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Oct 18, 2021

Infographic Link Building – 5 Steps for Infographic Promotion Success

We do tons of work with infographics to get backlinks.

When used for link building, we’ve secured outreach-driven placements, like this one on PC Mag:

…and this one on SalesHacker:

…and this one on Heap:

The success of infographics for link building outreach isn’t even the best part. If done correctly, infographics can make awesome link bait, which, when well-positioned in the SERPs, can help you win backlinks naturally over time (i.e. people simply find your content and link to it cause it’s that good).

Check out the results of this page and the campaign we created around it for IRC Sales Solutions:

With effective content positioning, we were able to build something that attracted backlinks naturally. This makes infographics great when considering link building strategies for startups that need long-term, passive scalability.

This is, in part, due to the infographic, as you can see from this link Podia gave us after screenshotting a part of it for their article about webinar presentations:

And in classic natural backlinking fashion, we didn’t pitch the infographic to anyone at Podia—they found it and referenced it themselves.

After analyzing our efforts to understand what works well, here are five steps you can take to run a successful infographic link building campaign.

Step 1. Determine your objective

There are tons of different use cases for infographics.

Social media engagement, sales presentations, and webinar graphics, to name a few.

For this article, we’re specifically focused on the objective of using infographics to get backlinks for your website.

If the goal is getting backlinks, knowing your broad SEO objectives can help you determine if an infographic campaign is even a good fit for you.

For example, if you’re running an SEO campaign for a startup, you might need to focus on a path to revenue, while larger brands might need brand awareness from their SEO campaign to support other marketing efforts.

This is why our first level of screening in a client discussion usually involves asking about SEO objectives, and their responses usually end up putting a project into one of the following  goal categories:

Goal category 1: Get traffic and build links to very specific pages

Generally, when a client wants to build links to a specific page with specific anchor text, we suggest guest posting, due to the predictable nature of it.

The problem with guest posting, though, is that it’s very expensive to get quality placements.

DR 80+ sites want articles in the 2500-3000 word range, and in areas where subject matter expertise and name recognition are essential, this can cost up to $1.50 per word, depending on who you hire. And trust me, good writers are very hard to come by.

So, while guest posting is a solid approach as an initial link building strategy for sales pages (or for link building strategies where you need specific anchor text), infographics can help you reduce the long-term cost per link. This is because, oftentimes, you only have to write 500 words or so of content to get an editor to publish your infographic.

This significantly reduces the costs of content.

However, considering the cost of stellar infographic design, plus SEO-driven page copy to go around it, you can expect to pay as much as $5,000 to build an asset that you can leverage for a link building campaign.

There’s also a significant risk that the campaign could underperform, so you should only pull away from guest posting and move towards infographics for this goal if you have a high level of risk tolerance.

Goal category 2: General content marketing with longer-term objectives

Content marketing objectives slightly differ from SEO objectives.

While SEO-driven thinking leads to objectives such as “we need to rank for XYZ keyword,” content marketing has more high-level goals, such as:

  • Increase blog traffic by X% per month
  • Build an audience in your niche that you can later monetize
  • Grow an existing blog following
  • Build a list of email subscribers for a digital product

If your goals are similar to this, you’re a way better fit for infographics than goal category 1, since you’ll get more long-term value out of them.

Post-publishing, if followed-up with a well-executed and successful outreach campaign, people will discover, share, and link to your infographics after finding them within your super-helpful content that ranks in the SERPs.

Step 2. Know your audience and choose a topic for them

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your infographic, you’re ready to get into the market research stage of the work.

Since this article is titled “Infographic Link Building – 5 Steps for Success”, I’m just going to assume you’re looking to create infographics for successful link building.

If that’s the case, the goal of your infographic is to get it published on blogs in your niche.

In order for that to happen when we execute our outreach campaign, we need to put in some initial work before we even design something,to make sure we’re building something that will appeal to our audience.

To do this, we want to take a deeper look into the writing on some of the popular blogs in our niche.

We can do this with Google. For example, if I Google “best seo blogs,” I have a good list of targets to start exploring.

From there, we can click through the results and start going down the rabbit hole.

For example, Moz’s blog is first on this list, so let’s start there.

This is a good opportunity because there are plenty of different authors. Therefore, by examining this site, we can look into the behavioral patterns of a sample of authors—rather than a solo blogger.

It’s important to recognize that when we pitch an infographic, we’re going to be pitching to people. For that reason, let’s look into the type of content these authors are writing.

At a glance, it looks like there’s lots of interest around the topic of link building:

However, it’s too soon to draw conclusions. We need to continue digging to examine the context of how this author writes about link building and what sort of content assets she links out to, references, etc.

Based on the language here, it looks like she just straight up enjoys the topic of link building:

But because the referenced sources are books, we can likely conclude that she enjoys spending her time consuming and sharing things that she can use to teach to her audience.

At this stage, if I continue to see this theme, I’d likely conclude that a good subject for an infographic  to pitch would be something educational around the topic of link building.

So, let’s find some unsolved problems out there to design a topic that will interest our audience of expert SEO bloggers wanting to teach newer SEOs about link building stuff (I so feel this, lol).

To do this, we just complain to Google a little bit. Like this:

Or this…

These articles can give us lots of good ideas to brainstorm off of.

Some high-level topic ideas that come to mind from this list:

  • Link building ROI
  • Something data-driven on result over time with link building campaigns.
  • Something on identifying good or bad backlinks.

