Taboo Topic? Communicate Through Infographics

taboo product

In a single day, we create more than 1.5 billion pieces of content, including 140 million tweets and 2 million videos, according to this great infographic on “big data”.

It’s no surprise that even with the most careful planning, our marketing messages often get lost in the data chaos. On the flip side, how many articles we see on a daily basis and mentally mark as “interesting” but fail to ever read or save the great data within the article?

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Infographics are a visually compelling communication medium that breaks down complex data into easily digestible content.

In essence, they’re the perfect marketing solution for a world that’s overrun with interesting data and lacking an effective means for organizing this information.

Ninety percent of the information that comes into the brain is visual.

Infographics help us quickly and easily visualize relationships between statistics. But great infographics are more than just a powerful data visualization tool for content marketing. They’re also an effective viral marketing tool for taboo products that are in high-demand but not always easy to advertise through traditional channels.

Case in point: an online STD test. While there’s clearly a built-in market for STD tests, you can’t just buy a commercial during the Super Bowl and call it a day.

Not only would such a commercial be prohibitively expensive, but it would also be a bit awkward and uncomfortable for viewers at home to see in between their favorite chip and beer ads — and it might even turn off your target audience.

For a socially taboo product, you need to think creatively about how to get the word out to potential customers. Infographics focused on raising awareness about a relevant issue are the perfect solution.

1. Identify the Data

Even with a clever infographic, a collection of random, dense statistics is still a collection of random, dense statistics! Don’t just grab a bunch of random facts and throw them into your infographic.

You need to think strategically about which statistics to include. One option is to select data around a problem or issue that individuals in the target market may not realize is as common as it is.

Diaper Buys created an infographic that shows the different causes of adult incontinence and aims to remove some of the stigma associated with wearing an adult diaper.

2. Raise Awareness

Another option when creating an infographic would be to addresses a common issue that individuals in your target demographic may be experiencing, even if this issue is only tangentially related to the product that your business is selling.

For example, older individuals who need adult diapers may also face additional challenges in their daily lives, especially if they live alone. Diaper Buys created just such a demographic for “National Senior Independence Month”.

Organizing the data around an awareness theme makes the infographic relevant and timely, two key characteristics of viral content.

3. Be Smart About Design

If you are not a graphic designer, it’s probably best to leave the heavy lifting to someone who is.

After all, you don’t want a poor design to cloud out your message! The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on great design., one of the world’s most popular infographic sharing sites, can also connect individuals with a graphic designer for affordable infographic design.

After the infographic is complete, you can create your own business profile and publish the infographic directly on the site.

4. Share Your Infographic

Once the design is complete, think strategically about the best ways to get your infographic out to the right target audience.

In addition to sharing the infographic via, be sure to post it on your company’s blog and cross-post on Pinterest (one of the most popular social networks for infographics) as well as other social media channels.

Tweet a different, interesting statistics found in the infographic each day for a week with a link back to your company’s blog post. Share it on Facebook and include a link to your company’s weekly newsletter digest (if you have one).

The key is to get cross-posts on as many relevant platforms as possible.

Bottom Line

Marketing a taboo product or service can be tricky, but by using infographics to focus on an educational or awareness-building angle, you can position your product for viral marketing success.

Taboo Photo via Shutterstock


Brian Hughes Brian is a seasoned digital marketing expert who loves to write about subjects that help small businesses grow their brands and increase their rankings online. He accomplishes this through his agency Integrity Marketing & Consulting, which he founded in 2011.

9 Reactions
  1. Brian: Could you list some “taboo” products / services? What is the acronym STD standing for?

  2. Hi Martin! Sure thing, it would be my pleasure. Bankruptcy attornies, sex toys, depends adult diapers, funeral parlors, dui attornies or divorce attornies. It stands for sexually transmitted diseases. Thank you for the comment.

    • Brian,

      Thanks for your reply! I wonder if the search engines will avoid these “taboo” topics! 😉

      • You’re welcome Martin. Well I know Google prevents certain keywords relevant to pornography from showing up in the keyword suggest tool. I don’t think they avoid the other not so appealing services or products.

  3. Brian,

    Thanks for your input.

    Have you heard about iTunes rules regarding certain “taboo” sounding words, in podcasts? And how you should add the explicit warning label on certain podcast episodes?

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