To help generate leads, law firms are increasingly using infographics to help demystify and explain complex legal concepts to attract potential clients and advertise their services.
BY JESSYLYN LOS BANOS STAFF CONTRIBUTOR
In today’s competitive marketing landscape, potential clients are looking for authority and authenticity when searching for law firms to hire. To help generate leads, law firms are increasingly using infographics to help demystify and explain complex legal concepts to attract potential clients and advertise their services.
Infographics are of course not new within the realm of online content. Posting of visualized data took off around a decade ago, and between 2010 and 2012, searches for infographics increased by 800 percent. However, their usefulness to attorneys has grown considerably since then as people’s desire to research and understand the legal issues they are involved increases.
If you want to elevate your overall law firm content marketing strategy game, infographics can help. However, you will have to do more than combine statistics with some text and nice graphics. A well crafted infographic focuses on telling a compelling narrative anchored with hard data to intrigue and engage readers. With infographics, you can tailor your message in a way that aligns with your marketing strategy goals while continuing to build brand awareness and trust with potential clients.
Why Create Data-Driven Infographic Stories
When your infographics are grounded with compelling data storytelling, you are providing value and meaning to your readers. When researching law firms, potential clients are looking for useful content and resources that help them understand their issue and determine whether a firm is trustworthy and reliable. With infographics, you are providing valuable insight while showcasing your credibility.
Where to Get Data
Data is everywhere, but finding reliable sources can be overwhelming. Here are the two potential sources you will want consider:
Internal Data: Internal data is arguably the best resource you can utilize. This is data you already own and that contains high relevancy and insights. Take advantage of all the analytics, reports, surveys, case studies and client questions you have collected over the years
External Data: With the internet at the tips of your fingers, data is more accessible than ever. From government agencies to research firms to industry publications, you are likely to find some interesting data. To determine whether an external source is credible, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the author of this publication and what are their credentials?
- Is the webpage affiliated with a credible organization?
- How recent was this publication posted?
- What is the purpose of the website hosting the publication?
- Are these sources relevant?
Where Do You Start? Before you begin writing your infographic, you will need to consider the big picture and ask yourself these questions:
What is my goal? Before you create any piece of content, infographic or otherwise, you should always know what your goal is. Are you trying to generate new leads? Establish your expertise and thought-leadership? Expand your online presence and build brand awareness? Your goal is what will inform the type of infographic you will create.
What is my story? This is the heart of your infographic and is very important to keep in mind. Is the message of your story clear? Are you trying to lead your reader to a particular conclusion? Are you creating a useful resource and guide? These are questions you should be asking yourself while crafting your narrative.
What is the volume of my data? It is easy to go overboard with data and try to include as many charts and graphs as you can. However, you need to remember that data is simply meant to anchor your message with credible facts. When conducting your research, be intentional with the data you select. Do these statistics strengthen your argument? Will this data better inform the reader?
Who is my audience? Your target audience determines the format and type of infographic you will choose. Who are you trying to reach and will they be interested in it? What level of understanding and knowledge do they have? What is their age and how might they interact with the infographic?
Where will I distribute my infographic? Knowing where your infographic will live from the start will save you a lot of time and effort. Are you distributing this on a blog? On social media? Publishing on an industry site? Once you know where you will be distributing, be sure that your infographic is optimized for those different channels.
How to Tell a Strong Story with Data
When creating a compelling and effective infographic, the core story is the star of the show. All other components — charts, copy, design elements, etc. — need to be able to support the story and guide your reader through the infographic. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Use creative titles and subtitles to draw the reader in. Just like a well-written essay or a catchy newspaper headline, you will need to hook people. While you take the time to think of clever and creative titles, it is important that your titling is clear and specific. Going too overboard may simply confuse your reader, so make sure that the title is relevant to the subject and story.
- Provide content for your data. For good storytelling, just inputting data and stats on a graphic is not enough. You will need to consider your audience. Who is reading your infographic? How knowledgeable are they? How can you make the data visualization more impactful? If you are making a series of infographics, how can you write a copy that draws connections between all the information?
- Create a logical flow that can guide the reader. It is important to order your content in a logical and concise way. Start with any necessary background information to give context to the content and create a structured hierarchy for your content. This way the reader can easily and intuitively move through the story.
- Highlight any key insights. Call out any important key takeaways. The tone of your infographics should be analytical, rather than opinionated.
- Finish with a strong and sound conclusion. Lastly, you will need to provide a conclusion that offers some sort of solution or recommendations to challenges introduced in the opening paragraph. A strong conclusion leads your reader towards a desired conclusion, but still allows them to form their own opinions.
The 3 Types of Infographics
You have picked your topic, done the research, found the right data and written amazing copy. Now is the time to decide what kind of infographic you will create. Your narrative and data will determine the type of graphic that best suits your story and goals. In general, infographics fall into three categories, each with their own unique purposes and differences:
Information Design: This type of infographic primarily focuses on displaying data and information efficiently and effectively. Information design is useful for when you want to articulate legal processes or instructional information. You will often see information design including flowcharts, timelines, organizational diagrams and illustration. This is great for data on specialized practice areas because the goal is to communicate a message or concept that is both clear and universal.
Editorial Design: The origin of editorial design infographics is rooted in major publications. This kind of infographic used to be limited to simple lines, bars and pie charts to maximize the limited space in newspapers. Now in the age of social media, editorial design has evolved into incorporating graphics with content. Editorial design is best used to display thought-leadership anchored with hard data.
Data Visualization: As the name suggests, data visualization infographics utilize images to represent complex numbers-heavy data. In this format, data is often presented in basic charts and graphs. Unlike information design, data visualization does not need to be bogged down with excessively detailed copy. Rather, it is the visuals that need to do all the talking and capture the viewer’s attention. Not only does your data need to be aesthetically pleasing, but your viewer will need to be able to understand the story at a glance. Data visualizations are often used in situations where the viewer’s attention is short, like trade-shows.
Choosing the Right Format for Your Data
Standard Infographics: In this format, you use data, copy and visuals to tell a story. Infographics are a great and simple way to communicate ideas and build brand awareness. They are best used for social and content marketing because they are easy to share and can easily be repurposed as micro-content to help further promote.
Animated Infographics: If you want to shake things up, try adding animation to your infographics. You will get all the benefits and elements of a typical infographic but with the extra eye-catching appeal.
Interactive Infographics: Interactive infographics are an excellent way to create immersive storytelling. This format is great for instances where the viewer will need to navigate through large amounts of data. You have the option to display the information as explorative, by having the viewer travel through the data and come up with their own interpretations. Or you create a narrative interactive, where you guide the viewer the story. By being interactive, the viewer is able to spend more time with the content and be actively engaged.
Motion Graphics: This format is useful if you have a story that is a little abstract or needs more context. With motion graphics, you can incorporate text, animation, music and voice-over to deliver concise story or message in a short amount of time.
Video: Infographics do not need to be limited to simply graphics, copy and pie charts. Especially on social media, videos are very popular. The perk of videos is that you can utilize actors as a way to create emotional connection between your content and audience. Similar to motion graphics, you can demonstrate creativity by incorporating music, voice-overs, text, music and data visualizations.
Your firm is likely sitting on a wealth of information and experience that is useful to your online audience and future clients. Putting some of this information in an easy to digest, visual format can give a creative boost to your marketing efforts.