By Barry Feldman published March 6, 2015

How to Get Infographic Ideas to Spring Forth

feldman-infographic-ideas-coverGreat blog posts rock. So do top-notch videos, eBooks, and a healthy list of other content types. What about infographics? They don’t just rock; they roll.

You see, when you knock one out of the park with other forms of content you’re apt to earn links, generate a heap of social media shares, and perhaps inspire an interesting commentary stream. But something unique happens with a killer infographic …

It gets reposted. A lot. On all kinds of sites. And your brand goes with it, rolling across the social web like tumbleweed. Of course, it’s gratifying, but it’s also great for extending the reach of your brand and its message.

3 great places for infographic ideas

I wrote this post to help you brainstorm ideas for effective infographics. Here are some smart starting points:

  • Great big list of infographic ideas –The infographic I created near the end of this post features 25 concepts and themes that might work for your next infographic. It’s not going to give you your topic, but you’re bound to find a style to shake ideas loose.
  • Other infographics – It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that many of the 25 ideas I visualized for you came from a deep dive into, yes, infographics. I went surfing on sites like Visual.ly and Pinterest where I knew I’d find them. I did some image searches. I recommend you do the same. Look at the infographics ranking high in your niche. Obviously, tuning into your market’s blogs gives you writing ideas. The same goes for infographics.
  • SlideShare – Some SlideShare content will be infographics, but SlideShare’s sweet spot is slide presentations. And the millions of concepts you’ll discover are bound to make creative sparks fly. Infographics were the inspiration for some of the decks. Now flip that equation.

Dig up buried treasures

If you’ve been creating content for a while, you may be sitting on a treasure trove of winning infographics ideas.

Examine your most popular posts. Look at your page views and share numbers. Chances are some of your popular blog posts can be remade as infographics. List posts are particularly good candidates.

Mine your site. Does your site feature an FAQ? Perhaps you dedicate pages to detailing effective processes. Case studies could work. Have you published any research? How might you present that content in the ultra-friendly show-and-tell style of an infographic?

Open your outbox. The emails you and your colleagues send in response to customers’ questions may be a perfect source for infographics ideas.

Revisit presentations. There’s a good chance the slide decks your sales team uses would make for strong infographics. If you haven’t considered the content from your webinars, it’s likely to work, too.

Conduct brainstorm sessions

I want to also encourage you to try some brainstorming sessions. Try techniques such as the following:

  • Word storm – Choose a meaningful word in your niche, then list words that come to mind. Various categories are likely to surface.
  • Mind mapping – Start with one central idea, then attach related ideas to it. Allow the peripheral ideas to spawn new ones.
  • Visual association – Start with a visual and do the word-storm and mind-mapping exercises.
  • What if – Challenge your thinking with “what if” questions to invoke different points of view around a problem or creative challenge.
  • Ask questions – Write the questions you have about your topic and answer them quickly – without overthinking. Your answers are going to inspire new questions.

If you’re going to brainstorm as a group, apply some ground rules.

  • Give participants a heads-up. Lay out the objectives, in this case, to generate ideas for infographics. Ask each individual to get their ideas together in advance of the group session. Group brainstorms can inhibit some and the extroverts tend to take charge.
  • When the group does come together, focus on quantity over quality. Encourage a free flow of ideas and discourage immediate evaluation of them. Judgment is a brainstorm spoiler.
  • Make it fun and positive. Beer might be useful.
  • Record every idea.

Synthesize the ideas

When you dig into my infographic below for style ideas, try some of the processes I suggest. You should have a healthy assortment of potential concepts to play with. Mix and match. Explore visual styles. Play around with titles. Collect ideas from infographics that earned your attention.

You’ll want to strive for something that feels fresh and original, but I don’t recommend you get too hung up on it. Useful trumps original. Even if you decide to develop an infographic around an idea similar to something you’ve seen before, I believe you can give your infographic a fresh spin and realize the enormous benefits that can come from publishing valuable content in the form of a new infographic.

Print

I want to recognize and thank my design partner for this infographic, Infobrandz.

Looking to score big points with your target audience? CMI’s 2016 Content Marketing Playbook has tips, insights, and ideas that can help increase your success with 24 of the top content marketing tactics.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Barry Feldman

Barry Feldman is the author of SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans. Barry operates Feldman Creative and provides content marketing consulting, copywriting, and creative direction services. He contributes to many of the web's top marketing sites and was named one of 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by LinkedIn. If you would like a piece of his mind, visit his blog, The Point .

Other posts by Barry Feldman

  • BluesBro

    Great piece, thanks.

  • Shai Geoola

    Agreed, great article and infographic. Thanks for sharing Barry.

  • Chris Phillips

    I get the picture! Thanks, very helpful.

  • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

    Chris, Shai, BluesBro,
    Thanks so much. The feedback’s appreciated. I look forward to seeing some cool infographics from y’all.

  • EAC

    Thanks Barry, great article. Are there any specific agencies or firms that you think make great infographics (if you’ve not got design resources in-house)?

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      At the bottom of the post you’ll find a link to Infobrandz. And their logo’s in the graphic’s signature. Look ’em up. I’ve been partnering with them for some time and have produced some niiiiice stuff.

  • http://marcusschaller.com Marcus Schaller

    What a great infographic…about…….infographics! Nice work.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      Thank you Marcus.

  • http://www.gopromotional.co.uk/ GoPromotional

    Barry this is a fantastic infographic which demonstrates how powerful they can be – in my view the visual medium is so much stronger than the written word these days. At gopromotional we have been working hard on creating visually eye-catching and informative infographics for the last few months and have found the results to be amazing. It is often very tricky to come up with ideas for an infographic so I will bookmark this page as the thought process involved that you describe are great tips to use as a formula to creating some compelling visual content for any site in any niche.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      Right on Mr Go. I don’t think I’m apt to join you with the “so much stronger than the written word” belief, but obviously, I advocate infographics as a powerful content type. Thanks for chiming in here. Glad you like the infographic.

  • http://mattlaclear.com/ Matt LaClear

    Nicely done Barry. I love it. YouTube could also be a near-endless source for infographics ideas. The next step is to find an affordable software package, or a free one to create them. Here’s a helpful link to sites that allow you to create some amazing visuals for free: http://www.creativebloq.com/infographic/tools-2131971 It would be helpful if you could share some stats on infographic creation from around the world, if any exists. Thanks.

  • Terri Zora

    Thanks for the resource. I find that it can sometimes be challenging to break things down visually to present them in this form.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      You might hand that task off the an experienced infographics designer.

  • rogercparker

    Thank you for the information and example you provided–very, very helpful. Very striking and readable infographic.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      Thanks Roger. Yeah, don’t drink and post, but do drink and ideate—in moderation of course :-)

  • http://www.seoexpertadvice.blogspot.com/ Rahul

    I’m completely agree on that people remember the visual data compare to text data and that is the reason why visualization matters. If we share some story or in depth analysis with info-graphic, it will gain more attraction and more hints compare to a general blog.

  • Shankar Chelluri

    Art of Visual Storytelling works better even with clients..

  • Stifled in Seattle

    My biggest challenge with infographics is that it’s hard to print to capture the information. This one is no exception. The content is great, but hard to use if I can’t capture it!

    • Infobrandz

      The beauty about infographics is that they are able to take complex ideas and boil them down into something simple and accessible. The research guy & copywriter, in this case, has the distinction of taking those images and weaving them together to tell a cohesive tale. With less experienced copywriters, they may flounder or drift between infographics. This can almost be described as a writer trying to jump between stones across a river – it’s almost indubidably bound to fail at some point.