Gone are the days where visitors are content to cozy up to your blog with a big mug of tea and read everything you have to say. In an age where we can swipe, tap, and click to find everything we need, you need more than just a blog to stand out.
In fact, the most recent State of Inbound report listed “interactive content creation” as a top-five priority for marketing teams in North America – with 38% of respondents saying it’s a priority for the coming year. This ranked higher than other seemingly-important priorities like marketing automation (37%), webinars (21%), and product how-to videos (16%).
The moral of the story? Interactive content is here to stay. Let’s review what interactive marketing content is, why it matters to your business, and some tools you can use to try out interactive content this month.
According to SnapApp, a leader in interactive content creation and management, interactive content is:
Content that requires the participants’ active engagement – more than simply reading or watching. In return for that engagement, participants receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about.
In other words, interactive content is content that draws your visitor into your content by requiring their physical engagement. Whether they answer questions, select preferences, or have to scroll over and click content to reveal it, the content becomes an active participant as much as the visitor.
Well, besides the fact that many leading organizations are already implementing interactive content, research shows that many people, especially millennials, prefer to engage with interactive content rather than simply read a blog post or watch a webinar. According to a recent survey, 45% of people said that interactive content was a top-three preferred content type.
Additionally, many organizations are struggling with creative and new content development. As a result, they pull topics out of thin air in order to target primary keywords. But that’s just not the way SEO works anymore. It matters more that you’re providing visitors with quality content that encourages them to stay on your page.
But the biggest value interactive content can bring to your organization is lead generation. Contacts that engage directly with your content will usually derive a higher value from it, and will be more likely to share their information in order to use the content, or see the results of the actions they took to use it.
Interactive content is a strategic, forward-thinking, and revolutionary way to engage with prospects and customers. For industries where the content may feel “boring” or “stagnant”, interactive content can be the key to re-engaging cold leads and obtaining new ones.
There are several types of interactive content that your company can use. Here are some standard interactive content types:
1. Calculators: Interactive calculators take numeric information from your visitors and convert it into data that they can use to guide or support them with a particular initiative. Some examples of calculators you can use are:
3. Polls and Surveys: There’s no better way to get a pulse on the preferences or opinions of your users than with a poll or survey. Services like Hotjar enable you to add polls to website pages and emails. Ask your contact database what they’d like to read about in your upcoming blog, and then tailor your content to their responses.
4. Interactive White Papers, Infographics, and eBooks: Interactive white papers are an incredible investment, especially if you have an older piece of content that’s already performing well on your website. Take your content to the next level by incorporating a quiz, poll, survey, or calculator within your downloadable content. Where static, long-form content can become tedious to read, interactive content keeps the reader engaged for much longer.
5. Brackets and Contests: There’s no better way to ignite fresh engagement than with some friendly competition. Brackets enable you to place users against each other and track their progress in real-time.
6. Interactive Video: Interactive video takes the power of visual footage and transforms it into a user-experience. Where traditional video is simply a monologue of text, speech, and visual content, interactive video invites the user to participate.
7. Lookbooks: A big trend in the fashion industry, interactive lookbooks allow the user to select and scroll though combinations of clothing, accessories, and styles to find the perfect look. However, there is opportunity for other industries to use this feature, as well. Any product that can be customized is a good fit for a lookbook-style piece of content.
8. Interactive Press Releases: Goodbye boring newspaper article, hello videos, resource centers, and survey polls. When your announcement invites engagement, your press release becomes more memorable and more likely to be shared.
The reality is that creating interactive content can be expensive. Why? Well, quite frankly, because it works. Interactive content is here to stay. But if you’re not ready to break the bank for new leads, consider subscribing to content published by several of the companies above. Sometimes, these platforms offer the opportunity to create a piece of interactive content for free. Not only is this a great way for you try out the platform, but you can give interactive content a try on your site. If you get a handful of incredibly qualified leads, it may be more of an investment in your marketing than an expense.
Kate Moore is a Content Strategist by day, HubSpot expert by night. When she’s not getting distracted by her many fans (ahem – work emails and phone calls), she’s hunkered down, plugged into Spotify and writing about stuff that will make your work with HubSpot smooth and simple.
Tags: Content Marketing