Cent is a regular contributor to Social Media Today and Business2Community; he loves the laptop lifestyle and escaping the "9 to 5" through his blog SocialMediaMarketo. Because he has a passion for creating and marketing visually stunning content like infographics, we asked Cent to educate us about these areas and tell us what makes an effective and popular infographic.
Tell us a bit about your background. Why are you so passionate about blogging and online marketing?
Blogging and online marketing have opened my eyes to a completely different world where the possibilities are limitless. Blogging has helped me escape the "9 to 5" traditional office job. I live and work online. I love the freedom and creativity digital marketing allows me. I can work from anywhere in the world and be my own boss.
What are the traits and qualities of a good infographic?
A good infographic has a well-researched topic and pointers. It should convey lessons in a story that flows. Ideally, you want a unique story - a story that no one dares to touch. A good infographic flows from start to finish, has a compelling story, and is well designed. Most people are visual creatures, and our brains consume visual content faster than plain text content.
What are some of the biggest mistakes or issues that you see in many of the infographics found on the web today?
• Not well researched
• Copied content
• Poor design
• No compelling story
• Looks like a product catalog
• Not well-marketed online
Is there any way to use analytics to gauge the effectiveness of a particular infographic?
Yes, there are 2 quick metrics that you can use to gauge the effectiveness of an infographic.
i) The number of social shares the infographic has received - you can use a tool like BuzzSumo to see the number of social shares to any web page - and in this case, to the page where the infographic was published.
ii) The number of quality backlinks to the infographic - you can use any link analysis tool like Ahrefs to see the number of backlinks to the page where the infographic was originally published. You may want to filter the results further by do-follow links, no-follow links, or Domain Authority/Rating of the site to see only quality links based on your criteria.
Other than infographics, what types of visual content do you like to view when you are web surfing?
When I surf the web, I like to view videos and visual data. I always look for better ways of presenting information.
For someone who is about to start a blog, what things are important to consider when it comes to the effectiveness of its online marketability?
• Pick a strong URL or domain name - something short and catchy
• Learn and implement SEO basics
• Pick up content marketing lessons and habits
• Learn to use social media to your advantage
• Select a topic that you are passionate about and make sure it has an online market (i.e., a good number of Google searches for your topic, or several products and services available for your chosen topic)
• Learn the art of creating awesome content and find a way to stand out (for example, use visual content and infographics). You can also create podcasts or videos to stand out.
• Build a mailing list and collect email addresses for future products, services, and clients.
Name one thing that bloggers can do today to help improve the visibility and/or readability of their blog posts.
I'll give you two:
Go out of your comfort zone - if you are producing only text-based content, why not try creating visual content like infographics or videos? You are tapping into an audience that likes a different form of content. You may also have more avenues to promote your new form of content; for example, if you are producing video content, you can use YouTube and Vimeo to promote it.
Use a content marketing checklist - a checklist will keep you on track. You can also add new items to the content marketing checklist and remove any source that is not working for you.
How will online marketing and blogging evolve over the next five to ten years?
The blogosphere is already very crowded, and it is not going to thin out. Getting noticed as a new blogger is almost impossible unless you do something different to stand out. Text content is still useful, but unless the user in engaged through visual, audio, or video content, your online marketing efforts won't produce a great return on investment.
There will definitely be an explosion of multimedia content. I hope to see Google and other search engines recognize quality images like infographics and rank them equivalent to text content (or even higher). After all, they tend to have a better user experience and more engagement.
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