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Choosing an Infographic Style: How to’s


Infographics are a valuable addition to any content marketing strategy. Eye-catching and intriguing, they draw viewers in and offer an informative alternative to slogging through a full article. If you have instructional knowledge to impart, the how-to infographic may be just what you need.

What Is a How-To Infographic?

Image via Flickr by Infrogmation

How-to infographics are just as the name suggests. These infographics guide readers through a particular process from beginning to end. The concept of the how-to graphic has been around far longer than the internet. Instructional graphics are a time-honored choice for demonstrating the key steps involved in an important task.

In an infographic, how-to instructions are often accompanied by additional pieces of information, such as facts and statistics that might help you dive deeper into the topic at hand. However, the majority of this infographic style focuses on the steps of performing a task. This makes the how-to one of the easiest infographics to design and one of the most valuable pieces to present.

When to Use a How-To

As you’re brainstorming infographic topics, ask yourself if there are any subjects to which you can offer an instructional approach. Perhaps you can educate your buyers on the many ways they can tie your scarves. If you sell plants, you can show buyers how to care for them. A camping supplier can demonstrate how to pitch a tent or pack a cooler. The simplest approach to a how-to comes in the form of an easy step-by-step demonstration of an important task.

If you don’t have any products to demonstrate, you may need to think further outside the box when you’re designing process and how-to infographics. Fortunately, you’ll find a seemingly endless range of opportunities for instructional infographics. Perhaps you’ll teach your readers how to learn faster, organize their home better, or get great abs. You can offer insights on how to land more social media followers, choose typography for your marketing materials, or plan a road trip. If there’s something your followers need to learn to master, a how-to infographic can illuminate the best means for doing it.

The Anatomy of a Great How-To Guide

Once you have your topic, you need to break the task down into actionable steps. The key to any how-to infographic is explaining the subject clearly and concisely so the viewer will get a quick yet thorough understanding of how they can accomplish the task.

How-to infographics are usually very heavy on the graphics and light on text. The appeal of a how-to infographic form is that you don’t have to trudge through much text to get to the heart of the job. You can visually absorb the essential information. In many cases, your viewer will learn how to complete an important task without reading the text at all.

If you’re explaining a hands-on job, make sure your how-to infographic includes clear imagery that eliminates the guesswork from each step. It’s difficult to understand the steps involved in changing your car’s oil if you’ve never slid beneath the vehicle to handle maintenance on your own. Descriptive text does little when the reader is unfamiliar with the car’s parts. This is where the infographic format really shines. Viewers don’t need to know what the oil plug and oil filter look like before reaching your content because the infographic will readily supply the imagery they need.

Building your how-to infographic requires a few simple yet critical steps:

  • Break the task down into easy steps
  • Determine what visualizations are necessary to complete these steps
  • Draft concise pieces of bite-size text to accompany each stage in the process

This will take care of the core of your how-to infographic. Once you’ve drafted this central part of the infographic, you can expand on the topic to add supplementary pieces of information that might enhance the reader’s understanding of the topic. Perhaps you’ll feature a box explaining the different types of oil to help readers select the right product before they begin the oil change. Or you can include statistics about the proper timing for an oil change or the consequences of skipping one.

When your readers reach the end of the infographic, they should have everything they need to know to successfully accomplish the task.

Key Benefits of the How-To Infographic

How-to infographics are a powerful choice because they can make nearly any topic feel accessible and achievable to your audience. These have tangible value. While some infographics are primarily entertaining, these will impart useful information that will help your audience acquire a new skill.

You can use a how-to infographic to teach your viewers how to:

  • Choose the best product for their needs – How to Choose a Tent for Your Camping Trip
  • Make better use of one of your products – How to Get Perfect Flavor from a Smoker
  • Understand the benefits of a service – How to Grow Your Twitter Following
  • Properly care for something like a car, home, or apparel – How to Keep Your Carpets Clean
  • Better care for themselves or their families – How to Manage Stress
  • Accomplish a meaningful goal – How to Plan a Volunteer Vacation
  • Affect change in their home or community – How to Organize a Food Drive

Great Examples of How-To’s at Work

You won’t have to look far to find a wealth of how-to infographics to inspire your next project. The best ones cover an interesting topic, offer some little-known information, and make implementation easy. Consider this infographic on how to properly enjoy coffee. It elaborates on the common task of making coffee by providing details on the optimal brewing temperature, bean selection, and size of the grounds.

This infographic on how to achieve big goals takes a more abstract topic and turns it into an eye-catching visualization. More digestible than a full article, this makes a big task feel more achievable.

If the how-to format fits your needs, you’ll find this is a powerful choice for your infographic that’s big on value for your viewers. If you can explain the how of a job, this is the pick for you.

About the author

Mandi Rogier