Infographics sometimes get the reputation as being “the holy grail” of backlink and traffic generation. A lot online marketers (particularly on the plaintiff side) are convinced that paying a designer a few hundred dollars to cover some state-specific car accident facts is enough to launch them to the top of the SERPs.

However, the truth is that the market for these types of projects is being saturated with similar projects and you’ll need to do a lot more than combining facts to get the value on an infographic.

After spending the time analyzing some high performing (as well as low performing) infographics, we’d advise any law firm looking to launch an infographic as part of a marketing strategy to make sure they’re not falling into any of these five mistakes we see firms making:

  1. Unoriginal Ideas
  2. Lack of Outreach Research
  3. Poor Design
  4. Lack of Embed/Share Code
  5. Poor Outreach Strategy

We’re going to get in depth with each of these issues so read up to make sure your next infographic isn’t going to be a flop.

1. Unoriginal Ideas

This has to be the most common issue I’ve noticed in legal infographics – a search for “texting and driving infographics” on Google Images yields (by my rough estimate) more than 60 infographics (only counting the front page) that all cover this topic.  Now, these range from the nicely designed infographics that look like some effort was put in to them as well as some that look like they were made in PowerPoint. The one takeaway here is if you’ve found another attorney with a similar infographic, scrap that idea and think of a new topic.

A quick search for "texting and driving infographics" - Look at all of them!

A quick search for “texting and driving infographics” – Look at all of them!

Without even searching Google, I’m positive you should knock any of the following infographic ideas off your list:

  • anything to do with texting and driving
  • anything to do with car accident statistics
  • anything to do with motorcycle accident statistics
  • anything to do with distracting driving
  • anything to do with DUIs

While I may be picking on personal injury attorneys a bit here, you’ll find similar trends in any practice area.  A quick Google search of your topic idea can quickly lend some insight to how much identical content you’ll be competing with.

2. Lack of Outreach Research

The driving force in generating your infographic should be the ability of your outreach team to reach out to link prospects with an idea so relevant and so well polished that they can’t help but post a copy and link back to your website.

Once you’ve generated some original ideas it’s time to find out where your team is going to promote your project.  This step can make or break your idea – if you can’t find enough prospects to reach out to you should go back and revisit your idea. With enough determination and research there should be a good amount of niche sites available for any idea.

You’ll want to separate these prospects into a couple categories.

  • Safety Sites
  • Reach Sites
  • “Dream” Sites

While you want as many prospects as you can dig up, generally I try to shoot for at least 15 sites per category. This number will vary depending on your idea, as well as the amount of time you can devote to research, and the eventual outreach.

I find the best way to do this research is to put together a couple Google queries you can use to quickly find some prospects for outreach.

As we’re reaching out to a wide variety of websites try using the following queries to get started:

  • “keyword phrase” + “guest post”
  • “keyword phrase” + “blog”
  • “keyword phrase” + “forum”
  • “keyword phrase” + “contribute”
  • “keyword phrase” + “news”
  • “keyword phrase” + “infographic”
  • “infographic gallery”
  • “infographic blog”

If your research isn’t garnering a large enough pool of prospects, consider that a sign to revisit your infographic idea. Remember the first point – coming up with an original idea will make the marketability of your infographic infinitely easier.

This is another mistake too many law firms make.  The allure of taking the cheapest designer (or doing it in-house) will do more harm than good.  This is not a part of your infographic you want to skimp on.  One of the keys of an infographic is presenting your data in an engaging and novel way.  Take the infographic below from Batarro Law Firm:

law-firm-infographic-195x300

Infographics should be more than just taking a few statistics and and turning them into an image.  Your job here is to present your data graphcially.  The example above is still (almost) a text format with some single pie fact charts throw in.  Have your designer start looking into various methods of data visualization for the statistics you want to present.  This book is a good start and can give a great starting point.

The best part about infographics are the ability to share a large amount of data without overwhelming your audience.

But most importantly, the key in this section is to not skimp on a designer!  Good designers cost good money – you’ll only be hurting yourself down the road by opting for the cheapest method.

 4. Lack of Embed/Share Code/Landing Page

This should be step one for any law firm setting up an infographic.  Your goal here is make sure the infographic is as shareable as possible – and make sure that people are sharing the URL to the page your infographic is on, and not the image itself.

