Why interactive content is king

Estimated reading time
8 minutes
24th April 2023
Author: Amy Jordan
Posted in: Strategy & Planning

Interactive content is the marketing trend that cuts through the “noise” and gets content noticed.  It is an ever-evolving resource that allows for up-to-date marketing and ways to stay ahead of the curve. Our deep dive into interactive content will be your handbook on the what’s, why’s and how’s of your interactive content marketing strategy.

What is interactive content?

Interactive content is a content experience. It takes the user from passive consumption to active engagement. Think of it like a conversation. Your target audience goes from reading to interaction and  your content becomes an active part of  someone’s day. If you think about all the information you receive online daily, and how much you actually remember, you quickly see how interactive content stands out. 

Marketing strategist, author and entrepreneur Seth Godin writes:

 

“Connect, create meaning, make a difference, matter, be missed”
– Seth Godin

 

Why create interactive content?

Interactivity makes content immersive, informative and engaging – all vital elements of content that’s successful at inbound lead generation. Creating content is a key part of any marketing campaign, but interactive content can elevate your content from the competition. 

Think of a BuzzFeed quiz. You can do anything from seeing how well you know 1950s  musicals to discovering what kind of potato you are. According to Digiday, 96% of people who start a BuzzFeed quiz will finish it. These quizzes can be accessed on phones, on tablets, on laptops and can be done quickly by yourself or in a group of people looking to socialize through them (BuzzFeed Quiz Party anyone?)

Using an interactive content platform allows the reader to engage with the brand on a human level. Audiences feel involved in your brand, which creates an emotional connection. Your content can create a rapport with your audience without you directly speaking to them. They feel connected to you, your product, and your brand. 

 

“The experience is everything now”
– Brian Solis; author, speaker and analyst

 

Is interactive content the future of marketing?

In short, the answer is yes. Interactive content provides readers with a reason to remember you. How often do you scroll through media that is spattered with static information? It is likely you do this every day, but you will recollect very little of this. Writer and entrepreneur Aza Raskin estimates that the infinite scrolling we are prone to wastes over 200,000 human lifetimes daily. That is a lot of “noise” to sift through to stand out to your target audience. 

This is where the value of interactive content is key. A 2012 study on interactivity and learning reported that “social interaction plays an important role in learning.” Being able to engage with content provides your audience with the ability to recall your brand and information. Whether they are actively seeking your product, or finding you on a social feed, their interaction with your brand will mean when it comes to decision-making, you will be at the forefront of their mind. 

As an example of this, Turtl Doc readers have a more accurate memory of key messages, with over 75% of readers being able to recall important information from interactive documents in comparison to just over 70% from a PDF, whilst the same people recalled more red herrings than when looking at interactive content:

chart showing that 5% more Turtl Doc readers accurately recalled the main content messages compared to PDF readers

 

Thus boasting a better user experience and a better takeaway from each content creation.

Interactive content provides you with the means to get up-to-date analytics on your target audience. Polls, webinars, and quizzes taken, show you how you are perceived and shared – as well as give you relevant information about your audience. The poll you create doesn’t have to link inextricably to your brand. You could release a poll asking for feedback on a product, or you may want to release a poll with topical questions. 

Take this poll written by Andrew Seaman and posted on LinkedIn:

The poll isn’t brand specific, but it is still an engaging and memorable reason to interact with someone which at the same time provides insightful opinions from your audience.  

Turtl has followed the same idea here. Even though the post features on the brand LinkedIn, they are asking questions specific to the marketing industry not to their product.

Interactive content is shareable and enticing and leads to brand loyalty and engagement. You can easily establish an emotional connection with your target audience that encourages further interaction with your product.

 

Attraction, action, interaction, and customer traction

A practical way of looking at this is by analyzing the awareness funnel.

At the top of the funnel is where the audience becomes aware of your brand. At this point, people may know a bit about your company and your product, but they have limited information or reasons to interact with you. This is where your marketing campaigns will be working to get brand recognition and build a customer base. What better way to do that than through interactive creative content? You can engage, receive customer feedback, and establish yourself in your audience’s memory. This is where your audience will have their first impression of your brand, so making yourself sound human and approachable through interactive and engaging content can massively increase your attraction. 

In the middle of the funnel is the interest and consideration stage. Here is where you show value to your audience. Why should they choose you over your competitors? Interactive content can create an emotional connection that makes you stand out. Someone who has felt heard, engaged, and appreciated by your content is more likely to choose you. 

