Content MarketinG — 10 MIN READ — NOV 21, 2017

How To Start Using Interactive Content And Skyrocket Your Marketing Strategy Today

How To Start Using Interactive Content And Skyrocket Your Marketing Strategy Today

Alexander Bickov
Riga based product designer with over 15 years of UX design and digital marketing experience. Works at Mediaplans agency.
We're living in a world where customer expectations are higher than ever. The traditional one direction advertising flow has been replaced by audiences that demand highly personalized content and valuable experiences.
To answer this demand, create more relevant messages and foster a two-way dialogue between a business and its customer, more and more marketers are implementing interactive content in their strategies. Here is what you need to know to jump on the interactive content bandwagon and start creating content that increases engagement, generates more conversions and provides valuable customer data.


What is interactive marketing?

NG Data points out that the term interactive marketing encompasses dynamic and personalized content and layered information, that aim 'to make content engaging and relevant for customers.' Interactive content essentially captures the reader's attention and requires that participants actively engage with the content. Instead of simply reading or watching, users access the full experience by tapping, swiping, or otherwise physically interacting with the piece of content.

So how does the interactive content work? Psychologist Lev Vygotsky's constructivism theory explains that people create their own understanding through experience. These experiences are the ones that enable simultaneous development and learning. Information, education, and entertainment are the main components of interactive content and the reasons why it's extremely effective at educating the customers about your products and differentiating you from your competitors.


Interactive marketing in numbers

Interactive content is not only fun for users to interact with, some recent data proves that it's effective too:

  • Visual content like online quizzes with images or GIFs are 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks;
  • 87% of marketers using interactive content agree that it grabs the viewer's attention more effectively than static content;
  • 93% of marketers said interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating the buyer;
  • 69% of marketers agree that quizzes are the most effective for the early stage (awareness/discovery) stage of buyer's journey;
  • One BuzzFeed quiz has been viewed over 22 million times and liked over 2.5 million times.


Top benefits of creating interactive content

While static content can be useful, interactive content has many advantages:
1
Higher engagement rate: Interactive content gives users more value so they are more willing to trade their e-mail address for the experience and later share it on their social media. Interactive content can result in an increased lead generation, link building and larger traffic to your website.
2
Customized results: As users are inputting their own information, the results they get are highly customized and more relevant.
3
Captured attention: The average human attention span has fallen to 8 seconds, so interactive content that keeps users involved can be helpful to arrest the attention of online audiences.
4
Increased brand loyalty: Ordinary content makes you seem the same as many others, while interactive content can help you stand out from your competitors. If you provide an experience to your customers, it will be remembered, and your brand will gain the positive association.
5
Relevant data: Interactive content that captures users' attention can make them provide you with more relevant data that can be used to create targeted and useful content in the future.
6
Increased sales conversions: A successful interactive marketing campaign can help you convert your audience from a reader to buyer. Interactive techniques provide the audience with the flexibility and choice that psychologically makes them more receptive to buying.


7 Formats of interactive content and how to use them

Interactive content allows individuals to participate in the information they're consuming. It can come in many forms, from a knowledge quiz or persona assessment to a dynamic ebook or whitepaper.


#1: interactive PDFs, e-books, and whitepapers

Whitepapers and e-books have been used in content marketing for a long time, however, not much has changed over the years with how they work. Taking into account the reduced attention span of modern customers, there is definitely room for improvement. Instead of providing your audience with a simple PDF, add interactive and multimedia elements like checkboxes and videos to them. Interactive e-books and whitepapers will captivate the readers and lead to a higher engagement rate.

For example, ad tech company xAd made an interactive ebook to educate possibilities of location marketing. The eBook was also embedded in a sponsored content placement on The Guardian.


#2: Interactive infographics and data visualizations

It's no news that infographics are one of the most shareable forms of content out there. A few years back marketing expert Neil Patel wrote an article on how to achieve an astronomical number of visitors by using infographics. However, in 2017 the competition has become harsher and marketers have to go one step further and create interactive infographics to crush their competitors. You can easily add interactivity to your infographics by allowing users to click and reveal more information, getting users to highlight some areas of the infographic or adding scrolling effects

Get inspired by this The Geek's Guide to London infographic that instead of static has created an animated infographic that enables users to learn more about places in London by using the clickable map.


#3: Interactive Videos

Recent statistics show that the demand for video content is growing rapidly. For example, 51.9% of marketing professionals say that video has the best ROI of all types of content and 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. To satisfy this demand, go the extra mile and add interactive features like buttons and opt-in forms to your videos. It will make the user experience more tangible and potentially lead to greater satisfaction.

