How You Can Write Copy for Your Infographics
Infographics are no different than any other marketing visual. The copy drives the artwork. When illustrated together, the copy and artwork creates a rhythm and balance in the overall visual.
What do I mean by rhythm and balance?
An infographic is set-up similar to any story of fiction. You want to take the reader on a journey, but you want the journey to go full circle without the reader realizing it until the story is over and they understand the halo path you’ve taken them on.
You do this by creating a vocal and visual rhythm. Similar to music that a listener can sync with, you want to balance out elements that contrast each other. In an infographic, you contrast credible facts with emotional content.
- Credible Facts are found in academic and research orientated sources. Since fake news is a growing problem, when looking for credible facts, spend extra time validating the fact is coming from a trustworthy unbiased source.
- Emotional Content is a human way of putting broad, confusing facts into context.
For example, you find a credible fact that states, 2.7 million people are affected by the problem you solve. Okay, that sounds like a lot, but nobody can visualize 2.7 million people. This is where emotional content comes in. 2.7 million people are affected by a problem, that’s the population of Chicago. With this data framed in this context, people can easily understand this problem is large enough to be the size of a major US city.
The purpose of balancing credible facts with emotional content, is to mimic a drama.
In a drama the protagonist is torn between two contrasting lovers. You want to create a rhythm because without it your narrative would be a boring, flat-lined story that takes the reader from one point to another with no connection. Or imagine listening to a song with no chorus. It can be done well, but adding a chorus brings the listener back to the song several times during the duration, pulling them deeper into the product.
A Story is Typically Written From a 3-Act Framework
Act 1 is intended to establish the setting, characters and historical context of the story. This is where you speak about the monster hiding in the closet. You make the reader aware of the pain point and leading into Act 2, you transition from this problem into THE solution.
Act 2 is intended to be where character development and action rises to fight the problem. This is where you reveal your magical sword aka solution to the monster introduced in Act 1. Leading into Act 3 you transition into the climax telling the reader, yes the monster is or can be defeated.
Act 3 is where you want the reader to see the tensions and problems have been eliminated. This is where you want to validate your magical sword aka solution in Act 2 actually worked!
You Could Write These 3 Acts to Read, 1 - 2 - 3
But at the end of Act 3, the story concludes and the reader will have to look back to see how they ended up here. The alternative method is creating a circle storyline, where Act 3 concludes where Act 1 began. This continuous flow will take the reader from Act 1, push them away into Act 2, then bring them back in Act 3 to reveal the deeper pattern in the story.
Looking at the 2 story lines below. One is flat where a reader can’t connect Act 1 to 3. The starting and ending points are far-apart and unlinked. While the circle sparkline, connects Acts 1 to Act 3 via a shape that reflects a gear. The iconic shape of work and function.
Using this Gear as a Guide, Write Your Infographic in 3 Acts
Each section on an infographic, should transition into the next, revealing new information to reach the core purpose of getting a reader to take action.
The purpose of an infographic structure is to engage the reader to read the headline, the headline is the purpose to read the pain point, the pain point is the purpose to read the solution, the purpose of the solution is to get the reader to read the validation, and the purpose of the validation is to motivate the reader to perform the call to action.
You develop this rhythm by dividing your contrasting credible facts with emotional content into the 3 Acts.
Act 1: Introduce the Reader to Your Big Idea
You have only one chance to make a strong first impression. The top of the infographic will hook the reader to learn more, or tell them to scroll by. This is where you set the scene and introduce characters.
Act 1 includes:
- Headline: Your big idea grabs the reader's attention and communicates the topic of discussion.
- Sub-headline: One sentence overview of what your infographic elaborates on.
- Define the Pain Point: Communicate the problem you're solving into a context your reader will resonate with.
Transitioning from Act 1 to 2
- Find a quote, fact or write a piece of emotional content that blends Act 1 and 2 together.
Act 2: Communicate Your Solution Directly to Your Reader
In Act 2, you want to build character development and show action. Being transparent and showing the reader an overview of your solution introduces the action. Then you can dive deeper into how your solution works, and why your reader should give a damn.
The following 4 questions will build this section, the core of the infographic.
- Why will your solution work for your reader?
- What are the features of your solution?
- What are the benefits to your reader via your solution?
- How can you communicate how your solution works?
Transition from Act 2 to 3
- Find a quote, fact or write a piece of emotional content that blends Act 2 and 3 together.
Act 3: Prove Other's Have Taken Your Specific Suggested Action
This is where you want to prove the problems written about in Act 1 and the solution to the problem written about in Act 2, actually worked. This is where you want to prove to your reader, there’s no more scary monsters hiding in closets, because you have evidence your solution worked, and you want THEM to be able to defeat the monster their battling with.
Act 3 includes:
- Validating Your Solution: Prove your solution has worked for others, use results, testimonials and case studies.
- Showing a Call to Action: The reader understands the topic, problem, solution and benefit you provide. So now what should they do?
- Providing a Reward: To entice the reader to perform your call to action. What bonus, or perk could benefit them?
- Validate Sources & Contact Information: Add one final validating element by introducing your business logo, branding, tagline, credible sources and contact info.
After you’ve completed this journey, the reader can circle back to Act 1 and gain a better understanding of your story if they need to, or if you’ve written well enough, the reader will move forward with your call to action.