Russell’s Take: Done well, interactive content will get noticed—and appreciated.
A couple of Mondays ago I decided to count the number of pieces of content marketing I was exposed to in a day. I stopped counting at 50, and that didn’t include the number of content pieces I was writing and editing myself!
How many e-newsletters, blogs, magazines and videos can someone possibly open, let alone consume and then act on? There’s more content on the way, too. Nearly 80% of marketers they were going to produce more content in 2016 than they did last year, according to the Content Marketing Institute. As a consumer I don’t want to waste my time on boring content, and I know I’m not alone feeling that way. So if you’re going to produce content, it better be really good.
The Interactive Option
Here’s one possibility to break through the current and future clutter: create interactive content that rewards a user for spending time with it. You may scoff, “Isn’t that what Buzzfeed does?” Well, don’t scoff. There’s a reason why that site’s quizzes get shared and consumed millions of times. A Buzzfeed quiz gives every user an engaging experience every time, and after doing one many users want to do another, and another, and another. Interactive content isn’t just limited to “What State Do You Actually Belong In?”, either. Take a look at this piece about customer relationships from 175-year-old Dun & Bradstreet. It sure is a lot more engaging than any white paper or e-book I’ve ever seen.
Interactive content was one of the topics discussed at the recent Intelligent Content Conference, and it certainly is worth talking about. Interactive content, in my mind, can provide three distinct advantages over a flat blog or other static piece.
- It gets your audience invested
Getting someone to type in answers or click dropdown buttons to read more gives them more of a personal stake in your content. If they’re vested, they’re more likely to do what you want them to do, whether that’s read more content, buy your product or other action.
- It opens up a ton of creative possibilities
You as a content creator have considerably more options when you know an audience member will give you a little bit of information. Quizzes, calculators, knowledge assessments, surveys, and a slew of other interactive content forms are now on the table.
The Financial Four, created by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the Financial Planners Association, gets users to figure out their No. 1 financial priority by filling out college basketball-style brackets. It turns a fun, familiar activity – filling out a tournament bracket – into a self-learning tool that rewards the user with some valuable information (for the record, “Pay yourself first,” one of the pre-tourney favorites, beat out 31 other financial concerns as my top choice).
- It can be a lot more effective
According to a study by market research firm DemandMetric, 93% of marketers say interactive content is effective at educating buyers (only 70% said traditional static content was effective). Even better, 70% say interactive content can help turn prospects into buyers; only 36% said static content is good at conversions.
Interactive and Informative
Interactive content takes time, money and effort. But, done well, it can be very effective, making a user want to engage with you and, even better, come back for more.
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