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Are your infographics gaining the attention they deserve? If not, it may boil down to one issue – the chosen ideas for infographics. In today’s crowded and competitive marketplace, businesses must be deliberate in creating content, including visual content like infographics, that resonate with their target audience.
When it comes to infographics, the most important step is to create an idea that drives traffic and helps you meet your marketing goals. But what does it take to generate great ideas for infographics?
This guide will explore the various infographic tools and options available to you and show you how to generate infographic ideas that are ideal for your specific marketing strategy.
Types of Infographics
Image via Flickr by glethan
In simple terms, an infographic is a visual representation, through the use of charts, graphics, images, and text, of information. Studies show that 90 percent of the information the brain processes is visual. Other studies also reveal that people will remember content that includes graphics at a faster and longer rate than text-only content. It is these revelations that have made infographics such a popular and effective marketing tool today.
The sky is literally the limit when it comes to crafting infographics. In fact, the ability to customize infographics to match your company brand, goals, and mission is one of the greatest benefits this type of visual marketing tool has to offer. It’s important, however, to have a basic understanding of the most popular types of infographics used in the marketplace.
This is one of the most popular types of infographics found on the web today. Whether through the use of a single-chart infographic or a multi-chart infographic, these visuals use charts, such as pie charts and bar graphs, to display valuable and relevant statistics to the reader.
List-form infographics also referred to as informational infographics, typically focus on one very specific subject and display data in a list format. This visual tool usually has fewer images than other types of infographics, so color and font-type become extremely important during design. The primary goal of a list-form infographic is to inform the reader of a particular subject matter.
If you want to give your customers step-by-step directions, a tutorial infographic is an effective tool. For example, if you want to show your customers how easy it is to use your platform, you can create a tutorial, or sometimes referred to as a how-to, infographic taking customers through the buyer’s journey.
A timeline infographic is just what you would expect – a visual depiction of how someone or something, such as a company, trend, product or service has changed through the course of time. This is an ideal marketing tool for companies that want to showcase how much their business, goods or services have advanced over the years.
When sharing regional, national, or global statistics, a geographical infographic is the best option. Through the use of shaded or color-coded maps, you can show how something affects different regions. For example, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) uses geographical infographics to show different pay rates per state.
A process infographic is similar to the tutorial infographic except rather than taking your readers on a single-path journey, the path splits based on different decisions. Visually a process infographic looks like a flowchart that guides customers through the decision-making process.
A comparison infographic is ideal when comparing or contrasting two or more subjects, goods, service plans, product versions, ingredients, places, categories, companies, and more. You can compare things within your company or compare your companies goods or services against your competitors.
This innovative type of infographic is emerging as a popular option for many reasons. It allows readers to interact and dig deeper into the information that interests them the most, which can increase reader engagement.
A hierarchical infographic is used to visual display things on different levels and to show how these levels relate to each other. For example, you can use this type of infographic to show the various management levels within the company structure.
This type of infographic breaks down how something works or how it is made. A common option is to use the human body for the graphic. For example, if a company wanted to explain how arthritic effects the body, they could use an anatomic infographic.
How to Generate Infographic Ideas
Generating ideas for your next infographic series doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require a team effort. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Set Core Mission and Goals
The first step of any successful marketing strategy, including infographic creation, is to set clear goals. Do you want to generate leads? Inform the readers? Portray yourself as a thought leader? Boost sales? Enhance engagement? Announce a new good or service?
Understand Your Target Audience
You also must identify who your target audience is.
If the infographic is for internal purposes, are your employees, board members, managers, or c-suite members the target audience?
If the infographic is for marketing purposes, is it for existing customers, prospective customers, or both?
Understanding the demographics of your specific target audience will help you generate ideas that are relevant to them.
Know Your Industry
The best way to beat your competition is to understand your competition. Identify leading industry trends, highly searched keywords, and relevant industry-specific statistics. Take a look at your competition’s online content and find out what topics are generating the most traffic and engagement.
Gather Company Data
Infographics are great for repurposing old material. Gather a variety of company data, such as case studies, white papers, surveys, annual report, popular posts, sales data and more. Much of this material can be brought back to life and transformed into ideas for infographics.
Once you have gathered all the pertinent information, it is time to brainstorm infographic ideas. Bring your team together and list as many topic ideas as you can. Mind-mapping techniques are extremely effective for brainstorming. Once you have compiled an extensive list, narrow your topics down to just 5 to 10 and focus on these for your next set of infographics.
