October 25, 2015
Ask 10 people what content marketing is, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. It’s often this nebulous, undefinable thing passed around marketing teams like a hot potato. And because it’s so undefinable, it’s often tough to really nail down solid, actionable tactics you can use today to boost brand exposure and—ultimately—expand your customer base.
So today, I want to show you how a few of the best content marketers use one of my all-time favorite content marketing tactics: infographic promotion.
Infographics have been one of my favorite content marketing tools for a long time. This is mostly because my background is in SEO, and SEOs have been infographic fanboys longer than anyone. But I really fell in love with them when I started to get serious about content marketing.
Perhaps the simplest answer to the question, “Why infographics?” is just that people enjoy infographics and love to share them. And for that reason, infographics have performed better for our team than almost any other type of content.
They’re fun, engaging, easily digested, and easily shared. In fact, Demand Gen Report found that 39% of B2B buyers reported that they frequently share infographics on social media (source)—also finding that they prefer content that is both visual and short (like an infographic).
Infographics are the perfect marriage of a graphic content and text content, which means that if they look amazing and really help someone learn something, they can start a serious viral snowball (…you haven’t lived until you’ve seen one of your infographics go viral on Tumblr).
7 Tips for Creating & Executing Infographic Campaigns
1. Think of your infographic like a product.
The most common mistake I see (by far) is companies wanting to make an infographic about their company.
Let me save you some time. That doesn’t work. And it never will.
Because unless you’re Apple, people don’t care about your company, and no infographic, no matter how amazing, is going to make them care—and it certainly won’t convince anyone to buy anything.
Do this instead: use your infographic as a way to teach someone something. Solve a problem. Add value. The easiest way to do this is to think of your infographic like a product. Ask yourself, “What are people getting out of this? Why would they want to use it?”
Here’s an example:
This infographic is a great example of something that adds significant value. It serves as a reference people can save and pull up when they have a question.
2. Actually promote them.
For some reason, people tend to forget to promote their infographics. I’m not sure why this is the case, since, of all the content you’re likely to promote, your infographic will probably produce one of the best ROIs.
So promote them! There are lots of ways to do this, and I won’t go into much detail here (since general content promotion is covered in great detail elsewhere), but I will tell you some of my favorites.
First, submit your infographic to the major infographic directories (and stay away from the crappy ones). Sites like Visua.ly provide a platform for literally anyone to promote an infographic, and their readership is massive. In fact, many of my colleagues see Visua.ly as the emergent and preeminent infographic search engine. There are several other website like this; none are quite as big, but they all have active audiences who are specifically looking for infographics.
Second, aside from the obvious “Share your infographic on social media,” it’s a good idea to hustle for some exposure on larger social platforms that have higher viral potential (namely Reddit & Tumblr). It takes more hustle to get momentum on these platforms, but the payoff can be extreme, since your potential reach is much higher.
3. Manipulate the emotional state of your audience by picking the right colors (even if they’re not your brand colors).
This is another area where big, traditional marketing-think can bog down your content marketing machine: companies tend to want their infographic to be built around their brand colors.
This is silly.
Remember, the goal of any infographic is to create impact. And with something as visual as an infographic, colors can significantly influence the emotional state of the reader. So go for it!
If you’re unfamiliar with color psychology, here’s an excellent guide (and, as it happens, a great example of a good infographic):
4. Spend ad dollars on them.
Remember: infographics are built to be shared.
Sometimes, you just need to give them a little push. When I launch an infographic, at the very least, I’ll spend a couple hundred dollars promoting it on Facebook. If that goes well, I’ll ramp it up.
You can see a seriously strong ROI on ad spend for infographics because the viral coefficient is so high, so don’t be afraid to put a little money in the pot. This is especially true for businesses who have highly optimized lead-capture and sales funnels in place. For these folks, traffic is usually worth a lot more, so spending a bit of cash to get eyeballs on an infographic can be very profitable.
If your graphic has a broader appeal, consider pointing your ad dollars at content distribution networks like Outbrain.
5. Leverage infographics for other marketing opportunities.
I saved the best for last.
If you have a great infographic, you can bet plenty of bloggers would love to use it. So, research a list of 100 or so relevant blogs—blogs that need information like you’ve produced—and ask if they’d like to use it.
If any do, offer to write content to go along with it. And all of a sudden, BAM. You’ve got 20 guest blogs to write.
Wrapping it up…
Infographics are by far one of my favorite ways to market content. They’ve become the staple of our marketing efforts, and you can build very high ROI campaigns around them for relatively cheap.
A Few More Great Resources
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