Infographics are great communication tools because they deliver information quickly, efficiently, and in an aesthetically pleasing package. A truly great infographic piques the readers’ interest from the jump, tells a strong story, and presents content in a way that makes it easier to consume, synthesize, and ultimately recall.
However, just because you make an infographic doesn’t mean you’re communicating well. Too many marketers think slapping together words and pictures will suffice. Hence, the Internet is littered with lengthy, dull, and poorly designed infographics that contain zero story (but sure do waste a lot of time).
We hate when bad infographics happen to good people, so we’re here to help you. Having created infographics for over a decade, we’ve picked up a few tips and easy tricks that will make your infographic far more engaging, interesting, and effective.
5 Ways to Tell a Stronger Infographic Story
In an effective infographic, every data point, piece of copy, and design element supports the core story. Here’s how to make sure your story stays front and center—and keeps your viewers’ attention along the way.
Step 1: Hook the Reader with an Interesting Title and Subtitles
Titles and subtitles are easy ways to draw the viewer in, as they’re what people tend to scan first. This is a prime opportunity to capture attention, so it’s important to generate interest and stay on story.
Make sure your titling is relevant to the subject and fits the story. Sometimes the titling will come naturally (before you even write the bulk of the story), but other times you’ll need to spend some time on it.
Note: While there are plenty of opportunities to use creativity in your titling, clarity and specificity are always important. A punchy title is key for drawing in viewers, yes, but going overboard with alliteration or puns can be tiring and sometimes totally distracting.
Example: This infographic by Learning House uses simple, intuitive titling to communicate the infographic theme and lead the viewer through the content.
Step 2: Provide Context for the Data
Data is a great storytelling tool, but sometimes you need to do the heavy lifting by highlighting the significance and meaning of the data they’re looking at. Consider who will be reading your infographic, what their knowledge level is, and if additional content can make the data visualization impactful.
Additionally, if you have multiple data visualizations, use copy to tell that story clearly and draw the connection between them. In the case of a single dataset, one explanatory paragraph is typically all you need. (If you’re having trouble finding the story in your data, here are 5 easy ways to uncover it.)
Example: This Newscred infographic effectively calls out and summarizes data findings to communicate the significance of the data.
Step 3: Guide the Reader through in a Logical Hierarchy
Ordering your content in a logical and concise way is essential. As a general rule, an infographic should start with any necessary background information to give context to the content, then move through the story (and/or data) intuitively. We recommend a 2- to 3-sentence introduction to the whole graphic and 1 to 2 sentences per sub-header.
It’s also helpful to structure (and design) content modularly. This helps you organize your thinking (e.g., if this, then this, then this…) and makes it easy to extract single panels to accompany other relevant content (e.g., blogs) or promote on social.
Example: This Upwork infographic uses clear section headers and modular design to guide readers through the hierarchy.
Step 4: Highlight Notable Story Findings/Insights
When your objective is to convey a clear and specific story (rather than a more explorative experience), it’s important to directly call out key takeaways.
While you may have a clearly defined story or message, your tone should remain analytical, not opinionated. (The interjection of opinion makes for a clear bias, which calls into question the integrity of the data being presented. This includes any biases that may come from mentioning a brand or sales messaging in the copy.)
Example: This Digit infographic makes good use of callouts, drawing readers to the most significant content.
Step 5: Provide a Sound Conclusion
Once you’ve presented your story, you want to lead your viewer to a desired conclusion without spelling it out for them.
This can sometimes be a delicate balance between making a strong statement that clinches the narrative for readers and one that allows them to form their own opinions.
Most importantly, it’s important to offer some sort of solution or recommendation that speaks to any challenges or hypotheses introduced in the opening paragraph.
Example: This Lucidworks infographic makes a strong statement, emphasizing collaborative tools as the solution to a CIO’s biggest challenges.
The most impactful editorial infographics have narratives that are focused and direct as they communicate sometimes complex ideas and information. In order to give your infographic the greatest opportunity for success, spend time refining the story you want to tell before you begin, and make sure every piece of copy you write plays an essential role in its unfolding.
7 More Ways to Make Sure Your Infographic is a Success
Remember that everything from copy, to design, to distribution influences whether or not you get eyes on your content. To make sure your infographic gets the traction you want:
- Choose the right format for your story. Here’s how to figure out if an infographic is the right choice.
- Follow best practices for infographic design. Use this creative brief template to keep everyone on the same page, experiment with different infographic design styles, and find how to avoid (and fix) the most common infographic design mistakes.
