Interactive infographics are undoubtedly the next ‘big thing’. If implemented correctly, they offer an extremely versatile asset for your content marketing efforts.
While these pieces offer a multitude of benefits, one of the most critical for online marketers can be for search engine optimisation link-building campaigns. They can also provide a larger return on investment and as Drivingexperiences.com found, provide coverage on premium news sites, social shares and increased traffic to the website.
The evolution of the link
The facts are these: link acquisition – and the way in which the validity and quality of each link is measured – has evolved dramatically in the last few years. More specifically, Google has now begun to actively clamp down on poor quality activity .
And, with some big brands still reeling from the fallout of its recent penguin algorithm updates, there has never been a greater need for a clean, strong link profile that can only be achieved through top quality, highly shareable content.
There are four key elements that contribute towards a strong backlink and they each relate to interactive graphics.
The only links worth building are relevant ones. Although this might sound obvious, one of the cardinal sins committed by even the largest of agencies and brands is the adoption of the scattergun approach when it comes to link acquisition.
2. High authority
A primary aim to be to increase the ‘domain authority’ of your website. Something that definitely hasn’t changed in recent years is the fact that a site’s links need to come from strong domains if it to stand a chance of doing this.
3. Entirely natural
As far as Google is concerned, links always need to be acquired naturally, but as previously noted, the company has recently gone to great lengths to impose penalties for unnatural activity.
4. Valuable content
Links must be obtained through high quality, valuable content that is of use to an audience.
An interactive infographic on a website can deliver the following:
- An opportunity to present a telling set of stats or facts, or tell a story that will appeal to a target audience or niche – relating back to context.
- Functionality and design that enable you to stand out in a growing crowd of people who pitch content to top-tier media.
- Full social sharing functionality, which is important as shares from real people reflect the quality of content and increased functionality is the most natural way of validating content.
Link-building and online PR
Much of the digital industry is yet to recognise that to fulfil all of the above, brands will inevitably find themselves pitching content to journalists and the very pinnacle of the blogger community. In practical terms, what link-building is now actually doing is online PR and content marketing.
However, the difficult part involves knowing what type of content will make it on to top-tier news sites, which is where cutting-edge ideas come in.
Journalists receive hundreds of emails every single day, all from people fighting to pitch their content. To grab their attention marketers need to:
- Consider that online journalists will more than likely have ‘traffic’ and ‘time on page’ type targets. Therefore a piece on interactive content with stats and facts that creates a strong talking point for readers is likely to pique their interest.
- Offer them something they haven’t seen before, something special that will stand out among the thousands of emails that sit in their inboxes every week. Well-conceived interactive infographics can accomplish this swiftly and effectively.
We discussed how a brand’s links need to be obtained naturally and through high quality, shareable content. What stronger way is there to confirm how natural it is than through social shares from real human beings? And the more shares content receives, the greater a brand’s reach and hopes of organic coverage.
This is precisely why we build social sharing functionality into every single piece of content – and why interactive infographics are ideal for content marketing of this kind.
Longevity and return on investment
If a brand can create great quality content that is extremely digestible and highly shareable, sites will continue to pick it up and re-blog it – meaning a site will acquire many more natural long-term links that will go a long way to strengthen its profile.
This means you get far more return for your spend, and will achieve far more coverage with a single piece of content then you ever could with one guest post on one site.
Interactive pieces enable a brand to tell gripping stories and deliver insightful statistics and facts. More poignantly, it will allow a company to stand out from the growing crowd of content marketers who are looking to secure top-tier news coverage.
Case study – Drivingexperiences.com
A fully interactive map of the world’s most dangerous roads for leading UK driving experience supplier Drivingexperiences.com aimed to generate followed links and coverage in top-tier news and car sites, a good number of social shares, increased traffic to the site and subsequently, to increase the rankings for their main driving experience-related terms.
This interactive map combined official road statistics and anecdotal evidence of 22 dangerous roads with functionality that enabled readers to click around each continent, view the statistics including the ‘fear factor’ and share each road.
The results were impressive. Nearly 300,000 297,000 unique visits were delivered in 14 days, with 35 linking domains including Mashable, Mail Online and Huffington Post and 10.1k social shares. It’s too early to see whether there has been a positive uplift in keyword rankings, but we’d expect to see some positive improvements for their main driving experience-related terms in the coming months.
For more case studies visit jbh.co.uk/infographics
Director of Strategy
B70 The Business Centre