Are you using interactive content in your marketing? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create real, meaningful connections with your brand audience – 93% of marketers agree that interactive content is effective in educating buyers versus just 70% for static content.
What is interactive content marketing?
Interactive content marketing is the creation of content that requires and encourages user participation, as opposed to just passive viewing.
Interactive content is highly engaging – people are driven to interact because of natural curiosity – whether this is answering questions, making choices or exploring scenarios to see what happens.
Interactive content offers people an experience in which they can do, say and feel something – in turn fostering powerful consumer-brand connections. Executed well, your audience will feel like they’re connecting with someone who understands their challenges and wants to help provide solutions.
Let’s take a look at some of the most engaging types of interactive content to help you get started:
1. Interactive e-books
With video being one of the most popular content formats, interactive e-books offer the best of both worlds: visual tools that capture attention and drive higher engagement, and quality content to convert.
This isn’t to say that static eBooks are no longer needed – each have their place – it’s knowing when to use which to deliver the desired results and best portray information to the reader.
For example, if your topic is more technical how-to, it’s probably best to explain this in a static e-book that is clear and legible for the user. However, if the content going into your e-book is predominantly visual, an interactive version can help bring these visual elements to life, creating a highly engaging user experience.
This interactive guide from TopRank Marketing on how to ‘Break Free of Boring B2B’ is an engaging example of how to use interactivity to bring e-books and whitepapers to life. The use of quirky and bold imagery alongside animation helps guide readers through the content, compelling users to carry on scrolling.
Calculators are a great way to provide users with an estimate based on their input. This could be anything from a rough guide cost for your product or service, or even something educational.
When used correctly, calculators can help make the buyer journey easier and gain the trust of your audience. Just make sure the calculator is genuinely serving them and answering their questions – and not just providing you with lead data.
This calculator from Symantec is a great example of educating and engaging users by using data input to educate buyers on the potential ROI of their products and services.
3. Branded games
Consumer-facing brands have been using video games in marketing since the 80s (Coco Pops CD ROMs anyone !?). Today, video games are more accessible than ever, thanks to the rise of the internet and smartphones.
Ideal for engaging an existing audience or capturing lead data at an event or exhibition, games featuring competitions and prize draws are powerful practices for driving user engagement. Incentivising participation means that users are much more likely to give up their details or take specific actions to compete for a prize offered by your organisation.
This could be a prize draw from leaderboard entrants, or nomination of friends to participate to encourage shares and increase the reach of your interactive content. There are multiple options when it comes to how you choose to run your competition. This tactic is also useful in strengthening your brands social media presence and reach, increasing brand awareness in turn.
The Nurishment Filling Station is a prime example of using branded games to bring a campaign to life. Part of Nurishment’s #OldSkoolNewCool campaign, the game was used at events across the UK to drum up awareness. Carrying on the hype online, Nurishment’s first brand ambassador, international footballer Daniel Sturridge, challenged his social followers and the Nurishment audience to knock him off the leaderboard. See the full case study here.
4. Quizzes and questionnaires
Educational content is the most common type of B2B content and is regularly successful in generating leads and acquiring new customers. We know that game mechanics work, so why not turn that educational content into an interactive quiz? This not only adds a sense of achievement for the end-user when they test their knowledge, but it keeps people engaged with your brand for longer, and they leave having had a positive experience.
Questionnaires and surveys can be used to identify any potential barriers to sale – using questions designed to unearth any pain points, doubts and objectives of your audience, what they are looking to achieve. You can take this valuable data to make improvements to your customer journey to increase conversion rates. You can also use on-site questionnaires as an interactive tool to aid user journeys, creating a somewhat personalised user experience.
Clinique’s foundation finder is a great of example of how to use a survey to aid users with their purchasing decisions. The questionnaire uses a mix of imagery and questions to help buyers choose the right product for them based on their skin type, preferred coverage, desired finish and skin care goals, ensuring they receive the perfect match.
5. Interactive infographics
Infographics are undoubtedly one of the best ways to convey data or concepts in an easily digestible format. They’re a great way to help users retain information. When reading, words and phrases enter short-term memory – the brain stores only a few general concepts which are often mentally dumped a few minutes later.
However, when looking at images, the brain stores these in long-term memory – increasing the recall rate over time. If you’re wanting to convey a message that sticks with your audience, make sure it’s within an image.
Take your infographics to the next level by adding moving, interactive elements. Not only will readers be more likely to retain information, they’re much more likely to engage with it and leave with a memorable, positive brand association.
IBM’s Industry City is an interactive infographic that educates users through engaging imagery and slick animation. Users can virtually explore buildings and select different settings and environments to real the innovative solutions that leaders within those industries are utilising to succeed.
6. Surveys and polls
Polls and surveys are amongst the most commonly used types of interactive content. They’re easy to set up and can be used to collect valuable information from your audience. This could be anything from feedback on products, services, content or customer service to audience insights and profiling such as demographics and interests. It’s probably best you offer some sort of incentive – surveys aren’t generally fun for the user but a prize draw or something similar is a powerful motivator to get people to give up their details.
Surveys can also be used to improve customer retention and satisfaction, gathering information from those who have recently stopped purchasing your product or service. This email survey from HelloFresh is a great way to use surveys for customer retention purposes. Offering an incentive to users who complete the survey can help in bringing back those ex-customers.
7. Interactive emails
According to Martech Advisor, interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by 73% and adding videos to your email content can boost click rates up to 300%.
Your subscribers are likely to be receiving multiple emails from other businesses and brands per day – it’s down to you to pique their interest and cut through the noise. Adding an element of interactivity allows you to surprise and delight your readers with something new.
According to an interactive email survey from Zembula, consumers, above anything else, want to have fun. Remember those branded games we mentioned earlier? Sending a game to your mailing list is a great way to engage your audience via email, providing them with something fun whilst creating a fun memorable experience that builds trust.
This interactive Easter email from Lookfantastic encourages recipients to ‘crack the egg’ to reveal their Easter offer, combined with a subtle animation which creates a compelling call to action.
We hope this article has left you feeling inspired and ready to engage your audience with something new!
Whether you’ve used interactive content before or you’re looking into it for the first time, there are multiple formats you can try – some less investment heavy than others if your budget is on the tighter side. What is key, however, is understanding your audience and figuring out what resonates with them the most.
Take a look at any existing data you have available – for example, if your audience reacted well to a previous infographic, why not try making an interactive infographic first. Test and learn, try out different interactive content formats and distribution channels until you find something that your audience loves and delivers results for your business.