Once you have a finished infographic you’ll need to create a dedicated URL where you’ll include the following:

  • Title/H1 tags about your infographic
  • 1-2 paragraphs describing your infographic and the reasons for creating it
  • The infographic itself (make sure the image in this page links to a full-size infographic if it’s extremely large)
  • Embed Code (try this one from SEOGadget)
  • Social media buttons that “like/share/etc” the page you just created – not just links to your facebook/twitter pages (I’ve seen this issue before)
Here's a screenshot of an embed code from YouTube. Sure it's for video - but you can get the idea of what you need.

Here’s a screenshot of an embed code from YouTube. Sure it’s for video – but you can get the idea of what you need.

If we’ve reached this point we should have the following ready:

  • A well thought out original idea
  • A list of at least 30-45 prospects to reach out to
  • A polished, well designed image
  • A landing page with all of the toppings

Now comes the real test of your infographic – the outreach itself.

5. Poor Outreach Strategy

This is another crucial step in the success of your infographic.  Outreach shouldn’t be limited to your marketing team (though they’ll be doing the bulk of it), you need your whole law firm in on the job.

Your first step should be to get your social sharing started office-wide!  I have no doubt you’ll have plenty of lawyers, paralegals, and admin staff that are just too busy to share the infographic (I’ve been there), but you probably just spent a few hundred dollars on this item – make it a priority.

If your social share buttons are set up, your staff should easily be able to share anything on your website with just a few clicks of their mouse.  Your worst case scenario might be that some of your staffers don’t have twitter/facebook/etc accounts – in this case I recommend taking the time to make them.  Get your marketing staff to build these out and share them – but be sure to use the staffers actual email.  The more people you have active on social media in your office the better you’ll be even after the infographic is launched.

The next step is to start your “real” outreach.

Focus on the easy ones first: infographic galleries, infographic blogs, start a Flickr account, pin your image on Pintrest (lots of infographics find their way there).  If you took the time to make sure your project was done right you might start seeing some traffic trickling in already.

Once you’ve gotten the low hanging shares out of the way it’s time to start emailing some real people!

Now, the standard form email might not work here (though you certainly can use the same format more or less) so make sure to think of the following when reaching out by email:

  • Keep it personal: track down the first name of your person you are reaching out to (this should have been done in your prospect research) and make sure that cutting-and-pasting their first name isn’t as far as you go with the personalization. It may take some time, but writing out each of these emails individually is going to be worth it!  You shouldn’t have the mindset that once your link is live these contacts are dead to you – you should always be trying to build relationships with these folks as you never know when you might need some help down the line.
  • Keep is short: This is where I personally run into problems as I can get wordy – you’ll want to keep these emails under 2 paragraphs if you can.  Any longer and your prospect might just glaze over without reading into your email too much.
  • Get excited: This is important – make sure you’re passionate about your topic.  Webmasters can smell mass produced emails a mile off – you want to make sure they know that you’re just as crazy about [insert your topic here] as they are.  Chances are the websites on your prospect list already have a passion for the topic – you need to make sure they know you share that same passion.
  • Follow up: This is where you’ll be getting the most value.  Keep track of the dates your original email were sent and the email address you sent them to.  After a week, send your first follow up email – keep it short and sweet.  No response?  Try again the following week.  You can decide whether a third round of follow ups is necessary.

So it Still didn’t Take Off?

Are you sure your infographic wasn’t about texting and driving? Don’t consider the whole infographic game a waste if your first project doesn’t take off.  To be honest, it may not.  Like any strategy where you are trying to convince others to share your content, it will be filled with setback. If you use a “one and done” type approach to this marketing strategy you’ll run into trouble quickly. Stick with it.

Keep track of everything you did during your first project and keep it to make sure you can look back and draw conclusions from your data for next time.

Did your emails not get any responses?  Maybe consider rewriting them.  Was your social outreach a little weak?  Make sure those staffers share it next time!

ProTip: Reverse Image Search

This is an important strategy and worth mentioning. Once your infographic has been released into the wild for sometime, try performing a reverse Google image search by dragging the image from your website directly into the Google image search toolbar. It may yield results of websites that published or cited your infographic but did not give you credit with a backlink. You then should reach out to each of these websites requesting credit in the form of a backlink to your site.

Have a questions about an infographic you recently launched?  Feel free to get in touch we’re happy to answer any questions.

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