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What is Interactive Content

Posted on June 16, 2022

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What is Interactive Content

What Is Interactive Content? 

Interactive content is content that encourages active participation from users (as opposed to limiting the experience to passive consumption). Interactive content is not exclusive to online media, but the internet (as well as a wide range of no-code tools) have made it easier than ever to create content that’s not unilateral, but functions like a normal, human-to-human interaction. 

Interactive content can be an integral part of solid content marketing strategies in a number of industries and it can help you drive more engagement, leads, and loyalty from your audience and customers. 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about interactive content — so read on and find out more. 

Top Benefits of Using Interactive Content 

“Interactive content makes digital marketing feel more like a conversation, rather than a monologue. When the communication doesn’t solely happen on one side, you create a sense of natural human interaction — which is, in fact, what marketing is all about. A simple quiz or an ROI calculator helps your customers envision how their life will be with your product by their side — and thus, creates interest in your brand, helps you collect leads in an ethical way, and, eventually, helps you convert more visitors into actual buyers.”

— Monica Panait, Marketing Lead @123FormBuilder

The history of content marketing goes far behind, way before the internet or even computers were invented. For a long time, John’ Deere’s magazine, The Furrow, was considered to be the first evidence of using content to market a business. However, it is now more widely accepted that Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard Almanack, used to promote his printing business, is one of the first records of content marketing. 

Ever since its beginnings, and well into modern times, content marketing has faced a very important challenge: the need to account for and measure signals that come from the users. 

For instance, if I write an article for a paper magazine, the only signals I can measure are the ones given by reviews other writers or readers may leave about my content. 

If I write an article for an online medium, I can also see real-time interactions between my content and readers through comments, reactions, and shares. 

Even so, the entire paradigm of content marketing is mostly based on consumption, rather than interaction. In itself, this is not necessarily wrong. The content marketing systems we’ve created are not broken. 

However, interactive content can level up your content marketing game by introducing elements that allow you and your readers/ users to interact with each other. 

Here are the benefits of doing this: 

It’s more appealing to potential customers

In a world where the average person is bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages per day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to break through the noise and get people’s attention. 

Interactive content can help you do just that by offering potential customers an engaging experience that will make them want to learn more about your expertise and your product.

It’s easy to share 

Interactive content is also easy to share — mostly because people are simply more likely to want to share something that they’ve personally interacted with and enjoyed.

It supports brand exposure and loyalty

Because interactive content is so “catchy” and because it’s more likely for it to be shared, it can also help increase brand exposure and loyalty. People are more likely to remember your brand if they’ve had a positive experience with it, and they’re also more likely to have a good experience with your brand if they can actually interact with it.

It helps create a better UX 

When you offer users a chance to interact with your content, you’re also offering them a better user experience (UX). This is because you’re giving them a chance to actually engage with your brand, rather than just passively consume it. Thus, the relationship you build with your audience online feels a bit more like real-life interaction.

It taps into natural human behavior

Human behavior is sometimes described as “hyper-social.” This means that, as a species, we’re wired to interact with each other. So when you create interactive content, you’re tapping right into a natural human behavior.

It helps you collect better data for every stage of the funnel

Because people are more likely to interact with such content, you will also be able to collect better quality data for every stage of the funnel. From awareness to purchase, you can use data gathered from interactive content experiences to improve your marketing lifecycle strategy and, ultimately, your bottom line.

It combines content marketing and customer experience

Interactive content is also a great way to combine content marketing with customer experience (CX). This is because this type of content helps you create a more engaging and memorable experience for your users.

It increases engagement and time on site 

The benefits of interactive content don’t stop there. Engagement and time on site are also increased when users are given a chance to interact with your content. Multiple studies point to the fact that 81% of marketers have noticed interactive content to be more engaging than other types of content. 

It’s more likely to generate & nurture leads 

Because it’s so shareable and because it offers such a great UX, interactive content is also more likely to help you generate and nurture leads.

“Interactive experiences generate a lot of leads. They also produce 4 to 5 times more page views and turn visitors into purchases twice as well as static material, according to studies. Brands that use interactive features benefit from the opportunity to collect data. The more data you collect, the easier it will be to optimize your content marketing strategy. It’s a win-win situation.” 

— Lanny Tuchmayer, Director of Operations at Bergel Law

Types of Interactive Content

There’s an interactive content option for virtually every type of content. However, not all interactive pieces are created alike, and they’re not all meant for all businesses, use cases, or buyer journey stages. 

Here are some of the most common types of content, as well as some interactive content types to inspire you: 

  • Interactive quizzes
  • Surveys and polls 
  • Interactive eBooks and whitepapers 
  • Interactive infographics
  • Interactive emails 
  • Webinars 
  • Interactive timelines 
  • Augmented Reality 
  • 360 videos 
  • Lookbooks 
  • Resource libraries 
  • Solution finders/ product recommendation generators 
  • Maps 
  • Interactive calculators 
  • Interactive assessments 

“The target is content that is interactive – but lazily so. You don’t want customers to have to work to participate. As humans, we love convenience and being asked questions about ourselves, so this is how we try to inspire interactivity in our content.

