How I created a viral infographic

It’s a content creators dream to create a piece of work that goes viral. From a blog post to a video, seeing your work featured on a leading website or in print is an exciting career moment.

This happened to me earlier this month when an infographic I created was featured on Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and Metro.

The subject- an analysis of Theresa May’s fashion choices since becoming Prime Minister. A niche and quirky subject, this unique take on the Prime Minister’s appearance was particularly appealing for my blog’s readers.

Gaining traction in a short space of time, here are the tips and techniques I used to create a piece of viral content.

Topic selection: with substantial interest in what the Prime Minister wears, a sartorial review of her first six months in office was a topic which would capture the attention of my blog’s followers. The visually appealing nature of an infographic would help to make the post stand out from the usual posting schedule of my blog, as well as testing out how a graphic driven post would be received by Political Style’s followers.

Data collection: I analyzed six months worth of public appearances and press photographs documenting the Prime Minister’s time in office since July 2016. Clothes were coded by primary and secondary colours, shoe type and material as well as accessories.

Visualization: using Piktochart to create the infographic, I included vector images as part of the design. A bar graph and a pie chart were used to convey other findings. A map graphic was also used demonstrate how British designers were the most worn by the PM during this period.

Newsworthy hook: a number of revealing hooks were used to promote the infographic and present the findings. I was keen to see if May was ‘living up’ to the media’s usual ‘leopard kitten heel’ stereotype and if there were any wildcard pieces in her wardrobe which had not been reported.

The data showed that May wore flat shoes more often than heels during her first six months in office, with leopard one of the least worn fabrics. Unsurprisingly, the data also revealed that she wore navy items of clothing 45% of the time.

Target publications: I drew up a wish list of publications to send my infographic to, tailoring my contact to include information which would be of interest to journalists and readers. This helped to refine the message and boost the chances of the graphic being featured.

Timing: I purposely picked the period between Christmas and New Year to begin sending out my infographic and for its initial publication. With publications looking for content in the holidays, there was a greater chance of the infographic being considered for online coverage.

Social promotion: using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I was able to push the infographic direct to my followers and users with an interest in British politics, Theresa May and the fashion industry. Retweets from journalists, politicians and activists helped the infographic to go viral, and earn placements on some of the most popular online news outlets.

Mail Online feature

My research has continued to be referenced after the infographic went viral, and it remains one of the most popular posts on my blog.

In The Daily Telegraph

So how can you create a piece of content that ends up on one of the most popular websites?

· Look for a niche story angle or topic

· Conduct your own research to make your content unique

· Think carefully about the design and the platform you will post on

· Target your audience where they hang out, e.g. a specific social media platform, news website

· Send your content to the appropriate journalist

· Distribute at the best time for maximum visibility

· Use social media to distribute to your primary, secondary and target audiences

Contact me for advice on creating content that stands out from the crowd. I can be reached on Twitter: Laura-Emily Dunn.

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“Be true to yourself, persevere and keep going.” 💙 Social media & digital consultant. Editor, Political Style.

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Laura-Emily Dunn

Laura-Emily Dunn

“Be true to yourself, persevere and keep going.” 💙 Social media & digital consultant. Editor, Political Style.

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