Infographics, short for information graphics are hot right now. It seems everyone is creating one these days. Infographics have been around for a while and are used to communicate complex concepts visually and easily. If done right, they can be very effective in content marketing for manufacturers and industrial companies.
In the early stages of lead generation, you are primarily dealing with “suspects” – people who you have not yet qualified as prospects or leads. For top of the funnel content, infographics are very effective because of their focus on educating the reader rather than being product-centric.
Even though suspects may not fit your ideal customer profile, they may be people who will share your content if they find it worthwhile and interesting. Infographics fit the bill the perfectly for this purpose. Shareable content increases awareness about your company and drives more traffic back to your site or blog. Filling the top of the funnel with interested readers is one of the key objectives of content marketing.
In a webcast sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute and Eloqua, Joe Chernov (@jchernov), VP of Content Marketing at Eloqua talked about this aspect of content marketing. According to him, suspects want content that is:
- About what you know and not what you sell
- Videos that are non-product oriented
- “Infotaining” stuff
- And above all, it must be ungated content (Don’t put a registration form to gain access)
As with everything else in industrial marketing, your success with infographics will depend on how well you have planned before creating them. There are several articles that have been written about the “Do’s and Don’ts” of infographics. I found the one written by Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval) to be very helpful. She lists five things that you must consider before jumping on the infographics bandwagon.
- Do you have something to say that is relevant to your audience?
- What will be your call to action?
- Can it be posted on various social sharing sites?
- Does your design communicate the information clearly?
- Does it fit your content objectives and company branding?
Here are a two examples of manufacturing infographics that I found on visual.ly.
I have heard some marketers refer to this form of content marketing as “influence marketing.” Whatever you want to call it, suspects play a key role in expanding content marketing’s reach beyond just customers. Viral content is extremely popular in consumer marketing and it can work just as well in industrial marketing with some tweaking.
What do you think of this idea of using content to go beyond customers and using it to influence the influencers?