- Use your visual language. A strong brand identity is crucial to create consistent, cohesive infographics. If you don’t have a visual identity, here’s everything you need to include in one, plus a few tips to incorporate your visual language into your infographics.
- Get inspired by the pros. Check out these 75 examples of beautifully designed infographics.
- Use better tools. Here are 101+ tools, tips, and tricks to make the process easier.
- Optimize it for SEO. Here’s our handy guide if you’re not sure what to do.
- Repurpose your infographics once they’re live. There are plenty of ways to repurpose, reuse, and remix your old content. Learn how to bring yours alive through motion.
- Call in re-enforcements if you need. There’s no shame in getting a little expert help. If you’re on the hunt for an infographic design agency, ask these 10 questions to vet them and try these tips to work together more effectively.
For even more, here’s a roundup of our best tips for every stage of the infographic creation process. And if you need a little help with your infographics, let’s talk it out.
The best infographics on grammar, writing, and productivity
No matter your level of English, it's inevitable that sooner or later you’ll come across a fancy-sounding term derived from Latin. You are virtually guaranteed to run into Latin terms at work or in college. In this infographic, you'll find 52 of the most common Latin abbreviations, words, and phrases.
Let’s face it: Even native and fluent speakers of English often use common phrases the wrong way, or spell them wrong. If you want clear and mistake-free writing, you can learn more about these tricky terms in this infographic.
Is your vocabulary rich and spot-on enough to succeed at work? Here’s your go-to list of all the right things to say at work. Ready to upgrade your business communication? Bookmark or print this infographic and keep it as a handy cheat sheet for managing communications on the job.
Is your vocabulary large enough not to bore your readers to death? Every great writer has a vocabulary rich in variety. This infographic highlights 16 common adjectives along with a list of colorful alternatives to grip your readers and bring them back to life.
How to Write a Sentence [INFOGRAPHIC]
Let’s step back and look at what sentences are and what they do. Then we’ll look at what it takes to write a sentence—one that someone might bother to read, one that does what you want it to do.
Okay, What Makes a Sentence a Sentence?
If anyone asked you, you might define this group of words that stands alone as a grammatical unit by saying that a sentence typically contains at least one subject and a related verb; forms a complete thought; begins with a capital letter; ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point; and has one of these structures: simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex.
You might go on to say that a sentence has one of these purposes:
- to state (declarative sentence)
- to command (imperative sentence)
- to ask (interrogative sentence)
- to exclaim (exclamatory sentence)
Unless the sentence comes from James Joyce or Gertrude Stein, in which case its purpose might be to evoke an aesthetic response or to expand people’s notions of what sentences’ purposes might be.
Wait, does that string of words you just read qualify as a sentence? Technically, no. Continuing your definition, you might point out what a sentence is not: a clause, a phrase, or a sentence fragment.
In all this defining, you would be right—to the extent that a person can be right about such a slippery thing as language. But knowing how to define sentence doesn’t help you write a sentence.
How to Write a Sentence: The Infographic
To write a sentence, one worth reading at least, you have to do a few things that most definitions leave out. This flowchart walks you through how to do it.
You may never use the term simple sentence again.
Now Available As a Poster
Size: 9.25 inches x 3.5 feet (approximately)
Paper: 24# bond
Cost: $29 each + shipping
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Hat tip to Joseph Kalinowski, who designed this infographic, and to Brian Poulsen, who made the arrangements for printing it as a poster. And thanks to the following folks for embedding the infographic on their own sites: Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl), Sue Surdam, and Danielle Villegas (Tech Comm Geek Mom).
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Courtesy of: Writing.Rocks
8 Tips for Writing Infographic Copy – Content Marketing Agency | Content Marketing Services by CopyPress
When it comes to infographics, many marketers focus exclusively on the design. After all, it’s what grabs the viewers’ attention, right?
That’s true, but if you don’t nail the infographic copy, you’ll lose your viewers’ attention fast. The copy provides context and narrative for the reader, effectively tying together the story you’re attempting to tell.
Explore the following eight tips for writing infographic copy that you won’t want to ignore.
Let the Design Guide You
Image via Flickr by Andrew Turner
As I mentioned above, infographics first command attention because of their design. The best copy in the world won’t elevate a poorly designed infographic to a potentially viral sensation. You need a design that fits the topic, audience, and brand.
Once you have the main design elements in place, craft copy that fits its tone and narrative progression. For example, if you’re creating an entertaining infographic with a slightly irreverent tone, you’ll want your copy to include elements of humor.
