Have you noticed the Internet has become somewhat noisy? Not in the sense that Pandora and Spotify have staked a claim to an increasing amount of bandwidth at the workplace and home space. Instead, the small-business marketing strategy of using blogs, social media, and companies’ websites has expanded at a startling pace.
This has made it difficult for people who are looking for advice and guidance to recognize the difference between competence and, well, noise. In short, there’s so much content online that consumers and business owners need to be both smart and careful about what they trust, as well as what they contribute.
Content marketing provides small-business owners with multiple avenues that they can pursue to engage customers, prospects, and any other interested party. The reason why content marketing strategies for small businesses has resonated is partly due to the digital revolution that has pushed businesses and consumers alike online, whether it’s on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. However, the core strategy involves brands using content marketing to building trust with customers and prospects by solving their problems.
The extent to which small businesses have embraced content marketing largely depends on the consumer market they’re trying to reach. Yet, there’s a wider variety of avenues business owners can pursue—including photographs posted to company blogs, video testimonials or product demos via social networking sites, and infographics sent out through press releases. In so many words, content marketing is a vehicle to guide and inform your customers through their purchasing journey and relationship with your brand.
One of the most exciting aspects of content marketing is the fact that it has the potential to cut through the clutter to help—and even entertain—potential customers. Even the most complicated industries have the chance to clearly showcase their strengths and offerings with expertly designed social-media and marketing-strategy content, such as infographics, videos, and photos. Here are three ways infographics can help your small-business marketing strategy.
1. Foster an Informed Customer Base. Imagine what runs through consumers’ minds as they consider making their homes more energy efficient. There are a vast number of variables they must consider before installing solar panels, updating their electrical infrastructure, and facilitating the transformation with the existing electric company. Yes, it can get overwhelming, and you can’t blame consumers for a bit of trepidation. However, an infographic like this one can allay their fears and put things in perspective.
This example of content marketing colorfully displays the average expenses required to install all equipment, the benefits of outfitting a home with solar panels, and clearly illustrates how many others have participated in the movement to make homes more environmentally friendly. The infographic is versatile as well, as it can work from either a business-to-business or business-to-consumer perspective. Homeowners can use the infographic to make informed decisions before they invest in a solar-panel system, and solar companies can share the graphic with potential customers as unbiased validation of the benefits of solar.
2. Provide Expert Advice. In a similar vein, the home-design company Gate to Garage integrated an infographic that provides clear and detailed guidance for consumers who might be short on ideas or overwhelmed with options when planning out looks for different rooms. One of the key takeaways is the fact that the language Gate to Garage uses is straightforward and correlates well to the visual elements involved. Infographics work best when any advice is backed up with a specific example, solid data, and perhaps a pithy explanation of why a product, service, or device is effective. In marketing your small business, you should gear infographics and other content toward a specific consumer base that will likely benefit from this quick burst of information, motivating them to seek out the business for their services.
3. Approach with a Well-Formed Strategy. At the same time, you have to be sure to plan well ahead of time if you’re going to invest in infographics as part of a small-business marketing strategy. According to several infographic designers participating in a LinkedIn discussion, they can take up a significant portion of your marketing budget. At the low end of the spectrum, a few company representatives suggested $800 is a bargain price for a single graphic. For middle-of-the-road products, however, small-business owners should expect to pay anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
Joan Barrett, co-owner of the digital public relations firm The Content Factory, explained the average cost for her clients is around $3,000 per item, including a press release and distribution. Whether you choose to work with an agency or with freelancers, the price can vary significantly, as will the quality.
If you’re really tight on funds, though, you might want to try an inexpensive design tool such as Canva, which you can use to create your own infographics.
The purpose of a good infographic is to engage readers. Coincidentally, an infographic from Internet marketing agency Customer Magnetism highlighted the fact that Web users are 30 times more likely to read an expertly designed infographic than a plain-text article. This stems from the fact that people tend to absorb the majority—as much as 90 percent—of information visually.