Have you heard the news already? The old King Content has been dethroned. There’s a new ruler in the kingdom of Content Marketing and his name is Interactive Content.
Interactive content is the basis for interactive marketing, which is a one-to-one approach focusing completely on the customer and their individual needs and actions. It reacts and changes based on each individual’s behaviors and preferences.
The fact is people have recently become increasingly intolerant to being “sold to” directly. And that’s exactly the effect the old static content has on most people. Instead, people want to be engaged, guided, and educated – and this is where interactive content jumps in.
In fact, studies have shown that 93% of marketers think of interactive content as extremely effective in terms of educating your customers. But that’s only a part of why it’s so effective. Another extremely important aspect of interactive content is its highly-engaging nature.
What Makes Interactive Content so Engaging?
Around 60% of content marketers have identified creating engaging content as one of their major challenges. But what’s with that sudden need to engage people on your website as much as possible?
The real reason behind it is the increasingly decreasing attention span of an average internet user. In fact, the Time magazine has found that an average person loses focus after only 8 seconds, which means that’s how much time you’ve got to lure your readers in with your content. If you’re using conventional content, this can be a challenge. That’s why you should consider resorting to interactive content.
So, what is it that makes interactive content so engaging?
From a psychological perspective, there are two main reasons:
- A high level of personalization. Interactive content can often feel like a conversation that is meant just for you. It speaks strongly to the desire people have for personalization and that’s why it’s more likely to get you engaged.
- Creating a sense of belonging. By allowing you to interact and share, interactive content also stimulates you to start conversations with other people in your social network circles. If you take an online quiz, for example, and share your results on Facebook, it’s likely to get you and your friends engaged – either you’ll start discussing your own quiz results or maybe they’ll take the quiz too. By doing so, you’re making yourself a part of a larger group and satisfying that innate urge for a sense of belonging.
Different Types of Interactive Content (And How Marketers Use Them to Engage Their Audiences)
There are numerous types of interactive content that appeal to users and marketers alike. Some of the most common types include quizzes, surveys and polls, calculators, interactive websites and videos, and so on.
Online quizzes are among the most popular and engaging forms of interactive content. That’s probably due to the fact that on the surface they seem simply like a fun way to spend some time online. What many people actually do not know is that they’re an extremely powerful lead generation tool.
In fact, it’s exactly that blend of unintrusiveness and usability that makes them a perfect native advertising asset.
2. Surveys and Polls
Both surveys and polls come in extremely handy when it comes to obtaining user data and examining the popular opinion on a certain product or issue. From an advertiser’s perspective, their power lies in collecting data and analyzing it so as to decide on the next steps in their marketing strategy.
They are engaging in terms that it doesn’t take much time to complete them. Plus, given that most of such surveys and polls have already pre-determined multiple choice answers, they don’t need much input from the taker and are more likely to grab their attention long enough to complete them.
3. Interactive Calculators
What makes calculators engaging is the fact that they provide instant gratification to the users. From a user’s perspective, they are relevant and offer actual value (by providing you with the information you need).
From a marketer’s perspective, on the other hand, they are beneficial because they showcase some of their product’s benefits and can be used as effective lead magnets.
4. Interactive Videos and Websites
Interactive videos and websites are particularly effective when it comes to marketing storytelling. That’s why many major brands have started incorporating those as an integral part of their native advertising efforts.
In fact, branded video content is expected to be one of the major native advertising trends in 2019. It’s highly engaging nature makes it a perfect piece of interactive content to grab your audience’s attention and “tickle their eyeballs”.
Interactive Content in Service of Native Advertising
Having already examined the engaging nature of interactive content and how different types of interactive content may be used to engage your audiences, there’s one thing that remains for us to explore here – how interactive content can best serve your native advertising efforts.
Experience shows that native advertising can be an extremely effective marketing option for small businesses due to the fact that it delivers a higher ROI compared to other advertising strategies.
If you combine its high ROI with interactive content’s engaging nature and high lead generation potential, you’ve got yourself a potentially extremely powerful marketing tactic.
Let’s say you’re using online quizzes to generate leads. As you’ve probably already seen them popping up on your Facebook feed all the time, it’s a well-known thing that they work extremely well on social media, especially Facebook.
A great thing about quizzes is that they almost never look or feel like ads. Take a look at the quiz cover page below, for example. It doesn’t really feel like an ad, does it?
That being said, if you create a fun and engaging quiz and tie its results to a compelling offer, you’ve got yourself a powerful and highly-engaging native ad.
So, what is it that makes a great native ad quiz? Most of the high-converting quizzes have the following in common:
- A compelling title (but honest and non-deceitful)
- Thought-provoking questions and engaging answers (if we were to apply the 50/50 marketing rule to quizzes, here it would mean that you need to dedicate 50% your time writing the title and another 50% writing the questions and answers)
- Share-worthy results
- A compelling offer
But are quizzes and other forms of interactive content really that engaging? According to BuzzSumo, they are – in fact, an average quiz gets shared 1,900 times.
Keeping all of the above in mind, whether you decide to use surveys, polls, calculators, interactive videos, or quizzes in service of native advertising, one thing is sure – using interactive content in your marketing strategy can substantially improve and diversify your advertising efforts.