Four Ways to Beat Out the Competition With Interactive Content

With so many blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, and emails floating around online, it’s easy for brands to get buried in virtual clutter.

Your prospects have so much content flying at them from every direction that creating content that stands out is imperative.

Many marketers and SaaS company founders believe that with so much content out there, how is anyone supposed to break through all that noise?

While it’s true: the market is saturated with content, the large majority of it is promotional crap that no one wants. Most content earns zero attention in the form of links, shares, clicks, or views.

OK, so then how can you stand out and make a positive impact through content creation today?

You must differentiate your brand by developing useful and unique content experiences. One powerful solution is to create interactive content.

According to a recent Demand Gen Report, 51% of buyers find interactive content helpful when tackling business challenges. Users can engage in a two-way conversation rather than passively consuming information. They get to have a voice and be proactive in the process.

Quick Takeaways

  • Interactive content facilitates micro-interactions, which create personalized and engaging experiences for users.
  • Interactive content can be more engaging, useful, and easier to access than static content.
  • The critical steps of creating excellent interactive content are ideation, sales alignment, research, creation, and promotion.
  • You can rise above the clutter by prioritizing what consumers want over what your business needs.

Interactive Content is Taking the World by Storm

Before we jump into the process of creating effective interactive content to boost engagement, let’s cover how it’s impacting modern marketing.

Microinteractions Convert

If you’re only publishing static words on your website and expecting visitors to consume your content, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Visitors want to interact with engaging and dynamic websites. To get your audience to engage with your brand the way you want them to, you need to go above and beyond traditional content marketing techniques.

In 2015, we began seeing an uptick in interactions with online content via mobile devices. Today, over half of all website traffic comes from mobile.

Source: Statista

Micro-interactions – tapping, swiping, and clicking for more personalized, engaging mobile experiences – have become crucial for helping visitors happily engage with online content. By creating seamless and unique user experiences, micro-interactions can help your business increase brand loyalty.

Interactive Content Stands Out

Rather than only churning out traditional forms of content (like white papers and blog posts), try transforming some content pieces into interactive infographics, quizzes, calculators, or assessments. Creating interactive experiences for consumers will help your content grab your audience’s attention and keep it.

Useful Tools are Engaging

Brands that deliver “Youtility” focus on being useful over amazing and informing over promoting. An effective way to capture buyers’ hearts and minds and jump ahead of your competitors is by giving people what they want over what your company needs.

Think about a basic blog post that your team creates to educate readers on your product or service’s pros and cons. Chances are, other companies have done this thousands of times already. How will you make your content stand out?

One way is by transforming that same information into a tool your target audience can use to educate themselves, learn something new, or do their job better.

You could:

  • Launch a self-assessment tool allowing people to answer questions and receive personalized results and recommendations.
  • Create an online calculator so buyers can play around with pricing options.
  • Use a solution finder to help visitors identify the best product or service for their needs.

Un-gated Content is More Accessible

Many marketers place their most valuable content behind forms to capture leads and build contact lists.

Answer this next question honestly. Would you rather fill out a form to view content and get added to another email list or click a single link to get what you want with no strings attached? Chances are, you prefer the latter. Your visitors do too.

Try un-gating your content. If you give your visitors useful, valuable content they love, they may voluntarily fill out your form anyway.

Many of your competitors are still gating their best stuff. You can stand out by offering yours for free. Not only will more people view and interact with your content, but you can build more trust and authority with consumers online. Conversions will follow – especially if your content is interactive.

In an A/B test, we compared a gated white paper with a landing page to an un-gated whitepaper that consumers could freely access and navigate. On the free version, we included a CTA that allowed visitors to download the PDF version of the content by filling out a short form.

Bounce rates dropped and conversions increased on the free whitepaper, which was no coincidence. We see these types of results all the time when conducting tests for clients.

How to Create Interactive Content

Follow these steps to create interactive content that connects with and engages your target audience.

1. Ideation

Start with defining your content goals and who you want to target. Then choose an appropriate format. A straightforward way to create new content is to break down an extensive asset into a more digestible piece.

For example, let’s say you have an ebook you want more people to read. You decide to create a “preview experience” to boost engagement and downloads. An infographic could be a great way to attract, inform, and entertain visitors. At the bottom of your infographic, you can include a CTA that leads people to your ebook to learn more.

Examples of interactive content include:

  • Surveys
  • Quizzes
  • Games
  • Polls
  • Contests
  • Calculators
  • Simulations
  • Interactive ebooks
  • Interactive infographics
  • Assessments
  • Chatbots
  • Troubleshooting tools
  • Content wizards
  • Interactive maps and timelines
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality

Source: Semrush

2. Sales Alignment

After you understand your goals, narrow down your target audience. Choose a creative direction, ensuring your content angle aligns with your sales team’s needs. Ask your sales department what qualifies as a quality lead based on conversations they’ve had and specific questions interested prospects have asked them.

3. Research

Gather statistics from recent reports and authoritative sources. Look at online communities and forums where your target prospects spend time to learn more about their complaints, needs, desires, etc. Take note of trending topics and keywords.

4. Creation

Start with an outline of your design and the stages of the interactive experience that users will follow. Once you’ve nailed down the process, your writers can draft the copy and your designers and developers can create the piece. You may want to apply transitions, animations, test questions, smart text, or other interactive elements to engage your users.

Before launching, test your content and collect user feedback. After making final adjustments, you can publish your content for the world to see.

5. Promotion

Good promotion is vital to the success of any content campaign. How do you plan to promote your content so as many people as possible will see and engage with it? Here are several options:

  • Share it on social media.
  • Publish it on your blog.
  • Promote content on social media, search engines, and contextual services like our Content Builder Pro plan
  • Create an email campaign that targets specific nurture streams.
  • Add social share buttons.
  • Work with influencers.
  • Tag/mention expert sources on social media.
  • Email your sources to ask if they will share or link to your content.
  • Contact people who have liked, shared, or linked to similar content.
  • Repurpose your content and share it again!
  • Expand your reach through online communities

Source: Databox

Create Interactive Content to Boost Traffic and Conversions

It’s time to rise above the clutter. Finding new ways to differentiate your brand is essential. While your competition spends money churning out the same stuff as everyone else, you can start standing out.

Want to learn more? We are a content marketing agency specializing in creating content that reaches and engages ideal prospects for clients. We can build you a customized content marketing strategy to help you stand out from your top competitors and quickly win new customers.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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