Infographics are an incredibly popular online resource. According to HubSpot, they are the fourth most popular type of content used by marketers.
The popularity of infographics comes from several factors:
- They’re visual and textual, making them a powerful vehicle for education.
- They’re easy to share and simple to skim, so they’re perfect for our instant-gratification digital world.
If you haven’t used an infographic in your marketing before, now is the perfect time to get started.
Today, we’re breaking down how to write great content for your infographics, so you can start developing custom visuals your readers will love to share.
What Is an Infographic?
Infographics are a visually appealing way to share interesting information. While their use has grown exponentially in recent years, it might surprise you to learn that infographics have been in use for hundreds of years. One of the earliest infographics appeared in 1626 and illustrated the movement of the sun.
Today, infographics are used as a marketing resource to generate leads and build site credibility with backlinks.
Consider this example below from a recent email we sent about Express Writers University
While it might seem like an infographic is just an alternative way to deliver information, imagine how this information would look if it were simple text. It would be dense and wordy, and people might skip reading it. The addition of images makes the information much more effective and accessible.
With these statistics, it just makes sense to add infographics as a resource in your content marketing strategy.
Types of Infographics
As infographics have increased in popularity, so has their versatility. With a graphic layout, there are near-infinite ways to present your information.
Here are some of the most popular types of infographics:
- Timeline: A timeline infographic shares key moments from your subject in chronological order.
- List: This infographic shares important points about your topic. You should include some context to tie each point together.
- Flowchart: In a flowchart infographic, each point leads directly to the next. These charts often use arrows or other types of images to show the flow of information.
- Mixed Chart: A mixed chart infographic includes multiple types of charts like pie charts, bar graphs, and density maps. Your copy should concisely describe the data for each chart.
- How-To: This type of infographic explains a process in detail with as few words as possible.
- Hierarchical: A hierarchical infographic stacks information into defined categories. The information is commonly presented in a pyramid shape. If you use this type of infographic, make sure you organize your information correctly. 10 Steps to Writing Winning Content for Your InfographicsEven if you’re not a visual design expert, you can still write attention-grabbing text for your infographics. Here’s how:
- Strike a Balance Between Text and Visuals
There are two parts to an infographic – data (information) and design (graphics). Both are important, so striking a balance between the two is imperative. If you have excellent text and boring design, or vice versa, your infographic won’t work.
Creating a cohesive experience gives your infographic the chance to perform as well as possible, so make sure your visuals and text work together.
- Keep It Concise
While infographics can be long, the independent elements within them don’t offer a lot of room for text. As such, you need to be careful with your choice of language. Writing copy for Infographics is a great way to learn to say complicated things in simple terms. Aim for small sections of copy that are no more than 100 words. Anything longer and your readers might lose interest.
Be sure all the language you choose supports your main points and helps readers understand the “meat” of your infographic.
Improving your concision is easier said than done. Here are two ways you can try eliminating unnecessary words:
- Rewrite your copy: Doing your work twice might seem unappealing but working through it again can offer impressive results. Once you finish your initial copy, walk away and come back later. Wait at least two hours or even overnight to give yourself a fresh perspective. You will likely notice small errors and make improvements in the clarity.
- Check each sentence individually: Every sentence in an infographic carries a lot of weight. Read each sentence separately and look for any words you can eliminate without affecting the meaning. These will be fluff words, like ‘really,’ ‘in order to,’ ‘very,’ and ‘that.’
- Create a Narrative Arc
Although an infographic might just look like random bits of information stuck together in a graphic, it’s anything but. In fact, all the best infographics have a narrative arc that helps the reader make their way through the information. This narrative arc may rely on sections, a series of chronological events, or a storyline. As you write, keep this narrative arc in mind.
- Start with the Data
When creating an infographic, don’t overwhelm yourself with design and text at the same time. Instead, start by gathering data. Look for high-quality, reputable sources, and compile a high-quality list of statistics, attention-grabbing facts, and pointers.
Again, you don’t have much room for text, so be sure each piece of information you include is impactful and meaningful. Remember: your data is the foundation of your infographic. Build this strong foundation and your readers will love it. If it’s shaky and weak, the infographic won’t get the attention you wanted.
- Look at Examples
If you’re new to infographics, it will help to look at examples of great content to get an idea of what you should be doing. For the best results, look at infographics from both your industry and outside of it. The more examples you gather, the better your understanding will be of what it takes to create a share-worthy infographic.
- Keep It Relevant
Whatever topic you choose for your infographic, make sure it is relevant to your business and your customers.
If you continually produce infographics that are timely, informative, and relevant to your clients, they’ll start to regard you as an expert resource. They’ll also begin passing your valuable content along to others. This is one of the biggest benefits of infographics – they encourage sharing and lead to more traffic to your site.
Once you know what kind of content you want to put out there, it’s time to search for ideas. This research stage can be a significant portion of the infographic creation process. However, you cannot skip it if you want your infographic to be successful.
Searching for trending industry topics can be a great place to start. What are your customers and prospects currently talking about or interested in? What issues are likely to become popular soon?
Here are a few ways you can find this information:
- Use tools like BuzzSumo and KWFinder to find trending keywords and topics
- Do a Google search to look for keywords based on your topic
- Look through the Design Portfolio on Visual.ly to view existing infographics in your area of interest
- Use Quora, Digg, or Reddit to discover the most popular topics and stories that are being shared online
- Keep It Cohesive
The best infographics look and feel consistent. While the look will depend largely on your designer, the feel comes down to the tone of the copy. Keep the language cohesive and predictable, rather than changing it from section to section.
