The Future of Content Marketing is Interactive

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What is interactive content marketing?

Interactive is by definition ‘allowing a two-way flow of information between a computer and a computer-user, responding to a user’s input.

In the context of content, ‘interactive content is anything that requires the participants’ active engagement – more than simply reading or watching the content’. The transition from static (passive) content to dynamic (interactive) content.

In the world of digital connectivity, we all live and breathe by the interactions that the internet and connected devices give us. Interactive content marketing can showcase a concept in a highly visual and engaging way. The visualisation of data and the gamification of content come together, to create two-way user experiences that tap in to our desires to interact with things actively, rather than consuming them in a passive way.

The 2015 B2B Content Marketing Report found that 54% of B2B marketers say ‘producing engaging content’ is now their biggest challenge. A view no doubt shared by some in the consumer space as well. To be effective with creating engaging your content you need to take it to the level beyond your competitors and the noise around traditional content marketing. The answer could lie with producing interactive content marketing campaigns.

Types of interactive content

Interactive content could be about anything, provided that the content itself has some element of interactivity with the end user. Here are some common examples that have been used particularly effectively.

Interactive infographics

Infographics help to visualise data and information. Every marketing function across the land has wanted to get involved in these and as such as the internet is full of a bunch of very similar visuals. When interactivity is added, infographics can be elevated above this noise.

By embedding actions into the visuals you are asking the user to interact with the content rather than just skim read it and move on. Therefore allowing your brand to leave more of a lasting impression. It’s the old adage – you get out what you put in – if you invest the time in producing interactive visuals you will often garner greater results. Metrics such as ‘Time on Page’ and ‘Number of Shares’ can be used as comparison KPIs when comparing this type of content performance against a blog or a static visual.

Take this example from London Technology Week. The event site created an interactive map experience called ‘The Geek’s Guide to London’. Not only is this an engaging experience for the attendee, but it also lives in perpetuity for fellow ‘Geeks’ to find whilst mapping their coordinates for their next trip to the Capital.

Geek Guide to London.png

Geek Guide to London 2.png

Quizzes, Calculators and Knowledge Tests

As Buzzfeed and a-like have shown many of us on social media across the past few years, the general public love a quiz. It plays to our natural competitive streak. ‘Which Friends character are you’, ‘How Northern are you’, style quizzes have become a permanent feature on our Facebook feeds.

In the below example by Travel Weekly, they hosted this simple interactive visual on a sub-domain of their website and incorporated a knowledge quiz to extend the experience further. The result is a clean, unfussy and defined user journey.

Los Cabos Travel Weekly.png

In a far less subtle way, the minds behind 88 Creative across the pond came up with the strangely addictive ‘Agency or Porn’ quiz. In short, can you guess whether the names belong to agencies or adult films! I won’t add a screenshot for this one… but if any of you are curious on your lunch break, take a look. You will definitely be surprised. A rule all start-ups here, Google speculative company names before you settle on one!  

Interactive Whitepapers or eBooks

So far this post has focused on consumer-focused campaign ideas. How can B2Bs incorporate interactive content into their marketing mix?

One thing in abundance for many B2B service-led companies is data. This should be your first starting point. What data have we got that we can use to create something visually stimulating?

The technology company Symantec published an Internet Security Threat report earlier this year. Instead of making it a dry download that would engage with a few senior bods, they launched an interactive infographic landing page with their principle findings. Users can interact with the copy, answering questions, clicking on dialogue boxes and sharing it on social media. The boss is also still happy because there are download calls to action throughout the site for the full context.

This piece of interactive content cleverly interplays the line between general interest and detailed content.   

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report.png

User generated interactive content

We recently wrote about the desire for many brands to do more with their user base in our introduction to User-Generated Content blog. This type of content, once collated, can then be presented in a highly visual way. 

The high-end fashion brand Burberry have been using this to great effect for a number of years with their gallery collections. Their 'Art of the Trench' sub-site is updated frequently and has been a feature of their website for 7 years. 

Burberry User Generated Content.png

Users who are fortunate to own one can submit their photo for consideration whilst on the same page. A simple yet effective interactive visual that is relatively low cost to run as an evergreen content campaign.

You don’t have to be a product-based company to utilise user generated content. Run a photography submission asking for examples of your service in action then present them on a portfolio website page or a carousel. People who have submitted content to the competition will enjoy seeing it being promoted on your site, extending the reach through organic shares.

As you can see from the examples, the key is to experiment what your audience engaged best with. Try out contests, competition with a low barrier to entry whilst you’re testing this out, then scale these out into bigger campaigns.

Take our interactive content quiz

In the spirit of the theme, we’ve created a simple quiz in Typeform to test your knowledge on interactive content marketing. There are no right or wrong answers. Just kidding, they’re listed in the conclusion.

Online quiz powered by Typeform

Did you get them all right? Take the quiz again to polish your knowledge!

 

(Answers: 1 – A 2 – Yes 3 – C)

So that’s our whistle-stop overview of interactive content. We believe that it is the future of content marketing. The ‘bonfire’ day to day content will remain the fuel to your fire, but to strive for ‘fame’ brands must do more to push their content above the noise and give time-poor users what they want – engaging, visually-leading content. If you have any questions about this type of content marketing campaign, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

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