SiriusDecision reports that 67% of a buyer’s journey is digital. Using interactive content at digital marketing touchpoints, you can shape your buyer’s journey into a better online experience.

At the bottom of the funnel, you have the purchasing of your product or conversion stage, and also the loyalty and retention of your clients to consider. Creative interactive content can be shared by your current customers in order to grow your reach and recycle positive feedback across multiple platforms. 

Graph showing each content marketing funnel stage and the type of content best suited for each stage

 

“Create something people want to share”
John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing

 

How to create and make interactive content

Now you know why you should create interactive content, the next step is to actually do it. 

 

STEP 1 

As with starting anything, you need to identify your needs and goals. Ask yourself what this content is going to accomplish. How can the content fit into your wider marketing strategy and business goals? 

We show you how to plan a coherent B2B content marketing strategy that waterfalls down from overarching goals to deliver the most relevant interactive content.

 

STEP 2 

Tune into your industry landscape and social media channels. Use social listening and monitoring tactics to explore what people are posting and note any gaps that your brand and product can fill. 

 

STEP 3

Any tools? Making interactive content can be a lot easier when you have the right tools at your disposal. This is something that will depend on your budget, but it will be a massive benefit to your marketing campaign. Some tools have interactivity and engagement analytics already built in. Finding interactive content creation software that suits your needs can be an absolute must in your marketing strategy.

Have a look at this Turtl Doc if you want to find out more about what marketing leaders think of developing a living enterprise through digital transformation.

cover of a Turtl Doc about C-suite execs developing a living enterprise through digital transformation

 

STEP 4 

Now is the time to get creative. This is the fun part. You get to put together everything you know and create engaging and informative content for your audience to love. 

Learn how to create digital content.

Here are 6 tips to elevate your content creation process.

 

STEP 5 

Post, post, post. Develop a posting schedule and organize when your interactive content marketing campaign should be launched. Make sure you post at regular intervals and you don’t repeat the same content on all channels, but tailor fresh content for each. Utilize everything you have learned to ensure you are releasing the best interactive content. 

 

Interactive content examples, types, and ideas

Some of the most popular and useful types of interactive content are:

  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Quizzes
  • Games
  • Virtual tours
  • Webinars
  • Surveys and polls
  • GIFs and infographics

 

Great interactive content marketing examples 

It is always helpful to listen to the market you are working in and check engagement analytics. You can see what your competitors are posting, but you’ll find the most value and inspiration from your audience’s data. Some excellent content creations out there are:

  • Joe Wicks shot to fame during lockdown for his human and caring fitness content. His blog is an excellent example of human content that speaks to the needs of his audience. He has created a brand around himself and used his content to promote what he values.

 

  • Salesforce released this exciting GIF that engages and interacts with their audience. Note the colors, the movement and the way it brings the audience in to to their message:

Party Success GIF by Salesforce - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

  • Another excellent example of interactive content is this virtual tour of a building. This is of particular value to companies selling buildings or products within them. Matterport uses 3D technology to create a realistic virtual experience for its customers.

 

  • BuzzFeed quizzes are the staple quiz-taking platform. They are quick, easy, and lots of fun. Marketing is about creating a relationship  between your brand and your customers, and sometimes enticing your audience with a fun exercise and creating a community around it, can build loyalty and retention:

 

  • This Turtl Doc created by Reddington featured interactive polls that encouraged their readers to engage with their brand and to break up their reading with a fun exercise. 

 

Your mantra for creating and posting interactive content should simply be: ‘Draft, refine, re-design, re-align.’

Whatever you create, ensure you are creating it for your audience. 

 

How is interactive content important to marketing?

Interactive content builds an emotional connection with your target audience. 

 

“The future of branding is marketing with people not at them”
– John Morgan, Brand Against the Machine.

 

Allowing for quick responses, quick sharing, and reasons to engage with your brand, interactivity encourages loyalty and warm leads. 

Turtl Analytics shows that interactivity boosts reader retention, engagement, and experience.  With less than three seconds to make an impression, marketers can use interactive content to seize attention and raise interest in their brand, fast.


How can we help you?

If you are ready to start creating interactive content, then we are here to help. Whether you want to embed videos and polls in your content or create eye-catching designs, have a look at what Turtl could do for you:

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