Interactive Content Marketing: A Primer
Chances are, your brand is knee deep in content marketing. After all, it’s one of the best ways brands have to educate, connect, and interact with their potential and current customers.
But, don’t think that when it comes to content marketing your brand alone is doing the heavy lifting. In fact, there is more content being distributed daily than ever before. So, it’s not enough to just put out content anymore.
Your content has to stand out amongst the noise.
One way brands are doing that is to embrace interactive content marketing.
Before we dig too deeply into some of the interactive content strategies many brands and marketers are using successfully, let’s take a look at what it is.
The Basics of Interactive Content
At Zembula, we believe that active customer engagement is really important. When you have active engagement, your consumers are far more emotionally involved. And when people get emotionally attached to a brand, they are far more likely to buy from that brand.
So that’s what interactive content capitalizes upon, it creates a situation where consumers do more than just click or download, they truly get to interact with the content.
There are a couple of major benefits to upgrading your content to interactive.
First, in many cases it just looks better. Having a super high quality piece of content can automatically interest and engage readers from the start vs a plain old white paper. Today, people want content that pops and gets them interested from the start. With an attention span of 8 seconds, if your content doesn’t do that, you’re in trouble.
Second, interactive content can dramatically increase the amount of information a potential buyer gleans about a product or service. And, since the vast majority of consumers go online to educate themselves about a product or a service before they buy, the brands that embrace this can see huge wins.
This chart by Demand Metric highlights just how well interactive content educates buyers:
A third reason is that interactive content is great for mobile. With more and more people owning smart phones, spending more time on their smart phone, browsing, checking emails, and even buying via their smartphones it’s another way to approach this channel.
Finally, interactive content can be a great source of data gathering for your brand. Now, brands and marketers want to have as much big data as they can possible get to understand who their target persona really is. With interactive content, you can dig much deeper into your potential customer’s lives.
Different Types of Interactive Content
Now, there are actually a number of different types of interactive content that you can use in your own marketing strategy. Each of these can be used as their own tool or in conjunction with each other over a number of marketing channels.
Polls and Quizzes
Many popular sites like BuzzFeed use interactive content like quizzes to their advantage. Tools like Qzzr have grown in popularity making quizzes an easy win for marketers.
These work well because, let’s face it, we all love learning a little bit more about ourselves and sharing our opinions. Polls and quizzes allows for immediate engagement, giving the consumer results and your brand invaluable data.
Ebooks, Infographics, and Whitepapers
Some of the most common standbys of providing informative content for brands in the past has been to stick with things like ebooks and whitepapers. However great the information in there might be, unfortunately too many potential customers are missing out.
With interactive content, you can turn an ebook, whitepaper, or infographic into something that your consumer engages with every step of the way. For them to continue reading they have to actively participate.
Here’s an example from the University of Colorado:
An image can speak a thousand words, especially for product based brands that are looking to attract and engage with potential customers who are looking for education and information.
Those brands that aren’t selling a specific product can also look to galleries to highlight behind the scenes images, case studies, customer stories, or even potential ideas on how to use their service for success.
You might think that a calculator can’t possibly make that much of an impact when it comes to grabbing the interest and attention of a customer. In that case, you might just be wrong.
Now, brands from banks to social media to security firms are all looking to calculators as a viable way to get consumers interested (and give your brand some useful data).
Here’s an example from Symantec:
Games and Motion
Let’s face it, pretty much everyone has, at least once in the past few months to play a game. There are reasons why you’ve seen the rise of interactive games over the last year, they help build an emotional connecting with the consumer.
This is where reveal marketing can really shine, especially on mobile devices. Games get right to the heart of the emotion of the consumer: fostering curiosity, building trust, and creating a sense of ownership.
The new kid on the block when it comes to interactive content is video. We know that video content is seeing huge growth as an effective channel so it’s no surprise brands and marketers are embracing it.
Some are taking it a step further with interactive video. Now, video can bring in actual active engagement. Rather than just simply watching, interactive videos allow for you to swipe or click, building even higher engagement.
Here’s an example from the band Coldplay’s album Ink:
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind interactive content isn’t as easy to create as other types of content, which is one of the reasons why it hasn’t yet exploded with popularity.
So, one of the first things your brand needs to determine is the type and style of content you want to create. If you’re testing and on a limited budget, it pays to start easy with something like a quiz or poll.
It’s also important to keep in mind you can convert standard content to interactive and interactive content to standard, giving your consumers a number of different options to view in a way that they prefer.
That could mean using the same information to create a standard whitepaper and an interactive whitepaper, allowing consumers to choose what works for them. It also means you can repurpose content in a creative way.
Remember, at the end of the day the most successful interactive content is created to inform, interest, and educate the potential buyer. The more high quality content (of any type) your brand puts out there, the more trust you’ll get and the better results you’ll see on the bottom line.