We also love to use humor and GIFs, and feel this has done wonders for our engagement.

— Harrison Hosking, Marketing Manager @KEAK

How to Use Interactive Content 

Interactive content should probably not be the only type of content you produce. Nor should it be your go-to content type for every single campaign or initiative.

However, it can be a great way to break up the monotony, attract more people to your website/ content, and help them move down the funnel/ journey to eventually make a purchase (or perform a specific action on your website.)

There are many ways you can use interactive content as part of your overarching content marketing strategy. However, using the buyer’s journey basics to sprinkle your content with interactive pieces might just be the smartest way to:

  • Make sure your interactive content production efforts are worth it
  • Collect data where you want it and how you want it
  • Have a measurable way of tracking the efficiency of your interactive pieces

Using Interactive Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

There are three main stages of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.

At the awareness stage, you will want to feed your audience with content that attracts them, makes them aware of an issue or your brand, or simply educates them in a direction of their choosing.

This is why some of the best interactive pieces for the awareness stage are usually comprised of quizzes, polls, and calculators. They’re easy, they’re attractive, and they offer instant gratification.

Sure, you don’t have to take the BuzzFeed path and make it ALL about silly quizzes. But a well-placed calculator or quizz can help you get in front of your target audience and make a good impression.

For the consideration stage, you will want to provide content that helps your users compare and contrast their options, consider what they need, and make a decision about whether or not to move forward in the buying process.

This means that some of the best interactive pieces for this stage of the buyer journey will usually be more informative in nature, such as eBooks, webinars, and resource libraries. All of these can be created in an interactive format as well, which means that although you may not want to build all your consideration-stage pieces as interactive ones, you could at least consider making some of them interactive.

Finally, for the decision stage, you’ll want content that helps your users make the final call and actually purchase your product.

This type of content should be highly targeted, and it should be focused on getting the user to take a specific action. Specific solution finders, product recommendation generations, maps, or Augmented Reality work best in this scenario. They help your potential customers figure out what exactly they need and visualize themselves owning it.

How to Create Interactive Content for Your Website 

Interactive content can be created anywhere on the internet. A lot of people will generally refer to social media interactive content as their main driver, but there are many easy ways you can bring the interactivity of an Instagram story or LinkedIn poll right on your website too.

In general, you will want to make sure that:

  • Your interactive content is mobile-friendly
  • Your content is visually appealing and doesn’t require too much work to be completed
  • Your content is shareable (so that it can help you attract more leads)
  • Your content is easy to create (so that you don’t have to spend hours on end making it)

Online forms with question branching, quizzes, and polls are among the easiest way to enter the world of interactive content for websites. They are easy to create, they are affordable, and you already have platforms that can handle the coding for you, so you can just drag, drop, and adapt.

Wink-wink, that’s 123FormBuilder for you.

Explore online forms with question branching

Top Tips in Producing Interactive Content 

Interactive content isn’t rocket science, so there’s no actual complicated textbook as to how you can create it so it works for you. Like with everything marketing-related, producing the kind of interactive content that works for your business is a matter of trial and error.

Thankfully, that’s not that big of an issue when you have the right tools at your fingertips because you can easily adjust your interactive content on the go.

While we can’t give you a full-on textbook on how to create one-size-fits-all interactive content that works, we can do something even better: provide you with tips straight from the people who’ve already tried interactive content (and seen what works and what doesn’t).

We reached out to a handful of them to provide you with some of the best practices and tips that helped them make the most out of their interactive content. Here’s what they told us:

Keep It Results-Oriented 

“People go online to do something. They may not always know what it is, but their goals are the same: find interesting content. It’s your role to focus and guide their attention toward a conversion, such as signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase. This does not imply that your content must be a hard pitch, but it should include the option to convert a portion of it. After all, if you’ve worked hard to entice users and keep them interested, you’re already halfway there.”

— Rameez Usmani, Director of E-Commerce & Retail @Selkirk

Data Rules the World 

“Interactive content is great, but to really make it shine, ensure that what underlies your interactivity is top-notch. Internal results like surveys or other data can really enhance your user’s understanding of a subject. The interactivity should be what keeps them engaged, not what draws them in initially. It’s a common misconception. If they think your interactive element is entertaining, they’ll play with it briefly and then move on. But if your informational aspect is solid, then the interactivity enhances their learning and makes you stand out with them long-term.”

