How to Leverage Infographics for B2C Marketing
Business to consumer marketing has certainly expanded its area of domain in recent years. From the traditional print ads, as well as television- and radio-disseminated ones, product advertisements are now all over the Internet as well. Online marketing has become one of the major undertakings of marketing teams for any type of business today.
Online, ads mostly appear on the top and side banners of websites. Businesses would pay website owners for the on-page real estate or give them commissions for each click through or sale made from their websites. Internet users very quickly became “blind” to these ads though, as most consumers are when inundated with too many advertisements at predictable moments and locations. This is why B2C marketers have to keep thinking of new ways to engage consumers long enough to advertise their products.
What Are Infographics?
This is where infographics come in. These are creative, eye-catching, poster-like graphics that are packed with information summarized to fit in a single image. Using visuals, infographics are able to show data that would normally take a paragraph or two to describe in an article. It is compact, it is shareable on social media, and it is a very good replacement for large sections of text. There are actually websites who have taken to writing brief introductions and then let an infographic do the rest of the talking.
Role of Infographics in Marketing
So, if infographics are compact visuals for data, what’s that got to do with B2C marketing? Well, that right there is the exact reason why they can be useful for marketing.
- Eye-catching visuals.
- Compact and comprehensive information.
The combination, if executed wisely, can insinuate in the subconscious of a consumer the importance and value of a product or service—and that he wants it, and will have to go buy it soon.
Visual Techniques for B2C Marketing
The effectiveness of an infographic as a marketing material depends in large part on the presentation or layout. The visual appeal plus the way information is displayed can go a long way to securing a sale.
Tell a tale.
Infographics present statistical data in a more palatable manner. Basically, it delivers information as a story, in a way that’s easier to understand. That’s why data shown in these graphics are more easily retained by viewers than if they read it in a paragraph.
With that in mind, marketers can take advantage of this potential and present their products in such a way that it will remain in the minds of the consumers. One of the best ways to do that is to tell a tale.
Take a look at this example:
Taken from the infographic, “10 Simple Product Ideas That Made Billions”
It’s not exactly promoting a product, but just consider the concept; the simple backdrop of a kitchen immediately brings the consumers into a familiar setting. There’s no need to elaborate because they all have kitchens at home. Then you have the featured products displayed along with the background. They are placed where people normally would in their own kitchens. So you got the cereal box on the counter, a pair of shoes lying on the floor beside the high stool, and a toy any kid could have left lying around on the floor.
These things are presented in such a familiar way that anyone looking at the graphic can easily picture the same items in his or her own home. This presentation may be simple, but it is effective in making consumers remember the products and imagine using/eating them.
Do you know Pinterest? Of course, you do. It’s the third biggest and most widely-used social media platform today. If you think about it, it’s not even as great as Facebook and Twitter for actual social activity yet people are drawn to it because of its visual appeal.
What it does have is a no-nonsense format that makes it obvious that the primary purpose of the site is to share images. The layout is neat and the photos are all front and center.
This is why Pinterest is also one of the top e-commerce engine today. It’s not even a marketplace, but sellers have proven how lucrative it can be to post their products here. A single image with a price tag on the captions section is somehow enough to get the attention of the consumers. According to Gigya, a major social media metrics resource, in 2011 Pinterest owned 41% of ecommerce traffic while only 37% of the overall activity happened at Facebook. We should also put into consideration that Facebook has a very big population to begin with, while Pinterest is relatively new compared to it. That should speak volumes about the effectiveness of the latter as an ecommerce site.
(NOTE: attaching price tags on the upper left corner has been disabled by Pinterest earlier this year. We will have to see if this change will affect the leading streak of the site in terms ecommerce revenue)
Marketers can take a leaf out of Pinterest’s book and copy their format by presenting their products in the same manner.
Simple, clean, and straightforward. Consumers will immediately understand what they looking at. There are no superfluous descriptions, none of the usual marketing filter. They will immediately pay attention to the products and be able to decide if they want it or not.
So for the infographic, marketers and graphic designers can put the brand name on top and then show the products offered. A “Sale” sign on top won’t hurt too. No other text would be needed then because everyone understands what it means. Just take a look at the posters created by shopping centers and department stores.
Consumers think of Pinterest as a source of shopping inspiration. They may not buy right away and click on the buy links, but they will be thinking of buying the product later when they see it again in their local department stores.
Present valuable information.
Let’s say you don’t want to do blatant selling. Your marketers want a more subtle approach or even initiate social responsibility.
What you can do is create an informative infographic about an issue or concern that can be related to your product, business, supported charity, etc. Aim for something that will pique the genuine interest of people, earn their sympathy, gain their support, and basically make them react strongly to the information you present.
If an infographic accomplishes that, there’s a good chance people will share the image in their own blogs and on social media. That would surely keep the gears running for any online marketing campaign.
Take a look at the examples below:
This infographic about how a large population in the world still doesn’t have access to clean, drinking water is a good example of an informative infographic that will make people react, or at least think about how lucky they are if they have this privilege. A company manufacturing bottled water or a government water supply service can do something like this to support their commitment to providing clean water to their customers.
Here’s another one:
This is an infographic about the physical stresses corporate employees experience after spending hours and hours, day after day, week after week inside the office. It shows simple exercises that employees can do to ease physical pains and stiffness.
Then on the bottom left, there is a desk decorated with products that are recommended to help relieve office stress. There’s a bowl of candy, crackers, cereal, and oatmeal packs.
If you were to see a specific brand of candy, crackers, cereal or oatmeal in there, you wouldn’t think that the infographic is a blatant marketing ploy, wouldn’t you? You’d seriously consider these product suggestions, especially since their nutritional values are also included in the infographic. These products are supposedly examples of snacks recommended by a reputable health agency for office workers.
Now this infographic shows the sales figures for a health bar. This is a charity effort that aims to deliver food to children in the poorest places in the world, places where food is very scarce and children starve every day. This is exactly the kind of thing that will elicit a strong reaction from the public and get them to actually do something—even buy a food product to donate to the needy.
Other Marketing Techniques for Infographics
After giving you tips on how to present data and what types of content to show in the infographics, let’s proceed with the strategies outside of the visual aspect.
Add buy links.
The point of these infographics is to encourage consumers to purchase the product. Hence, it only makes sense to provide buy links along with the infographics. There are several options to go for:
- Graphic artists can put clickable links right on the images.
- When writing an introductory paragraph for the infographic, plainly say where readers can find more information about the featured products and provide the URL or hyperlink and anchor text.
- Instead of writing a lengthy caption, simply put the source at the bottom of the graphic. This should be a live text that will bring them directly to your website or buy now page, depending on the contents and direction of the infographic.
By providing the buy links, marketers can cater to impulse buyers who tend to change their minds about buying the more time they spend thinking about it.
Make the infographics shareable on social media.
Wherever you first publish your infographics, make sure they come with social sharing buttons, especially for Facebook and Twitter, or any other social media platform where you many of your target market can be found.
Aside from securing sharing buttons, also keep in check the size of your infographics. Too big and they become the less appealing; too short and it won’t be interesting enough. Might as well come up with a condensed version of the graphic and make it a clickable link. Anyone who wants to see the full image would have to click it and go to the main website. That can drive traffic to your website too, on top of the marketing advantage.
You can experiment and come up with different ways to present a product. Simply monitor the public’s response, evaluate what works better, and apply that to your future infographics. Don’t hesitate to come up with new things too. What’s effective today may no longer have the same positive response six months or so later. Remember that online consumers are fickle. They are usually attracted to what’s new; when those things start to get old, they become more or less low-key in their eyes.