Whatever instincts got ‘expert’ content marketer, Mark Schaefer, to identify long ago the position we find ourselves today was definitely one of a seer.
When he raised the alarm of a “content shock” situation, many content marketers gave him deaf ears.
Back then a good number of content marketers were still coming to terms with the creation of engaging contents.
After all, good old Google had made it clear it relied mostly on content, site speed, and (earned) inbound links to rank websites.
But as you can see today, there’s an abundance of not just contents, but high-quality engaging contents to choose from.
To filter some people out of the ranking contests, emphasis was then laid on long-form contents.
And again, they poured-in in their numbers, all in an attempt to please the search engines.
Of course, the search engines deserve to be pleased. They’ve become the easiest turn to find and initiate the solution for almost everything.
Still, a terrible problem set in…
These search engines started delivering responses so fast it became easier to bounce off a site than it was to fully consume a piece of “engaging” high-quality content.
I can’t trace the origin, but obviously the glue that made contents “engaging” somehow lost its powers of holding website visitors, or leads, to engage until they clicked the call-to-action button usually placed below marketing contents.
The more contents lost their engaging glues, the more they became like the passive ignorable trumpets, which many prospects would rather not listen to, like the traditional advertising media we have today.
However, these contents, even though they lost their engaging glues, held on to one thing, which is even what made them stand out and attract website visitors in the first place.
Holding on to that one thing, you as a digital marketer or business owner can get proactive and still attract not only the attention, or engagement, but the interest of your target audiences.
And trust smart digital marketers, they’ve already grabbed that, which is left of an engaging content to attract, engage, and secure the practical interest of their prospects and customers.
What’s that one thing they grabbed?
“Content is King!” Apparently, just like Bill Gates envisioned, as far back as 1996, content would remain king as long as digital marketing thrives.
If you already knew that, you may want to ask, ‘how are they now employing it to drive leads straight down their sales funnels?’
That’s it. That’s the future of content marketing. It’s simple, take the king-ness in a content and make it interactive (Lol, I just invented a new word, “king-ness”).
And the reasons for that are quite obvious…
A slight turn to figures would leave you even more shocked and deafened.
Do the maths and you’d get blown away just imagining the millions, if not billions of options your prospects have to choose from.
As far back as 2015, SnapApp reported a 30% click rate, 85% finish rate, and 40% lead conversion rate for content marketing pieces they surveyed.
Couple that with the content marketing boom you have in 2017, and you’d nod in the affirmative to my guess that those numbers are now drastically being shrunk.
But, there’s always a way out of every situation. Like the old saying, “one door closes to enable the opening of another one.”
And so the door, which is open to take your content marketing effort to the next level is…
What are Interactive Contents?
As a prior to defining interactive contents in my own words, I admired the way Kissmetrics connected the dots.
They started by explaining how we get connected online using the power of the Internet.
Notice the “Inter?”
Exactly, that’s the same intro you get with “inter”active contents. It’s meant and intended to connect people. In a nutshell, to connect your audience far above just engaging them.
It calls for participation. It has a two-way benefit.
Done rightly, it leaves you with actionable data, and the behavioral patterns of your target audience, which helps you to ultimately ride them down your sales funnel.
But that’s not all, since who actually defines a content as valuable is your target audience, interactive contents helps your audience practically engage, participate, and enjoy a fun experience while interacting with your contents.
Hence, as long as they don’t snooze past your contents, their actions, which is more dependable than words, defines your contents as ‘valuable.’
However, here’s how SnapApp defined interactive contents…
“Interactive contents are anything that requires the participants’ active engagement — more than simply reading or watching the content. In return for that engagement, participants receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about.”
And their CEO, Seth Lieberman, had this to add, “A monologue (static content) delivers a one-way message, whereas a dialogue (interactive content) delivers more value for your audience and you.
Without an atom of a doubt, interactive content is the future!
What are the Types of Interactive Contents?
Here’s another interesting thing about interactive contents. You have different options to choose from.
So, depending on your target audience and clearly defined customer personas, the different types of interactive contents include:
Born out of the dire need to know one’s stand or current situation, assessments pulls your target audience in by inviting them to assess something, which burdens on them.
Based on their responses, you get to match them with probable solutions, or suggestions that solves their problems.
But, here’s the big takeaway, since you’re the host of the assessment, it helps you get a better picture of the exact problems your target audiences need solved, and how you should deliver the solution.
And if your product or service is that perfect solution, bingo!
It’s an inborn desire for humans to desire the demonstration of their knowledge. Quizzes feeds on this desire.
Using quizzes, you can test the knowledge of your prospects, progress-profile them, and use the information gathered to deliver contents that suits them more perfectly.
As a bonus, quizzes drives tons of website traffic.
Polls & Surveys
This is an incredible way to extract feedback from an audience. Usually, polls and surveys do not have right or wrong answers, hence, information you gather from this type of interactive content can be very reliable.
The good thing about polls and surveys is that those who partake would love to see the final results.
And this can help you generate very qualified leads. If your results are data-rich, and insightful, it could earn you precious inbound links if published on your website.
This type of interactive content gives your prospects the power to calculate the possible ROI for using your product/service.
It is a great way to qualify them as SQL’s, making it easier for your sales team to deliver a pitch they’d be more likely to resonate with and accept.
Calculators has the advantage of driving website traffic for prospects who would eventually become qualified leads and not just any kind of traffic.
Who doesn’t love to win prizes?
Even content marketers fall for this one, talk less of prospects who may not quickly understand it’s another type of interactive content aimed at earning their active participation, and securing them as leads.
From a coveted prize, down to a mere congratulatory message, contests is an interactive content your target audience would love to engage and participate in.
