If you want your content to reach an audience, you need to know what publishers are looking for and how your content can serve their needs while encouraging audience engagement. Interactive visual content provides value to publishers for many reasons: It’s a fresh format, it makes robust data sets easier to interpret and it requires viewer interaction, which ultimately increases time on site, traffic and overall engagement. But just because you create this content doesn’t mean it will get published. Follow these tips to increase interest—and exposure—for your interactive content.
1) Make It Newsworthy: Interactives are more likely to get coverage if they are relevant to a story or topic the publication is covering. Not everything needs to be directly related to headline news, but it should provide some complementary value. Consider things like:
- Trending topics in the media
- Evergreen topics
- Sound data and design
- Broad topics with mass appeal
An exploration of the best schools for entrepreneurs has significant appeal to business-focused publications, such as Entrepreneur Magazine.
2) Make It Easy to Use: All interactive content should be simple and intuitive to interact with so that viewers can understand the real story in the data. If an interactive is too complex, readers will be confused or turned off. Include clear direction to help viewers navigate content (think call-outs, “click here to start” buttons, etc.). The best interactives are equal parts exploratory and guided.
A clear start button and other queues help readers navigate this interactive by Intuit.
3) Enable Embedding: Publishers want to embed interactives on their site, since the their goal is to keep users engaged onsite—not drive them away. If you can’t provide an embeddable interactive, a good workaround is to provide journalists with static high-res screenshots of the interactive and functionality, as well as any meaningful story visualized in the data. Actual bite-sized infographics derived from the interactive can be developed as a way for journalists to introduce the interactive, explain how to use it and focus on a specific part that is most interesting to their readers.
Allowing publishers to embed directly on site is ideal, as it provides a cleaner presentation and gives readers direct access.
4) Offer an Exclusive: Exclusive placements give journalists first dibs on content, which makes interactive content more valuable to publish. Interactives in general are also more novel than static infographics, so innovative publications tend to be more attracted to them. Not only does offering an exclusive increase chances of publishing, it helps you build one-on-one relationships with journalists, fostering future collaborations that are mutually beneficial. Note: Exclusives are especially helpful if you can’t offer an embeddable interactive.
We offered Deadspin an exclusive for an Interactive Calendar for the Sochi Olympics.
5) Gamify It: Creating an interactive poll or quiz that encourages reader participation (e.g., opinion polls on hot-topic issues or quizzes on popular subjects) is a great way to get publisher placement. When you’ve fostered a mutually beneficial relationship with a publisher, you can tailor these interactive experiences to their audiences, increasing engagement and providing interesting data for them to craft future posts around—a win-win for everyone.
We partnered with Mashable to create an interactive survey that polled readers on the proper pronunciation of various tech terms.
The key to attracting an audience—whether consumers or publishers—is providing value. Build mutually beneficial relationships, consider the narrative you are trying to tell and make sure you have sound usability and design. When you’re able to make these things work in unison, you’ll be able to tell a meaningful story that your audience will want to interact with.