By now, most marketers know that content is king but as content budgets rise, it becomes more difficult to create work that stands out from the crowd. That’s where interactive content comes into play.
Passive content has become burdensome for consumers no longer interested in sifting through layers of text for a piece of relevant information. To captivate an audience, marketers need to find creative ways to both gain and hold attention. Interactive content solves passivity problems by drawing users in and keeping them interested. Marketers can make almost any form of content interactive, from eBooks and white papers to webinars and infographics, by adding channels for users to get involved, be it through quizzes, calculators, or engaging assessment tools.
Here’s a list of our top methods for increasing engagement by getting consumers involved with interactive content.
Ungate Your Content
Most quality customers are wary of filling out forms before they’ve even seen white papers or eBooks, according to Justin Talerico, chief executive (CEO) and co-founder of Ion Interactive.
“The quality of people willing to fill out forms has gone down,” Talerico says. “More discerning people are better leads. Prove there’s an exchange of value. Be authentic about the quality of your content. You gain trust when you get the conversion after you present the content.”
Break Up Passive Reading
The endless stream of quizzes on social media and across the web shows that customers love a challenge. Make your content stand out by asking readers questions as they move through the text. Responses also create a feedback loop for marketers about which parts of the content are working.
“Content with a purpose gives readers something tangible,” Talerico says. “For example, white papers with highly useful quizlets engage readers more than looking at the screen. If you give a quiz halfway down, readers who skimmed still get the salient point. Plus, you’ll see how interested they are in what you’re producing, which gives clear indicators of where you can take the next piece of content. See how your message is resonating.”
Take Quizzes to the Next Level
Marketers who think quizzes are kid stuff are missing out on important data, according to Talerico. Assessment is key for creating strategic content.
“The much more serious version of quizzes is the self-assessment that comes along with them,” Talerico says. “We call them report cards, where the user is describing the nature of the application. It’s more than a quiz because you can use that information to see how you measure up to your peers and turn that knowledge into action. That’s the difference between a toy and a highly functional and strategic tool. It helps create a very descriptive profile.”
Break Content into Shareable Pieces
Making individual facets of interactive content sharable – such as images, statistics, and even pertinent text – can create the kind of social engagement marketers crave. Breaking content into sharable pieces also gives a picture of which information is resonating with readers.
“Sharing specific facts is an excellent means for a feedback loop to see what is resonating with people,” Talerico says. “If you’ve got a listicle and certain facts are highly sharable, you’re getting traffic and attracting a whole new opportunity for future content. Make it easy for people to share results and recommendation.”
Dynamic Relevance is the New Personalization
Make sure your content learns from the user as much the user learns from the content.
“Dynamic relevance means that as someone is using the content it’s getting more specific for them,” Talerico says. “What we’re really looking for is to draw people into a relationship with our brand, so we get more specific as they use the tool. That way, it learns and becomes more targeted to them. Most people don’t have time to waste digging through content to see what’s relevant. They want content that helps immediately.”
As the buyer journey moves away from interactions with salespeople to learning about businesses through content, it’s never been more important to keep audiences engaged. Making sure they’re interacting could mean the difference between building relationships with customers or having them move on to a competitor’s content.
You can read more about interactive content in our full white paper here.
*Sponsored content in collaboration with Ion Interactive. Views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect ClickZ’s opinions.