Interactive Content Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

Content is king, right? Yes, it is…but no two pieces of content are every quite the same, and few are created equally. The web is evolving and the best type of content for today’s modern marketing world is interactive.

We know. We know. We’ve been telling you about creating great content for ages and now I’m throwing around a new term. The truth is that if you spend any time on social media, you’re already exposed to interactive content marketing on a regular basis. But there’s so much more to this complex issue than just “hey, this is really cool.” Here’s what you need to know!

What is Interactive Content Marketing?

Interactive content is personalized, fun, and appealing. This type of content is geared towards engagement, but not just likes and shares; it’s all about getting people involved in any way you can. We’re looking for people to leave comments, engage in conversations, and even show up at events.

It’s not just about social media, though. Finding other ways to make your on-site content more engaging will help keep visitors on your pages longer.

According to CoSchedule, at least 90 percent of consumers surveyed said they actually wanted to see more interactive content. What’s so compelling about it? Ultimately, it captures attention by asking for the visitor’s input. It’s also highly visual, which is critical to your success.

Types of Interactive Content

There’s a lot you can do with interactive content. The only real limitations are your beliefs about whether or not you can create something different (and maybe your tech skills).

Even if no one in your marketing department has the tech skills necessary for the right components, you can hire the job out or use different forms. There is really no reason to skip interactive content creation, especially if you want a strong content marketing campaign.

Create Quizzes

Quizzes are everywhere – literally, everywhere. Just take a look at Buzzfeed’s quiz section here. What banana are you? What Disney princess are you? Granted, these are a little silly, but you’re just as likely to stumble upon more serious quizzes on sites like Facebook or even company websites.

People love them. They especially love them if they think you’re going to try to guess something about them or if you’re going to tell them something they don’t know about their personalities. Often, they like to feel tested on topics they may or may not be very familiar with (especially if they beat their friends at it).

Just about 96 percent of people who start quizzes or contests on BuzzFeed finish them. That’s a huge number – a number you very likely don’t see with any other piece of content on your website. Tie your results in with a little bit of related info about what you can do for them and you’ll see some interesting results.

Create Your Own Hashtags

People love feeling like they are part of a community – as if they are participating in something special. Hashtag campaigns drive awareness, create brand visibility, help with tracking the success of your content, and boost your followers. They’re excellent for Instagram and Twitter and can be incorporated on Facebook as long as you use them sparingly.

Hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or #MondayMotivation are great, but they are way too generic. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them; incorporate them on top of brand-specific hashtags instead.

Here’s an example: Coke encourages #ShareACoke. Charmin has used #TweetFromTheSeat, and Lay’s runs flavor contests under #DoUsAFlavor. Audi ended up picking up #WantAnR8 as part of their marketing campaign after a user tweeted them to tell them how badly she wanted one of their cars.

Create More Video

Video. Video. Video. It’s the new location, location, location. Video is where it’s at. Consumers love videos – and not just short ads, longer informational video pieces, too.

Have something humorous to share? Use it! Use video on social and on your website, especially on your landing pages. You should incorporate video year-round, too, not just during the holidays and the Super Bowl.

Hundreds of brands are using video right now – some of them use it very, very well. Taco Bell has been using video since 2011 and has come up with some great campaigns, with Facebook video driving over 90 percent of their video views. Poo Pourri is another brand making great use of video content. Hey, it’s a taboo topic, but they make it hilarious and useful. Who hasn’t worried about stinking up a bathroom at some point?

Other Interactive Content Formats

Stuck for ideas? Here are some other content types to consider:

  • Interactive Infographics are easy to create. Simply use your favorite graphic creation tool to come up with an infographic and then use a tool like Displayr to add elements, like text statistics, that appear when people scroll over certain parts of your design.
  • Surveys and polls are great but have to be fun. No one wants to fill out a simple survey about their age, gender, and favorite color. Customize your polls with radio buttons or colorful images to represent the options. If you’re on a Facebook page or group, you can even upload images next to your poll options. You can use tools like SurveyGizmo to embed custom creations on your website.
  • Webinars are great for engagement, especially if you really do them live and interact with your viewers. Google Hangouts is a great option for businesses on a budget, though there are tons of other options available. You can even record and save your webinar and upload it to YouTube for future reference.
  • Mobile apps and games definitely count as interactive content. Gamified apps keep your audience connected with you on a regular basis. You can offer custom content for app users, share important tips and updates, offer extra app-specific discounts, and more. Be creative and make sure you are offering content that is specific to the app.

Make Your Content Useful

The key to successful interactive content is not to just create content for the sake of creating content. Engaging and useful content will keep your users coming back for more and will inspire them to purchase from you when they are ready.

This isn’t to say your static content isn’t valuable, either. It is, and you should continue creating what you can. But if your budget allows for it, you should definitely consider creating interactive content geared towards your largest target demographic.

Don’t stress over creating 100 percent new and unique content, either. You very likely have tons of existing content that could simply be spruced up with some interactive elements.

Are you excited and driven? It’s time to get your marketing team together and start creating. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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