THE DIGITAL UPDATE
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How to Use Interactive Content to Engage Your Prospects and Customers

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Do you remember the children’s book series Choose Your Own Adventure? These books allowed the reader to choose the next action of each character, thereby guiding the plot of the story. This is an example of interactive content, in this case – interactive fiction.

I’ve talked about content overload on the web before. One way I mentioned to make your content stand out from the masses is to test other formats. Instead of sticking to the usual blog posts, think about how you can make your message interactive. You don’t necessarily need to start from scratch creating interactive content either. Repurpose your current most popular blog posts and reformat them for more engagement.

The eight-second attention span of humans is a figure from 2013. Today that number is probably closer to five seconds. So, you have about five seconds to capture viewers’ attention, and once you have it, you must work to keep it. There are constant distractions that can pull your reader away – social media notifications, emails, even other content that they feel might be more interesting. Creating interactive content and involving the viewer may hold their focus better than a droning 2,500-word blog post.

5 Types of Interactive Content

When it comes to content marketing, there are constantly innovative types of interactive content popping up in the digital space. Let’s take a look at five types of interactive content and tools you can use to create it. Interactive content simultaneously entertains and educates your viewers.

  1. Video

Video by itself tends to be highly engaging. Not only are you appealing to the sense of sight like in a blog post, but more importantly you’re using sound to portray your message too. Looking to YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google, you have various options to engage the viewer. You can poll viewers while they’re watching using YouTube Cards, or feature a non-profit and request donations. YouTube is constantly updating features so be sure to check out the other capabilities of Cards.

If you’re offering a piece of content for download, you can either link to your approved website from within YouTube or keep them on the platform using forms from Wistia’s Turnstile. Turnstile is an email collector that you can use to require an email before the video is watched, or set a time in the video where it pops up. Another way to make your video interactive is to request an action. This could be to help collect UGC or to watch another relevant video or playlist of videos. Use both verbal and visual cues when presenting your CTA.

  1. Quizzes

Quizzes are a fun way to get your fans involved in your content. Online software can be used to build quizzes easily that will interest your audience. This type of interactive content can be an excellent way to help build brand awareness, especially considering how shareable they are. Typeform, QZZR, and Interact are a few quiz builders that offer customizable templates.

  1. Calculators

Companies with highly customizable products may want to add a calculator to their website to allow customers to estimate the final cost. Automobile manufacturers do this very well and even include a visual of the modifications made to the vehicle alongside the calculator. Services like Calculoid make it easy to find and customize pre-made calculators or create your own that your audience will find useful.

Another kind of calculator you can offer is a downloadable excel spreadsheet. Think about your industry and what would be handy for your prospective buyer. You might even have something that your team is using that can be slightly altered to benefit consumers. If it’s something that will make their day-to-day easier, they’ll be more prone to trade their email address for it.

  1. Infographics or Gifographics

Infographics are hot in the world of content marketing today. Instead of solely text-based content, infographics incorporate relevant images and increase the chance the viewer will remember what they’ve read. Popping up more and more are Gifographics that include moving Gifs or animations within the infographic. You can take a popular eBook or blog post and turn it into an infographic using Canva’s templates or with another design program.

  1. Contests

Entice high-quality leads to enter your contest by offering a prize that would appeal to your target customers. If the reward appeals to too broad of an audience, you’ll be more likely to attract poor leads that will unsubscribe as soon as the contest ends. Contest entries can be to like or follow your social media accounts, to submit a photo (another opportunity to collect UGC), to share the contest on Twitter or Facebook, to use a hashtag in a social media post, and so many other options.

Strategizing and creating any interactive content should follow a general process:

  1. Define your objective. Marketing goals include generating traffic, increasing brand awareness, or building your email list.
  2. Examine audience needs and interests to determine the best format and theme of your interactive content.
  3. Create your content using online software or through a developer.
  4. Share your new content as you normally would… on your blog, website, social media, etc.
  5. Analyze results, depending on the type of content you created you’ll be looking at different indicators.

Before jumping into interactive content consider the associated costs. Depending on what it is it can be expensive and require a significant time investment. You’ll need to think about the user experience too. Will your interactive content lengthen the time it takes your page to load? Not everyone is going to want to click around; some people would rather simply read or watch without any extra steps.

What types of interactive content have you created at your brand? Did you see any staggering results? Let us know in the comment section below.