“We live in an age where we are all being bombarded with more content than we can possibly consume. As a result, if you want your content to stand out and have an impact, you have got to find ways to make it as engaging and interactive as possible. Content that you simply read is forgotten or, worse, completely overlooked.” —Kevin Cain, Director of Content Strategy, OpenView
Have you been reading about interactive content everywhere you look? Not sure what it is or how to get started? This post is for you. I’m here to walk you through a quick intro to interactive content, why it works for marketers, where you can use it, and what it looks like.
What is Interactive Content?
To put it simply – interactive content is a dialogue, whereas static content is a monologue. With interactive content, you can ask questions, gauge interest, or benchmark knowledge, and use the answers to provide a personalized result. Now, rather than simply consuming the information in a research report or overview video, your audience is part of a two-way conversation that gives them a more valuable, unique experience and gives you more data about who they are and what they care about.
Whether you create an assessment, calculator, survey, quiz, configurator, or something else, the key is that your audience becomes actively involved – clicking, engaging, or answering questions.
Why Does Interactive Content Work?
SlideShare created this interactive content to celebrate its best year yet, 2014, in which it got 4.4 billion views and 4.2 million uploads.
Interactive content is powerful stuff. In a recent study by Demand Gen Report, 91% of B2B buyers reported preferring visual and interactive content formats during their buying process. By tapping into human desires to assess, compete, compare, and share, interactive content offers a more engaging experience for visitors while providing detailed buyer information to marketers. It is the marketer’s equivalent of a sales “conversation”.
In the end, interactive content is all about providing more value to the user. Buyers are looking for answers, solutions, and information, and increasingly don’t want to wade through a 50-page white paper to find what they’re looking for. Interactive content works because it offers a quick, engaging route to the answers buyers want — whether it’s a custom ROI calculation or a sense of how they stack up against industry peers.
Really, it’s a win-win for both parties. The marketer gets to provide education and collect user data, and the user gets a fun, engaging experience with an interesting solution provided at the conclusion.
What Do Marketers Get From Interactive Content?
According to Demand Gen Report, only 11% of buyers will provide detailed contact information in exchange for a white paper. Buyers know they’ll be marketed to if they fill out that lead form, so whatever’s on the other side must be valuable.
Here’s where interactive content shines.
With interactive content, the whole experience yields detailed information, which the prospect willingly shares in exchange for the personalized, unique result on the other side of a simplified lead form. Whether it’s benchmarking them against industry best practices or telling them which product line best fits their needs, those personalized results are compelling conversion triggers.
Our company, SnapApp, developed a platform that makes it easy for people to create, deploy, manage, and measure interactive content experiences of all kinds. Our B2B customers see as much as 30% engagement rates (meaning, if a user saw the SnapApp, they clicked to begin), 80% question completion rates, and 45% lead form conversion rates. Those are serious numbers in terms of drawing users in to an experience, keeping them engaged, and converting them at the end.
Where Can Marketers Use Interactive Content?
Think of interactive content as one component of your overall marketing programs and strategy, not as a brand new strategy. Wherever and however you use traditional content today, you could layer in interactivity:
- Email: Visual and interactive email content grabs prospect attention, driving higher click-throughs and conversions, leading to better email ROI.
- Events: Send pre-event quizzes or surveys to generate buzz and drive booth traffic; use personality assessments to bucket booth visitors into fun and relevant personas; and follow-up with something more engaging than “Thanks for coming!”
- Paid media: Interactive calls to action drive higher click-throughs and conversions than static CTAs.
- Social: There’s a reason Buzzfeed bet on quizzes: they’re inherently social and shareable. Use a quiz to boost social sharing, or a contest to get your users engaged!
- Blog: Turn your blog into a lead generation channel with interactive content embedded (complete with a lead form) right in your blog content.
See It in Action
Still not sure what we mean by “interactive content”? Check out this live example, which also happens to walk you through everything you need to know about this new, engaging content marketing tool!