Blog posts certainly have their time and place — after all, here you are, reading this one! But if shorter, snappier infographics are missing from your small business content marketing plan, you are losing out on a key way to grab your audience’s attention.
It’s not really that our attention spans as consumers have gotten shorter; there’s just so much information to wade through these days. And while we all love the occasional deeper dive on a topic, the infographic is a great way to pair quick, helpful content with eye-catching imagery.
So, when do you go graphic?
1. When you have a timeline to share.
Maybe you want to tell the story of your third-generation family-owned farming business. Or maybe you’re a hairstylist who wants to create a timeline of popular hairstyles over the past 10 decades. The linear nature of a timeline lends itself perfectly to visual storytelling, and the possibilities are endless.
To get started, Canva has loads of timeline templates that you can download and edit (for free!); Click here to see their selection.
2. When you want to show how your company is organized.
Bye-bye, paper flow chart! Hellooooo, pretty graphic. Whether you’re a company of dozens of employees — or just a few — customers are curious about the inner workings of a business. Who is on staff, what are their roles, and what outside partnerships and connections do you have that help make you extra good at what you do?
Graphic staff flow charts can highlight your unique expertise by showing that you have surrounded yourself with other skilled and talented folks.
Here’s our very own Zao525 team graphic:
3. When you want to illustrate the process.
For years, a friend of mine wanted to remodel her kitchen, but she had a hard time forcing herself to make the initial phone call. She was intimidated by the process: All those cabinet, countertop and backsplash options, plus the fear of having no use of her kitchen for who-knows-how-long!
When she finally took the leap a few months ago, she discovered it was a totally painless process. A designer on staff helped her sort through her color options in less than an hour, the carpenter designed a few shelving upgrades that she didn’t realize she’d always wanted, and the work itself only took two days. Imagine how much sooner she might have picked up the phone if she realized how easy it was going to be!
Use infographics to illustrate how your service works from that initial phone call to the customer’s full satisfaction.
Here are some examples of “process” infographics by Venngage, which offers more than 100 different infographic templates.
4. When you want to compare.
Use infographics to compare your products, services and amenities to your competitors. Sure, everyone knows what to expect when they go to Starbucks. But do they know that your coffee is organic, that your baked goods are made with local ingredients and that your loyalty program offers all kinds of enticing rewards?
You can also compare the levels of services you offer at different price points, with a goal of illustrating that the more a customer spends with you, the better the deal. For example, if you own a carpet-cleaning business, a customer could pay to have one room cleaned (good deal). They could get a slightly cheaper rate if they have two or three rooms cleaned (better deal). Or they could get ALL the rooms cleaned, plus add the fancy deodorizer (BEST deal). Show what each package offers and how the value increases with the dollars spent.
Another website that offers free infographic and presentation templates, Piktochart, actually uses this very same comparison tactic to show you why you might want to upgrade to a paid package. (But go ahead and play around with it for free first.)
5. When you want to make a list.
Readers LOVE lists. They are short, easy to skim and helpful. And when they’re in infographic form, they feel more fun, and they’re more likely to be shared across social media.
If you own a waterproofing company, you might create a list of the Top Five Tips for Preventing Mold. An electrician could offer a list of Seven Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill This Winter. An interior designer could create a list of Easy, Affordable Ways to Add Pops of Color in Your Home.
And if you ever need a little advice on how infographics (and blogging!) fit into your overall marketing plan, shoot us a note! That’s what we’re here for.