The verdict is out: static content is not king anymore. While we still rely on informative blog posts and ebooks, many brands are adding interactive content to their content marketing strategies. Why? Because people prefer stimulating content that allows them to stray from the ordinary (think Black Mirror: Bandersnatch).
Is your company still a firm believer in homepages, sales pages, blog feeds, personalized emails, and the likes? 93% of marketers prefer interactive content as it is more effective in persuading and educating buyers.
Unsure of whether interactive content can benefit your business? It’s time to explore the possibilities!
What is Interactive Content?
Interactive content encourages users to engage with content actively instead of passively. Not sure what that means? Think comments section at the end of your blog, surveys and feedback forms, question and answer sessions during webinars—these are considered interactive content. In short, interactive content is any kind of content that opens a two-way communication channel between your brand and your target customer base.
Does Interactive Content Work?
Albeit time-consuming to create, interactive content has its perks and rewards compared to static content. It can transform a message by making it more impactful, valuable, and worthy of a user’s time.
Need more convincing?
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to increase conversion rates (by 86%) and become shareable on social media.
- Consumers’ consumption of live videos is four times higher than pre-recorded videos.
Effective Types of Interactive Content
How a medium of interactive content works in your favor will depend on what sort of outcome you hope to achieve.
Let’s dive into which kinds of interactive content have the potential to attract more users. We’ll also look at how interactive content has worked for businesses in the recent past.
In general, infographics turn text-heavy or data-driven content into a reader-friendly format with animated or graphic elements to make it an interesting read. It’s fun and engaging, as interactive infographics allow users to play around with the built-in features for an immersive experience.
Creating social buzz and shares comes easy when interactive infographics create art in motion.
Example: This infographic on the Beatles allows users to hover over the different elements for interesting nuggets of info.
Notice how the content is informative, fun, and visually interesting.
Polls and Surveys
Polls usually appear discreetly on a website and don’t take more than a few seconds to complete. Surveys are more time-consuming, but they can still be fun and intriguing for users to fill. The idea is to ask for what you need in as few questions as possible before it turns lackluster.
Example: Netflix relies heavily on surveys to help them refine and work on their streaming content. Avid Netflix customers will notice how the platform constantly revamps its content to remain relevant and exciting amidst a sea of competition.
Videos do more than just serve up entertainment: they draw in users. Whether it’s for educational purposes, brand awareness, or new product launches, people tend to pay attention to moving, quality imagery.
In 2020—a whopping 85% of marketers from just 61% in 2018—used videos as part of their marketing strategy.
Example: Adidas created an interactive video campaign on their website that allowed users to shop directly from the video.
Users could choose the looks that were featured and shop directly through clickable links
This particular form of interactive content can influence a user’s buying decision through simple, straightforward questions. For example, it could be option-based questions or a form to gauge users’ interest before entering a website.
Visitor preferences then change the interface to show them only what they want vs. everything at once. Most users leave websites feeling confused and lost, but calculators can turn that around.
Example: HubSpot’s Ads calculator helps businesses review a few key metrics based on their chosen options. The calculator submits an ROI consensus of what to expect to help businesses decide how an ad spend works.
How to Produce Dynamic, Engaging Content
Optimizing the way you present your content can help you build the right audience and influence users to take that next step to create online/offline buzz or make a purchase.
Let’s delve into how you can produce dynamic content to make the most of this interactive space:
Understanding buyer persona
Before launching into any kind of interactive content, it is important to understand your preferred or ideal customer type. You can do this by creating a buyer persona—pick traits and habits, routines, and pain points from your current client database to fashion an ideal buyer persona.
Building a user persona—a specific person that is open about what they want—allows you to go after the right people with certain traits.
Capturing visitor data
If you don’t already have a customer database, find ways to capture user contact information on your website by producing a ‘benefit’ for visitors. For instance, once a user completes a quiz or survey, ask for their contact details to view their results.
If you sell a service or product, asking visitors to share their contact information to receive a special discount or get exclusive access to updates and offers can also prove effective.
Driving sales through the funnel
Once you’ve determined your buyer persona, create interactive content tailored towards people like them. Keep in mind how this content will take them through the funnel. How they advance through the funnel and turn from a curious visitor into a solid lead is the goal a business must aim to achieve.
An attractive lookbook or social media page layout can encourage users to take the first step: visiting a website. Once they get to the website, a calculator can then come into play to push them through the funnel to the final stage.
Several brands put effort into their marketing content but cannot hit the sweet spot in the first go. While the actual content may be good, how it was produced and assimilated would have hampered its potential to do well.
Revisit old content, identify what content has the potential to be converted to interactive form, and tweak it to meet the new parameters you set. In doing so, your content can transform from mediocre to exceptional.
Benefits of Interactive Content
While the idea of churning interactive content sounds and looks fascinating, you may be wondering if it’s worth it in the long run. Let’s take a look at the benefits of why you should create interactive content.
Turns traditional content into fun, sharable content
Blog posts, infographics, white papers, and ebooks hold one thing in common: they’re all informative. When you can provide valuable information in a visually enhanced, interactive format, boring becomes instantly fun. Millennials, more than any other generation, have no patience for ‘boring.’
Grabs attention and increases engagement
There’s so much content out there that it’s difficult to rise above the competition if a brand isn’t evolving its strategies. Consumers need to notice what you have to offer and see it as better than the rest. That’s how interactive content works: it pulls even the most discerning users in by visual appeal alone.
Why is user engagement necessary? Because it develops a deeper bond between the user and the brand, raising brand affinity. Over time, this will result in a long-term relationship—one that will generate more sales.
Creating light, fun, and shareable content allows businesses to analyze user behavior and click rates, whether it’s through social media tracking apps or backend website metrics. You can even review consumption metrics that reveal if users went through the content entirely or halfway.
Fuels lead generation and conversions
More engagement equals higher revenue, better lead conversions, and sales. By providing consumers with exactly what they want (and more) in a creative format, businesses can expect increased return rates and loyalty.
Brands can test out various ideas to see which ones work better. The data that is generated through testing and experimentation can then be used to enhance marketing strategies.
Sways away from the mediocre
Content, if not smart or interactive, can quickly turn stale. Static content only works for a few platforms because what is being shared is brand new information or relatable (think memes, witty one-liners, and listicles).
Some forms of content work better than others depending on several factors such as social media vs. websites and video tutorials vs. text-based blogs. Ultimately, understanding what your end-user wants will greatly benefit your approach.
Ease in collecting data
Marketers love data because it helps them understand their target customers. Customers love sharing data as it results in personalized products and services. Despite the need, customers are hesitant to share personal information with a brand they don’t trust. Interactive content can nudge prospective customers in your favor.
It is crucial to know how to stay afloat in a world that is moving deeper into the digital age. Interactive content can catapult brands forward with the right strategies and tactics. That’s how you can stay ‘relevant.’ After all, if it’s not buzzworthy, is it worthy at all?