To make it more special, you can add social share to encourage participants to invite their network to partake in.
No better place than to turn to SnapApp, an interactive content service provider, to explain how brackets functions as interactive contents.
“They are a great way to settle “Best Of” or “Worst Of” debates, no matter what industry or field you are in, and are also a way to get longer periods of engagement with your users through your blog and other static content pieces.”
Staying with them, brackets can help you drive repeat visits to your website, grow user engagement, and create new contents for your website.
Interactive Videos, Infographics, Whitepapers, eBooks, and Galleries
These different types of interactive contents are a step-up to the conventional contents they usually come in.
By making them interactive, these contents are transformed from a monologue (static content) into a dialogue (interactive content) for your audience.
Hence, instead of the usual glance, skim, or snooze experience, which these contents come in prior to getting them interactive, they offer a more engaging, interactive, and fun experience for your audience.
3 Reasons Why Interactive is the Future of Content Marketing
Sticking with Albert Einstein’s timeless quote, which is what true content marketing does, “Strive not be a success, but rather to be of value,” interactive contents would truly help you to be of immense value to your target audience.
And because you’d be adding value to them by delivering an engaging interactive experience they’d love, you’d be practicing Steven R. Covey’s principled quote, “Seek first to understand, before you seek to be understood.”
When you do all of the above, you’d reap the benefits given below, which is why interactive content is the future of content marketing.
Genuine Customer Profiling
Interactive content is how you collect beyond the email addresses of your prospects.
Because interactive contents helps you deliver an experience, which your prospects would participate in, you get to collect as much data footprints of them as possible.
Using the interaction they make with your contents, you arm yourself with actual profiles of who your potential customers are, and the best contents to deliver them.
The Internet has made it possible for prospects to majorly search and engage with what pleases them.
The more you get better at profiling your customers, the more you know how to deliver the experience that resonates with them.
This is something that was more difficult to achieve with content marketing. Hence, as the need to deliver more personable contents increases, expect to see more interactive contents.
Let’s be frank. As content marketers, we don’t spend countless hours to create contents for creating sake.
At the end of the day, the ultimate intention (what I described here to be ulterior motives) is to drive those prospects further down our sales funnels, and convert them into paying customers.
The quicker one is able to do this, the better. The more effective you become at qualifying your leads as sales qualified leads, the ultimate.
Using the interaction of your prospects, interactive contents can help you to segment and qualify those who have demonstrated symptoms for your product/service.
And it gets really effective because it increases the likelihood of your assumptions succeeding at qualifying your prospects as actual sales leads.
As long as content must, in the long run, generate sales and business opportunities, many content marketers would definitely embrace more of interactive contents going forward.
Another sign that interactive content is the future of content marketing.
Buzz, Share-ability, and Authority
It is every content marketer’s hope to create and distribute contents that generates the right buzz, is worthy to be shared, and ultimately establish their businesses as an authority.
In an article I did earlier, “2 Reasons Why Content Marketing Yields Greater Benefits Than PPC,” I also highlighted how content marketing can make you an authority in your industry.
However, with interactive contents, you stand a better chance of achieving buzz, share-ability, and authority, all in one package.
Prospects who interact with your interactive contents, and love the experience, would be prompted to share it with their friends, their friends share it with their friends, and it could go on and on.
This explains why many interactive contents became trending topics on social media. With almost the whole world active on social media, once your interactive content trends, you can imagine the buzz, and authority it could yield for your brand.
And as with anything buzz, this could get your brand in front of people you never dreamed of reaching.
Because this has been the case for many businesses, expect to see more of it. A third reason why interactive contents is the future of content marketing.
There are even more…
Agencies That Specialize in Creating Interactive Contents
If you’re still finding it difficult to fathom how interactive content is what your audience would prefer now, maybe because you don’t know how to go about it, there are agencies you can easily turn to and they’d get you started right away.
I for one only got acquainted with interactive contents about a month ago when I fell on a random article that mentioned it.
Hence, if you’re hearing interactive content for the first time, you’re still right on track.
I don’t have any affiliation with any of these agencies, which I’d be listing below, I only found them while researching on the topic.
If you noticed, some of the insights, with which I employed to write this article was obtained from SnapApp.
I think they’re about the first company to really grasp the interactive concept, and so you’d be in safe hands turning to them to handle your interactive content projects.
I somehow just love this this firm. Maybe because of their insightful contents I’ve found of them on medium.
Apart from that, I’ve come to (after my research) trust this agency as a dependable option to deliver top notch interactive contents your audience would love.
One thing that stands out with this agency is that they claim they can convert your existing contents into interactive ones. Want to confirm such claims? Visit their website here.
This is another agency I found while researching on the topic. They appeared on a Google paid search.
As a digital marketer, I know only serious minded business agencies invest in PPC advertising, hence, Zembula should be a dependable option to find help creating interactive contents for your audience.
DIY Interactive Content Tools
If you’d rather create interactive contents for yourself, without help from an agency, I also got you covered.
I’d not go in-depth to explore them, I’d however leave a link so you go check each of them out for yourself.
Engaging your prospects is important. Getting them to interact with your business via your contents is much better.
The good thing about interactive contents, as stipulated by ioninteractive, is that you don’t need to start afresh. You can improve your existing engaging high-quality contents, and make them interactive.
Your prospects attention life-span is decreasing every single minute, even if they wanted to engage with your contents, the overloads of contents out there just won’t let them.
This is why you should turn a good percentage of your focus to creating interactive contents.
Your prospects are yearning for an experience, give them that.
Interactive content is the future of content marketing, embrace it now!
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Thanks for reading Mark Growth!
King? 3 Reasons Why (And How) Interactive Content is the Future was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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