An interactive multimedia press release includes elements like videos, audio files, hashtags, hover-box tours, infographics, and free demos or trials. It takes readers on a journey of their choosing, allowing them to find the most interesting angle for them or their audiences and then continue on that journey to learn more. It benefits businesses by increasing engagement, coverage, conversions, and tracking capabilities.
It takes, on average, seven brand touchpoints for potential customers to become customers. As such, the more brand touchpoints you include in your press release, the more likely you are to convert. The good news is, there are plenty of multimedia elements to choose from to increase your touchpoints while also adding value to your reader’s experience. These include photo galleries, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, videos, free demos or trials, infographics, hover-box tours, and audio files.
Here are 10 interactive press release elements to add value to your press release reader experience:
1. Photo Galleries
For many types of press releases, journalists simply cannot cover your story well without high-resolution photographs. A photo gallery gives journalists plenty of visuals to support their unique story angles without taking valuable time (in their deadline-driven world) to request one from you. Moreover, including a gallery in your press release keeps you from having to send photos as email attachments, which are often too heavy to download and so create more time-consuming headaches for journalists.
For example, a press release announcing a new partnership could include a photo gallery of key stakeholders mentioned in the release, while a charity auction press release could include a photo gallery of the items to be auctioned. In the below example of a product gallery included in a press release, notice that the product gallery offers the option to download all images. This makes it easy for journalists to get what they need and allows you to track their actions—and so their interest in your product.
2. CTA Buttons
A call-to-action (CTA) button is a great way to earn trackable engagement with your press release while helping your readers choose their own journey. A “learn more” approach is a great way to offer this enhanced journey without turning your press release into a sales piece. Including a call-to-action button is a clear, attention-grabbing, and visual representation of where readers can take their press release journey.
Don’t think you have to limit your button copy to “learn more”; there are many ways readers can learn more, and being specific about what is on the other side of that button creates an enticing promise of value. For example, people can learn more with buttons like “join our webinar,” “download our report,” or “sign up for our product tasting.”
If you are issuing a real estate press release, for example, you can show readers why your press release news is relevant to the current market by offering a link to a report on the local real estate market. First, introduce the value of your report, then include a call-to-action button with the words “Download Report” or “View Report.” To increase the number of touchpoints with your brand, instead of providing a third-party report, provide a branded report with your logo and information your company has gathered.
3. Behind-the-Scenes Videos
It is important that, as you craft your press release, you ensure all interactive experiences within your release send a unified, but not repetitive, message. While it might be tempting to add a video that describes your business or product, this information is likely already present in your release. If it is, consider offering a unique perspective in your video.
A behind-the-scenes video offers press release readers the authentic experience consumers crave. As much as 86% of consumers say authenticity is a key factor in whether they like a brand or not. Behind-the-scenes videos offer them the real-life challenges and culture of a brand.
4. Video Testimonials
Just as journalists do when writing a news story, offering different perspectives (via testimonials) makes your press release story more credible and compelling. In addition, video testimonials allow you to turn the power of word-of-mouth marketing into a brand touchpoint for your press release readers, one that can be tracked via the number of views. In the end, by including such user-generated content (content the people who use your products or services produce), your press release is more likely to convert since 79% of people say such content highly impacts whether they will buy from a company or not.
As you choose testimonials to include in your press release, remember to choose testimonials that focus on your company’s customer service, not just your product. This helps boost conversions, given that 73% of consumers say customer experience is a key factor they use to decide from which brands to buy. In addition, be sure your chosen testimonials showcase your brand’s values in action. After all, 77% of consumers look to purchase from brands that share the same values.
5. Free Demos or Trials
Your press release is primarily about relaying compelling information so journalists will cover your story. A free demo allows journalists and readers to watch you explore your product, then ask questions to develop their own understanding and angles. In the same vein, a trial allows them to explore your product as they deem appropriate for their needs.
Simply put, the hands-on approach offered in free demos or trials allows journalists to explore their own angle for their stories instead of just being spoon-fed the angle you want them to cover. This is attractive for journalists because it means they can create a unique story that hasn’t already been covered.
