3 Reasons to Consider Infographics for Content Marketing

infographics marketing

Infographics. This word seems to be on the tip of every SEO and internet marketer’s tongue. Infographics are images containing visual representations of statistics, demographics, historical time lines, and factoids about a certain topic.

What is it about these colorful data visualizations that make them such compelling pieces of content?

Below we’ll explain the top three reasons to consider infographics as a part of a content marketing strategy. We will also share some helpful links for getting started with infographic design and marketing.

Why Create Infographics?

1. Infographics Are User Friendly

People love to feel informed but have limited attention spans. Infographics are popular with online audiences because they feature memorable, bite-sized pieces of information in a visually stimulating format that’s easy to share. Blog posts, guest blogs, ebooks, and white papers are all integral to a content marketing strategy, yet infographics are more user-friendly and engaging than these other text-based formats.

2. Infographics Have Social Value​​

Which would you rather post to your Facebook wall, a link to a blog post listing statistics about the economy, or a stunning image that animated the same statistics using charts and information design?  Users on networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest will likely find more value and fun in sharing a visual infographic than a plain old blog post. Featuring original infographics on a business social media profile, blog, or website can also create a more positive brand image for that business.

3. Infographics Build Links

Marketers can submit infographics to third party design websites, bookmarking sites, and social networks, with links pointing back to the original infographic URL. While many of the links from third parties such as Pinterest or Flickr will be “no-follow,” populating such sites with an infographic image can help increase referral traffic. Additionally, other blogs and websites may find your infographic on a site like Visual.ly, and then choose to share it with their audiences using embed code or a  “follow” link attribution. While distributing an infographic, marketers can optimize the infographics’ embed code with the links and varied anchor text of their choice.

If you are considering infographics as part of your  online strategy, be sure to partner with a content marketing provider offering infographic research, fact-checking, design and editing. To learn more about marketing with infographics, check out these helpful links.

Links to Infographics Resources

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Brett Jordan

Up To Date Media Terms Need To Be A Part Of Your On-Site Content Strategy

When was the last time you suggested to a client that they update the content on their website?  Did they actually follow through and take your advice?  In this post, I’ll discuss why industry specific, up to date media terms are a good idea to incorporate into on-site content.

Sure, fresh content can influence search rankings.  And that’s important.  However, once visitors get to the site, will they see updated industry terms they hear in the media and want to know more about?  Or will they see content with lots of generalities and terms from years ago?

Here are a few examples of up to date media terms:

Healthcare – single-payer medical insurance, health reform

Auto Sales – hybrids, electric vehicles, 40mpg

Dentistry – same day dentures

Implementing new language is not an attempt to take advantage of “buzz-terms.” Americans genuinely absorb what our mainstream media broadcasts.  Proof?  You can match anything being talked about on television with the top searches on Google Trends.  If a client’s website doesn’t fall into a definite niche, use Google Trends to find current industry language.

If you’ve been trying to get a client to understand this, then show them this article to prove you’re not the only one saying  it’s a smart investment to update their on-site content.

What updated industry terms do you know that your clients would benefit from having on their websites?

photo credit: stevendepolo

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5 Blogging Tips Straight From The Student Experts’ Style Guide

blog writing tipsWhen new writers and editors begin work at Student Experts, reading and absorbing the Style Guide is the first item on their training agenda. This 56 page document is an evolving tome that covers every step of our writing and editing process.

The Style Guide includes resources on SEO, linking to authoritative sources, conducting online research, and editing for grammar and syntax.

If you’re looking for a few blogging best practices, then review five of our Style Guide writing tips below:

1. Craft A Snappy Intro
Like a good lede in a news story, open each blog with a clear and informative introduction. Other than the blog headline, the first two sentences are your best chance to grab the reader’s attention and keep them hooked. Instead of starting a dental blog with “Many people have gum disease,” incorporate a statistic for a more active and engaging first sentence, such as, “More than 80 percent of American adults have a form of gum disease.”

2. Make It Scannable
When searching for information online, most people have a limited attention span. Use lists, bullet points, sub-headlines, and short paragraphs to make your blog scannable and reader-friendly. A series of brief, topical paragraphs or bullet points is more inviting to a reader than a block of uninterrupted text.

3. Create A Clear Structure
To maintain a coherent structure after the blog introduction, tell readers precisely what you’re about to tell them. For example, “Below we’ll review the main benefits of air duct cleaning.” Include an introductory sentence before lists or bullet points, describing the list and why it’s important to readers. Throughout list headings or subheadings, use parallel verb tenses and similar parts of speech. The numbered list in this blog post is an example of parallel construction.

4.  Use Active, Positive Language
Front-load your sentences and stick with active (not passive) constructions. Put the most important information at the beginning of a sentence so that even scanning readers will see and absorb the main points. Keep your subjects and verbs close together and stick with basic verb forms such as infinitives, imperatives, the simple present, simple past, and future tense.  Maintain a positive tone by avoiding words such as don’t, can’t, shouldn’t and not.

