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The Internet has seen a dramatic content boom in the past few years, and more marketers are extending themselves beyond written blogs. With videos, podcasts, and comics, marketers have plenty of options to choose from, including interactive infographics.
Why should you try to create an engaging, interactive infographic? With more than entertainment value alone, find out why every marketing manager should leave room for these content presentations in their 2016 digital marketing strategies.
Image via Flickr by helgabj
Production sets these two media forms apart. While a graphic designer can master the art of static images, programmers have the background needed for interactive content. Even if you have two team members working together — one to design and one to code — you need a different thought process when planning for user interactions.
However, don’t overthink interactive infographics. These infographic treatments don’t need to have extensive wireframes as complex as your website. Adding an interactive element can be as basic as creating an Advent calendar-style design where the reader clicks different boxes to see what’s inside. You want the reader clicking and discovering, not passively scrolling.
When you read, the words and phrases enter your short-term memory. Your brain doesn’t store more than a few general concepts, and they’re usually mentally dumped a few minutes later. When you see an image, however, your brain stores it in long-term memory, which increases the recall rate over time. If you’re trying to convey a message that sticks with your reader, make it an image.
Images also make your message considerably clearer. Recipes with photographic instructions are easier to read and understand than trying to interpret what a writer means by the phrase “simmer until soft.” If you’re looking to make a strong point and clearly explain your message, you can’t go wrong with an infographic.
Interactive infographics take more time to make than static infographics, but the payoff is worth the effort. Consider the American education system: More classrooms than ever are replacing the passive lecture style and including more interactive learning into their lessons. Students learn less when they’re passively listening or reading a concept. By involving students in activities and discussions, they remember more — and your audience will too.
Not only do interactives help with recall over static infographics, but they also involve more of the five senses. Instead of appealing only to the eyes, interactive infographics engage with sound and even touch as the user clicks and types. The more times the brain has to think or engage with interesting content, the more positive feelings will result. By stimulating more senses, you’re helping your overall brand.
Researchers at the Wharton School of Business found that presentations accompanied with visuals were much more convincing than verbal presentations alone. If you can find a way to unite visuals with your content — from an interactive infographic to a related cat meme on a blog — then you’re more likely to win over readers and turn them into customers.
Using text as a visual, such as placing bullet points along the side, can actually distract more than help with memory and recognition Why? Well, you’re presenting two different types of verbal information for the audience to digest. An image placed with text or bullets provides both verbal and visual content. Treat your content like two batteries — they don’t get along if they’re from the same side, but they’ll work together when they’re different.
According to SnapApp, the average landing page coverts at 2 to 5 percent, but interactive content coverts two to three times better than the site landing pages. Why? Readers are already committed to the website and the content after spending time clicking through the interactive. If they weren’t happy with the content, then they wouldn’t have stayed until the end.
Interactives also generate more leads than static infographics because the reader is already involved in following directions from your site. The interactive is telling the reader where to click and what to see, so it’s not a stretch that they would continue following directions to complete a lead form. Hint: Interactives also work well with call-to-action messaging to share on social media.
While static content is becoming easier to make, the drawback is the issue of supply and demand. More than 45 percent of marketers believe photography is critical to their strategy, and 57 percent are focusing on infographics. If you’re starting to dabble with visual content, then you’re already behind.
Since interactive infographics take more resources and different skills, they’re not as common and more in demand. If you’re investing time and money into an interactive strategy, then it’s definitely possible you will stand out in 2016. The key here is quality — your audiences are as likely to ignore a poor interactive infographic as a poor static one or blog post.
The best part about creating deep interactive infographics is the ability to slice and dice the data into social media content. For example, an interactive infographic about pet care can have small shots pulled out focusing on pet training, feeding, and grooming. If the marketing team can pull five to 10 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram images from the original content, then that shareability is worth the coding cost.
The added value from social shares continues to drive traffic to the content. You can generate more leads and create more opportunities to turn traffic into customers. Your digital content is only as strong as you make it, so keep working until you exceed your ROI goals.
Incorporating interactive content into your digital marketing strategy has as many financial benefits as psychological benefits. You will see greater returns and leads, plus a better connection with your audience and more engagement. At the end of the day, the only pieces holding you back are your skill sets and resources.