At this point, you probably know that marketers overall think interactive content is where it’s at for reaching and engaging an audience. In fact, 93 percent of marketers surveyed say that interactive content is effective at educating buyers. It’s also pretty well accepted that interactive is the lead generator you’ve always been looking for; some statistics quote that interactive content generates two times more conversions than passive content.
Despite these facts, maybe you still haven’t given interactive a shot. Or, perhaps it is at this very moment that you realized that interactive content can be an invaluable addition to your marketing strategy. Sweet. But you need to know that successful interactive content does not just have cool graphics that zip in and out of the page or ask a few questions so readers can learn which Disney Princess they most resemble.
Interactive is a proven tool that not only draws your reader in and provides more value to him or her than static content does, but allows you to get a better understanding of that reader’s interests so you can turn him or her into a sales-qualified lead more quickly than you ever could before.
- Map out a goal and a strategy for the piece. Interactive content requires more strategic thinking in advance than static content, in my opinion. Before you start creating, you have to have clarity about the overall goal for the piece and make sure you know what you want the specific results to be. Are you looking to get a better understanding of an audience’s pain points in a specific area? Or perhaps you are looking to filter out less-qualified users and move the others more quickly into “sales qualified” status.
The important point about interactive content for you, marketer, is that you have to know what information you want to extract before you create the piece. Need some help? Ask your sales team what information would help them with the sales process for your audience. Then, make sure you have a plan for how you will use the information you gather and how you will continue to nurture users. Will respondents get a call, or be pushed to some piece of deeper content, or be dropped into a nurture campaign? The point is, before you start, know what you want to get out of the experience and what your next steps will be.
- Decide on the best type of content. Your overall goal will help direct the content type. Just engaging early stage leads? Maybe a quiz or an assessment. Providing deeper information to a more narrowly defined audience? Maybe an interactive eBook with two separate channels of content. Depending on the platform you use, options like interactive infographics, look books, white papers, and even contest brackets are at your disposal.
- Write engaging copy. You’ve heard us talk a LOT about the need for your content to be remarkable to stand out. Interactive is no different. Whether you’re writing short, punchy copy for a quiz or something longer like an infographic or eBook, following the rules of what makes a good piece of content is critical. Does your piece provide a useful takeaway for the audience? Is it compelling, well-written, and edited?
Then make sure you write to the format. You can’t cram 1,000 words of copy into a pithy little assessment. Even longer pieces, like eBooks, will require shorter, punchier sections of content than a traditional format. As you write, keep the user experience in mind. If you’re doing an infographic, you might present succinct facts, and then add in a pop-up or accordion section to provide more detailed information for people who want it. Or, maybe you offer readers options two different content paths, and then drive them to deeper content based on the subject they chose.The point is, these are not the days of flat PDFs the length of New York Times Users want choices for how they engage with your interactive experience, and today’s reader attention span means that you have to get to the point efficiently.
- Decide where to put that lead form. Remember, a good interactive content experience drives more leads than static content. And with interactive, you have the chance to get more information out of your user. The lead form doesn’t need to ask for all the details anymore. You’re now getting that by analyzing the actions your readers take and how they answer questions. Each time the user interacts with an element of the content, you collect more information.
You still need that basic form, though, but now you have lots of options as to where you’ll put it. Maybe you let people read two chapters of your eBook and then ask them to fill out the form to get the rest. Or perhaps you place that form strategically at the end of your quiz so the user has to fill it out to get his or her results. Ideally, you plan this out back in step one as you make high-level decisions for your piece.
- Connect to your marketing automation platform. Interactive content connected to your marketing automation platform is like modern marketing on steroids. When you connect your marketing automation platform to that interactive experience, you have a new level of personalization available to customize your follow-ups with leads. You can tailor your message and any additional content to what you know that particular user wants. You’ll also be able to enhance the lead scoring in your marketing automation platform as you collect more detailed information from each person and can then use that to refine what you know about your buyer personas.
- Do some marketing. I really waffled as to whether I needed to include this one. You know you have to market this piece like all the other content you create, right? Your piece certainly will be cool and your audience will love it, but if they don’t know it exists, they will definitely not engage and the leads will not rain on your head. Create a plan to market this piece as part of your larger marketing efforts.
C’mon, marketer. Get going with that interactive content. Done right, you’ll see the results. But make a plan before you start and make sure you address my six requirements. Need help with any of the steps? Let us know.