Once we’ve gone through this process for a few of the blogs in our niche (usually about 10-15) and have nailed down their needs, we start the development of the infographic.

NOTE: The goal isn’t to find outreach targets here. The goal is just to know what’s being talked about in your industry. People in this niche are reading the biggest blogs in the niche to come up with their own ideas, so going off of the stuff being written about on these blogs makes sense when mapping out the interests of the bloggers within a niche.

Step 3. Design the infographic for your audience

We thought it’d be fun to show you how to design an infographic for link building…with an infographic (probably also for link building)!

Check out this infographic that our designer, Daniel Scott Dannenberg, put together to explain his infographic creation process for link building campaigns.

link building infographic

Step 4. Write epic supporting content

Supporting content may differ depending on the case.

For example, while link building will definitely be a part of the process, the purpose of a link building infographic in this article was, honestly, just to build a cool inception-type of vibe.

I mean, it’s an infographic about making infographics inside of an article about infographic link building.

inception-gif

Pretty epic, if you ask me.

And if you think that’s wild, just wait for the update when we land link placements for this infographic. 🤭 (Psst! We did it! See the update at the end of the article!)

If you’re just using your infographic for link building, here’s how to write the content around it to maximize your chances of receiving placements.

Write a killer intro

The purpose of your intro may differ depending on the nature of your content.

However, if the purpose is to get the people you’re emailing to read your infographic so they’ll republish it, as is the case with link building, your intro needs to persuade them to do so.

Your intro needs to persuasively pull your readers from the top of the page down to your infographic.

Here’s a framework you can use to pull this off with some samples from our best performing infographic campaign:

Make a bold statement

First, you want to make a bold, broad, and simple statement that most people in the niche would agree with.

For example, I went with “When it comes to sales, it’s all about the follow-up.” because in my research, I found that persistence is a very common topic in the sales niche.

Prove it

Next, we back this agreeable claim up with a strong, supporting statistic that puts the reader on our side.

Suggest a unique perspective

Finally, finish it off with a paragraph or so about the problem around your initial statement, another paragraph that backs up the problem you’re trying to solve, and finally, a sentence introducing your infographic as the solution.

By experimenting with this framework, you’ll be able to apply your own findings and create a template that works best for your outreach.

Present your infographic

Once you’ve written your support content, you need to upload your infographic.

To make it easier to load for your recipient, just follow these steps:

  • Convert the infographic to JPEG format.
  • Compress it. Here are a few ways to do that:
    • Use TinyPNG. You can simply upload the infographic and then download a compressed version.
    • Use a WordPress plugin like Smush.

Next, write some copy that clearly tells readers they’re allowed to share/use the infographic in exchange for a link for credit. Many people are afraid to use visuals from other sites, but if you welcome it, this breaks down that barrier.

And for further sharing convenience, put a “copy code” box below where they can just copy and paste embed code on their site.

You can generate the code for this with an Embed Code Generator.

Go the extra mile and close with a deep dive

This isn’t absolutely necessary for link building, but it does help improve future SEO performance of the page that the infographic is hosted on.

If you want to do this, then after the infographic, follow up with the additional info users might be looking for after reading your infographic.

This is where knowing your audience comes back into play.

For our recent online game statistics infographic, we knew that statistics were a big part of the audience’s reason for reading the graphic, so we close with more stats.

In this marijuana legalization infographic, we knew our readers were in a state of passionate support for marijuana legalization, so we added content below it to fuel that.

Knowing your audience will significantly help you here.

Step 5. Run an effective outreach campaign

For infographics, outreach is relatively easy.

For prospecting, you can find opportunities by finding people who’ve previously written about the topic your infographic is about.

If we’re going with a link building infographic idea, we can find prospects in Google by searching for link building related blog posts.

Because we know our audience from the steps above, we can just use Google’s search operators to construct a search string that helps us find a good list of targets.

We can also use Ahrefs content explorer tool to find more opportunities.

Because we did proper research before-hand, this step is relatively simple.

Once we have our prospects, we find their email address and send them an email that looks something like this:

When they respond, we follow Brian Dean’s guestographic approach and offer free content to go with it.

While we did have to follow-up, the offer of free content made it easy for this prospect to say yes.

From there, we write up and publish the content for the prospect who wants to publish the infographic, which usually consists of around 500 words or so.

The best part is that, because we have control over the content, we can place whatever links we want (at the discretion of the editor, of course).

This means that, if we’re trying to build links to important content pieces or sales pages, this remains a possibility with infographic promotion.

While you could do it yourself, link building outreach is easy to outsource successfully if you have an amazing infographic. If your content is great (from the perspective of your outreach targets), then a properly executed outreach campaign will produce results.

If you need this kind of thing done for you, whether it’s the whole campaign or just the outreach, contact us with the form at the bottom of the page. 👇

May 11, 2022 update – We did it!

7 months later,  we’ve earned 42 backlinks (4 from outreach, the rest from syndication and republishes)…

backlinks

…and we rank #1 in Google for our target keyword.

number-one-in-google-with-infographics

 

All by promoting our infographic above with a template like this…

link building infographic email template

To win placements like this…

placement

Which helped us get contextual backlinks to this page like this one:

backlink

Which pushed our rankings up in Google and is possibly how you ended up here.

Thanks for reading!

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