Content continues to blanket the web and for performance-driven marketers, finding new and creative ways to display the content can be a real challenge.
Infographics, though popularized a few years ago, continue to be an effective content marketing method. The infographic is the best marriage of graphic design and copywriting, offering endless ways to showcase both big ideas and small details. Much like the methodology of inbound marketing, infographics can help nurture leads through the buyer’s journey and thus are many B2B marketers’ content of choice in satisfying awareness and consideration stage purposes.
The most thoughtful infographics transform site visitors into qualified leads by grabbing their attention and making a clear argument for the pain points a product or service can solve. In fact, one of the main reasons infographics perform so well in B2B marketing is because of their ability to break down complex topics and turn them into a digestible sales pitch.
Define Your Infographic’s Objective: SEO or Lead Generation?
Infographics serve a variety of purposes. Digital marketers, for example, use infographics as a tool for search engine optimization (SEO). One of the Google algorithm’s many ranking factors is the breadth of a website’s backlink profile. When another credible website links to your website, Google notes that as a sign of authority and trustworthiness.
Therefore, when digital marketers are working to expand their clients’ backlink profile, they require a “linkable asset” to encourage new websites to create a referral link. Enter the infographic: a digestible source of information that’s pleasing to the eye and fosters more engagement than plain text.
Bloggers and copywriters don’t always have the ability or capacity to create lengthy infographics, which is why many companies seek the support of a marketing agency in creating share-worthy pieces.
There’s one caveat to the “SEO-friendly” infographic, however. It must appeal to a sizeable audience or your list of potential publishers will be too small. In B2B marketing especially, it’s important to tap into a topic that’s broad and relatable.
If you’re utilizing an infographic as a content marketing piece, the methodology is just the opposite. Content marketing is an inbound marketing and lead generation tactic, so for this purpose, infographics should be highly focused and demonstrate thought leadership.
To accurately generate leads, your infographic or other content marketing piece should be gated. Common methods to advertise a gated landing page are pay-per-click (PPC) ads, email marketing or social media advertising. A pro-tip for those new to content marketing: your infographic should be gated but your form should only ask for a few pieces of information, such as name and email.
Whether your infographic will aid your digital or sales team, be sure to define its intended purpose at the very beginning of the creative process to create an effective piece of content.
Select a B2B Infographic Topic: Strategic + Custom
Digital marketers looking to improve SEO should determine an infographic topic based on a strategically selected keyword.
Keyword research should start with your client’s organic search traffic rankings. Many tools, including Search Console, Moz and SEMRush, will tell you which keywords your site is ranking for and in what order they rank. Choose a non-branded keyword that falls on the second or third page of Google – positions 11 to 30 – and develop your topic from there.
For content marketers using an infographic for lead generation, finding a topic may take a little more digging. First, assemble your sales and marketing team to answer the following questions:
- What does our ideal customer profile look like?
- What pain points are most common in our industry right now?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of the decision makers we are trying to attract?
The answers to these questions will serve as a great starting point for infographic brainstorming, as all content marketing pieces should be tailored to the audience you’re trying to reach.
The more “custom” your content, the higher the likelihood your leads will be qualified.
Develop Your Infographic Copy: Collaboration is Key
After your infographic topic is solidified, you can approach development in two ways. For experienced copywriters, it may be more efficient to create your copy document and then meet with the graphic design team to communicate your vision.
For those who are less experienced with this type of copywriting, it’s a good idea to meet with your creative team to mock up the graphic prior to fleshing out copy. This will help you put together a skeleton outline. Simple things like determining whether an infographic will be long and rectangular, or short and wide could affect the way you compose your copy, not to mention the images and graphic elements you’ll want to include.
During the writing process, it’s also vital that you locate and reference-quality sources. Infographics that prominently feature statistics to help make an argument for your case require due diligence on your part to ensure information accuracy. If you want to take your stats a step further, conduct your own survey like the 2017 Marketing Mix Report, which surveys B2B small business marketers. In citing your own resources, your infographic will serve an added purpose and increase credibility through the eyes of readers.
Lastly, keep in mind that your infographic is meant to present information in a concise and engaging way. If you’re tackling a comprehensive topic, try boiling it down to digestible, quick facts that your readers can easily take away.
Bringing Your Infographic to Life: Think Reader Experience
Here’s an example of a high performing infographic from our agency’s recent anniversary celebration. There are several lessons to learn from this graphic, both creatively and digitally.
First of all, a well-executed infographic should have unified design elements, including an engaging color palette and logical organization. This infographic accomplishes this, including a variety of thumbnails and visual depictions of the copy to appeal to viewers. The layout is also vertical to guide the eye downward as you progress.
All of these nitty-gritty user experience (UX) elements are critical, as search engine algorithms have made it clear that user interaction holds a high importance in determining rankings.
Don’t forget about the technical aspects of your infographic, which also contribute to UX. Producing the infographic in a large file size and with high image resolution will deliver a better viewing experience. If users need to zoom in, they’ll be disappointed if the result is a blurry image that undermines all of your beautiful graphics and clean copy.
Lastly, select a legible font, such as the sans serif option used in the example above. Script or other modern serif fonts may be fun, but the ultimate goal is to inform your readers without distractions.
Ready to roll up your sleeves and develop your next infographic? This guide should be a great starting point with tips for ensuring peak performance. Don’t forget to do your research before planning the content and creative and reference competitors’ infographics if needed to stay fresh and innovative.
Whether you’re looking to develop an infographic for SEO or lead generation, we’re confident that these instructions will set you on the right path.