What Is Interactive Content Marketing: Benefits, Content Types, & Best Practices
If you think about it, content marketing has a bit of a parallel with entertainment.
Way back before electronic devices were invented, entertainment through content came in the form of books and publications.
Then the radio was invented. Most people were entertained by listening to broadcasted music or radio drama.
Then, when the digital video came into the scene, “video killed the radio star”, as the song goes. Most of the entertainment came through TVs and cinemas.
And now, especially for the younger generations, interactive media such as video games are the most fun form of content.
In a similar way, content marketing has also evolved over time.
It started with blogs that people could read. Then some content marketers ran podcasts to listen to. Then video content became a more engaging tool to reach target audiences.
In fact, video is one of the most engaging types of content today.
But another form of content is also getting traction. One that invites more participation from the audience.
And that’s interactive content marketing.
What Is Interactive Content Marketing?
Interactive content marketing is a type of content that encourages audience participation.
It could be in the form of a quiz, a poll, or any form of interactive content.
Its purpose is to get people more engaged with your brand.
And when done right, it can be really effective not just in attracting and keeping your target audience’s attention. But also capturing them as leads.
Benefits of Interactive Content Marketing
There are several benefits of using interactive content in your digital marketing mix.
Interactive And Visual Content Engages Your Audience Better
Think about it. Which is more engaging? A blog post that you read or a video that you watched?
The answer is most likely the video.
The same goes for other types of content. Interactive content is usually more engaging than static content because it’s more visual and interactive.
In fact, when your audience engages with interactive marketing content, they don’t just consume it. In a way, they become a part of the content, since they have some input in it.
It Makes Your Content More Memorable
When people are actively engaged in something, they tend to remember it better.
Interactive content usually requires people to think and make decisions. And this cognitive process makes the content more memorable.
And when your content has a rent-free space in your audience’s mind, they’re more likely to think of your brand when they actually need what you’re offering.
It’s A Great Lead Generation Tool
One of the most important benefits of interactive marketing content is that it’s a great lead generation tool.
When you have interactive content on your site, people have to input their information to use it.
This could be in the form of an email address, phone number, or even just their name and contact information.
In other words, you’re collecting leads without having to hard-sell them.
People Are Willing To Share Interactive Content
Interactive marketing content is usually more viral than static content.
Think about it. If you see a quiz or an infographic on social media, are you more likely to share it with your friends? Or would you rather share a blog post that you read?
The answer is probably the former.
It Gives You Better Insights Into What Your Audience Wants
With interactive content, you can get valuable insights into what your audience wants. This is because they are the ones who are actively participating in it.
For example, if you’re doing a poll, you can see which option is getting more votes. Or if you’re running a quiz, you can see which questions people are struggling with the most.
This valuable feedback can help you fine-tune your digital marketing strategy and give your audience content that they actually want.
Types of Interactive Content
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of interactive content marketing, let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of interactive content.
The reason why quizzes are so popular is that they’re fun and easy to take. And they usually take less than a minute to complete.
Plus, they’re also a great way to generate leads. This is because most quizzes require people to input their email addresses or contact information to get their results.
This quiz has been a useful tool in promoting the company’s social media marketing suite and generating new leads.
2) Polls And Surveys
Polls and surveys are some other popular types of interactive content.
The reason why they’re so popular is that they’re quick and easy to fill out. Plus, they offer valuable insights into what your audience thinks about a certain topic.
This type of content is also a great lead generation tool.
This is because you can include a call to action(CTA) at the end of the poll or survey.
If they input their contact information, they can see a partial result of the survey. Or it may just show how many people had the same answers.
Calculators are another type of interactive content that’s growing in popularity. The reason for this is that they offer valuable insights to users.
Calculators are most commonly used on pricing pages. Some SaaS websites have ROI calculators that show users how much they can save or earn by using their software.
This calculator estimates the budget needed for developing a mobile app that its website visitors want. It asks for specific features such as design, security, and third-party software integrations.
Then the calculator gives you an estimate of how much funding you’re going to need to build that app.
4) Interactive Infographics
Interactive infographics are another type of content that’s growing in popularity. The reason for this is that they’re more engaging than traditional infographics.
With an interactive infographic, users can hover over or click different parts of the infographic to get more information.
They can also click on certain elements to be taken to a related website or article.
One amazing example of an interactive infographic is BBC’s Your Life On Earth infographic.
It starts by asking you to input your birthdate. Then it shows you what has happened in the world during your lifetime: how many new species were discovered, how many eclipses there have been, and a lot more.
5) Interactive eBooks
Interactive eBooks are another type of interactive content that’s growing in popularity.
The reason for this is that they offer a more engaging reading experience than traditional eBooks.
With an interactive eBook, readers can click on certain words or phrases to get more information. Like with interactive infographics, they can also click on links to be taken to related websites or articles.
This type of content is also a great lead magnet in a few ways.
For one, you can offer an interactive eBook as a content upgrade at the bottom of your blog posts. Your readers may download or access it in exchange for their contact information.
Or you could limit the number of clicks they can perform on it. For example, after ten clicks, they would have to provide their contact information in order to browse further.
Just be careful doing the second one. It has a big potential of putting off your prospect.
To avoid scaring your readers, make sure that you have high-quality content in your eBook. It should be so good that its readers would be more than happy to give their contact information to get more of it.
6) Interactive Videos
They bring a new twist to videos by adding an interactive element to them.
With this type of video content, viewers can make choices that affect the outcome of the video.
For example, in both videos mentioned above, viewers can choose what the protagonist does and how the story unfolds.
Interactive videos are a great way to engage your audience and get them involved in your content.
Plus, if you can correlate choices with preferences, you can use them to segment your audience based on these interests and preferences.
