Interactive content formats can create immersive buyer experiences—something digital marketers need more of in a time when in-person meetings and events are still crawling slowly out of hibernation.
To forge those missing connections, you need to create memorable content that makes an impact on your audience. Interactive content is a great way to do just that.
Why You Should Prioritize Interactive Content
The Content Preferences Survey Report 2021 published by Demand Gen Report found that 35% of B2B buyers want more interactive content they can access on demand.
More research from Demand Gen Report shows that 30% of Millennial buyers prefer interactive content. And many marketers prefer it as well, because it pulls readers into their story and encourages engagement. Users tend to stay longer and leave footprints that tell you which aspects of the content captured their attention.
Exceptional content inspires new ways of thinking and drives action. That can be extremely difficult to do with static content. Static content forces every buyer into an identical experience, regardless of their job title, industry or role in the buying committee.
Interactive content, on the other hand, invites buyers to participate in a story—and sometimes even to drive the story. Some simple planning and wire-framing can construct a variety of different content journeys that personalize the story to who’s reading it.
And there’s something in it for you, too. With interactive content, you get data that’s much more useful than downloads. You’ll be able to see how long they spent with the content, where they spent that time and what they found compelling enough to click.
Interactive experience platform Ceros says that experiential content increases conversions more than 22% and gets 10 times the click-throughs.
All that data can steer your marketing future and tell your sales team which pain points are likely to strike a chord with the leads you’ve generated.
What Interactive Content Does for You and Your Buyers
Interactive experiences create engaging stories that draw your readers into an experience. You can customize the user journeys and the assets. You get a better understanding of what the user really wants. And you can design smarter content experiences.
Here’s a taste of how interactive content can help you (and your buyers!) get more value out of the content experience.
Interactive features like widgets and animations can help you tell your story in a more visual and creative way. Your audience gets a more immersive and memorable content experience. You get increased audience engagement and time on site.
You don’t need to force-feed your audience. Give them control over the content experience, whether it’s by using “click to reveal” features or compelling carousels. Each layer in the content experience can reveal more information as visitors click around. Give readers the power to control how much (or how little) content they want to consume, and you get increased visibility into what they read and what they clicked.
Your users can self-identify by selecting their roles, goals, industries or pain points, so they get more relevant information—even customized tips and takeaways.
You get insight into content demographics, their content consumption habits and any other data they submit. This information will help you craft more relevant content ideas, develop or refine buyer personas and even help sales have more relevant follow-up conversations with prospects.
Bite-Sized Quizzes and Assessments
What your audience gets: A fun and interactive experience that tests their knowledge or provides a quick assessment of their strategies and capabilities. These elements get them more excited and “bought in” to the content.
What you get: High-level intelligence about your audience, their knowledge of a specific topic or their adoption of specific tactics. Quizzes and assessments can align to your key value proposition or the core messaging of a campaign.
What your audience gets: More detailed information about a topic or topics discussed in the asset—without leaving the content experience.
What you get: Data on the number of people who click and view videos, and for how long. This is a great way to determine whether your buyers gravitate to video content, and if embedding supporting content impacts overall engagement and time in the experience.
Content Rabbit Holes
Interactive content offers plenty of opportunities to click through to additional assets, or to open new windows for a deeper dive on a particular topic—rabbit holes where engaged readers can continue to explore.
What your audience gets: Quick and easy access to related content assets, so they can easily continue their decision-making journey.
What you get: Data on inbound link clicks, which helps you gauge which buyers are highly engaged; interested in more solution-oriented, later-stage content or want to speak with Sales.
Share your job role, and we’ll explain how smart content can make your life better. If this were an interactive blog post, you could click your job role to skip straight to the paragraph you’ll find more relevant. Here’s what those clicks would tell you:
Content Marketer: From white papers to E-books, infographics and checklists, you can repurpose your existing content for interactive formats, so you don’t always have to invest in creating net-new content. You can completely reimagine your content experience into more immersive and memorable stories rather than a mishmash of messaging points.
Sales: Assessments, for example, can provide detailed buyer intelligence, so you can forge relationships with buyers and provide more helpful advice. Meanwhile, product configurator tools can help you close the deal by pointing prospects to the right products and services.
To see how that’s supposed to work, click to page 3 of this G-book we developed with HqO:
When Is Interactive Content Appropriate?
Interactive content works great in the early stages of the buyer’s journey—and all the other stages. The story you’re telling is what makes it resonate with your readers.
“Use it where it makes sense, and consider which stories are best told using mostly visual content” says Tonya Vinas, VP of Content Strategy & Services here at Content4Demand. “Interactive content tells a story with multiple layers where visual elements and movement can bring the layers together in a single thread. It’s less about fitting a format into a buyer stage, because any format can be interactive.”
Increase Your Marketing IQ With Interactivity
You don’t need to be a tech wizard to create these compelling assets. Some interactive platforms make it pretty turnkey. Of course, you can make it even easier by partnering with an agency like Content4Demand that has both the experience and the access to tools like Ceros and Involve.me to develop stunning interactive content with expert storytelling capabilities.
Ready to explore interactive content for yourself? Schedule a brainstorming call with one of Content4Demand’s interactive content experts.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.