In my opinion, to take content marketing to the next level, marketers should invest in more interactive content. Not just a smattering of deployments, but a strategic deployment across their Buyers’ Journeys. For many of you I am preaching to the choir. Likewise, I’m obviously biased. Regardless, let’s dissect my edict a bit.
Firstly, let’s define “next level” as accomplishing these common marketing goals better. I am talking about things like engagement, segmentation, identification, nurturing, and conversion.
Secondly, let’s define “interactive content” for the purpose of this post. It follows that a quick Google search reveals what could be considered the most popular definition from SnapApp. Interactive content “requires the participants’ active engagement — more than simply reading or watching.” Some examples include assessments, calculators, quizzes, polls, clickable infographics, games, configurators, etc. Ah, I am sure you can see why this topic is near and dear to us. 😉
Moreover, I am not alone in putting my faith in the power of interactive content. To illustrate, here are just a few stats from a summary and the published results of the joint survey from the Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive that back me up:
Similarly, Forbes has a great article referencing this same topic. It discusses the popularity of BuzzFeed’s daily quizzes. “If we take a closer look at BuzzFeed’s quizzes, as reported by Digiday, 96% of users who start a quiz on BuzzFeed continue to the final reveal. If even close to that percentage of consumers finished watching video ads online, all marketers would be driving around in Maseratis.”
Anyhow, back to our analysis. I say things like quizzes are more engaging, almost by definition. This is because, by their nature, they require a participant to consider and respond, rather than just watch or read. It is simply a deeper interaction. Honestly, this seems self-evident. It is more difficult to disengage your brain when you are expected to accomplish something. For example, making a choice, a response, a move, a turn, a selection, etc. via a click, a tap or a drag.
Along the same lines, you can branch out into more tailored content with each interaction. The material is inherently personalized. Modern consumers expect some level of personalization and deeper engagement. More importantly, users appreciate it. They are more likely to pursue this type of interactivity as the end point of an outreach. It follows that the promise of interactive content can lure them to your site from your online promotions. Interactive content is also more likely to go viral.
Certainly, some users will complete your interactive experiences multiple times, perhaps quarterly or yearly. This “evergreen” quality should not be discounted.
It stands to reason if users are more engaged, you are more likely to get them to divulge their identity and/or follow your calls-to-action
This quote from the survey summary mentioned earlier sums it up well. “The key power of interactive content is that it provides valuable experiences where our audience wants to willingly provide us with insightful information. In exchange for entertainment, engagement, or true utility, consumers are trustingly giving over accurate data in order to receive something they perceive as valuable. When you compare this to gating an asset behind a registration screen, or tossing up some demand for information prior to granting access to a piece of content, you begin to see where the value starts to increase.”
By gathering the data that correlates with user’s activity, interactive content is actually self-segmenting. For example, you can group users according to their answers or choices. It follows that you can more effectively fine tune you message to people that you know more about.
In conclusion, I am not saying there are no downsides to interactive content. It is definitely more difficult to make and maintain. This is why providers often rely on vendors like us for this. However, if you are serious about evolving past the grind of constantly producing static content, a broad, strategic approach to leveraging interactive content deserves consideration.