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Outside the infographic: 5 other ways to engage audiences

Digital marketers today are on the fence regarding the use of infographics to engage online audiences. Some companies are beginning to jump off the infographics train in favor of other methods. For other companies, using infographics continues to be their engagement method of choice.

The reigning consensus in marketing circles today, however, is that infographics should be used as part of a wider engagement strategy that also incorporates other effective tools. In other words, infographics definitely have their place and their value, but they can get repetitive if variety isn’t offered.

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Here are five engagement tools you can use to spice up your online content in addition to your use of infographics.

1. E-books or white papers
E-books and whitepapers are still popular content options even in today’s image-centric online world. Like podcasts, ebooks and whitepapers can be downloaded and read using any smart device to maximize “down” time or time that might otherwise be viewed as unproductive.

E-books and whitepapers also appeal to a certain group of prospects who prefer text-based learning because it offers a more in-depth look at a topic (although a large part of custom elearning and creating useful online content involves the proper use of rich images). Plus, there is a higher perceived value in receiving a free e-book or white paper because of the time involved to create this type of resource.

2. Videos

YouTuve has gathered what is arguably the largest potential audience of any social media feed in use today. So as long as the videos you choose to promote are well-produced, easy to hear, visually clear and reasonably short, videos are still perhaps the most easily digestible format to use to deliver new information in corporate training programs as well as online outreach. Prospects can still go back and read a full blog post about the video they just watched if they want more information. But for many today, a short video is enough.

3. Photos
Even before the infographic came along, photos were already a strong winner in the content engagement department. Not only can a good photo tell a full story in a mere inch or so of space, but photos are easy to share and as such are effective tools for building “viral” content via social media platforms. Plus, a photo hyperlinked to a website landing page is 60+ percent more likely to engage customers than just text alone, making photos a must-use in email campaigns, blog posts, social media feeds, landing pages and online ads, among other resources.

4. Podcasts
Podcasts are a fabulous customer engagement tool because they can go anywhere. Prospects can listen to podcasts with nothing more than a smart device and a headset – they make rush hour traffic, long supermarket lines, doctor’s office waits and other dull yet unavoidable tasks feel productive. Best of all, downloaded podcasts can be resumed at any time.

5. Social media feeds
For many time-starved prospects today, a quick scan of social media feeds is about all they need or have time for. Social media platforms also provide a good way to appeal to different target markets (for instance, Google+ attracts a larger-than-usual user group of young, tech-savvy single males while Pinterest is dominated by moms and crafty entrepreneurs). As such, you can target content on each social media feed to engage a unique user base – and setting up and maintaining each feed takes just moments of time daily.

With these five additions to infographics at your disposal, you can widen your online reach and engagement to draw in new prospects and meet their needs.

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