To avoid sending the wrong message, it is important to frame your free demo or trial correctly in your press release. This is not a marketing piece, so it should not be positioned as a means to convert. A “try before you buy” approach or even such tones should be excluded from a press release. Instead, introduce your demo or trial as a chance to explore the story more. You can do so by introducing your demo or trial, then inviting journalists to get their questions answered by accessing it. Finally, include a CTA button they can click to sign up.
Infographics are visual representations of facts or statistics. They are a great way of clearly telling a story about your brand that could otherwise be confusing and overwhelming for your reader. One infographic could have many components that take your readers through a journey. These components could include images, short pieces of copy, symbols, and graphs.
For example, say you are issuing a press release surrounding a nonprofit charitable initiative to offer job and skills acquisition training in one of your third-world village markets. Your infographic could tell a story, beginning with the mean annual income of the community prior to your initiative, the timeline of your efforts as they came to fruition (complete with images of your efforts), and then a graph depicting an improved average annual income in the few months or years following your charity initiative.
While not interactive in itself, an infographic takes readers through a journey and can add to the interactive experience of other elements, allowing readers to choose their journey through your story. Those interactive elements can even be included in your infographic. For example, you could include hashtags where readers can continue following the developing story, and shortened links (via a tool like Bitly) that lead people to download a report, sign up for an event, or participate in a webinar.
7. Explainer Videos
Like infographics, explainer videos can help you present concepts that may be difficult to explain in writing in layman’s terms, and with clarifying supporting imagery. While infographics are great for offering complex numerical data, explainer videos can help you showcase a complex solution to a current problem your target market faces.
For example, say you have developed a software that solves a complex analytics problem for marketers. But, you want to showcase how your product helps even small, non-technically savvy business owners. An explainer video that uses images to offer small, easy-to-follow steps to solve an analytics problem is more approachable and consumable than a text-only explanation. The statistics back this up: People attempting to follow directions that include images do so 323% better than those who attempt to do so without images.
8. Hover-box Tours
Hover boxes are boxes that appear when people place their cursors or fingers on certain points that are overlaid on an image. Just like demos or free trials, these hover boxes allow people to narrow in on the aspects of your news story they most want to explore, thereby choosing their own journey. They are a natural fit for product launch press releases, but they can also be used in very creative ways for other types of press releases, including charity, business launch, award, and partnership press releases.
For example, a partnership press release could include an image of the key stakeholders who made the partnership the best it could be. Hover boxes can be used to introduce each person and tell more about their roles and the unique talents they brought to the process. A charity release could showcase images of completed charity work, then hover boxes can showcase in-depth information about what donor dollars accomplished. And, of course, for product press releases, hover boxes can be placed over product images to reveal more information about individual product features.
9. Audio Recordings
Audio recordings within your news release give journalists ready-made sound clips or interviews to share in outlets like radio and television. It should be between 30 and 60 seconds and include the voices of key stakeholders in your company’s story. It should include enough information about your story so as to fill a segment in a news or radio outlet.
Featured stakeholders usually include a company spokesperson but could include company employees or owners, customers, industry experts, or influencers. Given that over 90% of adults listen to the radio, if you want the widest coverage for your news story, including an audio recording is key.
Mastercard audio press release example
Hashtags aren’t technically “multimedia,” but they can be used to invite readers to other platforms where they can interact with your brand. They offer brands great opportunities to get press release readers interacting on a continual basis, helping brands to become a part of their readers’ lives, earn feedback from their target audiences, and even nurture leads.
For example, when the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) launched their Game Generation campaign, they encouraged readers to get involved in the power of play by following the hashtag #GameGeneration.
5 Advantages of an Interactive Press Release
In comparison to text-only press releases, multimedia interactive press releases benefit businesses by earning them increased engagement and coverage, ensuring their stories better penetrate their target markets, and increasing their lead time-to-purchase. Companies can also better track the performance of multimedia press releases because of their large number of trackable elements. Better performance tracking allows companies to learn audience preferences and so better market their story.
Here are five advantages of an interactive press release over a text-only press release:
- Increased engagement: Business Wire reports that interactive press releases tend to earn 50% higher engagement rates than traditional text-only press releases. This is because people don’t often want to sit down and read a 2,000-word press release, but will spend hours on social media platforms engaging with videos and images.
