Using Instructographics For Online Marketing
When infographics started becoming popular in 2010, online marketers and SEO professionals rushed to take advantage of it. Many indeed enjoyed some significant benefits from it, but many also realized successfully using infographics as a marketing tool is easier said than done. That’s because the most successful infographics are those that deliver a strong message backed by statistics and verifiable data, which it’s not as easy as pie.
Marketing via infographics requires a lot of time and effort, as you’ll have to gather, verify, and collate the necessary data into an attractive and interesting visual narrative. What if you want to take advantage of the ease with which a message is delivered through an infographic, but you don’t really want to go through the entire process of researching, gathering, and collating volumes of data? Well, then, welcome to instructographics!
What are Instructographics?
You already know what an infographic is and you also know what a how-to article or a step-by-step guide is. Well, an instructographic is a how-to article or step-by-step guide presented in an infographic packaging.
They fit well product instructions, do it yourself articles and quick guides, but complex instruction can also be put in a very pleasant visual format.
The beauty of instructographics is that they are not a widespread SEO tactic (yet) – which means it is not perceived as an abusing tactic by search engines. Placing instructographics on an ecommerce website for instance, will add value to product pages (which is what Google always told about content), might generated backlinks and more importantly, it will help users. If the instructographics are really good, then people might share them as well.
Creating an Instructographic
The very first thing you need to do if you want to ensure success for your instructographics is to identify products, articles or guides on your website that are most read and would fit into an instructographic. Make a list of possible topics and then ask yourself these questions:
- Is this a trending topic on social media at the moment? You need to make sure there’s interest in the topic.
- Do you have access to original data and relevant information that’ll help you create an engaging narrative?
- Is there already a good number of infographics/instructographics on the same topic? If so, you’ll have to make sure your approach to the topic is unique.
Once you have a short list of viable topics, you’ll have to come up with a concept. Consider the following to determine if an instructographic is indeed the best mode of delivery for your message and your concept:
- Is your concept simple enough to be presented in an instructographic?
- Is your concept focused enough? Can it tell the story on few thousands pixels image?
- Is your concept visual? Will your audience understand the instructions based on the images alone?
By now your list should be down to the most viable in terms of both topic and concept. The next things to consider are:
Headline – A good title instantly grabs your audience’s attention and tells them what the instructographic is all about.
Narrative – Keep in mind that people these days know what they want and they want it NOW. Your narrative should therefore focus on the key points and do away with anything extraneous.
Design – What visual approach are you going to take? Will you be using diagrams, maps, product photos, or a combination of these visuals? Once you’ve decided on this, you should then choose your color scheme, making sure your graphics are neither too glaring nor too drab.
The tools to use for this are similar to creating infographics and if you’ve never made an infographic, then you’d be glad to know there are tools that help make the task easier. Here are some of them:
Visual.ly – By clicking on the Create button at the top toolbar, you’ll see a selection of templates. This may not be an ideal tool in terms of originality, but it’s definitely a good choice for beginners who are still testing the waters.
Easel.ly – Clicking on “Get Started” will lead you to the editor, which allows you to choose a template. The good thing about this tool is that it contains a wide variety of templates, so you can really get creative, albeit less than original.
Piktochart – You are presented with free templates as soon as you log into Piktochart. You also have the option of paying for an upgrade so you can get more templates. This tool also has a lot of excellent editing features.
Promoting Your Instructographics
No matter how good your instructographics is it’s better to promote it to a bit. Probably instructographics don’t have the catchy potential of infographics, but some may to become viral depending on what and how they are depicted. As with everything else online marketing, successful promotion begins with a plan. Here’s what you need to do:
Set Up a Dedicated Page
Create a separate page on your website for your instructographics. Make sure site visitors won’t have to dig too deep to find this page. Always remember that people are in a hurry, so try to give them what they want in as few clicks as possible.
Make it Easy to Embed
People will be more likely to share your instructographics if you make it easy for them to do so. Make sure the embed code is in HTML and that all the necessary information is included – preview display, link to the full design, sourcing and author attributions, etc.
Make Social Sharing Easy
Make it easy for your users to do so by adding thumbnails in conspicuous areas of the web page where the instructographics is found.
Syndicate and Share
You can also help your instructographics found their way to your audience on your social media pages. Additionally, you could submit it to online directories that promote instructographics, such as Visual Loop and Daily Infographic.
Post the instructographics on your business blog or provide a link to it in support of a blog post. Check out blogs related to your niche and see if you can guest post there. If instructographics aren’t allowed as a guest post, consider using the same strategy (supporting your post with a link to the infographic).
When you submit instructographics on Pinterest, be sure to have them show up on the category pages. To do this, you need to submit only one post every five hours or so. Submitting a post too soon after another will get your instructographics posted only to your boards, thus limiting their reach.
So, the next time you’re at a loss as to how you can boost your SEO efforts, you may want to try your hand at instructographics. As long as you do things right, they can have a positive impact on traffic and, hopefully, on your bottom line.