The internet is overflowing with information. Most businesses and bloggers continue creating content without any strategy.
Users passively skim articles. Since they don’t engage with your content, they likely won’t derive value and are less likely to remember your brand.
There’s a better way that requires active involvement from your audience. It calls for their participation. I am talking about interactive content.
Heard of it?
It’s an engaging way to educate and entertain your audience.
If you hang around on Facebook, then you’ve likely come across an infamous viral BuzzFeed quiz. There was a time when the company got millions of shares for a single quiz. In fact, here’s a list of 21 most popular quizzes by BuzzFeed, where the least popular piece got 150k shares.
I know you might be thinking that “social media shares” is a vanity metric. How would you like to see quizzes convert prospects into hot leads for your business? Well, quizzes can help you generate 10,000+ qualified leads for your business!
Indeed, quizzes are only one type of interactive content. In this guide, you’ll look at the other interactive content types that get active engagement from your audience. They will help you wade through the decreasing attention spans of the consumer and let them reach their desired results sooner.
Are you ready to sweep your audience off their feet with interactive content? Let’s get started!
Start with brainstorming on the kind of interactive experience that you can create and “wow” your audience. You can try answering the following questions to get your juices flowing:
Ramit Sethi has created a luxury brand and promotes a ‘rich life’ through his company I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He targets top-performers that are hungry for professional success and getting more from their careers. On his company homepage, you’re greeted with a quiz that promises to show your earning potential through a ‘custom report.’
As Ramit directly talks to me and pitches making extra money leveraging my ‘unique strength’, I would love to take his quiz. From my quiz answers, Ramit will learn about my profession, interests, financial status, and decide if I’m a fit for any of his digital products. Can you see how the quiz fetches valuable customer data for I Will Teach You To Be Rich?
Note that in return for taking the quiz, he sends me a detailed professional analysis of my earning potential with actionable tips for me. That means it’s a win for the customer as well! Hence, he adds value in exchange of me putting in the effort.
Once you have ideas for content on the table, then move to the next step.
Visual content is easy to consume and an excellent asset to promote your brand. However, with the increase in competition, infographics are now commonplace. An Interactive infographic is a nice step-up as it requires the user to click or scroll.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline by CNN is a great example. Although it’s more like an interactive guide, it does the job of distilling the marvel universe well.
Likely they are the most common type of interactive content. The concept is simple as it requires your audience to answer a few short questions. They offer a fairly quick way to learn more about your audience likes and dislikes while adding value to your users.
So if you want to generate leads through quizzes, I recommend you to begin with repurposing your existing high-performing content.
A great example is the popular Pew Research Center quiz around fake news. It’s a great display of integrating the organization’s mission with a trending issue. Indeed, they use the quiz to distribute a larger piece of research. How cool is that!
Video in itself is rising sharply in terms of consumption. If users are already spending a lot of time watching your content, it makes sense to add interactive elements to it, right? You can include polls, questions, and any other clickable information that enhances the user experience of the video.
For instance, I’m sure you’ve heard of Bandersnatch. Netflix recently released the interactive movie as a part of its experiment with internet TV. And it had five major endings with a trillion unique permutations. Due to the huge investment required, such a project isn’t practical for most businesses. However, the audience excitement and the enriching data that Netflix collected from its users’ answers show the immense potential of interactive video.
Another well pulled-off interactive video that could you model is by Nicky Case. It uses a simplified model to explain the role of neurons in giving us an anxious or happy brain. You need to interact with the neurons in the video for the narration by Nicky to progress.
Additionally, the video is a gem from a storytelling perspective. It shares Nick’s personal battle with anxiety and his fear of holes. Overall, the video does a great job of explaining advanced concepts of neurons and the connections in the brain with interactive examples.
Content marketing is all about serving your audience as efficiently as possible. Hence, if you find that a simple piece of technology is better than creating text content, then you should develop that. A calculator is the most straightforward tool that can provide value to your audience and solve the problems of your audience directly.
In a recent copy weekly episode, Brad Smith from Codeless shared that he has developed such calculators for many of his clients. If you want it cheaply, then you can create one at $7-$15/month at uCalc. Here’s a simple ROI calculator example by Symantec that you can take lessons from before filing a request.
Go perform a Google search with the phrase “this map shows.” Can you see the number of results and the authority of websites that like to publish such ‘interactive maps?’
Wouldn’t you fancy getting on CNBC?
Well, besides being loved by media houses, interactive maps are an incredibly useful and beautiful type of content to engage your audience. You can pick up a trend, use data, pop culture references, and the like for creating your map (explore in more detail in the Ahrefs article here).
The interactive map by Nat Geography on bird migration is a great example of how to nail them. It has dynamic and elegant visual storytelling.
Humans love prizes, winning, recognition, and free goodies. A contest combines all of them by offering your target audience an opportunity to win. The best kinds of contests are those that encourage the user to create and share content. It’s the most legitimate form of advertising that generates trust for the brand.
For example, when Warby Parker launched their Home Try-On, they encouraged their customers to share their selfies with #WarbyHomeTryOn. It led to a tremendous engagement on social media and the prospects also got great feedback on their spectacles choices.
You can choose the right content format for your audience based on their demography. If your audience likes consuming casual and entertaining content, but you serve them a data-rich infographic, then you won’t be able to retain their attention.
Once you have a few interesting ideas and choose a format, you can use the following tools to create useful interactive content for your audience.
As the name suggests, Mapme is a map builder. It allows you to add locations alongside photos and videos to create an interactive experience. You don’t need coding skills. Plus, you can customize your layout and let your audience add new locations as well as content to your maps.
The tool lists that the following entities use it primarily.
However, you can get creative and integrate photo galleries alongside videos and invite your community to participate. Here’s an example map depicting Obama’s visit to Cuba.
Once you’ve created a map, you can use its embed code and plug it on your site. You can also share it on social media and get higher engagement.
SnapApp is an interactive content creation powerhouse. It allows you to create a wide range of content types including calculators, quizzes, interactive infographics, contests, whitepapers, polls & surveys, assessments & personality tests, and more.
Here are the key marketing activities where you can use the tool to add an interactive element.
Here’s an example interactive PDF created by SnapApp.
Note that it has a question that calls for active participation from the user.
You can view more examples of interactive content created by the tool. Once you begin using the tool, it reports the audience engagement across more than 30 metrics.
ContentTools is a full-fledged content experience service provider. It offers the following solutions on its platform.
If you’re looking for expert interactive content help, then the company is a great fit. It has accumulated millions of views and over 500,000 emails through their content efforts.
You can explore each of their service in the footer links.
They also have specific case studies of working with their previous clients here.
Due to the publishing of a large volume of content on the internet, the audience has turned passive towards information. Further, Chartbeat found that the median scroll depth of an article is 60%, which means that users don’t complete what they start reading. That’s why you need to include interactive content in your marketing strategy.
I have shown you a few ways, tools, and examples in the article to get started with crafting high-performing interactive content. Now, you need to take action!
Have you experimented with creating interactive content and what were your results? Let me know in the comments below.
Chintan Zalani is a writer and content marketing consultant. He also helps creators build sustainable businesses at Elite Content Marketer.
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