You’ve likely seen many infographics on news and popular websites. They add visual appeal to an article and help readers more clearly understand primary points that a writer may be trying to make. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that they can make infographics a part of the content that they share on their own business websites without investing a lot of time or money.
Eugene Woo is the co-founder of Venngage, the company that provides a free infographic maker to everyone. He spoke to us about infographics, including what you should never do in one and what he wishes everyone knew about the creation and publication of infographics.
What is your professional background? How has it served you as the co-founded of Venngage?
I am a software engineer by training and have about 10 years of experience in developing software, from enterprise software to consumer mobile apps. Knowing how to create software definitely has its uses in starting a software company. I co-created the first version of Venngage, and I understood exactly what was needed from a technological point of view to take my vision and make it into a product.
Venngage was born from another infographic site that I also co-founded called Vizualize.me. That site took your resume (or Linkedin profile) and turned it into an infographic template automatically. We got a lot of inbound interest to create a more flexible infographic tool that didn’t have limited templates – sort of a mix between a Photoshop and Powerpoint but for infographics, where you could visualize data and information easily.
I actually co-wrote wrote the first version. It was very basic compared to the site now. We have hired a lot better developers since, and I would say that Venngage is one of the best infographic design tools on the market right now.
What do you wish more people know about the creation and publication of infographics?
That people sometimes think that they can achieve marketing success from one attempt. They publish one infographic and then get disappointed it didn’t get picked up by Mashable or go viral and then give up. That’s like thinking you’ll be a popular blogger from writing one article.
Like any other content form, creating and publishing infographics needs to be done consistently. It’s a craft that should be practiced and honed. Once you get good at creating infographics, you’ll see that it’s one of the most popular content forms out there.
What sets it apart from other websites that allow users to create and share infographics?
Venngage is the best infographic DIY design tool in the market in terms of functionality, speed and customer service. We’ve recently upgraded our servers and software so that the tool responds really quickly. Don’t take my word for it. Sign up for free, and you’ll see how responsive and flexible it is compared to the other infographic sites.
We also take a lot of pride in our customer service. In fact, I personally write and respond to emails from our users. I’m often the first person you’ll hear from if you open a support ticket. I work the customer support line everyday. I personally enjoy being on the front lines. You get to see everything – the good and the bad.
And one more thing: it’s also the best value as far as pricing goes.
Your website speaks about the importance of infographics. At a time when search engine algorithms are changing to push out keyword stuffing websites, can you tell us a bit about how infographics add value to articles and sites?
Infographics work great for both pushing your content and for SEO. It works great as a way of summarizing a long form article or as a visual complement that can be shared on social media. Some social sites like Pinterest are entirely image based, and having infographics as a “teaser” to our blog article or other content works well. We did some research on infographics on Pinterest recently, and found them to be really effective in driving engagement and traffic.
What are some things you should never do on an infographic?
There are quite a few things. But I would say the #1 mistake people make when it comes to infographic is to overly focus on their data instead of focusing on the story they want to tell. Your goal isn’t to do a data dump with infographics. Your goal is to tell a compelling story.
What are some of your other favorite online tools?
I use Evernote everyday to organize my life. I use Mixpanel for tracking & analytics. And I use Trello for managing tasks. I use the mobile app versions probably more than the desktop versions.
What do you think all businesses need to know about infographics?
That it is still early days for infographics and that they work really well. And I’m not just saying this because we happen to make an infographic tool. We actually use infographics for our own marketing. Every day. Among all the other content types (including paid ones like advertising), infographics are still our top performing content type.
Follow Eugene on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.