What Is Interactive Content? - How to Use and Create It
Did you know that 45% of B2B customers say that interactive content is one of the most preferred content types?
And the claim is quite justified because interactive content helps in solving business problems. 51% of B2B clients say that interactive content is helpful in tackling business challenges.
As you proceed you will find more facts and stats that endorses the buzz around ‘interactive content’. But first, let’s understand the basics of interactive content.
What Is Interactive Content?
Interactive Content is content that requires the audience to interact or engage with the content piece. It’s more like a two-way conversation between you and your audience. It requires active participation from both sides.
Confusing? Let’s break ‘Interactive Content’ down to its last atom.
What Makes Interactive Content So Powerful?
1. It attracts and engages the user
81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs user attention more efficiently than static content. Not only that, the interactivity of the content keeps the audience engaged for a longer period of time. It can be personalized to a great extent even in real-time. Also, the dynamic nature of interactive content urges the user to interact with the content. And this increases user engagement.
2. It helps in lead generation
Interactive content is better at generating leads than static content. Interactive experiences like calculators, quizzes, assessments offers real value to the user. And users tend to give up their contact information willingly if they get something in return.
For example, Mortgage calculators help users to calculate their monthly mortgage payments. So companies selling financial services can use this calculator to generate leads.
Must Read: Interactive Lead Generation Techniques Ebook
3. It helps in lead nurturing and customer acquisition
Lead nurturing is the process of establishing and maintaining a relationship with the buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. It requires marketing and communication efforts personalized to the needs of every prospect. This helps to improve brand awareness, build trust, and maintain a steady relationship with buyers until they convert to paying customers.
You can customize your interactive content for every stage of a buyer's journey and use it to nurture your leads effectively. Also, you can use the data from your interactive experiences to better personalize your communication with your prospects.
4. It helps in lead scoring and segmentation
Modern interactive content builders like Outgrow come with high analytical and lead segmenting capabilities. You can segment your leads on the basis of demographics, location, customer behavior, etc. Segmented email campaigns are known to have 14.32% higher open rates. Also, segmentation helps you to build more personalized communication.
5. Interactive content for SEO
Experts are starting to realize that the traditional ways of doing SEO are changing drastically. With every single update algorithm update Google rolls out, it is becoming difficult to rank on SERP. And to add to this problem, we have the ever-changing user behavior as we have just discussed.
So, what should be your future strategy?
Well, you must leverage interactive content for SEO as well. Try using interactive quizzes, videos, infographics, etc. - anything that suits your brand. And share them on social media, run paid ads, emails, etc.
This will bring you more referral traffic and enhance your brand visibility. As a result, it will help in SEO.
Also, if you use interactive content on your website/landing pages, it will improve your time-on-page KPI and decrease the bounce rate.
And since it is highly shareable, you may end up getting more backlinks. Everything will add up to improving your SEO.
Related Read: 21 Ways You Can Use Outgrow Interactive Content
Interactive Content Types
By now you have understood what is interactive content and how it works. And now it's time to discuss the most important part - types of interactive content you can create:
1. Interactive Quizzes
Interactive quizzes are one of the most common types of interactive content out there on the internet today. We have seen whole companies like BuzzFeed built around interactive quizzes.
Well, there is a good reason behind it. Interactive quizzes have phenomenal stats to lure marketers. Did you know that 96% of users who start BuzzFeed quizzes finish them?
Example: Do You Remember "The Simpsons" As Well As You Think You Do? by BuzzFeed
This quiz will attract anyone who has spent their childhood watching The Simpsons. As a result, it will help BuzzFeed pull traffic to its website. And the quiz is so interesting that users will stay on the site till the end of the quiz. Thus, it will improve the SEO factor for BuzzFeed.
Want more examples? Here you go - Our Favorite 21 Marketing Quizzes of All Time!
2. Interactive Calculators
An interactive calculator is an interactive tool that takes user information and performs calculations accordingly. It can be used anywhere in the buyer’s journey to provide a personalized experience and push the user down the sales funnel.
Interactive calculators offer great value to the user as they can offer solutions to their pain points in a jiffy. Not to mention, interactive calculators are a great way to generate leads and establish your brand as an expert in the domain.
Let’s take a look at this case study:
Get Paid for Your Pad (GPYP) helps property owners maximize their returns as expert AirBnB hosts. To boost their lead generation, GPYP turned to Outgrow for help. And they built an interactive calculator on Outgrow’s interactive content builder. As a result, GPYP managed to score a stellar 41% conversion rate!
3. Interactive Assessments
An Interactive Assessment is a type of interactive content where the user is given a score based on the number of correct answers he/she has given.
Not to mention, it boosts user engagement and lead generation. Interactive assessments can be used throughout the sales funnel and is an excellent way to offer a personalized experience to the user. It also helps in gathering a lot of information about the audience.
