Reaching customers online isn’t as easy as it used to be. The web is overcrowded, and everyone is trying to grab your customer’s attention.
Content marketing is more competitive than ever. To start with, content marketers are producing more content every year, and people’s attention span is shrinking. There is more content out there then people can view, making it very hard for digital marketers to stand out.
That’s why we are seeing the emergence of a new trend: interactive content. Smart marketers are using interactive content to cut through the digital clutter and generate more qualified leads.
Most traditional forms of content like blog posts, infographics or videos are about observing: reading, watching or listening. Interactive content, on the other hand, engages people through active participation. The common thread for all interactive content format is that it offers people to participate in the experience actively instead of passively observing.
People interact by answering questions, choosing preferences, guessing, voting, navigating or playing. Typical formats include quizzes, assessments, interactive videos, product finders/recommenders, calculators, calendars/countdown, polls, interactive e-books and games.
Different types of Interactive Content
There are many different types of interactive content, here are 10 of the most common ones.
The quiz challenges entertain and engage people, and at the end, it provides results based on replies. The quiz is the ultimate form of snackable content, great for social media and growing your email subscriber lists.
Assessments are typically longer than quizzes and give the user more in-depth personalised feedback or advice. Marketers can use it to test their audience’s knowledge, expertise or skills. In a B2B context, they can also be used as industry benchmark tests, best practices assessments, risk assessments, compliance assessments or technology readiness tests.
- Product Recommender
The product recommender helps people to find the perfect product for their needs. It’s almost like a virtual shopping assistant that asks the user questions and based on his replies, he is guided to the most suitable product. The product recommender works very well for retailers or web shops.
- Interactive Videos
The interactive video allows the user to engage himself in the story through clickable touch points that determine the course of action which can be purchasing a product, see more information or answer questions. Interactive Videos can include lead forms that totally or partially gate the video.
The Calculator offers real utility to the user, as a tool to help better buying decisions, business plans, budgets and more. Marketers can create calculators with their own formula for calculating savings, ROI, risk exposure and more.
The interactive countdown creates a buzz leading up to an upcoming event and is great for Christmas, Black Friday or even company anniversaries, special events, seasonal sales and festivals. The idea is to “unlock” a special surprise (premium content or give-away) every single day or hour leading up to an event.
- Interactive E-book
The Interactive E-book is multi-device-friendly, and you can enrich e-books by embedding assessments, interactive charts, videos and more into them. You don’t even have to download the interactive e-book, just read them on your phone, tablet or computer.
- Interactive Polls
The interactive poll shows immediate results based on what others voted. It’s a great way to get your audience to vote for their favourite product. It works well for products, looks, ideas, and concepts.
What better way to hold people’s attention but to use the ultimate procrastinator? Gaming. Memory cards games, spot-the-mistake games or what-happens-next games, marketers have so much to choose from.
- Solution Builder
Solution builders work like assessments, but give the user detailed feedback for her answer to each question. They are meant to provide in-depth advice for the user’s specific needs and challenges.
Why Interactive Content?
Catering to the modern consumer
If you take a moment and check your social media feed, it becomes evident that people care about their own lives. People enjoy talking about themselves and sharing their feelings, losses and victories.
Another fact is that people share and consume content at all hours of the day and on multiple devices.
That puts marketers in a tight spot, now needing to produce more content than they have time for to compete with all this content.
Marketers also face the demand for personalised content, as consumers increasingly ask for content that meets their interests.
Interactive content caters all these demands. It provides instant personalised feedback to the consumer, based on their interactive activities.
More Leads, better quality!
For over a decade, marketers have used the same tactic of producing e-books and webinars to grow their e-mail lists.
Because this method used to work well and deliver quality leads, there’s plenty of e-books, and webinars online. The quantity and quality of the leads, however, are not the same as they used to be.
People have become more reluctant to give out their contact information, and with the vast amount of e-books available, the competition is harder.
If you stack up to the effort, time and resources that go into making an e-book versus the number and quality of leads you’re getting out of them, you might find that isn’t as effective as it used to be.
We all know it’s not easy, between producing content for various digital channels, sending newsletters and staying up-to-date on latest digital marketing trends, there isn’t much time to create new original content.
Fortunately, interactive content brings a solution for two major challenges: capturing quality leads and personalising content without taking too much time.
With real-time customised results, you offer the customer more value. It also offers more value to the marketer as all interactive content is trackable. Every single action is tracked, and every click, answer, navigation and choice will aid in drawing a clearer image of each lead. Over time, you can use different interactive content formats to develop rich lead profiles.
This means that you don’t have to ask for as much information on the opt-in form, but you get richer marketing data.
It’s simply easier to gain more personal information through interactive content. Think about it, a personality test tells you much more about your customer than an e-book. Every question answered reveals something about your customer.
The personality test plays into people’s curiosity about themselves and their need to share with the world. People are therefore more likely to share with you their personal information in return for real-time personalised results.
The great thing is that with interactive content you can ask questions that really matter. Insert interactive elements that help reveal your business needs, personality type, challenges, knowledge level, job performance or interests.. You simply pick the right product and tailor the content to serve you and your customer’s needs.
Better lead nurturing and higher conversion
Marketing is moving towards personalisation, where knowing the customer is essential for building customer relationships.
Knowing your customer’s individual preferences, likes and dislikes will put you in a much better position to send them marketing content that speaks to their individual needs.
You stand a much better chance to gain a higher conversion rate and avoid the risk of losing subscribers when armed with personalised e-mails, based on quality leads.
Using interactive content you can mine key marketing insights that make it easier to personalise your marketing activities.
Most interactive content platforms can integrate the results to email platforms such as MailChimp. It means that as soon as someone has finished taking your personality test (or any other product), the results are passed on to MailChimp, and a personalised, automated email sent out.
Here’s how it works: remember the personality test from the top of the blog called ‘What is Your Marketing Superpower?’. It determines what type of marketer you are: the social media wizard, the creative genius, analytical marketer, or a lead-gen machine.
For this, we tailored follow-up emails speaking to the characteristics of each group. Once people complete the test, an email platform sends out one of the four emails, based on the personality test results.
So, what’s next for you?
It can seem complicated to get started, but with interactive platforms, it really is easy to create interactive content.
An easy way to start using interactive content is to repurpose the content you already have. You can quickly turn your how-to-guide to an educational quiz, research into an interactive assessment, your video to an interactive video, or a blog post into a quiz.
The most important thing is to determine your goal before you start is “what is it that you want”?
Do you want to improve social media engagement, improve lead-generation, or boost sales? There are different interactive tools to help you with every goal.
If you want to improve social media engagement, a fun personality test is a great way to do that. If you want to grow your email list, you might want to use a quiz, calculator, or assessment.
If you want to boost sales, a product recommender, shoppable video or an hourly countdown are your best choices. The Product Recommender works like a virtual sales assistant that asks your customers questions to help find the perfect product.
The Shoppable video showcases products, and with one click you can add them to a shopping cart. The Hourly Countdown is used for holidays or anniversaries, offering hourly offers and creating an urgency for the buyer to act.
There are loads of opportunities for the innovative marketer. If need help figuring out what kind of interactive content is best for your goals and business, then visit dot.vu/templates.
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