Infographics on Steroids, A/Z Testing, and Content Marketing

The modern generation gave up many well-tested rudimentary staples of social interaction. Letter-writing has gone by the wayside. We entrust the expression of care and intention to short, informal messages sent on the go or from lying in bed. In business, we welcome potential new partners with the help of very brief landing pages. It’s difficult to say where primitivism ends and where the effectiveness of the call-to-actions begins.

Fashion pendulums have long suspensions, but the decade-long trend of vulgarization is coming to an end — finally. One of the signs of tastes changing is that infographics are used more and more. Infographics are good for use in native marketing — one of the few rescuers from ad blockers.

I want to talk to you today about a sort of “infographics on steroids”, a genre of industry reports.

Here’s an example.

At first glance, you might not feel it applicable to your company; it might not seem to possess the data and opinions anyone would be interested in, nor information you would be ready to share.

Here are two arguments for you to consider:

  1. Chances are, your company is a humble hero of your industry and everybody deserves to see your reports. The management of medium-sized companies often unreasonably, implicitly believes that they have no place on the information podium in their field, where in fact, their opinion is very valuable. Free publicity is guaranteed.
  2. Even with incomplete and imperfect data, you can use your report as a unique, useful type of a landing page. Data and conclusions from a brief industry report can be logically divided into blocks, between which micro-questionnaires feel organic. This may turn the content into a graph of reading scenarios (interactive articles); in turn, this provides the base for valuable analysis that is complementary to A/B testing (I call it A/Z testing).

You Are a Humble Hero

People want to listen to realistically transferable experience by “uncomplicated” businessmen, not to the Big Four

The attention of professionals is disproportionately focused on giant companies simply because they are on everyone’s lips (that is, known among unprofessionals). The media supports the bias by regularly telling us about the slightest changes in management and even personal lives of the management of multi-billion-dollar companies; however, the experience of giants is unique and non-transferable, while “simple guys” can really be taken as an example by many.

Formal industry studies and reports are often co-branded with the largest industry players and co-authored with the largest consulting firms. I’ve read many such reports, and I’m not impressed.

Parallel to the world of giants basking in rays of glory, there’s a world of unknown companies who produce technologically complex products, without which our life is impossible. Obscurity of medium (but firmly standing on their feet) companies is not a consequence of inattention to PR, but a conscious choice that helps to focus on the main business. In their case, “to do, not to say” is not just a motto.

Directors of such companies often lead them for a very long time, not being tempted to the global-nomad type of career. Despite the impression that many such companies are archaic, authoritarian, provincial, and resisting fashionable trends, one finds a combination of excellent management and a great strategy there, not in large corporations.

The opinion of such companies is very important. For example, the majority export success of German-speaking countries is the result of the activity of such medium-sized firms we’ve never heard of. There are many global leaders in their fields among them.

A/Z Testing

When you direct the advertising traffic to simple landing pages, you normally apply the method of “sequential wandering” through the parameter map, called A/B testing. It can be imagined as a journey of blind people on a hilly desert: they do not see the whole picture, but after each march they can measure whether they ascended or descended. But if you direct advertising traffic to a more complex, interactive content — such as an industry report — you can get additional hints from knowledgeable people. This is not to say you would get a helicopter view; however, instead of a sequential walk you can apply the bisection method.

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