Interactive content has been around for many decades in digital media. From video games to social media marketing, interactive content encourages the end user to actively participate in the experience rather than passively taking in content. There is no question that interactivity can promote deeper experiences from the end user both in the immediate and in the long term. When it comes to driving customer engagement, interactive content is a great tool to allow customers to feel in control of their own experience.
Today, we will define interactive content, review some examples of interactive content within the context of marketing campaigns, and how businesses can utilize these features to drive organic customer engagement.
What is Interactive Content?
For marketing purposes, content generally refers to the media and information which exists on a web platform such as a website or social media account. When we say that content is interactive, we are saying that the content either encourages or flatly demands user input. Interactivity can be as simple as a graphic responding to a click and as complex as a fully fledged flash game on your website.
Interactive content is at its best when it is both tailored to the individual yet not overly complex to use. The primary strength of these customer interactions is that it should grab and hold the attention of your potential customers by keeping things entertaining. Consider your audience. If you are selling a product to technologically savvy young adults aged 20-35, they can be reasonably expected to handle a bit more complexity than customers aged 65+.
Examples of Effective Interactive Content
Not all interactive content is flashy. By simply asking your customers to participate, you can effectively encourage engagement in a fun and easy way. Here are some common examples of interactive content which have been proven to be effective in recent years.
Have you ever wondered what kind of bread you are or which Disney princess best suited your personality? Enter Buzzfeed quizzes. These simple interactive quizzes are easy to complete, fun, and integrate into social media for quick posting and/or sharing. Buzzfeed quizzes came along at the perfect time to jump on the Facebook sharing bandwagon. Subject to plenty of mockery now, the quiz feature was perhaps the biggest reason that the once small media startup retains a $1.7 Billion valuation in 2019.
Polls, Instagram Stories, AMAs, etc.
The distance between customers and brands has never been shorter. a Instagram stories, social media polls, and Reddit AMAs (short for “ask me anything”) are all examples of ways in which brands can interact directly with their audience. This form of interactive media engages customers to ask questions and even reach their favorite celebrities, influencers, or brand representatives.
Use Interactive Graphics, Calculators, and More
Interactive content can also include infographics which might expand to show more information with a click or a mouse hover. An extension of this concept would be calculation tools customers can use to determine things ranging from potential child custody payments to mortgage rates. Both interactive infographics and calculators are powerful tools to make the customer experience more useful, memorable, and sometimes more enjoyable. They are also effective at lengthening the time each potential customer will remain on your site.
How to Utilize Interactive Content to Engage Customers
As we have highlighted thus far, interactive content is an extremely versatile tool which can be used in numerous web-based applications. So how can we use interactive content to get potential customers more engaged?
- Content to drive brand awareness: many potential customers are aware of a problem or need that they might have, but might night understand how your product(s) can help them. Interactive quizzes and/or infographics can provide a deeper understanding of their situation and why your product is a solution.
- Educational content: many individuals absorb information better when the experience is interactive. The most frequently encountered interactive content is within an educational context. A recent study also found that 45% of respondents found interactive content “very effective” at educating the buyer against only 6% for passive content. An additional 48% of respondents found interactive content “somewhat effective”.
- Just for fun: interactive content doesn’t necessarily need to cater to a specific end. The fact remains that entertaining content is retaining customer attention which has the potential to lead to further engagement and sales. Fun web-based games or simple polls on social media can still be valuable on their own.
- Interactive advertisements: modern platforms such as Instagram shoppable posts allow for both social media posts and paid ads to be interactive. Again, this is a great way to grab and hold audience attention at a valuable touch point.
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