— Shawn Plummer, CEO @The Annuity Expert

Quizzes and Assessments 

“Quizzes are good ways to get data from your audience and give them valuable feedback; it’s a win-win situation. You can repurpose your existing content into quizzes by following these tips & tricks:

  • Keep the inquiry structure simple and enjoyable.
  • Make your audience aware of your feedback.
  • Select quiz topics that are relevant to your brand and products.
  • Allow users to share quiz results on various social networks by including sharing buttons on your quiz.”

— Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor @Reviewgrower

Make It Easy to Interact With 

“Interactive content should be simple to use and engage with. Because people’s attention spans are short and their tolerance for difficulties is poor, keep your content direct, concise, and straightforward in most circumstances. The more a user can ‘do,’ such as clicking on a carousel arrow, digging into tabbed material, or jumping to the next text block, the more engaged they will be.”

— Max Whiteside, SEO & Content Lead @Breaking Muscle

Add Actual, Immediate Worth 

“To enhance interactive material shares, it is necessary that the web content gives genuine value to your target market. Tests and also calculators have a distinct advantage over e-books, whitepapers, and blog sites as they provide prompt, personalized value. You can use this to your benefit. Address the obstacles your audience is facing while supplying them pointers based on the information they share.

For instance, the calculator embedded below gives real, prompt worth by asking people regarding their organization details and then telling individuals the number of leads they can obtain from interactive content.”

— Robert Johnson, Director of Operations @Mywoodrings 

Interactive Content Toolkit for Every Type of Business

The beauty of producing interactive content in 2022 is that you don’t have to:

  1. Invest a lot of money in it
  2. Invest a lot of time in it
  3. Invest in a development team/ agency to help you with it

Here are some of the best tools for interactive content:

Paperflite

Paperflite is an advanced (but easy to use) solution for those who want to create interactive landing pages, content repositories, sales enablement assets, and more. If you’re just looking for something that will help you create next-level interactive presentations for your sales team, the tool will start at $50/ month. If, however, you’re looking for something more advanced, the tool will begin at $950/ month.

Thinglink

This tool helps users create interactive images and collect data based on how users interact with these images. Depending on your industry and needs, pricing starts at $25/month and can go as high as $450 or more/ month. This type of content is perfect for virtual tools or educational websites, for example, because they help immerse the reader into the content and create a better experience for them.

123FormBuilder

Want to create a survey, a poll, or a calculator for your website?

There’s really no easier or more affordable way than doing it with a form builder. 123FormBuilder is a no-code drag & drop form creator with question branching/ conditional logic capabilities. Moreover, we have more than 2,000 form templates you can grab and adjust to your needs, full customization options, and a customer support team ready to answer any question.

Pricing starts at…free and can go up to $37.99 for more advanced features.

Explore 123FormBuilder

Apester

One of the things Apester is famous for is helping marketers create stories (just like the ones on Snapchat, for example), but for a variety of channels (including your website.) Pricing starts at $50/ month and can go as high as $350/ month or more, depending on what your needs are.

MapMe

As the name suggests, MapMe is a tool that can help you create interactive maps for your website. Pricing starts at $24/ month and goes as high as $99/ month.

Each of these tools is great for its specific interactive content niche, so decide on what you want to try and go with it. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to create beautiful designs to integrate with your interactive content. we’d suggest Canva, as it is one of the most user-friendly design platforms currently available online (and they have a very generous free plan as well.)

Interactive Content FAQs

What is interactive content?

Interactive content is a type of content that allows users to engage with it in a way that is more active than simply consuming it. This can be anything from taking a quiz to playing a game to watching a video or even just hovering over an image.

How to create interactive VR content?

You can create interactive VR content using a number of different tools, but one of the most popular is Unity.

How to integrate interactive content marketing?

If you want to create interactive content marketing, you’ll need to first identify your goals and objectives. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start planning out your content strategy. From there, you can decide which type of interactive content will be the best fit for achieving your goals: calculators, quizzes, interactive landing pages, and more.

Interactive content FAQs

What is interactive content and how does it work?

If you want to create interactive content marketing,  you’ll need to first identify your goals and objectives. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start planning out your content strategy. From  there, you can decide which type of interactive content will be the best fit for achieving your goals: calculators, quizzes, interactive landing pages, and more. 

What are examples of interactive content?

Interactive content is a type of content that allows users to engage with it in a way that is more active than simply consuming it. This can be anything from taking  a quiz to playing a game to watching a video or even just hovering over an image. The goal of interactive content is to make the user experience more enjoyable and engaging, which will in turn increase engagement ratio, click-through-ratio, conversions, and loyalty. 

What is interactive content on social media?

Some examples of interactive content include:  quizzes, polls, calculators, games, videos, and interactive web pages. 

How do I make my content interactive?

On social media, interactive content refers to polls, quizzes, stories, and, in general, any type of content that allows users to interact with the brand in a more active way.

Originally published on June 16, 2022

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