What Is Interactive Content?
The practice of marketing is ever-evolving. Whereas social media was non-existent forty years ago, it’s now the primary tool at the disposal of brands. Without a social media presence, you will struggle to find a vast client base in this ever-changing world.
Online marketing has been changing itself, too. Interactive content is now one of the most crucial ways to market online, with many platforms attempting to put the social back in social media. Gone are the days of brands preaching to their customers on Instagram and Facebook; we are ushering in a new era of inviting clients to converse with us.
This guide covers all the basics of interactive content, giving you a complete toolkit for getting started. Now that it’s an essential part of online presence, you need to learn its benefits.
Interactive Content: Explained
At its most basic, interactive content refers to any content that requires users to engage with it. This is contrasted against content like online articles, pictures, and videos, where the user passively consumes information.
Sometimes, users are not required to participate, but are invited. In this way, the interaction between company and client is an even playing field. There are numerous benefits to this kind of interaction.
For one, humans are social creatures. Interaction is what we do best, and we want to communicate. Consumers are not just passive purchasers – they are people with lives and opinions, and they often want to voice their thoughts. Allowing them to do so proves that you view them as humans.
Plus, interactive content is much more engaging. When a user scrolls Instagram, they are flooded with posts and ads from brands, and their brains are taking in content rapidly. It can get exhausting, and the brain is unlikely to store all that information. When they stop scrolling to read, engage, and interact with content, it’s more likely to stick.
Interactive content has some incredible benefits for customers and businesses alike, which is why you need to implement it as soon as possible.
The Benefits of Interactive Content
If you’re wondering whether interactive content is really worth it, the answer is a resounding yes. Here are some of the significant benefits of interactive content.
1. Higher Engagement
You’ve probably heard that on social media, followers mean nothing if your audience does not engage. It can be hard to acquire engagement unless you have eye-catching content, though. What’s more, attention spans are supposedly getting shorter.
This is debatable, however. While some studies claim that internet users can only pay attention for eight seconds, having such a short timeframe would make things like Netflix binges and sporting events impossible – and yet they’re just as popular as ever.
Here are some stats:
- Visual content (such as infographics) is 40x more likely to be shared on social media compared to articles. Sharing increases conversion rates by up to 86%.
- People spend 4x as much time watching live videos compared to pre-recorded videos.
Clearly, users are paying attention to certain things, and the data shows precisely what consumers enjoy.
In general, interactive content boosts conversion by up to 50% because people love to pause, engage, and share. And engagement is precisely what you need to grow your audience and drive sales.
2. Better Insights
Some businesses spend a lot of money trying to garner insight into their audiences. While surveys and the like can be effective, some companies are missing a trick: interactive content.
Based on a survey from 2018 by Hub Entertainment Research, 37% of US consumers said they were not confident that social media companies kept their data secure. This was followed by 26% who said they were not confident in the IRS and 25% who were not confident in cell phone providers. People are losing trust in institutions and are less likely to want to surrender personal information.
Interactive content provides an immersive experience where people don’t need to enter their information to take part. For example, take Instagram stories. There are plenty of forms of interactive content on stories, including polls and question stickers. Without entering any extra data whatsoever, consumers can interact with the brand and offer their opinion. The business gets to know its audience better, and everyone is happy.
3. Deeper Brand Loyalty
Interactive content is also great for consumers. Rather than mindlessly scrolling, social media users want to interact. By giving them something fun and engaging, you can help consumers to form a positive image of your brand.
More than this, you need to position yourself as an expert in your niche. This draws the target audience to your page in the first place, where they will then interact, developing trustworthiness for the brand.
Over time, your business can grow thanks to the trust you create by interacting with your audience and nurturing the leads you create via interactive content.
Top Forms of Interactive Content
There are lots of types of interactive content. Below are some of the best methods for driving engagement with your target audience. Not all of them are for social media – some of them are key for your website, too.
1. Live Videos
Videos have increased massively in popularity over the last couple of years. With social media platforms like TikTok on the rise and the introduction of IGTV, Reels, and more, it’s clear that consumers love video content.
In particular, live videos seem to be a vastly popular option. Live streaming is a particularly great option for interactive content because users can engage in real-time. They are candid and offer an authentic insight into your business. Viewers can react, comment, and ask questions, which is why they tend to love it.
Interactive Idea: Bring in an expert or collab with an influencer in your niche. Do a Q&A to let consumers ask their burning questions; meanwhile, you gain insights into what your audience wants to know.
2. Polls & Quizzes
No matter what platform they’re on, polls are a super effective method for garnering insights into your audience. Online quizzes are insanely popular, with the format of the Buzzfeed quiz remaining a fun, time-wasting option for consumers while they’re at work.
The benefit of quizzes is that consumers are actively involved throughout their duration, and they receive immediate results. That little rush of getting things right is what keeps them coming back.
