Attorneys and law firms are not generally known for their infographics, but there is no reason that should be the case. You may love them or hate them, but regardless of your personal stance, it is important to recognize that they do garner more attention than plain-text posts and articles. Infographics are an easy way to distribute helpful facts, lists or other data. As social media assets, they are easy to share. As visuals, they are more likely to get attention and be seen by a diverse audience.
Infographics can be fun and interesting, but they are only effective as a marketing tool if they gain traction through pins, shares and retweets. Infographics must be well-designed, engaging and contain information that people actually want to know. Certain types of content are more likely to go viral than others, like lists, graphics that tell a story, information that is surprising, and information that either confirms or challenges our basic assumptions. You may be surprised at how much marketing value you can glean from a solid collection of legal-based infographics. If you are interested in diving in, here are some points to keep in mind:
Use your own data. Your firm is in possession of a valuable source of knowledge: your clients. You can do informal surveys of clients and prospects and in doing so produce your own set of exclusive statistics. For example, if you are a criminal defense attorney who is a former prosecutor, ask clients if that affected their decision to choose you. Depending on the results, this could work in your favor. If 72% of your clients say yes, make a graphic, do a quick blog post and share. In the post, use the data as a segue into your past experience and your ability to help clients. This can work for any practice area. Think about what characteristics and concerns your clients share and put together some quick questions to tap into their insights.
Be selective. Infographics can be overwhelming. You do not want to lose people because your graphic scrolls, seemingly with no end. Focus on a single topic and present a limited amount of supporting material. President Obama's 2012 election campaign, for example, made excellent use of direct, concise infographics. The campaign's “Truth Team” website had an entire section devoted entirely to graphics, most of which only contain between one and five individual pieces of data. The brevity allows people to quickly get the message, and it keeps the graphic small enough that it is easily sharable and viewable on sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
Remember: graphics do not have to be numerical. When people think of infographics, they often think of things like oversized pie charts and bar graphs, but there are many other items that can come together to produce an interesting piece. A lot of great graphics do not contain any numerical data at all. Checklists, for example, tend to be very popular. What are the top 5 things people need to know if the have been in a car accident? If they are accused of a crime? If they want to set up a trust? How should people expect their case to proceed through court? Is there a “typical” process? These types of graphics address clients' specific needs without any number-based data.
Research. Research. Research. A beautiful infographic is useless without informative content. Make sure that yours is relevant to the right audience. You want to attract good clients, so your infographic must be helpful to that target demographic. Read reports, ask questions and visit polling or other statistic heavy sites. People who are in need of legal help are full of questions, try to answer some of them creatively.
Keep it simple. Make sure graphics have a consistent style and use a limited color palette. Most infographics have a similar feel – with large elements and contrasting colors. People need to know where to look, and if the graphic is crowded with illustrations and competing numbers, your point will be lost and you will not gain the necessary social traction you need to make a marketing impact.
Looking for more inspiration? The site coolinfographics.com keeps a running list of fresh examples.