Interactive Content: The Good, Bad, and Wicked Cool Quizzes and Games

Interactive Content: The Good, Bad, and Wicked Cool Quizzes and Games

We’re sharing an updated version now because interactive content is a growing opportunity for marketers. (And it seems other marketers may just agree with me, as evidenced by 2017 research from Content Marketing Institute and ion interactive, which found that 46% of content marketers use interactive content.) The value proposition of interactivity Personal vanity aside, the increased potential to attract attention and drive brand engagement that interactivity can offer is a compelling reason for marketers to add quizzes, assessments, customization tools, games, and other participative features to their marketing arsenals. For consumers to customize their interactions with your interactive offerings, they typically need to share a little personal information, thus providing deeper insights on their needs, interests, and preferences that your business may never have gained using more passive content techniques. Engagement Providing key insights and advice that help consumers make more informed decisions always reflects well on a brand’s value proposition. Lead nurturing Done well, interactive content can also offer marketers invaluable information about their user base, which can be instrumental when applied to the lead-nurturing process. The collection was accompanied by a “shoppable” video powered by Cinematique, a platform that enables “touchable” video. Interactive features like diagnostic tools, trackers, and chatbots can be instrumental in helping customers learn more about working with the products they’ve purchased, troubleshooting any issues that may arise, and staying connected so they can share the positive experience they have had with your brand. Take advantage of interactivity helpers: Third-party software can make these features more cost-effective to create and easier for marketers to manage. Consider working with interactive content platform providers: Not only can third-party tools help with the heavy lifting in developing tech-enhanced content, some platforms can be configured to integrate the performance data with your marketing automation systems, CRM tools, or other content management solutions.

Interactive Content Fuels Customer Experiences [Research]
Stronger Inbound Marketing With Interactive Content: How to Get Started
Growth Hacking with Interactive Content
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Editor’s note: You may have missed the original article on interactive content from CMI last year. We’re sharing an updated version now because interactive content is a growing opportunity for marketers.

Quick confession: More than a year after writing on interactive content, I’m more obsessed than ever with online quizzes and other interactive content tools and features.

As a marketer who always strives to remain in touch with my consumer side, I can think of no better way to uphold the interests of my audience than by placing my content in a context fundamentally designed to resonate on a personal level. (And it seems other marketers may just agree with me, as evidenced by 2017 research from Content Marketing Institute and ion interactive, which found that 46% of content marketers use interactive content.) On the flip side, even as a consumer wise to the tricks of the online marketing trade, I still find it hard to resist the allure of a chance to see a bit of myself reflected in a brand’s content.

The value proposition of interactivity

Personal vanity aside, the increased potential to attract attention and drive brand engagement that interactivity can offer is a compelling reason for marketers to add quizzes, assessments, customization tools, games, and other participative features to their marketing arsenals. But it’s certainly not the only advantage these tech-enhanced content formats can offer. Consider a few more findings from the CMI/ion interactive research. Of the respondents:

  • 77% agree that interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 75% agree that non-gated interactive content can provide a “sample” of the brand, resulting in a higher degree of lead nurturing
  • 73% agree that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive content enhances retention of their organization’s message

Of course, there’s an additional way interactivity can pay off for your business that might be even more valuable: It generates critical audience data. For consumers to customize their interactions with your interactive offerings, they typically need to share a little personal information, thus providing deeper insights on their needs, interests, and preferences that your business may never have gained using more passive content techniques.

Because of these, and other benefits interactive content offers, the CMI editorial team thought it was a good time to revisit our discussion on the topic. For those who might have missed it the first time around, I’ve recapped the essentials of working with this powerful content format – what it is, how it works, and how it can be best applied to achieving your marketing goals. And because the techniques and technologies of interactivity continue to evolve and expand at a breakneck pace, I’ve also shared a few more examples to get you excited about the possibilities of working with these formats.

The nature of content interactivity

Interactive content enables users to personalize and participate in the content presented to them. By helping consumers see themselves in the brand’s experience, the technique offers the potential to deepen engagement and drive greater satisfaction.

Common interactive formats

Enterprise marketers who are looking to make a big splash with their audiences can tap into a host of compelling content features, ranging from the simple to the surreal. Here are just some of the most popular interactive formats, along with a few usage suggestions:

  • Calculators and configurators – Frequently used by e-commerce companies and automotive brands, these tools can help your customers estimate and compare the costs of various product features, as well as evaluate the benefits of purchase options they may be considering.
  • Quizzes, polls, games, and surveys – Use them to test your audience’s knowledge or opinions on a relevant topic and then generate a shareable report card so they can compare their results to those of their peers.
  • Multi-touch photos and videos – Creating interactive image galleries and look books that give consumers a 360-degree view of the goods, services, or experiences you offer (think cars, clothing, or resort vacations) can help them virtually try before they buy, making the experience more tangible – and potentially leading to greater satisfaction with their purchase decisions.
  • Interactive e-books – If you publish long-form content, such as white papers or research reports, creating a navigable version can help readers locate the most relevant sections more quickly.
  • Live chats, diagnostic tests, and troubleshooting tools – These techniques can be used to enhance online customer service, increase a brand’s ability to respond to customers’ inquiries and issues, and reduce wait times for technical support by phone or in person.
  • Assessments – Particularly well-suited to moving prospects through complex sales processes, these comprehensive surveys can be used to offer personalized information and benchmarks that your audience can use to track their progress toward a relevant goal.
  • Interactive infographics and data visualizations – Creating an animated, navigable infographic or other dynamic visualization that drills down to stats can help you position the data in a context that will be easier for your audience to understand and internalize.
  • Content wizards and recommendation engines – Acting as an online tour guide to your content library, content wizards use an initial assessment to understand your site visitors’ needs, and then serve up the content that’s most likely to satisfy them.
  • Interactive timelines, heat maps, and map overlays – Authoritative and influential brands can lend their events some added gravitas by placing them in the context of relevant geography or history (like the Art Gallery of New South Wales did – click the image to see the full timeline).
sutori_timeline-example-1
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality overlays – Use these technological advances to take your audience into a world of your brand’s unique creation and enable them to experience life in a way they may never have imagined would be possible. (See the Qantas virtual reality example below.)

Interactive examples at every funnel stage

Leveraging high-tech advances like scrolling video or virtual reality can certainly help your brand break through the noise of a crowded content landscape. But “cool factor” aside, interactive content doesn’t have to be flashy or feature-rich to contribute to your top content marketing goals. With a little ingenuity, even the simplest of these formats can be instrumental in helping you identify and address key consumer pain points, guide consumers through a complex purchase process, or increase sales.

Brand awareness

As I mentioned, interactive content doesn’t have to be high-tech to contribute to your marketing goals. But it doesn’t hurt to add a little pizzazz when it comes to associating your brand name with the powerful, memorable, or exclusive experiences that you are uniquely qualified to provide.

Editor’s note: You will need a VR headset to experience the video as it was intended.

The official airline of Australia created a virtual-reality-enhanced app that provides potential visitors with 360-degree video tours of more than 13 tourism experiences they won’t find anywhere else on earth. For example, the airline was granted permission…

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