How to Make any Topic Go Viral

Considering how much of the 19th century and before we spent combating viruses and illness, it's kinda ironic that many of us spend our days in the 21st century trying to figure out how to go viral with things. It's not an attempt at a joke, just merely an observation.

I probably could have gotten that across clearer and without the faint perceived attempt at humor if I presented that previous paragraph as an infographic. Why? Because according to GrowSmartBiz and an interview it did with Brian Wallace, the president and founder of of Internet marketing firm Now Sourcing, the best way to make dry information contagious is by serving it up graphically.

That doesn't mean with an image alone. An infographic is basically like a comic panel or comic book dedicated to a topic that's usually musty and hard to make sexy.

GrowSmartBiz asked Wallace to walk them through five campaigns it jazzed up (concrete polishing, home security, financial services, etc.), but it's only half the picture to read about successful campaigns. That's why it's a good thing] walks through six classiflc mistakes business-to-business marketers make when devising infographics. Obviously, infographics can be applied to the regular public as well: Just remember that these mistake can be corrected for in going after civilians, too.

One of my favorite mistakes is "making an infographic that's not an infographic." You've seen these before: They're basically flyers with an unrelated or possibly related image at the top, and just tons of text capsules sprinkled throughout.

Another classic mistake is making it nearly impossible to share. Remember -- the point of this is to not only share information, but to enable others to share your information, too.

There are a bunch others -- four, to be exact -- explored at, and it's a breezy read if this grabs you at all. (Read: It's easy to share, so they know what they're doing, too.)

Also, just so you know, the expected price of hiring someone to design an infographic for you, if you go with an outside firm? A cool thousand bucks. But hey, a picture's worth a hundred words, right? So it's more like $900.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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