Global media consumption has sky-rocketed during the last three months and people, largely confined to their homes, are spending more time engaging with content marketing materials published by brands.
One specific format that has seen a notable spike since the start of spring is infographics. Research shows that the amount of users entertaining search queries for infographics soared 50% in March 2020 compared to a year earlier.
Infographics are popular right now as they bring together much-needed facts, data, tips and advice within an easily digestible and eye-catching layout. Consumers are able to scan these tailored images quickly to get something of value and can use the information within as a springboard for more in-depth research.
For brands with limited budgets, infographics serve as visual output at a time when videos and professional photography may be too time and resource-intensive. Infographics are also versatile in that they can be published alone or featured within a blog or an article.
It is easy to share infographics across social media profiles with a few relevant hashtags and you could then explore some of the insights or tips featured within them in greater detail with a blog series afterwards. Infographics can be the starting point for so much great content and they have incredible value in themselves.
With so many potential benefits, you will be pleased to hear that all you need for a great infographic is a single, great idea.
Solve a problem
It bears repeating that content marketing is all about addressing customer pain points and issues. The first idea for creating an infographic is solving a problem that a consumer is struggling with. Whether you market to B2C or B2B, there should always be something that is concerning consumers.
These issues often drive their search intent. Being able to satiate their need to solve an issue is an excellent way to strengthen customer relationships. You will also benefit when they signal boost your infographic by sharing it with colleagues, followers and friends on social media.
To identify the problems that your audience may be facing, try to take their viewpoint and jot down a few questions they would ask. You can use these answers to come up with a range of topics, stories and keywords that are relevant to addressing any prevalent problems.
An infographic works here as it can offer solutions to problems in a concise and engaging way. You could simply list five or six tips or pieces of advice below an attractive, on-brand illustration. ‘How to’ guides are also a great format for infographics.
With the recent switch to homeworking, a possible trending topic to pursue would be one that offers a simple roadmap to effective remote staff management. All you need to do is find a problem and present information in a way that provides value.
Start a debate
Another way to use infographics is to upset the status quo and position yourself as a thought leader. You can do this by challenging certain long-held principles or viewpoints within your industry or niche. Highlighting the benefits of a new practice over something more traditional will go against the grain, but it can make you more influential, a driver for change.
Infographics that explore something other than typical assumptions already have a hook that will keep the reader engaged, but you can use illustrations, facts and graphics to really hammer home the message. More than anything, these infographics will start a conversation that will increase brand awareness.
Other potential infographic ideas that are outside the box include discovering and exploring extreme cases or outliers and covering ideas that are not directly linked to your immediate field or industry.
Cover two or more topics
If you want to be more creative, finding a link between two different topics and exploring how they are connected is a great way to break out from standard and often underwhelming ideas. This is the opposite of playing it safe.
You could, for example, look at trending topics and mash them together with an area of your own expertise. If you are a software company with language learning capabilities, you can explore how this relates to trending news or popular culture.
One brand even used Harry Potter and its different houses as a basis for comparison with its own internal company culture. While these ideas are more outlandish, they do have the potential to go viral if the infographic really hits the mark.
Origin stories and timelines can track the progress of a specific topic or event over time to inform the reader. Infographics make history fun.
To find an origin story related to your business, think about the beliefs and behaviours that are common across your target audience. Maybe it is equality or progress or something that can be encapsulated through a particular person or event.
Creating a timeline of a person’s life or how an event or a day has evolved over time will really resonate with your audience if a topic is close to their hearts. Infographics also make the content that bit more engaging as you will be able to visualise it and use short bursts of copy.
Alter the perspective
Similar to changing the status quo, an infographic that looks to alter the perspective will visualise things and present facts in a way that is a bit different from the norm. You will attempt to approach a problem from a different angle.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did this for its marketing campaign about malaria vaccinations. Rather than simply listing reasons why they are important, they instead created an infographic that used visuals to show the world’s deadliest animals by the number of people they kill per year. While sharks kill just 10, mosquitos lead to 725,000 deaths.
Challenging a consumer’s expectations will make an infographic more memorable and in turn prompt sharing across social media channels. This drives customer engagement and improves your search engine optimisation efforts and traffic to your webpages. Just one simple infographic idea can pay dividends.