Research confirms the benefits of adding interactive elements into a content marketing strategy. Marketers reported that interactive content produced almost 2x the conversions than did passive content (Kapost). In a similar vein, marketers assessed the effectiveness of interactive content at 93% and passive content at 70% (Inc).
If you haven’t yet started incorporating responsive content into your marketing strategy, it’s a must for 2018. As long as you recognize its value, you’re in the right place. We’ll explore five basic principles of successfully implementing interactive content.
1. IDENTIFY THE RIGHT FORMAT(S)
The first step to succeeding with interactive content is identifying the right formats for your strategy. The key here is to try as many different content types as possible before permanently settling on any specific formats. You might be surprised at how your audience is attracted to one unconventional content type, and you don’t want to miss out by hesitating to try out that format.
Let’s quickly go over a few of the most common interactive content types:
Quizzes: By far one of the most common, this format engages your audience by asking them a series of questions, at the end of which they are given a result based on their individual responses. For instance, a business that develops accounting-related products could create quizzes questioning its audience regarding their business size and aim to place them in a certain tax bracket.
Polls: This type of interactive content asks users to respond to a single question. Not only are polls a great way to engage your audience, but they also can reveal to your marketing department your audience’s general opinion on a subject, their overall values, or some of their character traits. For instance, if you create a poll asking how users would proceed with a risky business strategy, the answers will help you evaluate whether your audience is generally open to taking chances or whether they prefer to play it safe.
Surveys: Surveys essentially function as longer, more in-depth polls with multiple questions and sometimes non-multiple choice answers. Surveys can reveal even more about your audience’s demographics and business information to your marketing department—invaluable information to develop a strategy around.
Web tools: Although this content type typically requires significantly more investment than any of the others discussed, it can be well worth the cost. A web tool will need to be developed and coded by your team, but if it fulfills an essential function well, then your audience is bound to be highly attracted to it.
An excellent example of a web tool in action is Neil Patel’s QuickSprout, which analyzes users’ websites for improvement potential. QuickSprout has been cited and endorsed in numerous industry-leading publications, driving significant traffic to the website since its inception.
2. USE LEAD SCORING TO IDENTIFY ENGAGED PROSPECTS
We know that interactive content produces a more engaged audience. Of course, that is only true if the website visitor chooses to take action in the interface.
To effectively capitalize on the added engagement interactive content brings, you’ll need to be able to identify the engaged prospects and send them through a sales funnel accordingly. The best way to do this is lead scoring, wherein a marketing automation tool assigns scores to each visitor and increases the score every time the visitor interacts with the content. The highest scoring visitors are thus your most engaged and warmest leads.
3. CAPTURE CUSTOMER DATA
As we briefly touched on above, a particularly useful side benefit of interactive content is a better understanding of your audience. Specific content types, especially polls, surveys, and quizzes, can reveal invaluable information about your leads that will enable your brand to better appeal to potential customers.
Let’s say you publish a survey that asks users what their most significant pain point is within a specific part of their business operation. If your product or service corresponds to that pain point, you now know how to tailor your marketing strategy to highlight that your product or service provides a solution to your audience’s problem.
4. HARNESS THE POWER OF VISUALS
With interactive content, it’s crucial that you’re doing all you can to keep your users as engaged as possible every step of the way. Unlike passive content, because interactive content requires users to invest time in specific actions in order to continue consuming content, users are likely to hesitate before beginning to interact with content unless it catches their eye.
The best way to captivate and keep users’ attention?
Visuals. The nature of visual content means that users find it more appealing, more memorable, and most importantly, more engaging.
5. KEEP FOCUS ON THE CONVERSATION
It’s crucial that you keep the ultimate goal in mind—the conversion. Improved analytics like higher engagement numbers and warmer, better-scoring leads are great, but if they aren’t converting into customers, they aren’t bringing your business revenue. Interactive content becomes a futile exercise.
That’s why it is vital to the effectiveness of your interactive content strategy that you create each piece of content with the end goal of a conversion in mind. Never let a user get away from an interaction without being prompted to complete a meaningful action that brings them closer to the conversion from visitor to customer.
Use newsletter subscriptions, product demo sign-ups, call-back requests, or any other call to action to ensure that the website browser is entered into your sales system and brought nearer to conversion.
In 2018, the internet is increasingly comprised of distracting material. Moreover, as modern technology continues to reduce the human attention span to one that is shorter than a goldfish’s, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: to succeed online, your brand must be engaging.
By incorporating interactive elements into your content marketing strategy, you’ll be well on the way to achieving your goal of more captivating content.