Have you been seeing a lot of beautiful graphics, containing useful data and information, getting featured on prominent blogs and websites lately (there’s an example below)? If you do, I’m sure that you also noticed that these graphics tend to get a lot of tweets, Facebook likes and shares. If you have your marketing cap on right now, this question should pop up in your head – “I want this. How can I create one easily?”.
Well, these graphics are called infographics and they are powerful in getting people to talk about them.
Piktochart is a startup that allows users to create beautiful and useful infographics without any hassle. Ai Ching, the Co-Founder of Piktochart has agreed to share with us tips and tricks on making a successful infographic for the marketing of your startup and small business.
Infographics are very useful in marketing your products and services. From featuring the benefits of your products down to highlighting industrial trends or just putting data relevant to your business in a very attention grabbing and appealing way, infographics are highly contagious and shareable. In fact, chances of an infographic to go viral is higher than plain text. Let’s learn from Ai Ching today.
Introduction to Piktochart and Ai Ching
Wayne: Hi Ai Ching, can you briefly introduce yourself and Piktochart?
Ching: Piktochart is a web app that makes information beautiful. My name is Ching and together with my co-founder, Andrea, we created Piktochart.
What is an Infographic?
Wayne: Some readers may not know what an infographic is. In your own definition, what is an infographic and what businesses can achieve with infographics?
Ching: Infographic is a one-page “poster” filled with information and numbers to represent information beautifully. These days, you might have collected some nice statistics about your products and services but it would be very difficult to get anyone’s attention with these. This is where infographics play a big role.
Wayne: I noticed that the term “infographic” or “information graphic” is used interchangeably with the term “data visualization”. Are they the same? If not, how are they different?
Ching: Hmm… Everyone has a different point of view. We believe that infographic is an abbreviation of information graphic. Again – graphic out of information.
Wayne: In this interview we are going to focus on how infographics can help startups and small businesses with their marketing. Before we dive into that, can you share with us some interesting things other than marketing that businesses, maybe Piktochart customers, are doing with infographics?
Ching: Most Piktochart customers are creating Piktocharts to promote a service or business. They are sometimes using it to compare their services with those of a competitor’s. The majority of Piktochart users are working in Marketing and PR. We have a lot of users from public services, for example, the National Heart Institute and the Immigration Department, because these are the places where a lot of information or data is gathered.
Ching: Piktocharts are meant to display simple information, not heavy data visualizations.
Wayne: More businesses and startups are using infographics for marketing these days. Why do you think they are attracted to use infographics for marketing and for those who have not used them, why should they be using infographics?
Ching: Businesses are attracted because of the “viral” attention infographics have been getting. Would you rather share something pretty and presentable on Pinterest or share a website that is just full of black and white text?
Ching: As consumers have less time to read information, infographics are known as the “fast” way of consuming information.
Getting Started with Infographics
Wayne: What are some of the things to consider before a business can decide whether to create an infographic for marketing?
Ching: Please always have a good story to tell. We say this because like any PowerPoint presentation, it does not make sense to put in pictures just to beautify it. We provide the tool but at the end of the day, it is the users who masterfully create their visual story to share with the world. Also, get valid and verified data (and try to avoid using anything from Wikipedia). Haha…
Obtaining Data for Your Infographics
Wayne: Obviously, data is a must for infographics. How can we find data and information that is useful in creating an infographic? Can we use those that are derived from typical online research (Google)?
Ching: We have a couple of resources – but most of them are from public resources. This is a small list of constantly updated data: Research for Public Data Set and Information
Ching: You may also have created a survey that you have collected a lot of data from.
Wayne: Personally, I think a big problem that businesses will face is trying to choose which data or information to use because there are so many information out there on the Internet these days. With your experience, which type of data and information are more appealing in an infographic?
Ching: We believe that there’s no point in creating an infographic just because you want to. Like every blog post that you publish, there is something you want to educate, tell or bring to your user’s attention. We don’t recommend scouring the Internet for a topic. Rather, write about something that is close to your business.
Ching: If you are a shoe-shining company, some great questions to start with are: do you know how many people still use shoe shines? What are the preferred colours? Is it true that only men shine their shoes? What are the best brands? What is the most expensive shoe shine brand?
Ching: Think about topics that would make sense for the users to read and still be relevant to the business.
Designing Your Infographics
Wayne: Another big aspect of an infographic is the design. Can you share with us some tips that we can use when it comes to designing an infographic that is capable of creating a deep impression?
Ching: Piktochart provides a theme-based application. We add about 3 new themes per week. To create an infographic with a deep impression, the data and storyline would be of importance. We provide a very structured infographic design so that you can go along and fill in the blanks. Also, concentrate on what you are saying.
Wayne: Most businesses, especially those in traditional industries, do not have in-house web designers and in order for them to create an infographic, they have to hire one. Are there specific types of designer that they should look for?
Ching: Look at the portfolio and ensure that their design style fits your company branding. Also, look at the pricing to see if they are compatible with what you are seeking.
Ching: Obviously, designers have to come up with an infographic from the data and information that we have provided them with.
Wayne: What do you think are the key things that should be communicated with designers so that we get an infographic that works?
Ching: Give reference to the branding, styling or corporate identity of your startup or business. Most will already have a desired look and feel in their head, Google for infographic images and pass those that you like to your designers. Each designer has a different style, so it is important to get the expectations aligned upfront.
How Can Piktochart Help?
Wayne: On the creation of infographics, where does Piktochart comes in and how can it help to create effective infographics?
Ching: Piktochart is a very simple do-it-yourself editor. Give it a try at Piktochart.com! We allow everyone to start from themes so that it is easier on the non-designers.
Wayne: What is your favorite infographic so far and what do you think other businesses can learn from it?
Ching: We like the infographic called Telco. We collaborated with a blog called Amanz (Technology portal in Malaysia written in Malay) where they gathered information while we helped them structure everything and provide a visually-appealing infographic. The editors were extremely aware of the storyline and what was the few key takeaways they wanted readers to get when they are off the infographic.
Ching: There are plenty of examples, but this is one in a Malaysian context.
Marketing Your Infographic
Wayne: Now, let’s assume we have a perfect infographic published on your website or blog. What’s next? What do you think are some of the best ways for businesses and startups to promote their newly created infographic?
Ching: Please refer to this post here: 6 Marketing Ideas for an Infographic
Connect with Ai Ching
Wayne: If my readers have more questions about creating their first infographic or want to learn more about Piktochart, what is the easiest way for them to get in touch with you?
Ching: They can write to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me directly via LinkedIn.
Wayne: Thank you for your time, Ai Ching.