By Damon Yerian
If you’ve ever taken a “What should my next job be?” quiz, done an online assessment to figure out which Friends character you resemble most, or used a calculator to determine the monthly mortgage on your dream home, you’re already familiar with interactive content.
Interactive content stimulates engagement and evokes a reaction from the end user by using responsive digital media to create a two-way conversation with your brand. Different types of interactive content include animated infographics, assessments, calculators, contests, games, live chats, polls, surveys, and quizzes, plus some assets that aren’t usually in this category but can be upgraded with interactivity such as videos, timelines, white papers, and e-books.
Marketers using these types of content are creating interactive lead capture tools that are highly engaging, offering a ton of value to end users and drastically increasing ROI. To put it simply, they are using interactive content for lead generation to boost results.
By breaking the mold of traditional form fills for content downloads, marketers are seeking creative ways to gather information about prospects’ pains, challenges, goals, and thought processes to vastly improve lead scoring, buyer persona alignment, prospect qualification, and buyer’s journey strategy.
According to a survey of 20,000 marketers by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) on interactive content:
- 87 percent agreed that interactive content grabs attention
- 73 percent agreed that it enhances retention of branding
- 77 percent agreed that it provides elevated value through multiple engagements resulting in repeat visitors
- 46 percent of total respondents said that they have used some type of interactive content in their marketing mix
Why is interactive content for lead generation effective?
From calculators to interactive infographics to taking quizzes, only interactive content will turn a website visitor into a website user by allowing them to answer questions, make choices, and explore scenarios. Interactive content enables organizations to educate their audiences by inviting them to participate in an experience—a key to securing engagement and encouraging folks to come back for more.
To put it plainly, “interactive content lets users personalize and participate in it.”
One of the reasons interactive content is so powerful: the tailored result it provides to end users. By actively participating, users are given specific results in real time that address their problems, challenges, or ideas. These results can range anywhere from how to lower monthly payments on a mortgage to how to utilize your artistic side in your future career to comparing insurance policies based on your personal needs.
Why should you use interactive content?
It all comes down to those conversion rates—and interactive content will drastically improve conversion rates across your website. According to the same CMI survey mentioned above:
- 66 percent of marketers use interactive marketing for engagement
- 63 percent for educating the audience
- 58 percent for creating brand awareness
- 57 percent for lead generation
- 50 percent for conversion
- 33 percent for sales and sales enablement
What are the benefits of using interactive content for lead generation?
Interactive content is more appealing than static content in that it has the ability to attract and educate folks who might become future buyers. In addition, interactive content:
- Encourages people to engage with and share content with friends on social media (which brings with it the mighty power of word of mouth)
- Increases website traffic and page views
- Cuts through the “noise” of the vast amounts of stagnant content marketing already out there (thus offering a huge competitive advantage)
- Provides valuable data to optimize your buyer persona as well as your sales funnel
What are the advantages of using interactive content for lead generation?
By engaging with customers and starting conversations, interactive content helps pinpoint the exact challenges and objectives of customers, thus assisting organizations with how to best present the products and solutions to meet a buyer’s needs.
It provides better data metrics, allowing organizations to quickly and easily identify which leads are ready for conversion and which require more nurturing.
Interactive content provides immediate value with personalized experiences and clients who are willing to divulge even more information, thus completely removing the friction associated with lead forms.
Why does interactive content work?
Interactive content works for many of the same reasons that social media is so popular. People love to share their opinion, have fun, compare, compete, and test themselves.
As the landscape of traditional content marketing becomes increasingly crowded and the preferences of buyers change as technology evolves, it’s no longer OK to simply inform buyers. It’s imperative to connect with them on an emotional level by providing content that engages rather than serves out information on a one-way street—and that is exactly why interactive marketing is so effective.
Just look at some of these statistics:
- 93 percent of marketers already believe that interactive content is more effective than static content at educating potential buyers about a product or service.
- 66 percent of marketers reported they had higher audience engagement after utilizing interactive content.
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media—and it increases conversion rates by 86 percent.
- Interactive content generates two times more customer conversions than passive content.
What are the top 4 types of interactive content?
The top four most effective types of interactive content are assessments, calculators, contests, and quizzes.
Assessments are great evaluation tools that usually include questions about a particular topic, behavior, or a simple test of knowledge on a particular subject. Here at SmartBug, we’ve developed our own interactive assessment to help marketers evaluate how their marketing strategy stacks up. Assessments are a fantastic way to acquire new leads and increase your email database list.
And if you really want to create forms, surveys, and quizzes that people enjoy answering, ensure you’re leveraging a tool like Typeform. By staying focused on helping customers garner more thoughtful responses and higher completion rates, they take your assessments to the next level. Bonus? They are free to get started.
Check out a few examples of our assessments:
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone not interested in money—which may be why online calculators are so popular. From mortgages to taxes to insurance to student loan debt payoff and everything in between, calculators are an extremely helpful and succinct way to show your prospects what they’ll gain by using your product or service. Check out HubSpot’s ROI calculator to see an example of what folks can expect to receive based on their initial investment.
Check out one of our top performing calculators:
Contests have been around since before the dawn of the internet and continue to be a go-to tactic of many marketers for many reasons. Prize-driven contests incentivize folks to participate, and they’re a great way to increase brand awareness and social engagement, growing the size of your email lists exponentially.
Various types of contests include:
- Quiz contests
Bonus Tip: Want to really up the ante on your contests? Give them a punch with video. There is no one who makes it easier for marketers and sales teams to make a splash with video quite like Vidyard. The truth is that although email is far from dead, it can be boring. Vidyard makes it easy to create and send videos with just a few clicks that can really take your interactive content campaigns to the next level.
If you’ve ever had a terribly long commute or a particularly dull day, you may have run across an online quiz or two that helped you pass the time. Interactive quizzes are a great way to collect an immense amount of information and convert prospects into leads.
Much more entertaining than a web form, quizzes offer interactive, personalized, and relevant content that builds strong relationships with prospects and gives them something of value before you ever ask for anything in return.
One type of quiz is the “product recommender” that asks a bunch of questions and, based on the user’s replies, makes a product recommendation that will fulfill that user’s needs.
- Warby Parker, for example, cleverly exchanges the word “questionnaire” for “quiz” to encourage customers to take part in its “Home Try-On” program, which involves having five pairs of glasses sent to your home for five days to try on for free.
- Airbnb’s “Trip Matcher” quiz tells you what kind of traveler you are and then recommends the perfect destination, including accommodations, activities, and places to visit.
- Buzzfeed has a multiple choice quiz, “What City Should You Actually Live In?” This quiz has amassed over 22 million views since launching in 2014.
Is interactive content for lead generation worth it?
If you aren’t currently utilizing interactive content, you most definitely are engaging in traditional content marketing and probably have a team member adept at developing blogs and other forms of one-way content. So you may be asking yourself, is it worth it?
If cutting through the noise of all the content that is already out there, jumping ahead of your competition, and engaging on a personal level with your prospects are listed anywhere on your marketing goals for 2022, then we’d say yes, it’s absolutely worth the investment.
This post was published in 2019 and has been updated since.
About the author
Damon Yerian leads SmartBug's content development, design, and UX strategy as the VP of Creative at SmartBug Media. An award-winning creative director and strategic account manager, Damon spent nearly 20 years in Houston, Texas leading a team in traditional advertising, B2B marketing, and social awareness marketing. Damon has worked with Fortune 100 clients, government entities, start-ups, and not-for-profits. Away from work, he is an avid fan of live theater and is the proud papa of a Yorkie-Chihuahua mix named Zimba. Read more articles by Damon Yerian.
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