Ideas for incorporating interactive content into your marketing strategy
Interactive content is gaining popularity. Read why marketers are obsessed with integrating interactive design into their content marketing strategy.
Internet users send 2.5 million email messages every second and churn out 2 million blog posts every day — yet a coup d’état is underway in the content marketing world. Just as rich media is replacing traditional banner ads, interactive content slowly is ousting static content like blog posts. In fact, 53 percent of content marketers already use interactive content, and they plan to increase their use of interactive content this year. Companies using interactive content cite higher engagement rates and a more conducive medium for educating consumers as their top reasons for adopting interactive content.
What is interactive content?
According to SnapApp, interactive content is any content that requires the customer’s active engagement beyond simply reading or watching. The beauty of interactive content is that consumers must engage with the content to get results—so it may come as no surprise that 96 percent of users who start a BuzzFeed quiz will finish it. Whereas traditional content is static in time and space, interactive content changes with time and as people engage with it—it builds on itself.
Four killer types of interactive content
1. Quizzes: Look no further than BuzzFeed, master of the quiz (for example, What State do You Actually Belong In?). The site pioneered quizzes that are lighthearted and fun, but that hasn’t stopped companies and universities like PBS, Amnesty International, and UCLA from adopting the quiz format, too. The American Red Cross created a quiz titled “Do you actually know how to swim?” Although the title seems playful, the Red Cross used it as part of their campaign to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent in 50 cities.
Why do quizzes matter? Quizzes are successful because they are interactive and fun, and they give answers—even if those answers aren’t serious. According to BuzzSumo, quizzes get shared an average of 1,900 times and have an 82 percent engagement rate. Quizzes drive engagement and reach, produce leads, and yield high conversion rates.
2. Interactive infographics: Interactive infographics, pictures, and videos are on the rise, too. Virtual reality already is a commercial success, and before and after sliders are trending (for example, Here's What Gatlinburg Looked Like Before and After the Fire). If you aren't yet impressed by the new generation of interactive infographics, then you haven’t seen this piece on how a car engine works. The New York Times also offers a barrage of interactive maps, graphs, and infographics (for example, Mapping the 2010 US Census and You Draw It: How Family Income Predicts Children’s College Chances).
Analyzing and reading data is becoming easy and fun. Sumo analyzed content marketing traffic and found that Americans read only 20 percent of the words on a web page, likely because they consume 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words every day. Interactive infographics present data with animation, video, and responsive graphics to help the reader more easily digest the data. Moreover, the infographics are tailored to the data, improving on stationary infographics, which tend to squeeze any data set into a static design.
3. Interactive white papers: Think back to grade school: Did you prefer to learn the curriculum by reading textbooks, or by playing classroom games like Jeopardy? White papers are same as your seventh-grade social studies textbook: long and monotonous. Interactive white papers offer a dialogue that traditional white papers cannot (for example, 5 Elements of a Successful Patient Engagement Strategy). Consider condensing the core content and data from your white paper and repurposing it for videos, quizzes, and infographics.
Learning can be fun. A study published by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs showed that white papers are one of the most effective B2B tactics. White papers provide great research results and data-centric insights, but they are text-heavy and require too much time to read. Interactive white papers present the research, data, and results without the fluff. They offer a personalized experience and an immersive portal for data-driven content—two key attributes that keep readers engaged.
4. Storytelling: Storytelling marketing connects an audience to the human side of a brand through a creative, dramatic, and emotional story—and explicitly doesn’t sell a product. Google was a maverick of storytelling marketing (for example, Parisian Love and Dear Sophie), but it was Guinness’s storytelling commercial that became an instant success, scoring 30 percent higher than any other beer commercial in the same time frame and raking in 7 million views on YouTube in its first month. In the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, Bupa and Pfizer have created great commercials that serve as perfect examples of storytelling marketing. Furthermore, Nuffield Health’s #SmallVictory campaign pushed the limits of interactive marketing.
The art of storytelling. Storytelling is not a lost art in marketing. In fact, it’s in high demand: 92 percent of consumers want brands to tell stories. And although it isn’t immediately clear that these stories are a form of interactive marketing, marketers cite higher engagement rates, increased brand loyalty, and higher conversion rates as reasons to use storytelling marketing.
Interactive content is giving marketers new ways to strut their stuff, so the next time you want to revitalize a successful campaign, bring it to life with interactivity. Not only does interactive content improve upon a successful equation, it helps your content stand out from the billions of blog posts and white papers that flood the Internet each year.
How will you integrate interactive content into your content marketing strategy this year?