Examples of Ideas for Infographics
If you are stuck coming up with ideas, here’s a look at several infographic ideas examples that have proven to be very successful.
Using social media trends, such as entertainment, music, fashion, and sports trends as an influence for your infographic is a great way to garner attention. For example, creating an infographic infused with football-themed graphics close the start of football season or around Superbowl time can achieve a lot of traffic.
You also can plan the release of your infographic around certain holidays, festivals, movie release, and other special events, including company-specific events. For example, you can release a buyer’s guide for mom infographic or an infographic providing statistic showing what gifts moms like best close to Mother’s Day.
If you want to know what your customers care about then examine your customer feedback. Find out what your customers are talking about, what they want to learn more about, what problems they want to be solved, and what questions they want to be answered. This can be a great place to generate ideas for your next infographic.
For example, if a large number of customers find it hard to compare your various service plans, and comparison or a process infographic can help them work through the decision-making process.
Infographics are ideal for telling the story of how your company began, how your products have evolved over time or the history of a specific industry. The right type of visual content can build your company brand, by helping customers see the story behind the name.
Introduce New Goods or Services
Infographics are ideal for introducing new or improved goods or services. It allows you to explain to the reader what makes your services different, how your products compare to the competition, or what makes your new and improved product better than the previous version in a visual context that is easy to understand.
Industry-Specific Infographic Ideas
Infographics also can help your company establish itself as a leader in its specific industry. There are several options for generating industry-specific infographic ideas, including:
Consumers love to know what other people think about various goods, services, and topics. Take results from a survey your company conducts or the results of other relevant and reliable industry surveys and turn these results into a dynamic infographic.
Academic and scientific studies also are a go-to source for infographic material and ideas. For example, if you are an interior designer, creating an infographic, based on a scientific study that describes how various colors can affect mood can elevate you as a thought leader in the eyes of the consumer.
Check out government agencies related to your specific industry to see what type of current news, reports, and statistics they have available. Transforming this data into a visual, more user-friendly format, like an infographic, can help to portray your company as a leader in the industry.
In a recent study, 58 percent of respondents stated that they turn to the internet first when looking for solutions to a problem. An internet search beat out contacting a professional, governmental agency, friend or family member. This opens a huge opportunity for your company to help your target audience solve industry-related problems. Various types of infographics, such as an informational, tutorial or process infographic can be a great tool to explain solutions to your customers.
If your company offers unique goods or services, you may need to start by changing the consumers’ perception. Just because people are used to something doesn’t make it the best option. You can create a visual infographic to help explain this shift in perception to your target audience.
Top Online Infographic Resources
There are many great online tools that can help with the infographic creation process.
Numerous online platforms, such as Piktochart, Canva, Easel.ly, and Venngage offer free or low-cost infographic templates. Most of these platforms allow you to customize your infographic by allowing you to select your own design type, colors, fonts, images, and text.
If your company lacks an in-house design team or you want to ensure that your infographic is of professional quality, working with a third-party vendor is recommended. These vendors can handle everything from helping you generate ideas of infographics to designing a custom infographic ready for distribution.
There are several online platforms, such as Flickr Creative Commons and iStock that offer a massive inventory of royalty-free pictures and images that you can use when creating your infographic.
This hidden gem maintains a comprehensive listing of all upcoming holidays (common and uncommon) and events, such as movie releases, sporting events, technology releases, gaming events, government events, popular anniversaries, rocket launches and more. This platform can help you generate ideas and make sure you release your infographics on the right dates.
GeoCommons offers a large inventory of more than 150,000 public and government databases. They also offer mapping analytics software that can make creating geographical infographics quick and easy.
Tips for Creating Memorable Infographics
Keep it Simple
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to create an infographic that is cluttered and confusing. It is best to keep the infographic simple and easy-to-understand. Don’t be afraid to leave some white space and to select only the most relevant information to display.
Your visual content must be in a format that is easy-to-read on both a desktop and a mobile device. Make sure to test your infographic before releasing it to the public to ensure that it reads well and promote an image that matches your company brand.
Relevance and Value
No matter what ideas for infographics you come up with, it must provide real value and be relevant to the customer. Without these two features, you are likely to lose the reader’s attention rather quickly.
Just as with any type of content, the title of your infographic is one of the most important parts. Create a title that will grab the reader’s attention and entice them to want to learn more.