The average person loses concentration after eight seconds and copious amounts of static content have further desensitized Internet users. Interactive content responds to those issues, providing users the opportunity to engage and interact with content. It is seen as the future of content marketing. Engagement is a metric proven to directly relate to buying decisions and interactive content is one of the most effective ways to engage an audience – it gets a user emotionally involved.
What it Is, what it Does
Interactive Content Is:
Content that is used to engage users and help businesses better comprehend user attitudes and behaviors.
Content that requires the participant’s active engagement…In return…participants receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about.
Any content that allows the user to actively participate rather than simply watch or read.
Content created with the intention of capturing a user’s attention and encouraging him to take action.
Interactive content utilizes a gaming concept called “urgent optimism” – the desire to act immediately to take on an obstacle with a belief that success is a reasonable outcome. It educates, informs, and encourages a user’s time investment in a site, often requiring the reader to do something before information is divulged.
Interactive content goes beyond the surface level of entertainment and engagement to provide more value resulting in a greater willingness to divulge personal information. It makes users feel like they are a part of something bigger. And when either the “thing” itself, a user’s results, or both, are shareable, users are able to let everyone know they believe they are part of something bigger.
Interactive content requires users to be more thoughtful about the way they consume content and increases brand impact. It also allows a business to collect consumer information – information gleaned from people ranking themselves, answers on a quiz indicating what they do and don’t know, or parameters identified while using a calculator of some sort.
What it Looks Like
MICROSITES either as isolated domains or a part of a larger site dedicated to one relevant topic and meant to increase the reader’s knowledge about something.
CALCULATORS like those that recommend daily calorie intake or estimate calories burned.
QUIZZES that offer the solution/product/service best tailored to a particular user.
SELF-ASSESSMENTS that help users identify a need.
INFOGRAPHICS with buttons, sliding panels, or hover information. The Content Marketing Institute found the most used type of interactive content in 2017 was the interactive infographic (52%).
POLLS and SURVEYS aimed at eliciting feedback and obtaining user data.
EMAILS for personalized, one-to-one communication and relationship building.
CONTESTS - found to be the most effective type of interactive content in research done by the Content Marketing Institute.
CONVERSATIONAL TECHNOLOGY such as chatbots that allow people to interact with a computer in order to gain information, make purchases, or simply be entertained.
VIDEO with clickable overlays or a gallery format.
And all of these can be formulated to correlate to where a buyer is in their journey. For example: discovery – games; consideration – interactive infographic; decision – wizards and configurators. (If you are wondering, configurators are what manage the part of a sales system that provides choices when making a purchase.)
91% of buyers prefer interactive content.
Increased site traffic.
Interactive content was found to have a 2X better conversion rate than traditional content. Businesses that utilize interactive content report more conversions than they experience with static content.
Increases the rate of page views compared to static content.
Elicits a higher engagement rate. (As Pierre DeBreaux points out, users want to be a part of the content they are consuming.)
Increases brand recognition/awareness through engaging and entertaining content.
Information gained through interactions provides user data and generates more leads than static content.
There are marketing platforms that specifically exist to help businesses (with the time to learn and staff to spare) create interactive content. Here are general descriptions of a few:
SnapApp: “SnapApp’s interactive content creation platform lets you ask prospects sales-qualifying questions within your existing marketing efforts, quickly qualifying or disqualifying leads...”
Qzzr: a simple online quiz tool.
WebyClip: an analytics-driven marketing solution that provides brands and retailers with a spectrum of effective visual commerce solutions.
Users are so saturated with content that it has become important to understand how to stand out in the crowd. Interactive content allows you to differentiate your business from competitors. It is important that all attempts are device responsive and extra bells and whistles are formatted to be user friendly regardless of how the user chooses to interact with the content. It is also important to remember that interactive content is about providing value, not an aggressive sales pitch. The best interactive content first and foremost solves problems. The marketing campaign, itself, is secondary.
For more information about incorporating interactive content, websites or all things marketing, contact us at Strategy Driven Marketing!