1. Solve a burning problem
You need to create an infographic that solves a burning problem. This approach requires you to first think about the problem that you’re trying to solve or the questions you’re trying to answer with your infographic story.
First, ask yourself: What are the problems my audience is facing?
Your next step is to identify or discover topics and stories from those answers.
With infographics, content typically formatted as a how-to guide. As you attempt to provide solutions to burning problems, identify the data or the information you possess that your audience wants or needs, and present it in a way which provides value but also positions you as a leader in the industry.
2. Status Quo
Next, creating content that challenges the status quo is a great way to position you and your company as experts and influencers in a certain area.
Much like the myth-busting principle, creating content that challenges the status quo is sure to cause some controversy and debate. But these types of pieces tend to get the conversation going, thus making more people aware of your brand.
3. The Perspective
The next principle is to reframe the question or alter the perspective. The best way to describe this principle is by looking at an example from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The organization wanted people to understand the importance of malaria vaccinations. Instead of simply presenting the facts and listing the impact – the death toll caused by malaria – the foundation created an infographic about the world’s deadliest animals.
When you see that nearly 1 million people die every year from mosquito bites, and only 10 deaths are caused by shark attacks, the data becomes much more surprising and memorable.
When you are using this principle, first identify the question you are trying to answer, and then approach it from a completely different angle.
4. Find origin stories
For every story you hear, chances are there is an origin story. Our curiosity and determination to find meaning are what make origin stories so popular.
Think about some common beliefs and behaviors people have today. For example, why did kale and quinoa suddenly become such health phenomena? They aren’t new foods, they have existed for a long time, and their health properties have been known as well.
A common way of portraying this principle with infographic is by creating a timeline infographic of an event, specific industry, or person.
5. Find extreme cases
Similar to identifying the origin story is discovering the extreme case. These outliers are often eliminated from surveys because they can heavily influence data and skew results.
One example might be to identify the average time people spend on Facebook. According to Business Insider, the global average is about 20 minutes a day. But for users in the United States, the average time was double. Now that makes the statistic that much more interesting, doesn’t it?
You can see the headline now: U.S. Residents Spend Twice as Much Time on Facebook as the Rest of the World.
Finding the outliers like this can help inspire highly shareable content and infographic ideas.
6. Go outside your immediate field
The next principle is to go outside your immediate field. Shopify offers an example of this. Technically, it’s in the e-commerce business, but it produces content on a range of topics, particularly entrepreneurship.
Shopify knows that many entrepreneurs have a store and sell a product online (the e-commerce tie-in). Shopify sells the dream of entrepreneurship first, and e-commerce is a by-product.
7. Mash up two or more topics
The last principle is the act of mashing up multiple ideas or topics for your infographic. Take two seemingly unrelated concepts and find an element that connects them. This is a particularly good way of combining trending topics with evergreen ideas.
It can be discouraging to spend hours working on an infographic that you think is incredible, only to publish it and find that no one will tweet it. But just like any type of content marketing, there is a lot of competition and only the best get shared and seen.
Don’t just create an infographic for the sake of making it. Create one that follows the principles of great content, and it will be seen.