Posted on 1/19/2016 in Digital Marketing
What is Interactive Content
Interactive content can be anything that the user has the ability to change or something that changes due to a user’s action. Things like assessments, quizzes, surveys, moving components on a page, and contests are all great ways to engage users on-page while promoting social sharing.
Users are also less likely to bounce and are more likely to return to your site later if the content is responsive and works across devices. Many forms of interactive content allow you to start gathering information about a user before they reach a point of conversion.
The reason users respond so well to interactive content is that its representative of having a conversation with the brand, rather than being “talked at” with long paragraphs of text. The user’s input is being taken into account and their opinion appears to matter to the brand.
Interactivity also helps content stand out in an environment where content creation has become so prevalent. Taking a piece of successful content and evolving it into an interactive application is a great way to double your content and attract new users. The added interactivity also creates another way to track the level of engagement a user has with a piece of content.
There are a Few Different Types of Interactive Content:
Having clickable items in a video project allows the user to follow certain paths in a video. Having the user choose the story that most appeals to them, will likely cause higher engagement and a more relevant message. This is a great opportunity to exercise creativity by plotting a humorous or exciting storyline that the user can create themselves.
A lot of these interactive adventures have experienced a lot of popularity, and have been featured on sites like Buzzfeed and AdWeek because of that popularity. If it can be done well, it’s a great way to increase your brand profile.
Reveal Based Games
These are ads that appear like games and ask users to interact in order to win, view, receive some sort of deal through participation. Users are more likely to participate because of the fun nature of the activity, and in doing so, they are receptive to discount codes, secret pictures, or whatever the company wants to showcase.
In a Macy’s ad, users can hover over the ad and “scratch-off” the ad to reveal a secret image. After scratching off the first image, users have a few opportunities to interact with the ad with buttons and page-turning. They reported that 18.8% of users engaged with the ad and spent an average of 37 seconds hovering, clicking, and interacting with the ad.
Polling can help you gather quick user feedback, that users might even enjoy giving. You can get users to answer easy questions that can help find what’s missing from your brand or website. It’s fun for the users because they get to see other’s opinions after poll completion
It also shows the user that the company is listening to their opinion. There are two times that a user can interact with a poll. The first is when they choose their selection in the poll, and again when results are shown and they have the ability to like or comment.
Quizzes are similar to polling because it’s a medium that allows users to pick their preferences and answer questions. Quizzes are a great way to get answers from users about themselves, their needs, and other important information. They’re a great way to gather information and help reduce the number of form fields on a point of conversion.
As the user participates in the interactive quiz, they answer questions that can help identify their needs and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Not only are quizzes fun and incredibly sharable, but users can also interact with an online quiz twice in a single session. Once when they take the quiz, and again when they share, like, or comment on the quiz results. Users love to share quiz results to show other users their results or score, making interactive quizzes a perfect tool to have in your marketing arsenal.
White papers and eBooks are lengthy pieces of content that are highly sharable. They’re usually full of information, and its best practice to avoid pitching a product within them.
Brands can flaunt their expertise on a subject to help build authority and credibility. This content isn’t the most “fun” type of content, but there are ways to make them more enjoyable by making them interactive. When you make a white paper interactive, you also make it more trackable. Before, you can just count the number of downloads and never really know how far into the white paper a user goes.
Infographics have seen a lot of success because of their high shareability. They’re valuable because they are able to condense a high volume of complex information and turn it into a visual, consumable, piece of content. 90% of the information and content sent to the brain is visual. Often, the use of infographics sees at least a 12% increase in traffic.
Interactive infographics can take it even further, by adding an element of a two-way conversation to an already successful content type. These can be used on sites where the brand needs to explain complicated information. Breaking it down on a visual and interactive page can help make this complicated content more simple and consumable. See a great example here!
Calculators are a great way to have the user input valuable data, and in return, they receive a numerical result of some sort. Calculators work near the end of the buyer’s journey when users are trying to estimate the cost of service and the benefit it will provide the user.
Challenges to Creating Interactive Content
The two main challenges to creating engaging, interactive content are the time and the cost. Creating interactive content is very time consuming, and the tools needed to create the content can be pricey. Knowing where to find these tools at a low cost is important.
It may still be very time consuming to create high-quality content, but repurposing successful content into an interactive component is one way to cut down on time. Break up successful current content into smaller parts and add interactive visuals, and that old content now becomes much more shareable and is able to capture a whole new audience. An eBook can be made into multiple pieces of interactive content without the need for brand new content.
The effort that is put in with interactive content is often well rewarded with a high amount of engagement, an increase in lead conversion rates, and better data for qualifying leads for conversion. Click through rates and completion rates improve drastically, and users are more likely to return to a brand that has a fun, engaging, web experience.
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