5. Form Simple Sentences and Paragraphs
Think Ernest Hemingway and not Marcel Proust. Keep sentences short and focused on one idea. Each new paragraph should focus on a single topic, with the most important point mentioned early in the first sentence of the paragraph. If a reader scans the blog introduction, first sentence of each paragraph, and your conclusion, they should get the point.

Student Experts creates custom content that internet marketing and SEO firms can white-label and deliver to their SMB clients. Stay tuned to our blog for more writing, editing, and content marketing tips. Learn more about our services or set up a free content trial to get a taste of our truly high-quality content!

Photo credit: ItDan

What We Look For in Our Writers

content writingWe are always looking for new writers and editors to join our growing ranks. Working for Student Experts entails crafting blog content, guest posts, web copy, and PPC ad headlines for small and medium-sized business clients.

Here are three traits that we look for in potential content writers during the recruiting process:

1. A Writing Background

The best content writers tend to have backgrounds in English literature, creative writing, linguistics, journalism, philosophy, and other writing-intensive areas of study. When an applicant has excelled throughout years of reading difficult texts and writing grueling papers, he or she will likely be a good fit for a job that involves researching, writing, and thinking critically all day long. As much as we love English and journalism majors, we do hire outside of these areas of study—especially when we see a pre-law or pre-med candidate who has a real way with words.

2. A Marketing Mindset

A content writer’s main function is to create engaging copy that ultimately “sells” or “markets” a business’ products and services. Even though a blog or guest post is not overt advertising copy, it should leave the reader with a positive feeling about the company. When we read writers’ applications, we gravitate toward the candidates who do a wonderful job of marketing themselves. If you can’t convince us of why we should hire you, then how are you going to write blogs that convince customers to work with one of our small business clients?

3. A Confident Voice

A confident writer uses active sentences and incorporates facts and information with gusto! When reading an applicant’s writing sample, we look for red flags such as vague sentences, overuse of a particular structure (like the em dash), or redundancy. Overall, we’re looking for applicants who can write with the utmost clarity and efficiency.

If you think you might be a good fit for one of our open positions, then apply today. We’re always looking for talented wordsmiths to join the Student Experts team.

Photo credit: Photosteve101

Writing For Your Audience: A Simple Exercise

Your readership can flourish or flounder based on how well you “speak” to your audience with online content.  Here’s an exercise to discover how people write within your industry and learn what gets your target audience engaged.Writing For Your Audience

1) Visit three thought leaders’ websites in your niche.  The idea is to find out how thought-leaders in your industry are already connecting with the audience. Make sure the websites you check have consistent blog and social media content with signs of engagement, such as comments, retweets and shares.

2) Spend 10 minutes looking at each author. Review each author’s recent blog posts, tweets, and other social media posts.  Take note of their writing style. Is it informal and conversational or more formal and businesslike? How lengthy are their blog posts?  You should see a pattern developing about the kind of writing that works in your industry.

3) Evaluate your natural writing style. Everyone has a natural tone or voice when they write. Gauge whether your style is  similar to what you’re seeing online in your industry.  If not,  you may want to consider adapting to the tone and style of the conversation.

If you do try this exercise, please share what you learned in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: statelibraryofnsw

Your Clients Do Not Know How To Write

Business Content Creation Isn't Always EasyAs an internet marketer, how often do you find that your clients have the tools to build consistent content but that they rarely do?

If your client’s blog and online content are underwhelming or non-existent, then it’s clear that simply having content creation tools available is not enough.

Why Your Clients Have Content Woes 

Nearly all SMBs lack the ability to write engaging content on a regular basis.  They do not write content because of one or all of the following challenges:

  •   They lack basic knowledge of online marketing
  •   They do not have writing experience
  •   There is no time to take away from operational activities

If your client’s last blog post was from June 1st….2009, or their business Facebook page is dominated by photos of the owner’s dog, yet they’re a dental office, then they need to find a better content solution.

What To Do About Content Creation

There are two ways to handle a client’s content problem:

1) Educate them. At a minimum, you can provide your clients with a blog writing resource that helps them understand the importance of consistent on-site content.  Direct them to free tools to manage social content if they want to create it themselves or do not have the budget to outsource.  Maybe lead a work-shop that educates SMBs on using an editorial calendar for WordPress blogs.  Encouragement and education will prove effective for motivated SMBs.

2) Provide Content. To ensure that your clients maintain a competitive online presence, deliver blogs, articles and other content to your clients as a service offering.  If you don’t have the resources to do this copy writing in-house, then you can outsource content creation to a trusted partner.

Offering your clients a comprehensive online marketing strategy is a good bet.  Regular content in the form of blogs and social updates are an important piece of that strategy.  As an agency, the more diverse your offering is, the more likely everyone involved comes out a winner.

Photo credit: photosteve101