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Interactivity gets your audience engaged in the experience of consuming your content. Yet many people think that this is an expensive or complex endeavor.
Sure – if you’ve got the budget for it, you can go hog wild and create an interactive content masterpiece that people talk about for years.
But there are simpler, more creative and less budget-consuming ways to incorporate interactivity into your content.
This examples I found for our Best of September round-up run the gamut from the masterworks that are The New York Times interactive content to creative visual timelines that enhance reader experience simply yet powerfully.
Who: The New York Times
What: Interactive infographic breakdown of voters
Why It’s So Great: Being told that a small percentage of America’s citizens chose our current presidential candidates is interesting. Seeing it visualized in this interactive infographic is startling. This infographic is short but poignant.
At the top is a simple illustration of the 324 million people who call the United States home – and by the time you get to the bottom, it’s clear how small a portion of that population brought Trump and Clinton to the political forefront. If this isn’t motivation to get to the polls and vote, I don’t know what is!
Apply It to Your Marketing: Numbers and statistics can be powerful tools of persuasion – but only if your audience can understand them. Visualizing important figures with clear illustrations can help you make your case.
Who: The New York Times
What: Game followed by article with personalized content
Why It’s So Great: There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to engage an audience. In this game, you’re challenged to click a button faster than Usain Bolt shot off the starting blocks at the 100-meter final in Rio.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The New York Times takes your score and personalizes the content that follows. My reaction time was 00.138 of a second – faster than Usain bolt’s takeoff and faster than 98% of readers. Can you beat that?
Apply It to Your Marketing: Personalizing content makes customers feel recognized and valued. It can really enhance the relationship between a company and its buyers. In fact, Gartner reports, “By 2018, B2B companies with effective personalization on their e-commerce sites will outsell by 30 percent competitors without the same level of personalization.”
But personalization doesn’t have to be complex and cumbersome. This NYT interactive content is a great example of how a little personalization goes a long way toward a better customer experience.
What: Interactive tour
Why It’s So Great: Tell me if you can understand what this means: “Our patented computer vision technology detects everything from objects and people to scenes and logos in images across the web.” No? Good thing GumGum created this interactive tour of their recognition and analytics technology so you can see it in action. After a few seconds of clicking around, you quickly understand the power of GumGum to create exceptionally targeted advertising campaigns.
Apply It to Your Marketing: Never underestimate the power of images when it comes to helping your audience understand your product or service. This is especially true for complex offerings and luxury offerings.
Delivering those images through interactive content has the added benefit of getting the user more engaged in the experience. In the case of complex offerings like GumGum, images illustrate specific value for customers without muddying the message with tech speak.
In the case of luxury offerings, interactive images can help customers visualize what it would be like to own the product or experience the service.
What: Interactive timeline
Why It’s So Great: As you scroll down the page, images emerge next to each important date in the development of New South Wales public art museums. Not only are the historical photos and art interesting to look at, but they bring these key moments in history to life for the reader. HSTRY has gone even further with this interactive timeline, too, and included share buttons on every single piece of content on the page. You can quickly and easily share one of those historical photos along with the corresponding details with the click of a button.
Apply It to Your Marketing: A visual timeline like this is a great way to communicate historical data and events. Take it one step further, though, and make it shareable.
What: Interactive blog timeline
Why It’s So Great: This is not only a creative way of presenting Groove’s blog posts, but it also illustrates the journey Groove has undergone as a company. Part of their brand is taking users and prospective customers on the startup journey alongside the company, and this interactive blog timeline is a perfect way to reinforce that brand value.
Even the opt-in popup on the page enhances the brand experience with the message “From ‘aha’ to ‘oh sh*t’, we’re sharing everything on our journey from 0 to $500K in monthly revenue.”
Apply It to Your Marketing: Is your journey part of your brand? Consider visually representing that journey with an interactive timeline. You don’t have to do what Groove did and turn your blog into an expedition, of course.
Another idea is to add an interactive timeline to your company About page to help interested customers better understand where your company started, and where it’s headed.
Each of the interactive examples in our September roundup help get the audience more engaged with the content and the company. Yet each example is different from the others. Some are more complex and some are simpler. Some encourage sharing and some take you on a journey.
There is no one way to “do” interactive content. Think about how interactivity can improve your customer experience from a brand standpoint. Align your interactive content strategy with your brand goals and you’ll be able to create content that engages customers and endears them to your brand.