link it gets and it makes for a great place to show off the social voting buttons for your fans to get acting on. A YouTube video talking about the infographic can’t hurt either, especially if your brand has a big following there (people even make videos of their infographics). Lastly, use your newsletter for what it was intended to do… share news! You can ask in private for your readers to check it out and vote it up if they have the appropriate contacts.

Infographic Resources:

- our infographic design and marketing services
- Infographic design resources and tutorials
- 40 blogs, portfolios, resources and other awesome infographic related material
- TopRankBlog’s infographic marketing post is a must read
- Adobe Illustrator infographic design resources
- Tips for designing and creating beautiful infographics
 

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