Polls are great, too, because users love to voice their opinions. If you do it right, polls are a fantastic way to find out about the content your audience enjoys so you can keep creating it in the future.
Interactive Idea: Set up a quiz related to your niche. This can either be a knowledge test or a Buzzfeed-style quiz, such as: “Answer these questions and we’ll tell you what kind of animal you are.” Structure the questions to ask things relevant to your niche; people will answer because everyone wants to know their spirit animal.
On websites, assessments are a key piece of interactive content. By their very nature, they allow you to extract a lot of data about your consumers, getting quality feedback all the while.
Interactive assessments are typically unique to the business at hand. Sometimes, they overlap with a Buzzfeed-style quiz, in which the user answers some questions, and the automated response at the end tells them what they need to know.
These are fantastic for gaining niche insights about your consumers.
Interactive Idea: If you run a clothing brand, run a style assessment on your website. Ask multiple-choice questions to let clients build their own wardrobe, then at the end, tell them their overall style profile and point them in the direction of the relevant part of your website.
4. Interactive Infographics & Data Visualizations
Infographics are one of the most shareable pieces of content there is. As a result, even a still image is technically interactive and is likely to drive conversions and grow your audience. That said, interactive infographics are even better.
Install an interactive infographic or diagram on your website to help consumers visualize the data you have. When they scroll or click, the infographic will change to highlight certain aspects of the data or reveal more information.
Sure, creating these can be time-consuming, but the pay-off is worth it.
Interactive Idea: After gathering survey data about your audience, create an infographic that shows the results. Arrange it in a fun and exciting way, with plenty of colors and not too much text. When the user scrolls over certain aspects, more information appears that tells them what they need to know. For example, if you run a nutrition site, gather some info about what your audience usually eats and create an infographic about the macronutrient intake of the average American.
5. Interactive Emails
If you think emails aren’t interactive, you are wrong. The main advantage of emails is that they communicate directly with the audience on a one-to-one basis. With advancements in technology, you can now embed polls, games, and surveys in emails.
Interactive emails increase the click-to-open rate by up to 73%. What’s more, adding videos can increase click-through rates by an enormous 300%. This is evidently not something to be wasted, so use it wisely.
Interactive Idea: Send out an email with a killer picture and engaging subject heading. Include roll-over features on the picture so that users are shown all your individual products when they scroll over the image. Not only is this a great visual way to make sales, but it also gives customers an easy way to get to the exact product they want – all they have to do is click.
Contests are an example of user-generated content (UGC). All the business needs to do is post the competition on their page and give a few instructions. Typically, this includes sharing the post to enter the competition.
The result is that your audience is widened, with many of your followers sharing it with people who are likely interested in what you’re offering. It may get you new customers. Of course, you need an incentive to get people involved.
Another benefit of contests is that you can make them really fun. Sharing the post might be effective, but it’s a pretty dull way to enter a competition. You have the opportunity to create a killer marketing campaign that gets shared far and wide, so make it count.
Interactive Idea: Get people to take photos of themselves using your product. If possible, encourage them to use it in a fun and creative way. Even if it’s something standard like clothing, perhaps encourage wearers to take a photo in the best location. The winner gets a cash prize.
7. Augmented Reality
There was a time when the Snapchat dog filter was absolutely everywhere. While the dog face has all but died out, filters are going strong. Many platforms now allow their users to create their own filters, but brands can also pay to do the same.
While augmented reality and filters are not the right marketing tool for everyone, they have their place. For example, Pokemon Go made a whole gaming app using AR, and it dominated the mobile gaming scene in 2016. People love AR, and if you can use it right, then it will probably work wonders for your business.
Interactive Idea: Do you sell makeup or hair products? Make a filter! Let customers “try on your products” from a distance using a filter that layers the product onto their face using just a camera.
Online calculators are another particular form of interactive marketing. It won’t work for every niche, but where it works, it works. It’s the ideal form of content for generating leads, as it often intervenes at the right stage in the buyer’s journey.
Interactive Idea: If you offer services, incorporate an online calculator into your website that explains the ROI of paying for what you provide. Nobody wants to pay for something they don’t need, so use a calculator to explain to customers precisely what you can offer them.
How to Make Interactive Content Work for Your Brand
Interactive content is absolutely pointless unless you use it right. It’s crucial to work it into your niche and make every piece of content relevant to your brand.
Furthermore, not every piece of interactive content will work for your brand. For example, personal relations companies likely won’t get a lot out of using AR, and nobody will bother using an online calculator from an energy drinks brand.
The benefit of interactive content is that you can gather and analyze data from your consumers. So, once you start using interactive content, it’s essential to keep an eye on it and genuinely interact with customers. Chat to them on live streams, take their opinions on board from polls, and adapt your brand and content to what they want.
When you do it right, interactive content can turn your company from a mysterious entity to a trusted brand in the eyes of the consumer.