Here’s a case study on how an interactive assessment helped Inventrom generate 61k+ leads.
4. Polls and Surveys
Polls and surveys are some of the most commonly used interactive content used in social media platforms. Nowadays you don't even need a third-party app to set them up. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube are providing this feature by default. You simply need to select the option, edit your questions, and share!
Example: This is how Netflix uses surveys to gain feedback on its content.
Why use Polls and Surveys?
- To get customer feedback on your products, services, content, etc.
- You can also get audience insights like names, addresses, locations, interests, etc.
- Also, you can gauge the market sentiments like purchasing preferences, favorite brands, item categories, favored pricing, etc.
5. Product Recommendation Quizzes
Interactive product recommendations are a type of interactive tool that filters through a predefined catalog and recommends the most relevant item based on the user’s choices.
If you have purchased from any eCommerce portals like Amazon, then you must have used one. Did you know that 35% of Amazon’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine?
Example: Here's a popular one. Have a look at this makeup recommendation quiz. It not only asks relevant questions to give the best recommendations but also links the products on the results page to boost the eCommerce company's sales.
6. Interactive Infographics
Did you know: Infographics receive 3X more likes and shares on social media than any other type of content?
Now that explains why 65% of the brands use infographics in their content marketing strategy! Having said that, you can already imagine the level of competition these days! So, publishing a simple static infographic won’t give you enough traction.
In order to stand out, you need to go interactive. This will not only attract your audience but also engage them.
Examples of interactive infographics:
This outstanding infographic tells you the entire journey of the WEB. And the best part, you can use your cursor and interact with the infographic!
2. Surprising Trends in Dog Names
Here’s another interactive infographic that reveals the most common dog names when you click on a dog species.
7. Interactive Video
Interactive video is a type of video that takes user input and acts accordingly. In simpler terms, interactive videos have clickable areas designated for specific actions. They play like normal videos but at the same time are capable of performing actions based on user input.
“In comparison to normal videos, interactive videos drive 47% more view time.”
In addition to the play, pause, and rewind features in traditional videos, interactive videos give you the liberty to directly interact and control the content of the video.
“Interactive videos have a 10x higher click-through rate than passive videos.”
With the help of certain tools, you can add features like click, drag, scroll, hover, etc. to your videos. Although there are numerous types of interactive videos, here are some that might pique your interest:
1. 360-degree view videos
2. Video quizzes
3. Movies with multiple narratives or paths to personalize the story
4. Videos with clickable parts (hotspots) that show hidden pieces of information or in some cases can redirect the user to new webpages.
Let’s take a look at some amazing interactive video examples:
In November 2018, Netflix released its first interactive film ‘Bandersnatch’ (targeted at adults) as a part of their Black Mirror series. The audience could interact with the video and choose their preferred storyline.
“60% of the viewers chose ‘Frosties’ when the movie prompted to select a morning cereal for the protagonist, Stefan.”
In 2014, Coldplay released ‘Ink’ as a part of their music video ‘Ghost Stories’. It’s a beautifully animated film that prompts the viewer to select which storyline to follow (example: which path to take in the forest, etc.).
How to Use Interactive Content?
Thanks to the flexibility of interactive content, it can be used to draw traffic and generate leads in a lot of different ways. Here are a few ways (best of the lot) to use it:
1. Interactive Ads
Interactive ads tend to encourage the user to physically interact with the advertisement. The engagement rate is quite higher than in passive ads. Because in static ads the viewer can only see, scroll, like, or comment on the ad piece.
Mercedes Benz was looking to increase the engagement on their social media pages. They created an interactive calculator and used it with their Facebook ad that allowed the users to determine their insurance premium cost.
This ad helped them gather 6.7k likes and numerous views within 7 days of going live.
Why Should You Use Interactive Ads?
- Interactive ads have the best engagement rates
Studies show that interactive ads have 3 times more CTR (Click Through Rate) than non-interactive ads.
- Interactive ads have better lead conversion capabilities
It helps the user to make informed decisions. Suppose you are running an interactive ad for your new mobile game. The user can play a part of the game in the ad itself. And if they like the experience they will fill up your lead form which naturally has a better conversion rate.
Interactive video Ads have 3x the conversion rate compared to traditional video ads!
- Interactive ads can help you generate more user data than passive ads
It can provide you with more user data than you can imagine! Say for example if you run this interactive content as an ad you can get information like budget, company size, and requirements.
All that extra data can help you in better segmentation leading to more personalized communication/offers and ultimately will deliver better conversion rates.
2. Interactive Post for Social Media
In recent years there has been an explosion of content on social media. Also, in recent years we have seen how organic reach has decreased on social media platforms. The only way to boost organic reach is by engaging your audience on your posts. More the engagement, more the reach. Hence, brands are shifting to interactive content because they can attract and engage better than static posts.