Additionally, the infographic’s design will tell you how much room you have for copy. Some infographics are spread out, while others are denser.
Start With a Compelling Headline
What is an Infographic? Examples, Templates, Design Tips
- Since infographics exploded onto the graphic design scene about ten years ago, they’ve become a staple for communication in classrooms, in the workplace, and across the web.
- But if you’re new to the world of design, the term infographic might still be foreign to you.
- You might wonder…
- Today, I’ll give you a crash course on infographics and infographic design (along with examples of infographic templates) to answer all of these questions and more!
What is an infographic? Infographics defined:
- According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an infographic (or information graphic) is “a visual representation of information or data”.
- But the meaning of an infographic is something much more specific.
- An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic.
- As in the example below, infographics use striking, engaging visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly.
- The most visually unique, creative infographics are often the most effective, because they grab our attention and don’t let go.
- But it’s crucial to remember that the visuals in an infographic must do more than excite and engage.
They must help us understand and remember the content of the infographic, as seen in this infographic about palm reading from Jing Zhang:
Ready to dive right in and create your first infographic? Check out our ultimate infographic design guide for everything you need to get started.
Why are infographics used?
- Infographics are great for making complex information easy to digest. They can be helpful anytime you want to:
- When you need to give someone a really quick rundown on something that can be hard to explain in words alone, an infographic is a good way to go.
- This means that infographics can be useful in pretty much any industry.
- Marketers use infographics to build brand awareness and boost engagement:
- Consultants use timeline infographics to visualize project timelines and to simplify new/industry-specific topics to their clients:
- GET THIS TIMELINE TEMPLATE
- Governments use infographics to share statistics and census data:
- Educators use infographics to make content more memorable for students:
- And nonprofits use infographics to promote events and raise awareness for their causes:
Need to explain a complex process? Our process infographics can help communicate cumbersome processes in a visual way.
Infographics can be useful whenever you need to communicate information quickly, or any time you want to make an impact with your data or your message.
How do I create an infographic?
- If I’ve convinced you that infographics are a tool you should be using, you’re probably wondering how you can create your own infographic.
- Our step-by-step guide on how to create an infographic is a great resource.
- This video guide will also show you how you can make an infographic in just 5 steps:
- No matter how excited you are to get started making your very first infographic, you shouldn’t jump into the design process without a game plan.
- Instead, start by creating an infographic outline.
Organize your information with an infographic outline
The process of creating an outline will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your content will work in an infographic.
Create an infographic outline from existing content using these 4 steps:
- Determine the key takeaways of your content
- Determine the title, headers, subheaders and facts
- Consider the length of paragraphs and points
- Include notes for the designer
Starting with an outline in this format will ensure that the rest of the design process goes smoothly.
For a more detailed run-down of this process, check out our guide on how to create an infographic outline.
Pick an infographic template
Once you’ve got an outline, you’re ready to pick an infographic template.
7 Steps to Writing Compelling Infographic Copy [Infographic]
Infographics are now a popular and common way of getting across a lot of information in a short amount of time.
The combination of images and text, when used correctly, can educate the reader in all kinds of topics and issues. As infographics are so effective, they're something that you may want to try in your own work.
If this is the case, check out these seven ways you can create compelling and exciting infographic copy.
RELATED: How to Make an Infographic: A Visual Guide for Beginners [Free E-Book]
Why do infographics need copy?
A good infographic leans mostly on the images contained within to get its point across. As this is the case, why is the copy still considered so important? It all has to do with how the information is presented.
Images on their own only tell part of the story. That's why copy needs to be included in the right proportions, in order to add value or more detail to the images being used. It's all about the quality of the text.
To get started, take a look at the infographic below created with Visme or scroll down further to get more in-depth information on how to apply each tip. Also, here's another example of a great infographic.
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Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.
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Steps to Writing Compelling Infographic Copy
There are a few things you need to remember when you're writing copy for your infographic:
1 Write a short and snappy headline
As with most blogs and articles, your headline needs to be short, snappy, and relevant to your infographic.
You probably have seen many infographics that work as listicles, and so have titles such as “6 Items You Should Be Buying At The Supermarket” or “10 Ways You Can Save Money On Your Bills.
” Numbers are often used to draw interest, as the reader can see exactly how much content you're offering them.
Use catchy adjectives too to get the reader's attention. “8 Simple Ways To Improve Your Engine” is a more compelling headline than “8 Ways To Improve Your Engine,” for example. It's also a good idea to add call-to-action words. The headline could then read as “Try These 8 Simple Ways To Improve Your Engine.”