It is time to discuss the future of content marketing, and that future is interactive. When considering the phrase on its own, interactive content, it brings to mind the hologram of Jaws 19 from Back to the Future II. Well, that took place in 2015, which means that it’s outdated, as well as not actually being interactive.
The 3 characteristics of interactive content
- Engaging: Whether the item in question is a quiz, infographic or calculator, it becomes interactive once the reader is compelled to participate. It is obvious that absorbing information is a lot more fun with visual aids and participation.
- Noticeable: Over the past few years, content marketing and curation has gone from being a strategy to a necessity. Now, everyone and their mother company uses content marketing, and for good reason. According to Demand Metric, 91% of all B2B marketers use content marketing and, while it costs 62% less than traditional marketing, it generates three times as many leads per dollar spent. This widely acknowledged effectiveness and efficiency has led to a traffic jam of content, where each piece of traditional content is a car and interactive content can be your helicopter flying above.
- Unique: Each user that completes a quiz or zooms in on one aspect of an infographic, is having a unique journey. This method helps the reader find the specific information they are looking for AND helps the organization collect more useful data.
Why Make the Switch to Interactive Content?
Confucius: I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.
If you want readers to really retain the information, it is advantageous to have them do more than just click on the link. The impetus behind content marketing, is a basic exchange of services between the poster and the reader. One builds trust and gathers information; the other gets to learn something and be entertained. According to the principles of Action Learning and Experiential Learning, the general consensus is that the more people participate, the more they learn.
So, in the words of Elvis Presley, another great thinker, “A little less conversation, a little more action.”
The Right Interactive Content for Your Business
But there are so many types of this new form of marketing, it can be hard to choose which is right for your strategy. With traditional content marketing, there are fewer options to consider, predominantly led by blogging. With interactive content, there are many more alternatives, and we will go through some of the most important of them:
- Infographics: What better way to discuss infographics than through using…
This was done with the help of Canva.com and their free infographic maker.
- Quizzes: Not only are quizzes great for getting your audience to participate, they also gather much more of that valuable data that your organization needs to better serve customer needs. They tap into the most ingrained and important of human impulses: the need to understand oneself. That said, these quizzes can range from Playbuzz’s Which Emoji Sums Up Your Entire Life? to HP’s quiz on energy resources so the quality of information will vary.
- Calculators: Interactive calculators are probably the most educational of these interactive tools. They can help the user calculate their student debt or how much their business can save through onboarding automation. Still, they catch the reader’s eye and benefit both sides of the transaction.
There are other types of interactive content, each with their own advantages or special niches. Among them are interactive magazines, data visualizations, biographies, articles, interactive emails, eBooks and many more. It is worth exploring these options to find out which one is the right one.
The Future of Content Marketing
While it seems like the world of online marketing is evolving in an interactive content direction, there remain a few problems, the biggest of which is the pricing. On average, the cost of signing up for a business account on the main interactive content websites is about $3000 per month. That is significantly higher than traditional content, especially considering that low prices are often the most appealing aspect of content marketing. However, these prices will probably drop as the marketplace becomes more crowded with competition in the near future.
Content marketing, whether static or interactive, still isn’t an exact science. According to CMI research, 55% of B2B marketing professionals are unclear of what type of content is most effective and what kind of impact they carry. However, there seems to be a consensus that, while the past few years have seen the rapid growth of content marketing, 2016 will be the year of interactive content.
These forms of interactive content are undoubtedly more valuable than the established static content that has existed for decades. They are new and exciting and rife with possibilities. However, its novelty is exactly the reason why it’s so difficult to determine whether it’s worth it.
Are you looking to attract, convert, close, and delight your customers?