The publishing market is saturated with content. We know that well. Whether it’s news, written articles or repurposed content, publishers usually stick to what they know well to improve their businesses and drive traffic to their site.
Differentiating yourself can be quite challenging when everyone is constantly distributing content and yours gets eventually pushed back in the search engine queue or under hundreds of similar posts in social media.
But all is not lost! New technologies have allowed publishers to reinvent themselves and use their creativity to create engaging content and stand out from their competitors.
Let’s talk about interactive content!
What is interactive content?
Interactive content refers to content that requires an active participation of users in order for them to receive the message. It’s a two-way conversation between you and your audience.
This type of content, initially, can give the impression that it’s difficult to produce on a daily basis. But when it’s said and done, it can be highly rewarding.
The main benefits of interactive content are:
1. It’s highly engaging
The whole premise of interactive content is the involvement of your audience with the content piece. That’s why one of its main benefits is that it provides a better engagement rate than static content.
Make sure that the content is light, not too heavy so people don’t get bored or overwhelmed with too much information. The point of interactive content is to provide information in an interesting and fun way and for people to eventually share this content with their peers.
2. It provides a great user experience
Similar to our previous point, interactive content can provide a unique and immersive user experience to your audience. They will see that you care for their experiences as consumers of your content by offering them valuable info and entertainment.
Specifically, you will win the hearts of the members of younger generations, like Millenials and Gen-Z, in which this kind of content is pretty popular.
3. It helps with lead generation
As you probably already know, the result of more engagement and better user experience leads to an increase of lead generation and conversions.
You can leverage the high level of interaction to spark the attention of your leads, nurture them and guide them into doing a specific action.
4. It provides useful information
Imagine that you create a quiz and share with your audience. This quiz will have multiple options to choose from, which can provide valuable information about what your audience likes, dislikes, their motivations or their concerns.
Keep in mind that every time a user interacts with your content through, for instance, a click on one of the options of this quiz, you will have access to this data that will help you understand your audience better. And, of course, you can leverage this to create better content and improve your marketing strategy.
5. You can choose from multiple formats
Quizzes are not the only format of interactive content that exist. Since creativity runs free in this type of content, there are different ways of catching the attention of your audience and interacting with them.
Other formats include interactive infographics, polls and surveys, interactive videos, calculators, lookbooks, maps, etc.
The rise of newsgames
A newly created interactive content format is the newsgames. If you’ve never heard of this term, a newsgame can be described as a piece of content in which news is explained through a game. And since the gaming industry is already a well established market, it’s no doubt that it can be an great way for publishers to engage their audience throughout the entirety of a content piece.
The video game industry reached a value of $85.86 billion according to Statista, making it one of the leading markets in the US. This explains why newsgames can be a great opportunity for publishers to share their content in a different and effective way.
An example of this is the news publisher Financial Times, who published Can you reach net zero by 2050?, a newsgame to celebrate Earth Day and, at the same time, shine a light on Earth’s biggest challenges due to climate change and the solutions we can provide to reach Net Zero.
This format allows readers (or gamers in this case) to learn about what policies, technology and resources are available or can be created to improve the state of Earth in a more detailed and immersive way, making the message penetrate their minds more effectively.
For topics as data heavy and, sometimes, pretty complicated as these ones, newsgames can be a fun way to present such information to the audience and make it more digestible.
Can publishers leverage newsgames?
No one can deny the capacity of adaptation that publishers have in this industry. VR, AR, the metaverse… and now newsgames. The technology is there and the final result can be really effective.
While the duration of The Uber Game was around 10 minutes, according to David Blood, developer of the game, the average time that users spent on the page was 20 minutes. Also, the piece reached over 360k visits, mainly from new audiences as the interest in this kind of content led to the creation of many backlinks, driving more traffic to the website.
So, why not give newsgames a chance? You will need much needed time to create and produce the piece, yes. But as we’ve shown, the results can be incredibly rewarding.
What is a newsgame?
A newsgame is a narrative strategy that uses video games as a way to tell stories and deliver information.
Can newsgames be useful for publishers?
Yes, it can! Newsgames is a type of interactive content, which has multiple benefits for publishers such as increasing engagement, improving user experience and generating leads.