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How often do you take a quiz on social media? You know, the ones that tell you what your spirit animal is, based on what kind of cheese you like? Yeah, those. Those are known as interactive content for B2B companies (usually).
As ludicrous as that example may seem, interactive content pieces like these are wildly popular.
A recent study found that 91% of B2B customers prefer interactive to static content. In addition, interactive content generates up to five times more page views than traditional static content.
So, if you’re one of the many B2B companies that haven’t even considered using interactive content in their marketing strategy, you need to get into the game.
Of course, interactive content does not always need to be superficial, as in the above example. It can also be highly informative, providing thought-provoking and educational content that has real value to your customers.
The most promising form of interactive content makes your brand feel larger than life and relatable at the same time.
This article will familiarize you with the basics of interactive content and describe the types of interactive content you can incorporate to amp up your content repository.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Why Do B2B Companies Need Interactive Content?
The notion that all you need to do is just keep posting blogs for your website and wait for leads to come in is so 2010. Today, hitting the high notes with B2B sales requires the use of interactive content.
Especially for startups seeking to establish their identities, marking your territory in the B2B world takes more than blanketing the web with your presence. You need to do more than build a stunning website. You need to create content that has a deep resonance.
Being on top of your B2B content marketing requires having a firm grasp on how to best position your brand as a trusted go-to resource for your target demographic. So to stand out from the crowd of companies with similar products, you need to offer an engaging experience above and beyond the basics. Done right, interactive content positions your brand as a valuable resource and authority and can help you stand out from the crowd.
The more your brand can communicate its marketing messages through interactive content, the more it can offer something truly different from others in the same category.
To be clear, we’re not talking about interactive content that most folks think of either. Sure, hosting a webinar or developing an online course is great, but we’re focused on interactive content directly on your blog that your viewers can react to and interact with.
Benefits Of Interactive Content
Interactive content is a boon to any business because it:
An interactive piece of content is almost guaranteed to see high levels of engagement, for the obvious reason that an interactive piece demands interaction.
It offers users a chance to make active choices about their journey through the content, instead of passively following along a predetermined path. This shift in power garners more undivided attention and encourages heightened user participation and engagement.
Increases The Amount Of Data Captured
Consumers are often wary of marketing tactics that push them to give up their contact info. And they’re right to question who they let in their inbox, considering the number of online agencies whose sole purpose is to spam users with sales messages.
So, to gain access to your leads’ inboxes, you must convey authenticity and nurture true engagement with your marketing efforts.
Interactive content serves this purpose perfectly.
It offers a way to create a value exchange between company and consumer, making the prospect feel more comfortable giving you their precious data — often an email address.
Promotes Brand Loyalty
Great content delivers your message, but great interactive content transforms your message into a memorable experience.
It allows your audience to become a part of your brand’s story. Your brand will become more personal to them as they get to know you, and the positive experiences you create will shape their perception of who you are. In this manner, you can gather raving fans eager to follow along with your journey.
Sets You Apart From The Crowd
Have you ever read your content and felt unmoved? Uninspired? Just plain bored? If so, it might be time to let go of the monotone sensory-devoid drivel in favor of something more interactive.
Going interactive with your content is a good way to keep users from finding your site dull and unattractive. Few companies venture into this rarely-trodden path, giving you ample opportunity to stand out.
Must-Have Interactive Content Types
Getting lost in the weeds of interactive content types is easy. Whether you’re working for a startup or an established brand, you’ll want to keep these popular options in mind:
Interactive eBooks combine quality content that resonates with your audience with visual elements that draw them in.
It takes your narratives and pushes their limits by adding interactive technology like:
- Audio narration
- Videos and animations
- Augmented and virtual reality
- And much more
See how TopRank Marketing has created an interactive guide that uses comic book-style animated graphics with clickable elements and navigation. This ebook shows the power of interactive storytelling and why you should be leveraging it in your marketing efforts.
People rarely say ‘meh’ when posed with a fun quiz that tells them what they already knew, what they wanted to hear, or what they were hoping someone else would validate.
Quizzes elicit curiosity and excitement, making them one of the most effective mechanisms of interactive content. Other than that, quizzes are also:
- Shared often
- Easily manageable
- A helpful tool for educating your customers
Here’s an example from Cloud Sherpas that you can use as a blueprint for designing your own quizzes:
Walk into any exhibition kiosk, corporate lobby, or retail store, and you’ll see a wall-sized digital screen installation vying for your attention. Yet most of the time, these encounters fail to wow people and some of them seem to be taking up space for no reason at all.
A successful display isn’t about how many square feet of the screen it has. It’s about how much engagement it attracts. And the best way to accomplish this is by adding interactive elements. Interactivity in display walls can:
- Add a bit of extra flair to a wall that might otherwise seem flat and boring
- Wow customers with larger-than-life experiences
- Reduce printing expenses
For example, as part of TikTok’s first-ever outdoor campaign, the company placed interactive billboards near iconic music venues in various cities, plastered with QR codes. When scanned, these codes sent smartphone-toting passersby directly to a showcase of emerging talent on TikTok.
This is just a small example, but the QR code approach can work for almost any type of interactive content you wish to offer, from fun games and videos to augmented adventures. And since QR code generator tools are widely available, you can easily set up such interactive display walls without breaking the bank.
An interactive calculator that taps into your target audience, offering analytical insight and answers to their specific problems, encourages the public to place their trust in you. This trust motivates the leads to know more about the solutions offered and results in them becoming customers.
