Web Content - What your small business really needs (white papers/infographics)
Updated: Jan 26
Some web marketers strongly believe that turning words into pictures is the best way to hook new customers. Others insist site visitors want the details and tech specs, and require white papers to give you their business. It turns out they are both right: there’s no one way to do web content and there’s no one way to market your wares.
Today, much of our everything is web-based. Whether you’re enhancing your start up, hiring humans, communicating with foreign lands, or creating your own content to share with others, it’s rare to find pens, pencils, and plain old phone calls. Since we put lots of our eggs in the Internet basket, let’s take a look at how those methods have changed to create web content through white papers and infographics.
What is it?
Creating content and marketing your services takes on many forms, with white papers and infographics being two options available in the business arsenal. One is used for more detail and text delivery while the other grabs the hold of those visual learners and viewers with shorter attention spans.
A good white paper can answer particular questions, provide a way to present your data, work to validate your products, and serve as a great way to engage in repurposed blog posts. That ‘truly great white paper is educational and even groundbreaking. It should have your prospects nodding in agreement as they read it. They should come away better informed and believing that you clearly grasp their problem and understand how to fix it’.
Infographics also share information, but they tap into a different learning stream. They give the down-and-dirty details in a new and innovative way, and can easily be shared to harness the attention of a wider audience. With a title, clear structure, and always ending in a call to action, infographics have a way of making it in the social media world where white papers lose their steam. With the ability to catch a targeted audiences’ attention, uptick that brand awareness, and drive high traffic through SEO configuration, infographics hold much weight in the world of content marketing.
What are they used for?
Since we’re no longer blanketing doctor’s offices with pamphlets or using freeway billboards to share our stories, both white papers and infographics take marketing services to new heights. While they both fall under the marketing budget, each has its own purpose in web content. ‘A 2014 study conducted by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs showed that 64% of marketers use white papers’. More the anchor piece in longer campaigns, white papers generate leads, assist in key strategy decisions, set companies apart from one another, and have the ability utilize their recycled pieces in other future content areas. They’re flexible, scaleable, shareable, and available to utilize in various arenas. When used well, they can bring huge rewards.
Infographics, on the other hand, are a well-crafted, creative, informative tool that can drive traffic, cross-divides, and are easily re-shared across various platforms. Since we know that ‘of all your site visitors, the majority of them (65%) learn visually', infographics come in handy. Used as a colorful implement to enhance marketing – between establishing brand awareness, cross-pollinating social media, converting strategic information into easily understandable graphics, educating audiences, offering a space for a call to action, and actively useful in generating leads – the infographic is a strong component of web content and a useful vehicle in a marketer’s toolkit. And, in today’s world of all things gamification, infographics can certainly be more user-friendly, interactive, have viral potential, and move customers from intrigued audience members into full on clients.
Hire an expert or write it yourself?
While both white papers and the infographics often start from data points, statistics, and algorithmic ingenuity, their final product is vastly different and few people will be good at creating both types of content. The good news is that means you can play to your strengths, but still incorporate both tools in your marketing. If writing isn’t your thing, hire someone to put your voice to engaging documents. If graphic design isn't your forte, reach out to those who can showcase your brand and vision in an enticing image. The end result is the piece - or combination of pieces - that boosts your marketing portfolio.