What’s more, you can provide an extensive set of choices and branching pathways for your viewers to discover to prolong their engagement with it. Undiscovered alternative outcomes would encourage them to start the video over again and try the other options.
You can use interactive videos for all sorts of purposes, from lead generation to product demonstrations.
7) Interactive 3D Models
This kind of interactive content is especially useful for SaaS products that have something to do with physical things or spaces.
For example, let’s say you have a real estate listing or virtual staging software. You could have an interactive 3D model of a sample property being sold. Or prospects could easily add 3D furniture models to the listing to see how it would look.
Other examples include interior design software, where prospects can experiment with different colors and furniture arrangements
This type of content is also growing in popularity because it allows users to get a better sense of what they’re buying or using
It’s also a great way to differentiate your product from your competitors who may only offer static content like images and videos.
One example of a SaaS company that uses 3D models well is Shakespark, a platform for creating virtual tours for buildings and real estate properties. It has a whole showcase of 3D virtual tours.
This is a smart move by Shakespark because it doesn’t only engage their website visitors. It also provides value by demonstrating what outputs they can generate with the platform.
8) Solution Finders
Solution finders are another type of interactive content that can be used for viewer engagement and lead generation.
Solution finders are similar to quizzes in that they ask questions (usually from a set of choices).
But this time, your questions are more about the viewer’s pain points or whatever specific requirement they may need from a SaaS solution. You may ask for specific information like their budget and company size.
And based on these inputs, the solution finder provides the user with the best SaaS product for their needs.
This type of content is great because it helps users find the product or solution that would best address their pain points. And if you offer a great solution, you earn their trust.
Consequently, they’re more likely to become customers or clients.
And since your prospects have already provided various information about their needs, it’s going to be so much easier to segment them. You can now send them targeted content that’s more likely to convert.
Best Practices For Interactive Content Marketing
Now that you know what interactive content is and some examples of it, here are some tips on how you can create great interactive content.
Create Interactive Content That Your Target Audience Would Love
As you can see above, there are a lot of interactive content types that you can choose from. And if you look at them all at once, it can be overwhelming to choose which of them to use.
But in reality, choosing gets easier if you know what type of interactive content would best engage your target audience.
So, your first step is to understand your target audience.
What are their needs, wants, and pain points? What type of content do they consume the most? What’s their level of understanding of your SaaS product or brand?
You can find all these answers by doing some market research or surveys.
Once you understand your target audience better, it’ll be easier to choose the right type of interactive content for them.
Keep It Simple
When creating interactive content, it’s important to keep it simple
Your goal is to engage your viewers and help them achieve their goals. So don’t make your content too complicated or difficult to understand.
Stick to one message or one CTA per piece of content. And make sure that your questions are relevant to this message or CTA.
Make It Visually Appealing
Your content should be visually appealing so that people will actually want to interact with it.
If it looks boring or dull (or even sketchy), they’re not going to want to waste their time interacting with it.
Make sure your content is designed well and uses visuals that are relevant to your message.
And if you’re using video, pay attention to things like lighting, sound, and framing.
Repurpose Your Old Content Into Interactive Content
If you have existing content that’s not performing as well as you’d like, consider repurposing it into interactive content.
For example, let’s say you have a long-form blog post about many different strategies for communicating with leads.
You could turn it into an interactive video wherein viewers can click which strategy they want to see. The video would then explain that particular strategy and even show a demonstration through a skit or animation.
Let’s have another example. Maybe you have an eBook that’s not getting downloaded as much as you’d like. You could turn it into an interactive workbook or checklist.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to repurposing your old content. So get creative and see what works best for your audience.
Test, Test, Test
Finally, don’t forget to test your content before you publish it
This is especially important for lead generation content since you want to make sure that the questions you’re asking are relevant to your target audience.
You can also use A/B testing to see which version of your content performs better.
For example, you can A/B test two different headlines to see which one gets more clicks. Or you can test two different CTA buttons to see which one generates more leads.
Pay Attention To How Your Audience Interacts With Your Content
It’s also important to pay attention to how your audience interacts with your content.
This will give you valuable insights that you can use to improve your content and make it more effective.
For example, if you see that people are dropping off at a certain point in your content, you can try to figure out why.
Maybe the questions are too difficult or maybe the content is too long. Whatever the case may be, make sure to pay attention to how your audience reacts to your content so that you can improve it.
Make Sure Your Content Is Mobile-Responsive
Nowadays, more and more people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices. So if your content isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of potential leads.
To make sure your content is mobile-responsive, you can use a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
This tool will tell you if your content is mobile-responsive and give you suggestions on how to improve it.
Track The Right Metrics
Finally, make sure you’re tracking the right metrics.
This will depend on your goals for your content.
For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to track things like click-through rate and how many people give their contact information.
But if your goal is to build brand awareness, you might want to track things like social shares, organic traffic, and average time spent viewing your content.
Choose the metrics that are most important to you and make sure you’re tracking them so that you can see how effective your content is.
Final Thoughts About Interactive Content Marketing
Interactive content marketing is a great way to engage your audience and generate leads.
This type of content is special because it involves the audience’s participation.
As a result, it can be more memorable than static content. Different types of interactive content also have a lot of potential to be used as lead magnets.
But creating interactive content is not an easy thing to do. It requires a lot of time, effort, and resources.
So make sure that, whatever interactive content you put out there, would really engage your target audience and bring you more leads. Ensure that you’re using content types that would effectively reach your audience.
What’s more, keep testing your content until you are 100% sure that every button or link does what it’s supposed to.
If you do it right, interactive marketing can help you stand out among your competitors and grab a larger share of your target market.
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