Important news stories are always a great source of content for publishers, but it’s not very often that a news story takes the world by storm. The United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union was a news sensation not to be ignored, and presented an opportunity and unique challenge for publishers to create digestible and clear content around such a complex and controversial topic. With so many outlets in the UK covering the story, The Huffington Post UK needed to stand out from the crowd to present engaging articles on a topic inundating everyone’s news feeds.
At the height of Brexit news coverage, the publisher embedded 15 interactive items powered by Playbuzz, to attract readers and encourage engagement, going the extra mile to ensure stories provided a positive UX to their audience. The UK publisher gave readers an active role in the content consumption process – such as opportunities to vote on whether or not their newspaper of choice reflected their view on the Brexit, or how often they would vote for Theresa May – thus providing a platform for readers to voice their opinions on the referendum. These items were not just showcased on-site, but also shared via The Huffington Post UK’s social channels.
The overall success of the articles that utilized Playbuzz formats is due in part to the use of the Convo format, which powered 11 of the 15 items. The format, which presents content in a texting-like manner similar to that of Whatsapp, enabled the outlet to turn heated and complex debates into snackable, straightforward content.
The Huffington Post UK also chose a rather edgy tone, not shying away from slang and even racy terms at times.
The decision to use Interactive formats proved to be incredibly smart:
Start rate as high as 90%
An average share rate of 2%
An average completion rate of over 70%
- Interactive content formats enable publishers to turn complex news topics into clear, concise stories that appeal to a large audience.
- Publishers can choose unique content formats in order to bring new life into a topic that has been incessantly discussed.
- News stories dealing with topics that rely heavily on public opinion are a perfect fit for interactive formats, as they give readers an active role in voicing their opinions on the topic itself.