Interactive posts are the future of content marketing. 88% of marketers plan to start using it in the near future, and 45% of B2B buyers name it as one of their favorite content types.
And despite that, many business owners aren’t even aware of what interactive content is, let alone why they should use it. They may see interactive posts all around the web without ever considering it as a type of content that they could try out as well.
However, when used correctly, interactive content in 2020 can become one of the most powerful tools in any marketer’s arsenal because of its unique ability to engage viewers and entice action.
But does interactive content work? And what it is, anyway?
Let’s answer these and other important questions below.
What is Interactive Content?
Content marketing has many benefits, but even something as useful has its limitations. For one thing, with most content, the reader (or viewer) is a passive consumer of information instead of an active participant.
And that’s where interactive content can be such a game-changer.
Instead of relying on your audience to read through your content and gain insights on their own, you can get people much more engaged by asking them for a response or an interaction.
So basically, interactive content is anything that requires a response. It could be a quiz, games, interactive charts or maps, calculators, or various other types of interactive posts that require input from the user instead of just displaying information.
Instead of just displaying information on your site, you could allow the user to choose which situation or option matches up with what they are looking for.
Benefits of Interactive Content
Interactive content is quickly making its way onto websites in all industries. And that’s mainly because marketers are discovering just how powerful they can be.
As I mentioned in the previous section, there are many reasons almost everyone should use interactive posts in their marketing. The most obvious reason is the fact that you can get better engagement, with 70% of marketers saying that it helps make their readers more engaged and responsive.
People love to participate in surveys and other interactive content because it can provide them with more relevant information and simply because it looks better and is more fun to interact with.
But that’s not all that it can offer.
If you use polls, quizzes, or surveys, you will also be collecting information about your audience. And that information can be an invaluable resource when you’re trying to find out their most pressing needs or who they are.
Solutions like SurveyMonkey have been built on the idea that collecting more direct data from your site’s visitors can be beneficial. And with millions of happy customers, it’s obvious their approach works.
Finally, with the help of interactive content, you can separate yourself from others. Even though it’s very useful, relatively few companies use it in some industries. So, you may gain a unique advantage over your competition if you take the time to reshape your content to become more interactive.
Best Types of Interactive Content
At this point, you should have a much better understanding of what interactive posts are and why you should use them. The next question – what types of interactive posts could you use on your site?
Let’s look at some of the most popular options you could consider.
A good on-site calculator can be one of the best ways to engage your audience. They can help your visitors see immediate value in any situation and provide a useful tool that allows them to make a more educated decision.
If you want to emphasize the ROI of your services of products, creating a calculator that showcases what you can offer is a great idea. Prospects could type in their information, and the calculator could show the potential returns if they were to use the solution you are offering.
My marketing business, Shortlist, has a calculator for the done for you marketing service. Users can calculate how much different types of services might cost, allowing them to get a clearer picture of the costs upfront and go into the project with more confidence.
Another way to use a calculator is to help your visitors find an answer to a specific question. That question itself might not even be directly related to your product, but it should allow you to connect the answer to how your solution could help.
Everyone loves games. Even when we’re working, it’s easy to get wrapped up in an engaging online game that will only take a second (or so we think).
That’s why games can be a very powerful way to engage visitors on your site. Create an appealing game, and you will dramatically increase the engagement on your site, which you can then leverage to get those same visitors to take action.
Even something as simple as a puzzle can be incredibly useful, especially if you incentivize it with a fun little prize.
For instance, you could allow those that solve it into an exclusive list or offer a little discount, which will seem even more appealing since visitors “earned” it by winning.
One of the best ways to use interactive posts is to get more information about your site’s visitors. And that’s precisely what quizzes can offer.
Unlike some of the other types of content on this list, quizzes are perfect for not only engaging your visitors but also getting them to provide you valuable data that you can use for increasing sales.
For instance, you could ask your site’s visitors which segment of your audience they represent. You would have to phrase the question differently, but in essence, you could find out which segment visits your site the most often, allowing you to figure out where to focus the targeting of your messages.
Another way to use quizzes is to qualify your leads. You can figure out at what stage of the buyer journey they are right now and then get them to subscribe to a list depending on their answers.
Then, you could either have a customized drip sequence based on their needs or have someone from your sales team reach out with a much better idea of what they need to hear to become customers.
People love beautiful visuals. Sure, they mostly want to learn the information and see the data, but the way you present it can make a huge difference.
Therefore, it only makes sense to try and make the information you want visitors to notice as memorable and attention-grabbing as possible.
Not long ago, regular infographics were enough. But today, most companies use beautifully-designed infographics and white papers to get their message across.
To stand out, you need to create infographics that really pop, using interactive elements that get people to want to learn more.
Interactive infographics can not only make the information more appealing but can also allow you to tell a more complete story. One of the most popular ways to use interactive elements in infographics is to make various information pieces expandable, providing more context, additional data, or more in-depth resources.
Video is engaging by nature, which is why it’s become such a powerful way to grab the attention of audiences online. However, if you add an interactive element, your videos can become absolutely irresistible.
You might have heard about the sensation that was the Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror, which allowed audiences to make choices at various points, which altered the way things progressed.
More and more companies are using a similar approach with video, adding interactive elements that allow viewers to decide what they’d like to happen next. This can be a great way to provide people with more relevant content while also educating them about the different available options.
Maps online are interactive by nature, but just because people are more used to the interactive elements doesn’t mean they are any less effective. In fact, familiar interactive features might be effective precisely because people know how to use them.
If you want to provide information that’s segmented based on location, maps are a great and engaging way to display it.
You could have users hover on the map section they want to learn more about, expanding an individual information area, and giving more context about a place that that particular visitor cares the most about.
You could even include a specific location-based call-to-action based on their actions, significantly increasing the likelihood of a click-through. And these types of gradual improvements are what interactive posts and content are really about, as they can make a huge difference in the long run.
The last item on this list might be the most powerful. I already mentioned how solutions like SurveyMonkey were able to grow because of just how powerful surveys proved to be, and there’s really no limit to the number of insights you can gain while simultaneously making your visitors more likely to convert.
Surveys are incredibly powerful because they act as guides. By answering questions, people feel like they are being listened to, but also that they will be guided to a solution that is the most relevant to them.
As a company, your main goal should always be to offer the best solution to each customer, and surveys can bring you as close to that as possible.
Based on the answers you receive, you can then provide personalized answers, direct people to helpful resources, or offer a product that matches their situation.
Unlike quizzes, which we already covered, surveys don’t test the visitor’s knowledge but instead collect feedback, enabling you to learn more about your audience’s expectations, improving every part of your messaging and offers, and increasing customer satisfaction in the process.
With technology becoming more accessible, interactive posts are bound to become increasingly popular, especially as more marketers learn of the many ways they can be used.
What’s the best interactive content that you’ve seen online? And what types of interactive posts are you using yourself? Share in the comments below!
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