As marketers embrace content marketing today more than ever, readers are overwhelmed with options — 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. This makes it even more difficult for customers to interact and engage, given they can only consume so much.
On the marketer’s side, they are pushed to the limit to keep up with never-ending content production cycles, select the right form of content among dozens of options, as well as map the content to the reader. However, top marketers today have found a new form that has not failed to retain customers’ limited attention spans: interactive content. According to a Content Marketing Institute study from June 2016, 81% of respondents say interactive content is more effective at getting audience’s attention.
With these numbers in mind, can you afford to deprive your marketing efforts of one of the most effective lead generation tools today? If your answer is no, then keep reading.
Let’s first talk about the basics: What is interactive content?
Though the formats vary, interactive content at its core is a digital experience designed for user participation. Think of it as a two-way system where content adjusts to create a personalized interaction based on user participation. Interactive content includes quizzes, polls, surveys, interactive infographics, assessments, calculators, interactive magazines… the list goes on.
So why should marketers embrace interactive content?
1. Personify Through Personalization
“One size fits all” is no more. More than ever, readers are aware of cookie-cutter content and won’t have it. Interactive content allows brands to create content that tailors to specific buyer personas in real time, transforming content consumption into a personalized, two-way interaction that truly resonates with your audience. Interactive content opens the door for endless possibilities of unique storytelling. Instead of publishing survey results in a traditional white paper, imagine turning the data into an interactive trivia testing a reader’s knowledge of their industry. You get the point.
2. Sync With Your Ever-Changing Audience
Click rates, impressions, shares — as marketers we know how important metrics are. Interactive content opens the door to a whole new layer of audience insights. By giving readers an option of how and what specific content they want to consume, marketers are able to learn from those choices.
Do readers prefer one storyline versus another? Do readers fully understand your product’s benefits? Are readers dropping off at some specific point? The list is endless. Use these insights to help further build buyer personas and continue to create content that resonates with your audience.
3. Less Wasted Time and Money
As a Demand Metrics report explains, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times the number of leads. Now imagine this number when paired with content that has a longer shelf life, better resonates with your audience, and delivers more actionable insights for marketers. Sounds like a win-win. Think about it, static content is generally consumed once; however interactive content allows for unique experiences each and every time, encouraging repeat interactions.
The benefits of interactive content are clear and the most successful global brands are already harnessing this powerful tool. This explains why 70% of content marketers plan to increase their use of interactive content in 2017. Interactive content humanizes the passive one-way information stream into a dynamic two-way engagement by turning mass audiences into individual consumers with options and preferences. Audiences will certainly prefer this.
More importantly, marketers must better map their content marketing strategies — including interactive content — back to their buyer’s journey. As technology, lack of time, and shorter attention spans continue to shift the way buyers make decisions to a more self-service model, engaging content that caters to the right audience at the right time will be key to marketing success.
Want to chat more about interactive content or how Hotwire’s Digital Brand Lab can help you? Shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.