Infographics and Your B2B Brand

4/1/2013

Infographics and Your B2B Brand

Infographics have been quite popular for building link equity in the consumer marketing space over the past few years and you may be wondering how to make them work for your B2B brand. Recently I stumbled upon an excellent consumer example of a statistical infographic that is a perfect representation of what to do and what not to do all at the same time when creating a viral B2B campaign.

To understand the value of creating an infographic you’ll need to first understand what link-building is. There are dozens of factors that search engines look at when deciding which sites are relevant and the order in which to display them. It’s no secret that having links to your site from other quality sites can have a great impact on where you show up in the results. One way to do this is through linkbait, which is the art (yes, I said “art”) of developing sections or content on a site that others might deem link-worthy. Linkbait can also be the development of widgets, articles or pictures and graphics that link back to a site.

At the bottom of this post is a statistical infographic covering our obsession with Facebook which was distributed by a company that operates as a portal of online education. Let’s look at the good and the bad, focusing on the need to present secondary research information that is accurate and relevant.

Please review the graphic below before proceeding.

Let’s start with the good:
The graphic is first and foremost interesting and topical. It’s easy to read and above all it’s pertinent to online users. These numbers show such a complete change in attitude, culture and activity for most online readers. Whether you’ve joined in on this cultural transformation or watched from the outside, this is an intriguing infographic.

Because of the nature of the infographic, the distributor can expect that this will show across thousands of Facebook pages and blogs. Not too shabby.

Now for the not-so-good:
It’s not just enough to create an infographic that is interesting, it should be relevant and accurate. After all, it is a representation of your company’s brand.

Drive it home:
Don’t forget to let the reader know why this information is connected to your organization. In the case of the online education website, the information aligns really well with their audience. However there was an opportunity to tie it all together. For example, what affect does this change in culture have on student activity, college life, studying, etc.? Additionally, if your product or service cannot be tied into the information being presented then it is time to look for new, relevant information.

Accuracy is a very good thing:
I do take issue with the incomplete data and the lack of source information. I’m guessing that an attempt was made to transform some of the statistics in order to fit within the graphic, but in doing so, it actually created potentially incomplete or misleading statements. This had me wondering where the statistics were coming from, and since they have not cited any sources, I don’t know.

Here are a few of the questions/issues I had while reading this infographic.

Issue 1:

The first two sentences in this statement are just not true, but in defense of the creator of this infographic, the ½ billion active users claim comes directly from Facebook. There very well may be 500,000,000 user accounts, but verifiable unique users – absolutely not. So, where is the discrepancy? Even though Facebook frowns on multiple IDs by a single user, they are rampant. Here are a few that I’ve seen or heard about.

  • Users with an account for business contacts as well as an account for personal use.
  • Users who have created accounts in the past, never really used it, then rejoined at a future date.
  • Fake users created for humor reasons or even worse, bullying.
  • Parents who create an account for their new born baby (there’s nothing like a 2 month old quoting Socrates from their crib).
  • Businesses that have created a faux user so that their fan page wouldn’t be linked to one particular user who could leave at any given time.
  • Not so reputable businesses that have created faux users to spam their message. These accounts are normally accompanied by a very attractive user photo.

Before developing a graphic, consider the information. Are you willing to stand behind the data? Be careful not to make unwarranted assumptions on the information without looking into the details. In this example an assumption was made that if there are a ½ billion active users and the world’s population is ~6.7 billion then ~1 in every 13 people on earth is an active Facebook user, which is not supported, and likely false.

Issue 2:

Here is an example of why it is important to provide complete date. After reading the statement directly above I’m sure many of you noticed that there was something missing. There might be 206.2 million internet users in the U.S. And 71.2% of the U.S web audience might be on Facebook. However, the words “that means” are misleading. You would need to know that there are ~147 million Facebook users in the U.S.

A few takeaways:

Link-building: Using quality secondary research to develop infographics is a great way to drive link-building initiatives. If you have an idea for an interesting graphic – build it, distribute it.

Relevancy: Some consumer companies seem to have more leeway here depending upon their brand personality, attributes and audience. However, B2B companies should play within or close to their own space. This makes developing infographics or writing articles more difficult, but it also will go a long way towards building credibility in addition to building links.

Accuracy: When a company puts their brand on an infographic it is a statement that they are a proponent of the information and in return, that information reflects directly on their brand. Going that extra step towards making sure that all of the information is accurate and that the sources are properly quoted is a must.

About the Author

Chris Templeton
Account Manager
Godfrey

With me, it’s all about knowledge--knowing what makes target audiences tick--to foster stronger messaging and connections.

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