Research of Content Marketing

Internet. Interactive. The two were destined to collide.

The term “internet” came to be because it connected networks. The prefix “Inter” means “between.” It follows that “interactive” means “action between.” Or something like that.

The point is we were destined to interact online. We live for interaction and the Internet lives to give it to us.

Content marketers are getting “inter” it

The real measure of any form of marketing is action. In older and traditional channels, the actions we measured tended to include phone calls, faxes, coupon redemptions, sales meetings, and maybe sales. Remember “tip in” cards in trade magazines?

Today, with content marketing ruling the online space, marketers often measure more actions, and certainly, less meaningful ones: shares, clicks, even views. This is not to say content marketers don’t measure the more substantial actions. The good ones do.

The good ones also realise engagement is all-important. Building brand affinity leads to building the relationship that leads to building trust that leads to building sales that leads to building business. Got all that?

Enter interactive content. On the battlefield that is content marketing, reading, watching, listening to, or downloading something may be the equivalent to firing a shot, but getting a prospect emotionally involved via interaction is a hit.

“Engaging a target audience” is an important excerpt from Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing. According to nearly every marketing research study, it’s also consistently proven to be amongst our toughest challenges.

Marketers succeed when their audience not only consumes content, but also enjoys and acts upon it. Understanding this principle, more and more content marketers are stepping-up their static content to create content customers can interact with.

The forces behind interactive content

Your classic content marketer is adept at publishing a blog and other forms of one-way media. Creating interactive content is more work. It tends to demand more resources.

Is it worth it?

Most content marketers that have hopped aboard the interactive train would answer yes. They may say they’ve realised greater results. They may also say it’s imperative. Here’s why:

Noise—There’s simply too much content. And the only people that really care about content is content marketers. The customers don’t want content. They want answers. Or they want to have fun. Or both.

The world’s gone mobile—Mobile users have come to expect interactivity. Apps are more engaging than web pages.

Human nature—We simply want to interact. We learn best by doing. I once asked my kids, “What are your favourite lessons in school?” They said the ones where we do stuff and make things. Interactive content is the filed trip of content marketing.

What types of content are interactive?

Let’s look at some of the interactive content types, some of which are well known and blazing hot and a few others with a potentially strong upside.

Assessments

Like quizzes, assessments also are often little pieces of brain candy such as personality tests. However, in a business context assessments can be meaningful marketing tools often used to help people identify a need, compare their company to benchmarks, or some other type of self-diagnosis.

Polls and surveys

Polls and surveys can take all different forms and fulfill a wide variety of needs for both the creator and user. The subject of the poll or survey gives users a glimpse into your areas of expertise.

Calculators

Calculators are about money, which for some reason appears to interest most people. Given the right strategy and creative execution, a calculator can say (or infer) something meaningful about your company’s mission.

Contests

Contests may be older than time, but continue to evolve online and across the social sphere. The potential to get creative with contests is infinite. Cool contests have proven to lure customers and inspire engagement. Generally, they require some form of application, so marketers can collect valuable customer data. And though it may be obvious, contests can generate authentic and engaging user-generated content.

Galleries

Visual marketing couldn’t be hotter, so some companies are using galleries to deliver stopping power and interaction. In addition to showcasing products, they can present portfolios, ideas, customer examples, event highlights, or anything you can “picture.”

Interactive white papers or eBooks

Interactive software company ion interactive suggests turning your white paper or eBook into an interactive user experience allowing readers to navigate as they wish.

Infographics

Infographics can be made interactive with embedded questions, flip tiles, flexible user paths, and more.

What type of content marketer are you?

After researching interactive content and learning more about the magnetic power of quizzes and such, we couldn’t resist writing the subhead above. It begs to be a quiz. And as a content marketer vying for attention and engagement amongst the deafening noise, you’ll want to consider the question.

Interactive content offers an opportunity to differentiate your brand and engage your audience.

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