If you start with a humorous tone, continue that tone throughout. This will help your readers understand what’s next and learn to recognize your infographics across the web.
- Use Emotion
Great content must also be compelling and trigger viewers’ emotions. Choose a data set for your infographic that will create an emotional connection with your audience. This will help readers relate to your content.
You can also add sentiment with stronger words. Try replacing weak verbs with stronger verbs in addition to removing adverbs (words that end with ‘ly’). For example, instead of “grow rapidly,” replace it with “proliferate.” Not only does it use fewer words, but it conveys how rapidly something can expand.
Adding emotive words gives your readers something to be curious about and sparks conversation. This is what leads to content sharing, linking, and brand awareness.
- Use Power Words
Infographics and headlines have a lot in common. Both headlines and infographics are short, impactful, and attention-grabbing. Optimizing both accordingly can make a significant difference. One of the best ways to improve your infographic copy is to use power words throughout.
Power words, which are short, punchy, and impactful, will help readers connect with your infographics. They’ll also make your infographics easier for people to share and interact with.
Remember: while some words sell, others make people feel bored and uninspired. Make sure your words fall in the first category.
Here is a quick list of some impactful power words:
- Format the Infographic Clearly
The format can play a considerable role in the success of your infographic. Poorly formatted information will quickly confuse and lose your readers. The better formatted your infographic copy, the easier it will be for your designer to create an eye-catching image that follows the narrative arc you created.
Consider this basic format when creating your first infographic:
- Fact 1
- Fact 2
- Fact 3
- Fact 1
- Fact 2
- Fact 3
[Repeat subheadings and bulleted facts as often as needed to flesh out your infographic.]
Including a list of sources for the information you share in your infographic is essential. Since you can’t incorporate live links in a graphic image, we recommend using a bit.ly link so your readers can easily type in the source URL.
Additional Infographic Tips
Those ten tips can help you build a strong foundation for a great infographic. Here are a few additional tips to take your infographic to the next level:
Consider Outsourcing Content
Infographics are brief and to the point, so you’d think they’d be a breeze to write. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Infographics take time and effort to develop and create. If you’ve discovered this yourself and struggle to produce an infographic, consider outsourcing to an expert copywriter who can devote the necessary time to research and produce your content.
Give the copywriter your topic selection and a basic outline or project brief to let them know your expectations.
Use a Knockout Headline and Subheadings
Headlines should be short, direct, and filled with keywords. More importantly, they should grab your readers’ attention immediately. Good headlines always have at least one strong word that adds an emotional hook. The goal is to create compelling headlines that pose intriguing questions or promise to share useful information.
Addressing the viewer directly in your headline through the use of the second person and numbers are other ways to draw attention. In addition to your main headline, use subheadings to highlight the sections of your infographic. Include relevant keywords and power words throughout your subheadings for greater impact.
Your headline offers a glimpse of what your infographic has to offer and why someone should read it. For example, if your infographic is about how to improve conversion rates on a website, your headline could be, “10 Ways You Can Increase Conversions with Paid Search.”
To really make your headlines shine, consider using something like the headline analyzer tool from CoSchedule.
Branding is important when creating an infographic, but too much will kill it. Of course, you want to brand your infographic to let viewers know your company created it, but doing it subtly is best. Remember: an infographic isn’t explicitly promotional material.
Don’t be tempted to stuff your content with mentions of your brand name or product/service names. If you do, you’ll come off as “sales,” which is a big turnoff for viewers. If you have engaging, exciting content, people will be interested in learning more, so you don’t have to sell yourself constantly.
With an emphasis on conciseness and clarity, you want to remove repetition in your infographic copy. Spotting repeated words may be easy for you, but you may not recognize redundancy when the words aren’t exactly the same. Use grammar-checking tools like Grammarly to filter out repetition.
Consider Negative Space
While this is more of a design element, be aware while writing the copy. Every infographic should have some negative space. This is the empty space around the words and other visual elements.
As you write each section, try imagining where the blank spaces will be. Consider where you should put line breaks and what font size would work well to leave the appropriate amount of space.
Use Accurate Information
Most of the value of an infographic is the information it contains. In fact, this is an infographic’s purpose. You want to develop content that people can use, so it must be accurate. Whether you’re supplying the data or gathering facts from another source, you need to do some serious fact-checking.
Check your data and check it again. Use only trustworthy sources and cross-reference them to verify facts. Including incorrect facts and statistics in your infographic makes your brand seem lazy and negates all the work you put in.
Don’t forget to include a list of sources at the bottom of the infographic to establish credibility. Additionally, going back to periodically update your existing infographics will ensure any statistics you included are still relevant and correct.
In addition to your data, you want grammatically correct sentences. With such a small amount of copy, any errors are loud and obvious. Proofread your copy multiple times, then check it again after it has been transformed into the visual infographic. There may be times when the designer accidentally added a mistake.
End With a Bang
Wrap up your infographic the same way you started it – with impact! Whether it’s a question or statement, end with something thought-provoking and exciting to the reader.
Bottom Line: More Compelling Infographics Start Here
A great infographic can substantially boost your traffic and organic web search rankings. For your infographic to succeed, you’ll need to choose an idea that matters to your audience – then make sure the actual content is informative, compelling, and concise. Follow this with a unique design and distribution strategy, and you’ll have a winner on your hands.
If the creation of content to match your infographic seems like more than your company can handle, Express Writers can help.
Ready to earn the recognition your brand needs with professional & customized content to match your infographic? Contact Express Writers today.