Active engagement. That’s a hard one, for us online marketers.
The problem is because today’s smart Internet user is easily bored. You can’t simply provide them with a wall of text and expect results.
The solution? Interactive content.
Interactive content is all about educating and entertaining your viewer. In fact, Lisa Murton Beets at Content Marketing Institute discussed how interactive content was on the rise. In her research, she found that 75 percent of websites that use interactive content do so because they want to educate their audiences.
Also, 59 percent used interactive content to engage their audiences.
Interactive Content is Designed to Meet User Destiny
The human brain is destined to interact.
For content marketers, interaction is what drives results. Kissmetrics points out that more content marketers are using interactive content to measure actions. While they still focus on the shares and clicks, they also focus on the engagement percentage their websites are receiving.
Engagement is critical for any brand.
When the audience is engaged with its content, they are likely to stick around, follow, share, read and possibly purchase. You cannot get people to interact without interactive content.
3 Reasons Interactive Content Drives Results
- Too Much Content Equates to Too Much Noise: The only people that actually care about content is content marketers. Customers don’t care as much about the words. Instead, they want answers in those words, and they want to have fun.
- More Consumers are Mobile: Today, consumers expect interactive apps over the traditional webpage.
- Interaction is Human Nature: It is human nature to want to interact. That is how the human brain learns and retains what it learns.
Interactive Content Offers the Highest Engagement Rates
Your goal as a content marketer is to engage the audience.
Well, interactive content is the best way to grab reader attention. Interactive content counteracts the decline in readership because engagement is natural.
Per Brian Sutter at Forbes, it solves the issue most content marketers have: finding something new to do with their already published content.
Remember That How You Deploy Interactive Content Matters
OK, so now you know the importance of interactive content and why you should use it.
However, as with all content marketing methods, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
Great interactive content is one that elicits participation.
Take BuzzFeed for Example
BuzzFeed is notorious for its interactive quizzes. This content is all about telling you everything from your Hollywood name to the age you will get married.
It uses variables like your favorite music, TV show, or even what food you eat alone on a Friday night at home.
Take this quiz for example. It determines how old you will be when you get married. The first question?
BuzzFeed’s quizzes are fun, interactive, and the results are usually something you almost feel compelled to share on social media.
What can we learn from BuzzFeed?
Well, for starters, quizzes and brain challenges are an excellent way to get readers to interact with your content.
For your content, whip up a quiz that is relevant to your industry. Share it on all your social media networks and encourage followers to give it a try.
Just make sure you toss in a CTA at the end of your quiz; that’s what gives it some purpose.
Go Simple with Twitter Polls
You don’t have to hire a content marketing firm or even a designer to get started with audience engagement. Take Twitter for example.
Brian Sutter at Forbes recommends getting your feet wet by creating a Twitter poll for your audience. This forces them to interact with your brand and even gives you insight into your target consumer.
It is literally a win-win for your brand.
Go with something simple for starters, such as a “yes” or “no” answer poll.
Add in a Calculator
Are you selling a service that has variable pricing?
Calculators are useful, interactive tools that help consumers not only decide if they want to use your company but provides them with insight.
For example, you own a remodeling company.
People don’t want to invest in remodeling their homes if there is no return on that investment. Instead of projecting improvement costs, project the return on the job itself. So, if someone were to remodel his or her kitchen in Arizona, your calculator would estimate the ROI for kitchen remodels in homes in Arizona.
The Interactive White Paper
Remember white papers?
Only this time they are a lot more engaging and entertaining to read.
Interactive white papers are the new rage these days.
An interactive white paper takes traditional content and transforms it into something more engaging. An interactive white paper is typically a condensed version of the text-full version. They are combined with surveys, calculators and even knowledge tests to increase interaction.
Here’s an idea to take your interactive white paper even further: have people sign up with their e-mail addresses to unlock them.
Upgrade Your Infographic to be More Interactive
Infographics can be interactive?
It’s true. While they used to be one of the easier content methods for getting tons of well-researched content out there, they are now transforming into interactive content.
Infographics can be paired up with embedded questions, flipping tiles, and even flexible paths so that users can customize what they learn from the infographic. You could even let users pick and choose which stats are displayed; showing them the information relevant to the education they seek.
See How Creative Interactive Content Can Get
Creativity is part of the game with interactive content.
If you want readers to interact with your brand, you need to give them a reason.
With the right deployment of interactive content, you can tailor your site and even social media to your ideal customer; keeping them coming back and potentially get them to buy.
by Julia McCoy
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