Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Easy Ways to Stand Out from the Competition Using Interactive Content Marketing
I'm sure you've heard the old adage "Content is king." While that's certainly true, it's not enough anymore to simply write a text-rich blog post and expect engagement to happen.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human has an attention span of eight seconds. Eight seconds! You need to attract your readers' or followers' attention and require their active engagement quickly.
That can easily be done with something called interactive content marketing.
While pieces like blog articles and eBooks are considered passive content, interactive content requires the person to actively engage with the content, whether that's by swiping, tapping, answering a question...
In this article, I'm providing 3 ideas you can use to attract your audience's attention and stand out from your competitors.
Some of you may remember those "choose your own adventure" books from childhood. The TV show Black Mirror did an incredibly unique episode called "Bandersnatch" that let you choose game designer Stefan's moves and his ultimate fate.
While you're probably not going to go that far with your marketing videos, one easy interactive marketing tool is having a Facebook Live where you answer questions and take comments virtually.
Here's an example. During episodes of my Tea Time Tips on Facebook, I ask questions and encourage my viewers to comment. They can also ask questions that I answer live in the video.
It's a fun and simple two-way conversation that gets everyone involved with the episode versus me just talking "at" my followers.
Polls and Questions
These are great interactive social media marketing tools. Let's start with polls. I'm going to go with a Facebook example again, because it's so easy to create a poll while you're making up your post. Here's how:
In addition to polls, another way to easily encourage engagement is by asking a question in your news feed on Facebook.
While it's a good idea to keep your question relevant to your business, go ahead and have some fun with it! You want your audience to be motivated and excited to answer your question, whatever that might be.
Here's an example from one of our clients who owns Malarys Fashion Network, a clothing boutique in Cloverdale, BC. Yvonne framed a fashion-related in a lighthearted way on her Facebook page and got a high number of engagements, including 20 comments.
To do this well, think about some interesting topics that relate to your business. Here are a couple of generic prompts that could help:
Can you recommend some good [your product or service category] books this summer?
What business advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
If you could run your business in any period in history, when would it be and why?
Info graphics engaging visuals to communicate stats or other information quickly and clearly. Neil Patel did a great article back in 2014 on the power of info graphics. It's still relevant today, and you can read it on our blog.
However, it's time to step up your info graphics game with interactive elements. It's true that it takes more time and effort to create a two-way info graphic instead of a static one. But if it's relevant to your business and captivates your audience, the traffic, engagement and social shares you get (which will link back to your site) will be well worth it.
There are numerous sites out there that allow you to create info graphics from a template, or you can hire a professional graphic design company to create them for you.
Here's an info graphic Google did to explain the complex topic "How search works." You can interact with various elements to move you through the content, which is much more interesting than a long page of text.
Now that we've gone over some ways that you can create these unique content marketing pieces, let's look at some of the benefits.
I talked a bit about it increasing engagement: you share an interesting and fun piece of content and users are more likely to interact with it and share it themselves.
In addition to increased user engagement, here are 3 other ways that interactive marketing tools can be beneficial:
They can collect data for you.
As marketers we rely on data to make decisions that will benefit our business. It can be a challenge to collect behavioural data by asking questions outright for a few reasons: Customers are extremely wary of these tactics and it's not fun!
(When's the last time you filled out one of those surveys a website randomly asked you, just because?)
By using a poll or engaging question, you can learn more about your audience's likes and dislikes. If you're inviting your audience to interact with an infographic, you can gain valuable insights by looking at where they navigate and click.
They increase clicks and conversions.
As a small business owner, you should always be looking for ways to engage with potential clients. It can be a real challenge to get someone to download your eBook or to convert on a landing page on your website.
That's where interactive content comes in. It can boost your click-throughs and conversion rates big-time. The Content Marketing Institute did some case studies of brands that each saw upwards of 50% click through rates when they used it.
Put yourself in your potential customers' shoes: what would you rather click on at the top of the marketing funnel?
A 'Submit' button on a website asking you to provide your email so the business can send you a white paper? Or, a quiz or poll that asks for your opinion on a relevant topic, then asks for your email to send you the answer?
You'll find that many people are much more willing to provide their info if it's presented in an engaging way and it doesn't seem like you're asking.
They build brand loyalty.
When a viewer just reads an article or watches a video, their participation is minimal, and so is their engagement. But content people can interact with is different; it can create deeper relationships.
Research has shown that the more of a relationship a consumer has with a brand, the more likely they are to be loyal long-term customers. You start to be seen as an expert in your area, and people trust you.
And the more people trust you, the more likely they are to buy from you.
The content marketing landscape is always evolving, and you need to be willing to change with the times if you want to be successful.
Expect to see more interactive videos, quizzes, polls, questions, infographics and more; it's time to seriously consider adding these to your marketing tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
We know it can be nearly impossible to keep up with your marketing when you've got a business to run!
Vikrant Singh, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm Digital Web Zones, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. He works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.
As a result of working with Vikrant Singh and his team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.