The best interactive infographics, widgets, and quizzes can boost audience engagement by encouraging play. Marketers have already experienced the powerful impact of interactive content. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of marketers report that interactive content is better than static content at attracting consumer attention.
But visual content has to be high-quality in order to boost your marketing returns. You know this from your own experience: it’s hard to want to click on or interact with something that looks like a stock image or like it was made in a rush.
What’s more, one-off pieces that don’t fit into your brand-wide visual strategy may send mixed messages and actually work against you.
Interactive content boasts a 70% conversion rate — when you execute effectively. Here are four ways you can produce high-quality interactive content that captivates your audiences.
1. Test the Waters with Simple Interactive Infographics
Perhaps you don’t have the time or budget to jump into a robust microsite, widget, or other larger-scale interactive experience just yet. You can still see a significant improvement in engagement with more basic interactive functionality. Here are a few ideas to help you start exploring the world of interactivity:
- Add a simple interactive element, like a hyperlink to a site or document, on an otherwise-static infographic.
- Incorporate subtle animation, like copy that fades in.
- Modify a static design to be responsive, meaning viewable on a variety of devices and screen sizes. This can be simple or highly complex depending on the design — so always consult a developer and designer to confirm the scope!
Check out one example of a simple interactive quiz here.
Costs always vary based on complexity. Still, these ideas are generally a bit more budget-friendly than, say, designing and coding a brand-new landing page. And they’ll give you a chance to experiment with how interactivity impacts engagement and, ultimately, the return on your investment.
2. Consider Long-Term and Evergreen Goals
Compared to the production of a static infographic, a piece of interactive content will often require considerably more upfront planning, execution time, and budget. So how do you get the most out of your investment? Plan to create interactive content that will be relevant for months or even years to come.
One-off pieces that don’t fit into your brand-wide visual strategy may send mixed messages and actually work against you.
As Anastasia Shch writes, evergreen content — that which isn’t particularly trendy or time-bound in nature — can be reposted, revived, and reused over time. With minor changes or updates, your upfront investment generates repeated results over time. Yet, particularly in interactive content, it’s important to consider the extent of any anticipated updates well ahead of time. Why?
Let’s say you want to update a hypothetical statistic from 67% of consumers in 2016 to the latest available data — 88% of consumers in 2019. For a static infographic, changing a numeral and updating an existing graph probably wouldn’t take a design agency much time.
The same update to an interactive piece might be a similar amount of work … if the piece was set up to be editable from the start. Otherwise, the process can be much lengthier.
This effect is compounded when including new statistics, removing old ones, or adding or removing sections. Modular designs can handle this well with limited effort, but a carefully architected layout and delicate code could yield a far more involved process for updates.
When UX/UI designers and developers know that something will need to be updated and refreshed over time, they can make important choices upfront to allow later revisions with ease. That, in turn, will keep your budget and timelines intact. It also helps to avoid unpleasant surprises, scope creep, and other obstacles to a successful project.
3. Trust the Experts
Whether you work with a freelance designer or a trusted agency, you’ve selected your creative partner for a good reason. Hopefully, it was actually for several good reasons. You’ve probably already determined that you like the people, the values, the work, the results, and more.
It takes a considerable investment of time and resources to select the right team for any project, whether you’re producing an infographic, an interactive experience, or another type of visual content. So why spend even more time and resources micromanaging that team?
Trust the team you’ve selected for the job, and you’ll achieve two key things:
- You’ll reap the rewards of that trust.
- You’ll save a lot of your own time and energy.
4. Prioritize Strategy Over “Shiny Objects”
It is always tempting to go after the next big thing. This is true for the newest phone model, the most cutting-edge vehicle technology, and the hottest fashion trend. In content marketing, it may look like forcing a VR peg into a motion graphic hole… so to speak.
But if you aren’t careful, you may find yourself chasing the shiniest new content marketing trend without considering whether that trend fits with your current goals or your most important message. Worse still, as Josh Miles warns, you may push in a direction that goes against your brand’s overall visual strategy.
The next time you’re tempted to dive into the unknowns of an exciting new marketing endeavor, take a good look at the visual strategy you’ve built for your brand as a whole, as well as your campaign-specific goals (if applicable). Does this cutting-edge new approach fit with your audience, your goals, and the strategy you’ve committed to? Will it work with the aesthetic you or your design agency have established? That is, not just colors and typography, but also best practices for infographics and other visual collateral?
If your answer to these questions is yes, go for it! But if not, trust the work you’ve put in to your brand strategy and image thus far, and don’t risk damaging it with an off-brand endeavor. You don’t have to discard the fun new idea. Just put a pin in it, for the right time down the road.
In the end, any type of visual content all comes down to three essentials:
- Solid strategy
- Intuitive process
- High-quality end product
If you’re missing one of these things, you’re unlikely to see the level of engagement you might have hoped for.
For example, a firm strategy and a great end product are ideal. But if it was a struggle to reach that end point, you might find yourself looking for a different visual communication agency when it comes time for your next project.
It takes a considerable investment of time and resources to select the right team for any project. So why spend even more time and resources micromanaging that team?
Creating interactive content can be a big commitment. That’s especially true if it’s your company’s first time creating something like this. Seek out a creative partner who checks all three boxes, and you’ll be able to produce interactive infographics that meet your goals and drive results.
Not quite ready to take the interactive plunge?
Not to worry. I’ve got two more bonus tips for you:
- Give me a 👏 👏 👏 (please and thanks)!
- Head to the Killer Visual Strategies blog to learn more about strategy, process, and quality execution for all types of visual communication.