guest post by Geoff Kenyon
While infographics are a popular means of link building, there are oftentimes may infographics that receive far fewer links than they deserve.
Below are 4 things I've learned (mostly the hard way) about getting more links out of your infographic.
Give Them The Facts (And an Intro)
When you're reaching out to bloggers to get them to put your infographic on their site, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. This means you need to think about it from their perspective.
Real bloggers aren't simply going to embed your infographic in a post and hit publish, they need to minimally give it an intro. Additionally, many bloggers will want to write a bit more about the infographic.
All of this equates to more work for the blogger. To increase the probability of your infographic getting picked up by bloggers, make it easy for them to publish your infographic.
In your outreach email, don't just send a link to the infographic and tell them why your infographic is awesome.
Go further. Write up a summary of interesting facts for them, and maybe even write an intro.
Of course you have your outreach list, but what about your pre-outreach list? Do you have a list of people that you really want to promote your infographic, like a huge blogger in your vertical? Or a big non profit?
Getting on a blog, email newsletter or tweet from a prominent individual or organization can help propel an infographic to a viral trajectory.
While there are a lot of different ways that you can try to get your infographic shared by these elusive targets, my favorite is to do pre-outreach. When you do this, you pick these highly regarded individuals or organizations in an industry and reach out to them before the infographic goes live.
In fact, I might reach out to them before the infographic is finalized.
Reach out to these people and ask them to review the infographic for factual content/validity, or just general feedback, since they are established experts. Now, make sure that you incorporate their feedback into the infographic (or at least part of it).
Once the infographic goes live, email the aforementioned experts. Thank them (again) for their help and tell them that the infographic is now live with their input incorporated. Make sure that you thank the experts who contributed below the infographic (and link to their site).
In most cases, the email and the public thanks is an effective ego bait and the expert or organization will tweet, blog, or email your infographic.
Piggy backing off the last topic, you should also reach out to some big time bloggers/publishing sites (like Mashable or Tech Crunch if you're in tech).
Ask them if they'd be interested in the story (remember it's not just an infographic, sell the story and the facts!). Offer them exclusivity; tell them that you will let them be the first to publish the story (you should publish the post a bit before the other site).
This gives good incentive for them as it looks good for a publisher to be the first one to talk about something cool.
This goes back to the same principal the previous point was based on: It is your job (in pitching the infographic) to make the publisher look and feel good.
Make them feel special that they are the first one to launch a story. This can lead to a good relationship where they may help you down the road in the future.
It is important to realize that while the word exclusivity may seem bad when you want something to go viral, it really isn't. It is only really exclusivity in that they are the first ones to break the story.
Further, the sites that you would offer exclusivity to tend to have significant followings so you are getting placement in front of a ton of people.
Have a Back Up Plan
Even if you do all of the above, some times an infographic just flops; no one really wants to share it. Even your fall back contacts don't want to publish the infographic as it's not targeted right or they just decide it's not what they're looking for, which happens. That's just how it is.
As excited as you might be about it, sometimes your infographic doesn't hit home with your target audience.
While it's ok to fail and not have a viral infographic that doesn't mean you are off the hook with your boss and client. You need to produce links, whether it's to stay in the good graces of your manager or to keep a client, you need links.
That said you should let managers and clients know before the infographic is started that while typically you can get X amount of links, sometimes they fail. It's just how it is.
So you have an infographic that you need links for but nobody wants to share it. What do you do? At this point, you either have to beg your friends and family (trust me, not the ideal route), or you can submit to infographic submission sites.
While most infographic submission sites require a small fee (usually less than $50) to submit, you have to keep in mind how many submissions they get and that they have to write something about your infographic.
To help you out, here’s a list of 18 infographic submission sites that I normally submit to when I am short on links:
If you employ all of these tactics in combination with a well thought out infographic, you should be well on your way to counting your links!
Image credit: iStockphoto
About the author
Geoff Kenyon is an SEO consultant at Distilled and founder of Vizual Archive. He has an extensive background in link baiting and building links with infographics. If he has managed to escape the Seattle rain, you will probably find him on the lake or a mountain bike trail.
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