You can also use an interactive calculator to optimize several aspects of your marketing and sales departments. Calculators have the power to:
- Increase the likelihood of your domain being cited by other websites
- Spread your message virally throughout the virtual universe
- Positively contribute to your website’s B2B SEO
HubSpot’s ad ROI calculator is a perfect example of what you should aim for when creating one of your own.
Of all the interactive content out there, infographics are one of the most effective forms of digital storytelling at your disposal. It’s a format that lets you create content that’s compelling and highly addictive while retaining utility and thought.
Infographics engage users’ minds, creating instant intrigue. They plug into your brain’s affinity for visuals and convey challenging theoretical tenets in ways that you can quickly assimilate.
By making an infographic interactive, however, you bring in a new dimension of engagement.
You can use these interactive infographics to optimize your marketing efforts on various levels. They can, for example:
- Make your landing pages more effective
- Help you earn backlinks
- Be repurposed for social media posts
CBIZ’s Main Street Index interactive infographic is a great example of how you can turn otherwise bland survey data into an eye-grabbing visual presentation.
Who doesn’t enjoy a little gaming? It might seem unfathomable to some B2B marketers, but gamification can be a very effective way to engage customers.
By incorporating elements of competition, wagering, and rewards, you can give users a sense of accomplishment and engagement with your brand, which will keep them coming back for more. Other advantages of gamification include:
- Increased user satisfaction with the overall experience
- A boost to social sharing
- An uptick in time spent on the website
- Making data collection GDPR compliant
Check out how Royal Caribbean is doing a bang-up job of appealing to their partners with gamification. Royal Caribbean is a global behemoth of a brand that wants you to explore the seven seas with them. As a way to educate all their potential partners (travel agencies, tour operators, etc.) about all the amazing things they can do once they book a cruise, they designed a game-like contest for them to compete in.
For three months, agencies were invited to participate in a series of regular quizzes, which encouraged them to come back to Royal Caribbean’s channels and interact with the company.
Images are one of the most powerful tools available to a marketer. Compared to a block of text, images can evoke emotions and reduce the amount of time needed to understand the message.
They can be especially useful when you want to highlight the changes and improvements an individual or entity has made. For example, a before-and-after picture can demonstrate major differences between two similar scenarios.
But one of the common frustrations with before-and-after visuals is that our eyes are often drawn to the after image before the first one even registers. This makes it difficult to truly appreciate the difference between the two.
The solution? An image slider that allows users to ‘slide’ either side of an image, effectively allowing them to compare both past and present conditions. By using image sliders, you can:
- Highlight the positive results your offerings bring
- Raise the interaction level with visitors
- Make visible the impact you have on visitors, thereby boosting sales
Check out the example below from Under Lucky Stars to see a working image slider in action.
Getting Started With Interactive Content
An interactive content campaign can liven up your digital presence, but pulling it off without a hitch can be a challenge. To make sure you get off on the right foot, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Repurpose Existing Content
You don’t have to start from scratch every time you decide to create interactive content. You can repurpose or reuse existing content and give it a new interactive spin.
This approach can help you save time and money, while still delivering a captivating interactive experience. You can repurpose blog posts, webinar recordings, and even podcasts.
For example, a case study can be turned into an interactive timeline that chronicles the journey to success. Or, a blog post can be condensed into a simple process infographic, like this one from Paperbell summarizing their post on pricing high-end coaching services.
You can use similar tactics to give your existing content a new lease on life.
Keep It Simple
You don’t want to overwhelm the user with an overly complicated interface or a campaign that requires too much effort to get the most out of it.
Keep the design and the functionality of your interactive content minimalist, but appealing. Too much complexity can make your content difficult to comprehend and uninteresting. Focus on the user experience while creating something that’s fun and engaging.
Don’t try to do too much at once, even if you have the budget and the resources to do so. Take this infographic from Entrepreneur, as an example. It’s simple, straightforward, but without compromising on quality.
Have a Resource Plan
Interactive content campaigns demand a lot of labor and capital — both of which can quickly run out if you’re unprepared.
Before you plunge head-first into your first interactive content campaign, take a step back to gauge the resources you have at your disposal. Then determine what kind of project you can realistically achieve and make a resource plan to ensure you don’t overstretch yourself.
This plan will outline the budget you need, the staff you have to work on the project, and the timeline you need to create and promote your interactive content.
That way, you can avoid any potential financial or resource scheduling issues down the line and prepare better for the project as a whole.
Test, Test, And Test Some More
To guarantee your interactive content is up to scratch, test your campaign on different devices, browsers, and operating systems before it goes live. This exercise will help you identify any potential issues, user experience problems, or bugs that might ruin the campaign.
Also, capture some user feedback to learn how people are actually responding to your interactive content. Doing so will enable you to tweak and refine your campaign for an even better final product.
Promote Your Interactive Content
Creating a captivating interactive campaign is only half the battle. To get people to see it, you’ll need to promote it. Yes, interactive content usually draws plenty of attention on its own, but you’ll have to do some initial legwork to get the ball rolling.
Develop a solid promotion plan and figure out the best way to share your content with your target audience. Social media is usually a great place to start, but you can also use paid advertising to get your interactive content in front of a wider audience.
You could also create teaser campaigns to generate buzz about your upcoming interactive content. This strategy works best if you already have an established fan base and want to give them a sneak peek of what’s coming.
Captivate Your Audience With Interactive Adventures
The sheer engaging power of interactive content is nothing short of otherworldly. And now is the time to take advantage of this relatively untapped marketing resource. The examples in this article will provide you with a basic understanding of how to create interactive content that will rope people in.
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