Feeling like a content marketing pick-me-up? Need to come up with fresh ideas? Wondering why your audience isn’t interested in your content?
It’s time you started to add some interactive content to your content marketing efforts.
Reading content is great, but getting your audience personally involved in your content is even better. When customers can participate in your marketing efforts, you transform the process from pulling information from reluctant customers to creating an experience where visitors gladly offer you valuable feedback and have fun in the process. You can then use that information to better target your marketing efforts and your audience efforts.
If you’re worried about incurring major costs due to the involvement of designers and programmers, then fear no more. While some of the tools listed below will benefit from the use of designers, many are ones that you can easily do yourself as a small shop and none require deep technical know-how.
Read on, and get ready to re-invigorate your content marketing efforts with these awesome additions to your outreach programs.
Interactive Content Marketing With Quizzes
Many people who hear the word “quiz” think of the typical BuzzFeed time-waster. We’ve all spent too much time trying to figure out which cat is the cutest or which Disney character we are. But quizzes can actually be a wonderful way to learn more about your audience and bring them closer to you at the same time.
Quizzes are similar to surveys, in that they both ask your audience a series of questions. With a traditional survey of your customers, however, you are often begging for people to respond. The reason for this is that customers often can’t see what they are getting out of filling out a form and don’t really want to take the time to help you without receiving something in return. In other words, surveys come off as one-sided.
Quizzes, on the other hand, are fun and engaging. Customers can see find out “Which Stranger Things character” they are or whether or not they know the right answers to questions. At the same time, they can be a great way for companies to collect information that can be used for business purposes.
You can use quizzes to better understand the personas of your audience or what drives them to make purchases. That information can be couched in entertaining terms (e.g., “What TV show are you?”) without diminishing the quality of the information you collect.
For example, the New York Times published a very popular quiz entitled, “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” According to the site, the data collected came from more than 350,000 survey responses and was later used by Josh Katz, graphics editor for the New York Times, in writing a book about American regional dialects.
Quiz tools are generally pretty inexpensive. They can range from free (for instance, uQuiz or even the more basic Google forms) to a few hundred dollars for a yearly subscription (see Qzzr or Quiz Maker, for example). Paid tools give you greater access to integrations and deeper viewer statistics. Whichever route you choose to take, you’ll be sure to increase your lead capture as well as gather some interesting data about your audience.
If you’re simply looking for increased social media engagement, there are even easier paths to go. For example, free Twitter offers polls are pieces you can create instantly and run for a limited amount of time. To gather real-time information, you can run a poll during a tradeshow or a webinar, using the appropriate hashtag to go along with your other content marketing efforts at the event. If you pin your poll to the top of your feed, you can gather longer-term data on a particular question and share valuable information with your following as well.
Interactive Content Marketing With Videos
If you don’t know by now that videos are a great way to capture the attention of your audience, you need to think your content marketing plans immediately. Videos can be engaging, humorous, thought-provoking, or artistic. But did you know that you can also use them to easily capture leads and customer data?
The standard video will play from start to finish, offering viewers a concept that has been created by your business. Interactive videos, on the other hand, turn passive viewing into active engagement, providing you with the opportunity to answer questions while the video is still playing.
If you are doing live video, there are a few ways to accomplish this effect. Facebook Live is one of the best tools currently in existence for interactive live video. You can easily hold a Facebook Live and answer questions and comments “on the air,” as your viewers ask them. Add screen-sharing capabilities if you have an online product or service you want to demonstrate to your audience.
You can then easily share the finished product. Be sure to add a link in the video’s description to drive viewers to a landing page or a follow-up piece of content. You can also advertise when your next Facebook Live session will be held, so those who enjoyed the current video can be sure to attend the next one.
If you’re not looking to add live video to your marketing toolkit but you still are interested in making your videos more interactive, you can do that as well. With the right tools, it’s not difficult create videos that stop part way through, asking questions of the audience and requiring answers before the video moves on to the next section.
One great tool for creating a pre-recorded interactive video is SnapApp. The tool provides you with an easy way to create interactive content without the need for a programmer or any major technical background.
Note that SnapApp is not inexpensive ($19,800 for a year-long contract). However, your investment will get you a wide range of interactive tools, from ROI calculators to videos to polls and beyond. The video piece is one of my favorites because it’s a very low-key way to gather information about your viewers while still keeping them entertained and educating them.
Interactive Content Marketing With Collateral
Maybe you’re nervous about whether or not quizzes will resonate with your audience or you’re not quite ready to take the next step in video. All right then, let’s bring this back to more traditional content such as infographics, eBooks, and the like. Don’t worry – you can still take those pieces and spice them up.
Hopefully, you are already adding interesting graphics to enhance the words you’re crafting. If you are following that path, then it’s easy to turn your static pieces into interactive content.
To dip your toe into the pool of interactive written content, start with the cool, free interactive PDF creator called LeadRev. It’s actually created by the folks I mentioned above, SnapApp, but it’s FREE. Yes, you read that right – I really did say, “free.”
LeadRev lets you take PDFs and make them more graphically interesting, with moving parts that keep audience interest for longer. Even better, you can tease your audience with the ability to read a page or two of your piece and then request their information in order to allow them to read the rest. That way, readers can decide for themselves whether or not the content you are offering is worth the exchange of their personal information.
If you’re looking for a little more, you can try the inexpensive ThingLink. At $240 for an annual subscription, ThingLink lets you add pop-up annotations to your content. You can easily transform infographics, eBooks, maps, and more with fun tidbits of information that will appear when you mouse over them. You can then capture data like viewer engagement and time spent on your pieces.
An interesting example of use of ThingLink comes from Allstate. Allstate used ThingLink to create an interactive piece that combines the easy readability of an infographic with the question and answer format of a quiz. You can read the question, then mouse over a graphic that looks like a button in order for the answer to pop up. It gives the piece a more serious and informational look while still allowing it to draw you in to the process of answering your questions.
Once you’re ready to expand your interactive collateral efforts, there are some great tools out there to make that happen. For example, you can try Ceros to create interactive infographics, eBooks, magazines, look books, and more. Ceros is a bit on the pricey side ($36,000 for an annual subscription), so it’s better for bigger companies. However, it lets you quickly produce beautiful results without requiring any programming, and, at least according to their website, it greatly increases engagement and results.
Let Folks Know About Your Interactive Content
A key part of content marketing is, of course, promotion. Remember that no matter how cool or engaging your interactive content is, if no one sees it, you’ve wasted your time and resources. Be sure to let your audience know about the fascinating pieces you’ve created!
You can advertise your interactive content by sending out a link via social media or DM your target audience directly to personalize the participation request. You can also write a longer form piece on Facebook Publisher, LinkedIn Publisher, Medium, or any other social site. Discuss the purpose of your interactive content or one aspect of your content, and then include a link to your interactive piece so people can try it out for themselves.
Have you created some interesting interactive content pieces? Do you use interactive content tools that I haven’t listed in this article? If so, please share your information in the comments below or Tweet me up at @HollyChessman.