Most marketers are using content marketing in their strategies, with MarketingProfs reporting 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers using it in 2018. Content marketing works – it notches three times as many leads and costs nearly two-thirds less money than outbound marketing – but with so much competition, how can your business stand apart from the pack?
One way to make your content marketing efforts more innovative is to use interactive content marketing. Interactive content marketing is a form of content that asks for users to interact with the content, to see a result, or to move the content along in the narrative, or to show personalized feedback based on user response.
According to Demand Gen Report, 93% of marketers say interactive content is effective in educating buyers, compared to 70% of marketers who agree static content effectively educates buyers. Some forms of interactive content include:
Here’s how interactive content benefits business and how to use interactive content in your content marketing strategy to increase user engagement.
Interactive Content Benefits
Interactive content requires user attention, because if the user isn’t participating, the content doesn’t move forward. According to a study by Content Marketing Institute, 21% more users share interactive content compared to passive content, and conversions increase 34% for interactive content compared to static content. When used in email, interactive content increases click-to-open rate by 73%, according to a 2017 study by MarTech Advisor.
User engagement isn’t the only benefit of interactive content. Interactive content also provides rich data. While a static written blog post might result in pageviews, comments and social media shares, an interactive quiz or assessment can result in data including:
- Email address capture
- Demographic insights
- User preferences, pain points and patterns
Interactive content data can help shape product development and marketing strategy. It can be used at every stage of the inbound marketing journey, including top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel stages. Interactive content can be standalone pieces, or integrated with other forms of content, like interactive whitepapers or infographics.
Interactive content feels like a gift to users. Your business has created something they can have fun interacting with. Some forms of interactive content teach the user something about themselves, which increases the value of the content. Users can share personalized results of the content on their social media channels.
Using interactive content also enables your brand to make technical information easier to digest. Interactive content is great to use to educate consumers. Your business can create content that speaks to three main learning styles (visual, auditory and kinesthetic), and integrate those teaching styles within a single form of content. Using interactive content is also a way to add a playful spin to un-sexy products or services.
Forms of Interactive Content to Try
You might already be using blog posts and infographics in your content marketing strategy. To 10x your content (that is, to make it 10 times better), you can add some interactive elements to your most popular posts or make your next form of content interactively awesome. Here are some ideas.
There are endless ways to infuse creative interactive elements in an infographic. Try:
- Creating a map of options for the user to click on. Each click instantly scrolls down to more information about the option that was clicked.
- Using quiz questions throughout an infographic. Each choice reveals whether or not the user was correct, along with more information regarding the answer.
- Taking the user on a choose-your-own-adventure journey. Each choice they make affects their progression in the infographic.
If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, you’ve probably noticed the prompts to click over to another related video after you’ve viewed one. These are tags called hotspots, and they can be used to direct users to other videos or even to pages on your website to learn more.
You can use hotspots to:
- Give video viewers a choice about which of your videos to watch next
- Take users on a customized video journey where they need to watch several videos (of their choosing) to get full understanding of the concept
- Drive traffic to relevant pages on your website to further educate the video viewer
Surveys and polls are a great way to gain user feedback about the content you’re providing. You can add a quick one-question poll to a piece of content you’re sharing to see if users agree with the content message, or ask for more detailed feedback in a multi-question survey.
One of the benefits of surveys and polls is that you can maintain user engagement even after they’ve completed the survey. Ask for the user’s email address so you can update them when the full results are completed. You then gain their email address for future marketing efforts, and they’ll look forward to the results – a new piece of content from your brand.
Interactive Content Builds Relationships
In some industries, it can take up to 13 touchpoints to develop a qualified sales lead, according to the Data & Marketing Association. Your business can use interactive content to increase the interactions leads have with your brand.
Want personalized insights into your business’s content marketing strategy? Contact us for a free consultation.