If you are reading this blog post, chances are that you have just heard about Interactive Content, and you want to make sure you fully understand what it is. You’ve come to the right place!
While the term Interactive Content isn’t new (we have been using it at Dot.vu since we started in 2014), it wasn’t very known and popular until recently. So, what makes it popular today? There are many reasons. Netflix, with its new interactive TV shows and movies, has something to do with it. Then, of course, the COVID crisis as well. During the lockdown, Companies had to become very ingenious to catch their audience’s attention, and some found out that Interactive Content was a great way to do just that. Finally, in May, Google shared official news where they explained they will start putting more emphasis on the Page Experience, a.k.a the interactivity of a page, to rank websites.
With the popularity of Interactive Content rising, we thought it would be a good time to write an article about what Interactive Content is and why it is so important. Plus, in the article, we will also show how you can add Interactive Content to your content marketing strategy and share the 5 most popular types of Interactive Content.
What is Interactive Content?
Interactive content is a type of content where the audience plays a central and active role in the experience. In other words, rather than passively consuming a piece of content, the viewer is asked to interact with it by answering questions in a quiz, choosing their own journey in a video, collecting points in a game, etc.
The goal of Interactive Content is to create memorable and personalized experiences for the viewers, and that’s why lots of companies are adding more of this type of content to their marketing strategy in 2020. They know that with it, they will have a higher chance of capturing the users’ attention and making them engage with the content.
The concept of Interactive Content is clearly linked with the concept of user-experience. Why? Simply because Interactive Content creates a better user experience! In an interactive experience, the user experience adapts to the user, thereby making it more relevant. In addition to that, it is far more engaging as people are actively participating.
Interactive content is a type of content where the audience plays a central and active role in the experience. In other words, rather than passively consuming a piece of content, the viewer is asked to interact with it.Definition of Interactive Content
Why is Interactive Content so important?
Interactive Content is so important in 2020 for two main reasons. Firstly, as a marketer, it’s getting harder to catch our audience’s attention. The reason is that the attention span of human beings keeps decreasing. In 2015, we already had a lower attention span than goldfish! That’s why users often leave a web page after only 10 to 20 seconds. That’s an incredibly short time to catch someone’s attention, isn’t it?
There is another related component to this argument because one thing is to capture attention; another thing is to keep it. Many things play into this, but mainly, our expectations as online consumers are at an all-time high. If our experience on a website does not reflect what we expect, we are very quick to move on to another website. Things that affect our experience can be things like the loading time, the design, the ease-of-use, and the experience’s interactivity. Hence, why investing in Interactive Content is so important.
The other reason marketers have a hard time to reach their target audience is that there is too much content out there! Everyone is writing content in 2020, and that includes your competitors. According to HubSpot, writing content was considered to be the top focus area of most marketers in 2019. That means it’s getting very tough to create content pieces that are original, valuable, needed, and that rank well on Google.
So, as a marketer, what can we do to reach our audience in 2020? At Dot.vu, we believe (and have concrete proofs) that the answer lies within Interactive Content. By creating content pieces that put the user first and engage them in a fun and creative way, you will catch their attention and distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Interactive Content vs Content Marketing: What should you know?
Interactive Content and Content Marketing are not opposed or separate from each other. Actually, Interactive Content should be considered as a part of your Content Marketing Strategy. That’s why you’ll want to add interactive experiences to your Content Marketing Funnel.
This is relatively easy to do. If you haven’t done it already, you’ll first want to build your marketing funnel by dividing your current content types into three different purposes.
- Firstly, you’ll have the content types that aim to attract potential customers to your website.
- Secondly, you’ll have the content types that have the purpose of educating visitors about your product offering, your company, etc.
- Lastly, you’ll have the content types that will help you turn visitors into customers.
Your Content Marketing Funnel should look somewhat like that:
Once you have built your Content Marketing Funnel, you’ll want to identify what section(s) of your funnel doesn’t work as well as the others. For example, you could be getting lots of traffic on your blog, but you have a hard time converting that traffic into leads and/or visitors. These problematic sections are the sections where you should optimize your strategy with interactive experiences. Of course, you can also jump directly into the interactivity pool by incorporating different interactive experiences in the 3 different sections from the get-go.
In the image below, you can find examples of interactive experiences for each section of your content marketing funnel.
