To say I’m annoyed by the downpour of infocrapics would be the biggest understatement of 2012. It seems like everyone and their mother (I wish I were exaggerating) is hopping on the visual bandwagon, and outlook is bleak.
As marketers, we have so much opportunity when it comes to embedding visual content that stands out among the rest. Infographics shouldn’t be your only hope when attempting to catch and keep your reader’s attention, just like jeggings aren’t for everyone that wears jeans. I think that metaphor works…right?!
But I digress. Here are 10 types of embeddable content that won’t send me running for my bat and Geto Boys MP3 collection.
Video and Animations
Video makes it easy to captivate an audience without much work on their part. Most of the population is a visual learner, and video fulfills those needs well. I particularly like videos that tell a story, and this State of the Internet animation is no exception. In March, we wrote a few posts about Video SEO, and recommend you check out Wistia if you’re interested in hosting video on your site vs. a third party like Vimeo or YouTube. Warning: SEO benefits will ensue.
Printables and Downloads
Nothing says “come back and visit more” like freebies and printables. A lot of design and DIY blogs I read in my free time use this strategy often, and it keeps me coming back every time. I particularly like sites that categorize these downloads for easy reference. These pages have the potential to attract a lot of links over time.
Here are some of my other favorite sites that reap the benefits of “freebies”:
Webinars and Podcasts
Webinars and podcasts attract repeat visitors, especially when they feature thought leaders and experts in your niche or community. The best part about these tutorials is the low barrier to entry. Anyone with a web cam or meeting software can record a webinar, and Google+ offers free hangouts for up to 10 people too. Not surprisingly, SEOmoz is getting back into the swing of their awesome Mozinars. Shameless plug: 3 Thunder Cats are hosting Mozinars with SEOmoz in early 2013!
Slide Decks and Presentations
Good news: The hours we spent fiddling with those silly powerpoint presentations will not go to waste! I think this idea really hit home at MozCon last summer when Rand mentioned the power of building up a brand with his presentations (and heard it was mentioned at Pubcon too). Since then, I’ve been interested in the ways we can get the most out of our conference experiences. I even found this super cool post from AJ Kohn about optimizing your Slideshare decks for maximum exposure. Schwing!
Interactive timelines (no, not THAT one!) give your readers the ability to engage with a series of events, rather than boring them with a long lists or meaningless bullet points. Dipity is a cool service that makes embedding these timelines painless. You can even make it a flipbook or map.
Stories and Slideshows
We’ve mentioned Storify before, and find it useful for a variety of reasons. Need to share social media conversations vs. growth in fans and followers? Or maybe you need a way to summarize weeks of event coverage? Perhaps you want to make a collection of resources about a particular topic? Storify is a great (and free!) tool.
eBooks and Whitepapers
eBooks and whitepapers offer premium content that’s worth consuming. There has been some debate about putting it behind a tweet gate or subscription sign-up, but if the content is worthwhile, readers won’t mind “paying” for it. Given the plethora of readers and kindles, eBooks have the potential to make credible authors out of everyday bloggers, and embedding them on your site has attracts links. HubSpot has a lot of awesome eBooks I can’t recommend highly enough.
Mixtapes and Playlists
Okay, so mixtapes might not be totally “visual”, but this is my blog post and I can bend the rules if I want! I’m a big fan of curated playlists, and they keep me on sites for hours at a time. They also fit in with my earlier point about categorizing and link opportunities. (side note: Rocket Shoes mixtapes, you complete me.
Charts and graphics can prove points and make boring statistics stand out. I mean, what’s easier to read: This…
or this? No competition.
Interactive Maps and Infographics
Finally, if you feel creating an infographic is the ONLY way, pretty please find a way to make it interesting. I’ve seen some recent examples that encourage the reader to interact with your data visualization, like this sweet bicycle statistics infographic that’s different for every state. And this Cheetah infographic? MEOW!
I’m also a sucker for interesting maps, which can also be a powerful embed solution for your site. After Sandy started making her way through the east coast, Google made it easy for people to stay in the know with their interactive crisis map.
I hope I’ve shown you the embedable opportunities beyond infographics, and encouraged you to think outside the box. If you’re interested in this topic, check out these stellar posts by Mike Pantoliano and Patrick Winfield who are not strangers to compelling data visualizations. Have you experimented with any of these tactics? Please let me know in the comments below!