- Increased coverage: Regardless of the platform on which they must publish, journalists know that multimedia elements like images and videos increase engagement with their news stories. For this reason, 71% of journalists say they use multimedia in their news stories.
- More information consumption and retention: While the average attention span of an adult reading text-only digital content is eight seconds, those same adults are willing to spend much more time viewing a multimedia asset like a video. Renderforest reports that 60% of people will stop viewing a video after 120 seconds. That is a huge jump from eight seconds. Just imagine how much more content you can cover in 65 seconds than you could in the eight seconds.
- Faster lead to purchase time: On average, it takes seven touchpoints with any brand for people to consider purchasing from it. An interactive press release allows you to increase the number of touchpoints during potential customers’ first interaction with your brand. All of these interactive examples are unique touchpoints that launch your readers closer to a purchase without them having to discover you on multiple platforms.
- Greater performance tracking: By providing ways in which people can interact with your press release (click on, play, or download content, for example), you create ways to track their actions. By doing so, you can get a very detailed view of what content interests your target audience and what does not. This information can be used to tailor press release-related marketing campaigns around target audience preferences.
3 Top Examples of Interactive Multimedia Press Releases
The best interactive multimedia press releases take readers on a journey of exploration, allowing them to choose the story angle that most interests them and then run with it. In the following press releases, Merrick Pet Care, PerkinElmer Genomics, and Technavio each strategically incorporate multimedia assets so as to allow journalists and influencers to choose their angle, follow it to create highly engaging coverage, and then publish it across platforms, even on their notoriously tight deadlines.
1. Merrick Pet Care’s Release Helps Readers Engage in Its Charity Initiative
Merrick Pet Care’s press release offers several multimedia features that lend to a more engaging journey. Immediately, a slideshow of images allows journalists to choose the right image to complement their story angle. One image caption introduces a landing page URL where readers can learn more if they so choose.
Throughout the release, readers are introduced to more elements they can interact with to discover deeper, developing, and unique angles to the story. For example, readers can follow the included hashtags #DogsLoveBBQToo and #BBQ4Good to access user-generated content of people and companies supporting the initiative as well as the impact the initiative has made on the welfare of shelter dogs.
2. PerkinElmer Genomics Makes Revolutionary Medicine Approachable to the Layman
PerkinElmer Genomics offers a product launch multimedia press release that makes complex scientific concepts easily consumable for the everyday consumer the journalist is likely targeting. It takes the scientific concepts behind Genetic Screening and, using images and short, easily consumable sentences, explains a previously unsolved consumer problem and then walks them through the solution (the PerkinElmer Genomics product). As such, this video allows journalists to present a highly scientific and technical concept to the everyday consumer.
The multimedia and interactive features of this press release also make it easily consumable, and so shareable, across platforms. Because it is in video form, the explainer video can be embedded in news site articles and across social media and even email, while producing higher engagement for the news story. Moreover, a “Tweet This” box makes it easy for readers (including journalists) to share the press release story instantly with their followers.
3. Technavio Invites Readers to Explore Its Product on Their Own Terms
Technavio’s press release offers readers a sneak peek into the report via an infographic. It then offers a free sample so readers can try their product for themselves. The small infographic is the perfect size to be published in outlets across platforms, including on social media channels, in emails, embedded in articles, and even included in print publications.
Once readers get a glimpse of the report, they are invited to engage further by trying a free trial with Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company. The landing page readers are taken to when they click on the invite to a trial includes a list of features the trial offers press release readers, as well as information about post-trial pricing and a list of frequently asked questions. This free trial offer allows the press release readers to explore the product themselves, thereby choosing their own journey through the news story.
A multimedia press release includes elements like videos, hashtags, infographics, images, audio files, free demos, and product tours. Such interactive elements offer readers the ability to choose the most valuable story and discovery experience for them. For example, journalists can explore to find a unique angle, then narrow in on it to gather robust details for well-rounded and engaging coverage. Businesses benefit from multimedia releases with greater engagement, faster conversions, increased coverage, and in-depth performance tracking capabilities.