For example, this touchable John Varvatos Star U.S.A. video allows users to discover their Spring/Summer collection in a more engaging way.


#4: Calculators

A calculator is a form of interactive content that takes user inputs and generates numerical results. This allows your audience to evaluate different solutions, estimate and compare the costs of various product features and measure the benefits of several purchase options. Calculators not only provide valuable information for your customers but also collect rich profile data marketers can use in their future campaigns.

Check out how BeeWits used a calculator to help freelancers calculate their hourly rate:


#5: Interactive emails

E-mail has proven to be one of the most successful online marketing techniques — for every $1 spent, e-mail marketing generates $38 in ROI. Instead of one-to-many messages, e-mail is a one-to-one communication that can help to create a special relationship with clients. And adding interactive elements to this communication can transform it into an amazing marketing tool. Add menus, sliders, rotating banners and other features to allow the recipients to take action directly within their inbox.

Here's how an E-mail Developer Mark Robbins pictures an email message checkout:


#6: Tests and quizzes

Not only tests and quizzes keep users hooked, they also enable marketers to offer more content to the target audience and urge the participants to share their outcome with others. There are two main types of quizzes marketers can use to engage and capture their audience's attention:

  • Graded quizzes which give the user a score that can be shared on social media. For example, a score on how much does a user know about the capitals of the world.
  • Outcome quizzes which give the user an outcome. For example, which city the user should live in.

The New York Times, for instance, used an interactive graded quiz to turn an article Places to Go 2017 into an interactive experience.
Another example is provided by Heineken that created an interactive recruiting campaign Go Places. It used an outcome quiz that invites potential prospects on an interview, where they are led through a Heineken Neverland and asked to answer 12 spit-fire questions in under five seconds each. At the end of the quiz, a personality assessment is offered to the viewer and can be easily shared on their social media.


#7: Interactive websites

Add a delightful layer of engagement on your website by adding interactivity to it. Consider using audio or video media, sliding interactions, or scroll events to tell your story, trigger emotional connections and increase visitor engagement. Take a look at how Borjomi Mineral Water created The World's Deepest Website to highlight the fact that the water is derived from an 8,000m deep volcanic spring in Georgia. The site lets consumers scroll down 8km to the 'bottom'.


How to get the most out of interactive content

As seen above, interactive content has many forms and can provide many benefits for marketers as well as the customers. To integrate interactive content into your strategy successfully, keep this in mind:

  • Have a clear message: Interactivity cannot substitute a real message. So before opting for interactive content explore your goals and think about your customers, their questions and how to offer them fitting responses.
  • Choose the format that fits your goal: Consider what attributes of your product or service are the most useful in addressing customer's pain points. Then, select an interactive format that fits your message and is suitable for your content marketing strategy and goals.
  • Start with a pilot program: Find one area of your customer's journey you want to optimize first. However, don't forget that the interactive content you're creating, no matter the size, has to be in line with your other content marketing initiatives.
  • Repurpose your content: Interactive content doesn't have to be built from scratch. Instead, take some of your static content and convert it into interactive pieces. For instance, take stats or figures from your white paper and turn them into a quiz testing your visitor's knowledge.
  • Take advantage of online tools: Creating interactive content doesn't have to be hard. There are plenty of online tools you can use to easily make different kinds of interactive content. For example:
  1. Zembula - an interactive content creation platform for email, SMS, and social media.
  2. Qzzr - an easy-to-use online tool that makes great looking customizable quizzes.
  3. SnapApp - helps you to make different types of content from calculators to surveys and infographics.
  4. ThingLink - an interactive platform that allows users to bring their photos and videos to life through the inclusion of rich media links.

  • Measure the impact: Downloads, views, social shares, and other data is helpful when you set initial performance benchmarks. To get a well-rounded view of your content's performance, use some of the online analytic tools, e.g.:
  1. Google Analytics is a must if you wish to gain insights into conversions, page views, visitor demographics, and track interactions with your content.
  2. Hotjar.com lets you see how visitors are using your website with heatmaps and recordings of real visitors on your site.
  3. Capsulink is an URL shortener that protects you from traffic loss, damaged external links and offers insightful analytics.
  4. Quantcast reveals unique audience insights and helps to acquire new audiences through analyzing people's online behaviour.


Bottom line

As traditional digital marketing no longer works, because "advertising has perpetuated the lack of real interaction a brand has with consumers", it's time for every marketer to quit their previous passive approaches and provide the customers with more engaging interactive experiences. Remember, interactive content doesn't have to be flashy or feature-rich to help you stand out from the noise of a crowded content landscape. Even simple interactive formats can capture the user's attention, increase conversions and engagement, and educate your audience more effectively.

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