“Interactive content” means different things to different people. In the visual communication space, it’s a way of conveying potentially complex or detailed information in a medium that requires scrolling, clicking, hovering, or other means, encouraging the user to participate in the learning experience. Find out what this means for companies and their audiences, as well as how to best use and share these works.
Interactive Content, Defined
Interactive content can take static work like infographics to a deeper level. It allows for multiple layers of information to be provided, each revealed only when the user performs a specific action. This may create a greater feeling of connectedness with the information, since the onus falls on the user to choose what they’d like to explore.
While either interactive content or motion graphics can successfully reveal information or tell a story in distinct ways from static pieces, there are key differences.
With motion, viewers click a button and watch as the information plays at a set pace. Interactive content lets users explore at their own speed, and there’s also the option of overlays to show multiple views or different levels of information at the same time. Motion viewers may also watch additional videos to learn more, so they simply serve different purposes depending on your end goal.
How Brands Use Interactive Content
Interactive content can be an engaging way to convey company data (like quarterly or annual reports) and topic-specific information alike. It all depends on your audience and your goals!
Unlike other forms of visual communication, interactive infographics are sometimes created with future updates in mind. They may use a data spreadsheet to allow topics like quarterly or annual reports to be modified for future years without lengthy overhauls — provided, of course, the information types remain the same. For instance, revenue and profit may always be reported, but the values change with each new edition. You’ll want to notify your developer upfront if you require this type of modifiable content.
Interactive content also has the unique capability of tracking and reporting rich analytics regarding user behavior. While other mediums offer some insight (such as number of page views and visitors), interactive designs offer the opportunity for a more in-depth look at the success of your project.
How to Share Interactive Content
Interactive pieces have some unique requirements when it comes to posting and sharing. Make sure you plan ahead and know where your interactive content is going to live before you dive into the project.
Interactive pieces can either live on an existing web page or a new page within an existing site. Landing pages and blog pages are prime locations for your interactive content. On a landing page, viewers are met with something engaging and inviting as soon as they reach your site. On a blog post, just remember that other posts will soon cover it up in the blog feed and you’ll need to add it to new posts or promote it in other ways to continue to direct viewers to the piece.
Social media is a wonderful way to spread the word about your piece, but you can’t embed interactive content on social media — you’ll need thumbnails or even a walkthrough video of the interactive instead.
Your interactive piece can actually draw viewers to social media, too! Social share buttons let them talk about the whole piece or individual stats/facts within your piece, sharing what they learned with all of their followers and generating buzz for you.
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