If you want to give your business a chance to convey its message to BOTH your current audience and first-time prospective customers or clients then you may want to use a new way to convey your message known as an infographic. The image above is a sample of an infographic. The data in there is NOT REAL… I just used it as an example!
The data in here is presented in such a way that it would be representative of what businesses in the Dallas Fort Worth area are requesting when it comes to marketing their businesses online. Again, this is just an example because, in the real world, businesses are asking for help also with LinkedIn, classified ad creation, paid advertising (pay-per-click and banner ads) and much more.
Here is another version of what is deemed an “infographic”, yet it is completely different than the first version. Yes, the geographic data is made up (!) but in this case you see that images and video can be embedded inside the infographic (all rights belonging to the original copyright holders):
What You Can Do With An Infographic
Once you have conveyed the type of message you want in an infographic theme then it comes time to actually do something with it. You want that image to get in front of your prospective audience to help you generate new business or at least extend your brand & company name.
Here are some thoughts on what to do:
- Share the infographic with your main followers on Facebook and Twitter
- If appropriate, share it on LinkedIn — both in your personal timeline (or in your company’s profile page) as well as in any appropriate groups and/or LinkedIn Answers
- Post it on your site and optimize the page for the desired keywords
- Pin the infographic from your site onto appropriate Pinterest boards you control
- Embed the infographic as an image inside a press release which has related content
- E-mail it to your newsletter or subscriber lists
- Put a link to it in your e-mail signature file
- Share it on relevant local and national online forums
- Send it to specific media contacts in trade or local publications in case they need that type of content for upcoming publications (physical or online)
- Syndicate the infographic through appropriate RSS feeds
- Add it to your company’s image sharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket
- Send it to those needing relevant guest blog post content
- Use it as an image in an online classified ad
- Many other ways to give your infographic image exposure to current customers and prospective ones
That’s Great… But What Infographic Can I Create? I Don’t Have Any Art, Graphic Design, Or Photoshop Skills!!
This new technology may be daunting to some business owners and executives who like the potential but are hesitant due to confusion as to what to convey or not having graphic design or image-editing skills. This is fine!
There are several infographics templates which can be edited easily for marketing purposes. There also are third-party services who can create an eye-catching, memorable infographic for your business. Again, the big “take away” is to know what to do with it AFTER it gets produced. The list I mentioned earlier should help you.
Let’s use a realistic example: moving to Dallas and wanting to open a pizza shop with takeout and delivery service. Obviously you will want to get more attention to your website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channel, online coupons, positive reviews on UrbanSpoon.com and other online properties. One way to do this is to create an infographic with a “pizza” theme.
You could create a special “tip” or benefit for each of the 8 “slices” in your image. For example you could break it down this way:
- Slice # 1 tells people where to go read positive reviews online about your pizza and delivery service
- Slice # 2 tells people where to get year-round online coupons (e.g. Twenty percent off Tuesdays, or something like that)
- Slice # 3 tells people to join your Facebook page (include the actual Facebook URL/link) for occasional specials and Facebook-only promotions
- You can do the same thing with your Twitter account
- Slice # 4 tells people to see your videos on YouTube
- Slice # 5 gives a link to take people to read a positive review from a local Dallas news station or local publication
- Slice # 6 tells people where to get some suggestions for ways to make “pizza night” at home more memorable
- Slice # 7 tells people where to find your location with a link to an online map
- Slice # 8 tells people where to read your menu on your website
Again, this is just a basic concept; but instead of deluging your audience with all of this information in text format you can “package” the information (called “framing”) in the form of something relevant… in this case a pizza. You then would share this new image/infographic by some of the methods I outlined earlier.
Since most pizza places aren’t doing this it can help you stand out. From there, you are making the image helpful (aka “value added”) because you are giving clear instructions to people on how to get reviews, find menus, find out where you are, get coupons, etc. You, therefore, are giving people a lot of helpful information in an easy-to-comprehend manner. In the pizza industry you could take this a step further and use it as part of your printed materials which you can hand out locally. Chances are that the people who are given a printed infographic with helpful information are likely to hold onto it longer, and hopefully they will take the next step of ordering a pizza from you.
This should help any “commodity” business (e.g. a local pizza restaurant) get people to willingly share your marketing materials. Obviously, there are no promises but it tips the odds in your favor!
While I love the search engines, and it would be terrific to rank # 1 for a phrase like “pizza delivery North Dallas” or “pizza takeout 75205”, I have to remember that ranking in the search engines is not the only way to get you more qualified prospects. Leveraging your social media and e-mail lists with something unique and value-added can bring qualified first-time customers just as much as top search engine rankings. Later on, we can discuss how to blend multiple strategies together so please let me know if you are interested in more on this topic.