Intertwining Innovation: Content & Design Meet – Part III: How To Promote Interactive Articles

This series of blog posts has focussed on the growing area of interactive articles. In part 1, we explored the notion of interactive articles as a whole and the recent embracing of this type of content online by users.

In part 2, we looked at the nitty gritty – how to build it. There are numerous complexities to this type of content, it’s certainly a technical challenge, but talented coders and content creation pros working together can make it happen.

Here, in part 3, we will look at perhaps the most important aspect of creating innovative content. Promotion. After all, there is no point in creating an amazing interactive article only for it to go unnoticed and unappreciated.

It’s All About Relationships

There are many thoughts when it comes to promotion, our own social media experts have their favourite options, but this type of content lends itself to some good old fashioned outreach. You could go down the root of social media promotion, but outreach to influential and highly authoritative websites is a better way to make sure your content gets seen by a large number of people – after putting all this work into it, you want to make sure it gets seen.

Ideally, you’d like to get the content featured on a very influential website. I’ve used examples of amazing interactive content from The Guardian with their Firestorm piece and the New York Times Snow Fall article, and although you might be hard pressed to get your content featured on such highly regarded websites there are still plenty of options.

Good places to outreach this type of content include;

  • Blogs – If you have an existing relationship with a blogger, then that’s fantastic. If not, do some research on the best bloggers that would be relevant to your type of content. Is your interactive article focussed on music? Is it more business to business? Whatever it is, look for the best bloggers in the most relevant sector and get in touch. It’s a good idea to get this done in the early preparation stages as outreaching can take time, and you don’t want to be left twiddling your thumbs when you’re ready to launch. If your content is tech focusssed there are some amazing tech blogs such as ChrisBrogan.com which are very influential and worth outreaching to as your content can get a huge amount of exposure this way.
  • Industry Hubs – There are a lot of different content hubs that focus on a specific industry. Finding one that is suited to the topic of your content is a great way to get your content to a very specific audience. These hubs are brilliant because the audience is so niche and highly targeted, meaning you’re much more likely to get a positive response. Some great hubs for B2C content include Business2Community and Yahoo Voices – of course the appropriateness of these will depend on the nature of your content.
  • Social Media – It can’t hurt to outreach to some influential folks on Twitter and test the water. You could also potentially use social media for promotion after the content goes live if you have a very well-established following too. It’s a good idea to brush up on your Twitter tactics too.

You should really factor in the promotion side of things as a separate part of your strategy, with digital strategy being quite important in addition to social media strategy for overall success.

Blogger statistics vary quite widely, but the secret is a high level of targeting – this way you’re much more likely to get a positive response.

Finding The Best Bloggers

Kristen Matthews of socialmediatoday has some good tips on finding the perfect bloggers for your brand and provides a list of identifiers of a potentially good blog including;

  • Niche – are they appropriate to your particular brand niche, if so then they have a good potential for outreach.
  • Posts – If the blogger has the type of posts that are suited to your content they’re more likely to accept, so if you create an interactive article featuring a range of products then you’re much more likely to receive a response from bloggers who post things like product reviews.
  • Brands – Does the blog work with brands? If they do they’ll be much more likely to find your content acceptable. A good tip is to look for a page on the blog that says ‘Guest Post’ as this indicates that they’re willing to work with other people and brands.

You also need to think about the authority of the blog, if it’s read by 10 people then the considerable amount of work your interactive article has required to complete might not match the exposure that you get.

It’s a delicate balance, but these are all helpful identifiers that you might have found a very good one.

Intertwining Innovation: The Finale

Essentially you’re looking for exposure when promoting this type of content, so always spread your bets with a range of options and you should hopefully hit somewhere. If your content is good enough it should speak for itself, make sure you’re completely confident in its quality, accuracy and the fact that it offers something unique to the user and promotion shouldn’t be too taxing.

That’s the end of my mammoth trilogy on interactive content. Make sure you read through the first and second posts for all the other information on designing and building an interactive article.

Please do let me know what you think and come back to the ThoughtShift Blog for all the latest from our team. Don’t forget to sign-up for the ThoughtShift Guest List to get a monthly digest of our latest blog posts and guides.

Feel free to browse the rest of my posts and please follow me on Twitter for more – @GhastlyChimera.

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