Guest Blog Post: HCC Medical Insurance Explains The Creative Process Behind Their Infographics

We’re real excited because the following post comes directly from Muhammad Yasin, director of marketing for HCC Medical Insurance Services.

A few weeks ago, we posted an article on the success HCC Medical Insurance Services has had with creative and engaging infographics.  After we posted the article, Muhammad was kind enough to reach out to us and explain the creative process behind creating their infographics.

Hope you enjoy!

The Lifecycle of Infographic Creation

As a small insurance company that focuses on travel-based insurance policies, we are constantly looking for ways to connect with new consumer demographics. A few years ago, we discovered that infographics were a great combination of media that yielded amazing results for brand awareness. We were fortunate enough to get into contact with Goma Marketing when they found a case study Marketing Sherpa did about one of our infographic campaigns. That campaign had reached 3.9 million people and driven considerable high-value traffic to our ecommerce site. We reached out and offered to expand more on how we created infographic campaigns. Here are our five steps:

HCC Medical Insurance Services’ The Adventure Traveler Infographic

1)    Ideation
Always start with detailed information about your target audience. This ensures that you create content valuable to them. Early in my creation of infographics, I regularly created them from concepts that I personally thought were cool. For example, the campaign I mentioned earlier was targeted towards sports travelers. While I love watching Red Bull specials, I am far from an expert on adventure travel! While educated guesses worked sometimes, it also resulted in several projects that lacked critical information which was valuable to the target audience.

At the very least, know who your target audience is, where they spend time, what their interests are, and how they access the web. Do a high-level pre-planning stage based on this. Social media monitoring tools can be helpful once you have identified a basic audience. Eavesdropping on Facebook or Twitter can give you great insight to who these people are, what questions they are asking, and the right tone for the message used to reach them.

2)    Conceptualization and Research
After you know your audience, begin a rough storyboard sketch to tell a story. The emphasis on creating a story with your infographic cannot be overstated. Rather than simply being a bunch of data in picture form, your infographic should tell a story that flows as the viewer moves through the experience. Think of it as a play: tell the story in three acts.

Once the idea is conceptualized and you have gathered supporting collateral—blogs, videos, or other published pieces—you have to find the details to make the story real. Do keyword research on any words directly related to the topic you are fleshing out, as well as on any buzzwords that might be associated with your topic. Compile all of this into a research document for your creative team.

3)    Creative Brief
The creative brief is fun. This is a meeting between the concept team and the designer in which you collectively sift through all of this research and decide how to execute it Keep in mind: not every piece of research you have will make it into the infographic, and that is ok. Some information may not be as identifiable with the target, and other information might not convey well graphically. Use what you can, and sketch it out on a whiteboard. Make sure you have someone present to take really good notes and ensure that you recap final expectations at the end to ensure you and the designer are on the same page.

4)    Digital Wireframe and Moodboard
A wireframe, if you are not familiar, shows a hierarchy of the information that will be included on the graphic, as well as the amount of space each piece of information will occupy. The moodboard is a collection of color, texture, treatments, and other graphic techniques that will be implemented on the graphic. Compare the wireframe and moodboard graphic to notes from the creative brief, and see if it matches the excitement that was contained there. Feel free to test these mock-ups on friends who fit the demographic and get their opinions. This will give you a good idea if you are on the right track.

5)    Complete Team Design
This is the longest step. At this stage, as the project is designed, it should be put into a test URL so all stakeholders can visit it and make suggestions as it is being put together. That way, you do not end up with a fully developed and coded infographic that ends up being well off the intended mark. This process is extremely important. You never want to spend three weeks with a designer or design team and suddenly see a finished product and think, “I actually may have described something incorrectly quite a while ago.” That means hours of lost time. Make checkpoints. Edit as needed, and keep the infographic fluid.


Muhammad Yasin is a public speaker, e-book author, and Director of Marketing for HCC Medical Insurance Services. In his role, Muhammad is responsible for the brand building and lead generation strategy of several dozen social media accounts with over a quarter of a million followers.