What is the future of content? Big changes are coming. As of now, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing to some extent, and the market is so saturated that it can be very difficult to gain the attention of readers who only have so many hours in the day to read blog posts and ebooks. The importance of content marketing isn’t going away, but trends are changing, and every company is looking to be at the forefront of the latest and greatest in how to educate and engage potential leads. Interactive content is the next big thing in inbound marketing, and companies who can leverage this tactic for their benefit often see higher engagement in their content. So what is interactive content, and how can businesses use it to woo new customers?
Interactive content is just what it sounds like: it’s digital content that readers can interact with, instead of just view and read passively. The benefit to your audience is a more engaging, educational, and entertaining experience that can give you the information you need to personalize the content for each user, based on their interaction with the content. More marketers are getting on board with interactive content, as it’s a great addition to traditional content strategies. Some companies are using tools to create their interactive content, as producing it from scratch can require a lot of technical know-how.
As we gain new digital tools, the options for interactive content are always evolving, but there are some common types of interactive content that have proven very effective for engaging audiences. Here are 4 examples:
Want to find out what your audience really wants, or what their opinions are? Consider adding short polls into your content repertoire. These polls are best when there are no clear right or wrong answers, and users don’t have to put in a lot of time or energy to contribute. Similarly, people love fun personality quizzes, trivia, and other interactive content that can help them test their knowledge of a subject or learn more about themselves. Make it all about your audience, not about you.
Interactive content opens up a dialogue with your audience, rather than the traditional one-way flow of passive information. That’s the idea behind interactive infographics and whitepapers. These interactive documents educate by asking questions and opening up new, relevant information to readers based on the answers they receive. It’s a convenient way to educate and engage your audience by personalizing the experience to meet their specific needs and save them time.
Everyone likes a freebie, and contests are a type of interactive content that can boost engagement on social media and allow you to collect email addresses for future marketing campaigns. Offering a free item to a person randomly selected from contest entrants can also build goodwill with little financial investment. Offer contest entries to anyone who signs up for your email list, follows you on social media, or retweets the offer to their friends and followers. You can even take contests several steps further, requiring participants to post pictures or complete a scavenger hunt and post about it. These fun, interactive challenges can greatly spur engagement.
A calculator uses algorithms to generate unique answers depending on what users type into the calculation box. They’re a great way to entertain an audience, since they can be based on absurd criteria. Calculators are fun little widgets that tend to do best when linked to current events. In 2014, Slate capitalized on John Travolta’s gaffe of completely misspeaking and calling Idina Menzel “Adele Dazeem” at the Oscars by creating a name generator: “Travoltify Your Name”. Major news outlets picked up on the generator, which briefly went viral. While calculators aren’t usually a great tool for educating your audience, they can be a powerful way to extend your reach and introduce you to potential customers and clients.
Of course, not all content businesses produce will become interactive. Having a mix of formats keeps things interesting and appeals to audiences with different preferences and learning styles. With that said, adding interactive pieces to your regular rotation can grab your audience’s attention and bring in more potential clients. Give a few types of interactive content a try at your company—you may be surprised at how simple and effective this approach can be!
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