Of course, choosing a specific interactive experience over another will depend on your industry and your product offering. So, take a look at this funnel and brainstorm ideas with your marketing team. Choose which interactive experiences you want to design and start implementing a strategy for each of them.
What are the popular Interactive Content types?
The most popular content types (also known as Interactive Experiences) are, to a large extent, industry-specific. For example, branded marketing games are generally more popular for B2C companies than B2B. The same goes for advent calendars, whereas something like an interactive e-book is mainly used by B2B companies.
Nonetheless, all industries combined, we have noticed that these are the most popular interactive experiences at the moment:
1. Guided Selling
Guided Selling experiences are really interesting and popular because they make the life of marketers so much simpler. Indeed, one of your most important tasks as a marketer is to know your target audience and your segments. You need to identify their needs and offer them a solution or a product based on these needs. That’s exactly what a guided selling experience is designed to do.
When interacting with a guided selling experience, a user will answer different questions regarding his needs, preferences, personality traits, etc. Once the questionnaire is completed, he will be presented with a single or multiple products or services that fit what he was looking for.
Take a look at this customer example where ESET created a Guided Selling experience to guide customers in finding the right antivirus software based on their individual needs. Click on the image to try it!!
2. Interactive Flipbook
Interactive Flipbooks are also getting really trendy. The main reason is that lots of marketers are using this type of interactive content to repurpose their old and boring PDFs.
PDFs are really popular, but people are growing tired of them because they are static and not convenient. Nonetheless, the content in these PDFs is sometimes very valuable and still accurate. So, by flipping their PDFs into Interactive Flipbooks, marketers can boost the readability rate of these old PDFs.
But, another huge value of flipping your PDFs into Interactive Flipbooks: Data! By having your PDFs online as Interactive Flipbooks, you can track who reads them, how long they read them, where they click, etc. This knowledge is valuable information if you want to optimize them later on.
3. Interactive Video
It’s clear for a while in the marketing world: videos are a must. Oberlo even estimates that “in 2022, 82% of the global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads“. That’s crazy! That’s why you need to be on the top of that trend with Interactive Videos.
Interactive Videos are quite similar to regular videos. The difference? The are better! That’s because consumers love to be part of the experience. So, if you want to be a trendsetter, go ahead and add interactive elements to your current videos (e.g., hotspots, quizzes, lead forms, and much more).
That’s what Netflix did recently; they started creating special episodes of TV Shows where viewers would make choices that would affect the show. If Netflix does it, it must be the right strategy, no?
Want to try one? Take a look!
Quizzes are fantastic to create awareness and engage with your customers. You have probably seen different quizzes on Social Media, like “What Disney Princess Are You?” or “What Harry Potter character are you?”. These are personality test quizzes. They work because they play into our curiosity.
But other types of quizzes are also very popular. For example, people love to take quizzes where they test their skills. You could create a quiz like “How well do you know [Interesting topic somewhat related to your product offering]?”. You’ll attract participants because they will be curious to test themselves, but in the meantime, they’ll also learn more about your company. Add a contest and a gated lead form to it to get new leads. Pretty easy, right?
5. Marketing Games
Everyone knows it by now; the power of gamification is exceptional. That’s why branded marketing games are so trendy. They are a great way for companies, particularly B2C companies, to create awareness and to impact their brand image positively.
There are many different games to choose from, like puzzles, wheel of fortune, spot the difference games, etc. If you want to create an even bigger buzz around your marketing game, then an effective strategy is to add an instant-win contest to it. You also want to grow your email list? Add a gated lead form to your experience! You’ll be impressed by the results.
Take a look at this simple marketing game with a gated lead form:
Now that you have read this blog post, I truly hope you have a better understanding of what Interactive Content is and why it is so important in 2020. From our point-of-view, Interactive Content is the future of Content Marketing. In 2030, all companies will have to be interactive if they want to succeed. So, while it’s still at an early stage, you should see it as an opportunity to be a step ahead of your competitors, and jump into interactivity.
Also, if you are worried that creating Interactive Content is way out of your budget, you would be surprised. On Dot.vu, you can easily create interactive experiences at a very reasonable cost. Plus, our Interactive Content platform is code-free, and we have many templates that you can simply customize to create astonishing results. Take a look at our MarketPlace!