I like to think of myself as a visual content junkie. Visual content tools never cease to amaze me, and lately I’ve realized the added benefits of embedding tools, and how much more effective it can make the visuals.
Why would you give up the option to have your visual content be part of your site, and ask readers to go elsewhere to see what you’ve got?
That’s right, there isn’t much of a good reason.
Embedding for Storytelling
Embedding visual content is a crucial storytelling method. Storytelling thrives on making experiences come to life. When you’re giving over your story, you want all the tools you can get that make the content more real for the reader. When jaw-dropping visuals are incorporated into your regular web content, it’s the real deal.
Below are some of our favorite visual content tools that thrive off being embeddable. Aside from the awesome opportunities they provide, they’re even more effective when you embed them rather than show them through a link.
Image vs. Embed
This is an example of how content has a different effect on-screen depending on whether it’s embedded or if it’s accessible through a link or an image.
See the difference between how our map looks in the two cases:
At Mapme, our maps thrive on being embeddable — simply because if they weren’t, we wouldn’t be showing potential users how critically our maps could enhance both their content and their value proposition. Part of the content’s essential beauty is the dynamic interaction it allows, and so too integrating the interaction into an existing web page.
Embedding means you can hover over locations to get more specific info, share the map directly, contact the actual location itself, and find out more info about the places, as you need.
When pasted or linked, Maps are still super-informative in that they tell you about places that you didn’t know about and they also give you information about places, both old and new.
But once map users get the chance to interact with the map by making choices and choosing what to do with its information, the map content has a different meaning for them.
It serves a much fuller purpose than just giving over information.
Whether an image of your content is pasted to your site or even if it’s an image-link to more content, it’s still not as effective as embedded content. In the map below, you can see locations and where they are on the map, but you can’t zoom-in or out, nor can you hover to find more. There’s no interaction involved, and you’re basically seeing but not doing.
Our content is still great as a pasted image, embedding really takes the map (and users!) to high places.
These are our favorite visual content tools for embedding, and the reason why we love them is pretty obvious!
Slidely Gallery – Makes me Smile by Slidely Photo Gallery
Slidely takes your images, videos and music and produces one interactive multi-media slideshow. Much like you can do by zooming in and out of an interactive map, Slidely lets you see each content piece in its own right, but simultaneously sets it on a stage with other content, and together they create a new content fusion.
Part of the wonder in slidely is the 360 degree content experience it gives you.
What does that mean?
When we say 360 degrees, it means you go through the full cycle of the content, from start to finish. You experience every single element, big or small.
As soon as you start viewing a slidely, the 5 senses get cracking. Your eyes are seeing tons of content, your ears are grooving to the music. You might not be smelling or tasting anything directly, but the Slidely experience is so real that you get a real scent of what you’re seeing, and definitely taste the experience’s true flavor.
Flixel is a cinemagraph tool. They call themselves “living photos”.
Cinemagraphs, otherwise known as ‘autoplay natives’ have a recurring wow-factor. No matter how times you’ve seen a cinemagraph, you can’t help but be impressed each time.
Without the embedding feature, cinemagraphs would lose half their splendor. Part of the magic is that as you scroll down, you’re suddenly taken aback by the photo not being just an ordinary photo. One element-type in the photo is constantly moving, and suddenly you’re experiencing the image to such a greater depth.
It’s not just a picture of a flame, you can actually see the flickering come alive ?.
Interlude lets anybody create, design and publish their own interactive video. For interlude, interactive video means that as you watch the video, you are asked to choose options or answer questions via buttons that appear throughout the course of the video.
‘Interactive’ is basically synonymous with ‘exciting’, ‘engaging’, and words that suggest the viewer is receiving his information actively, and not as a passive onlooker. If these interactive videos couldn’t be embedded, the whole interactive experience would be disrupted by going from site to a separate link.
When we have great content to show off, we want to get people excited about it and let them enjoy the experience. Interactive and responsive? always better.
HSTRY is a visual timeline tool. It lets you choose all types of visual content and piece them together into an interactive timeline. You can select prompts to navigate to different info points, and you can shift around content back and forth to meet the sequence that makes most sense for your topic.
HSTRY is a top-notch example of how visual content tools can be embedded to guide the user through a storyline or through process which involves presenting new information and giving over a new skill.
HSTRY’s target audience is the EdTech sector, as historical content is the optimal subject matter for its visual features. Although HSTRY is built for specific EdTech needs, it is versatile in that many types of content promoters can benefit tremendously from getting their content into timeline format.
When choosing the best platform for sharing your content with the big world out there, make sure it’s embeddable. When you want to reach users, it’s most important to blend your content into their natural experience of things. By embedding enriched content into their browsing experience, the content’s effect is so, so much stronger.