“Branded Facebook pages only reach about 2% of fans with organic posts”
Example: This GOT quiz was shared 4k+ times on social media.
Did you complete the quiz? Sure you did! That’s interactive content for you!
If you want to learn more about social media marketing with interactive content, then read this: 6 Ways Interactive Content Can Power Your Social Media Marketing
3. Interactive Landing pages
An interactive landing page guides the user through an interactive experience towards the desired outcome. The user can directly interact with the content on the landing page. On the other hand, in static landing pages, users can only read, click on links, and in some cases fill a lead form.
Example: Have a look at this interactive landing page created by Bank of America:
This will definitely attract and engage the user because it is solving their problem without even asking for contact information. The audience can choose whether or not to share their personal info.
Naturally, the company has not only managed to keep the user engaged for a longer span of time but also developed a sense of trust. And most importantly, they might as well get the lead (a more qualified lead, that is).
Why should you use Interactive landing pages?
- Increases time-on-page:
One of the biggest benefits of interactive landing pages is that it improves the time-on-page KPI. Simply speaking, these landing pages keep the user engaged and encourage them to stay on the page for a longer span of time. As a result, brands get more exposure and awareness. Also, better time-on-page figures add up to better SEO.
- More user data:
Like we discussed earlier, interactive content provides more data that you can use for better segmentation, personalized communication, etc.
- More leads:
Interactive landing pages are more attractive, engaging, and most importantly helpful. And users tend to give up their information willingly when they find something useful.
4. Interactive Emails
Interactive emails are nothing but interactive content like quizzes, assessments, etc. embedded in an email. Not to mention, by using interactive emails you can leverage all the benefits of interactive content.
- Handy is an online marketplace for residential cleaning, installations, etc. And they ran this interactive email campaign to generate more user data, improve brand loyalty, etc. It is nothing but an interactive experience embedded in an email where the user can vote and win.
- This is a classic example of an interactive email by Maybelline New York. It’s an interactive poll embedded in the email. The campaign helped Maybelline increase their customer engagement, gauge customer satisfaction, and above all, build a loyal customer base.
Why Should You Use Interactive Emails?
- Interactive emails improve click-through-rate
“According to Campaign monitor, interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by up to 73%.”
- More user data resulting in better personalization
As the user proceeds with the interactive experience in the email, you can use the data to personalize the content in real-time.
What Is Interactive Content Marketing?
Interactive content marketing is nothing but the use of interactive content (quizzes, polls, calculators, etc.) instead of static content in any content marketing strategy. It is used to increase the interactivity of the content and thus attracts and engages more users than passive content marketing.
How Interactive Content Adds Value to Content Marketing?
Well, unless you’ve been in hibernation the last decade, you must have heard the phrase - Content is king!
But the problem lies with the decreasing attention span of users. There’s no denying the fact that we are being exposed to a sea of information every single day on the web.
And social media platforms like Facebook are constantly bombarded with promotional content. Nowadays users simply scroll away from brand posts in the blink of an eye if they don’t find them attractive enough.
“350 million photos are uploaded every day on Facebook. That’s 14.58M uploads per hour, 243,000 per minute, and 4,000 per second!”
So how do you stand out in this mess? The answer is interactive content. You must add interactivity to your content marketing strategy.
Adding interactive content to your content marketing strategy will help you in:
- Grabs users’ attention
Static content only allows users to passively look at your content. Whereas interactive content will encourage them to interact and spend some time on it while retaining their attention for a longer span of time.
“ 81% of marketers say that interactive content grabs more attention than static content ”
- Provides instant value
Take for example this interactive calculator that lets customers analyze the ROI of their email marketing strategy.
It is suitable for today’s customers because the content provides valuable insights in real-time within minutes. This makes your content marketing really effective and worthy.
- Delivers personalized answers
Interactive content is a super tool because it provides personalized answers to each query. This way, you can gain more insight into your user’s activities and preferences than normal static content. You can use this information to better personalize your content marketing strategy for future follow-ups.
“ 88% of marketers say that 10% of their static content will be updated to interactive content within 2 years"
Let’s just update the statement ‘Content Is King’ to ‘Interactive Content Is The New King’.
Future of Interactive Content
With millions of content pouring in every minute, the road to a successful content strategy is going to be bumpy. Let us take these stats into consideration:
“ Till date, users have made 2.5 trillion posts on Facebook “
“ Approximately 2.75 million blog posts are published every day on WordPress alone ”
On top of the content explosion, millennials have started avoiding advertisements and brand content on the internet. From unfollowing brand pages to using ad blockers, the new and future generation of consumers are leaving no stones unturned to keep their walls clean!
Nevertheless, businesses are also starting to adapt to this scenario. Brands are begging to find out new ways to create content that can cut through the ‘noise’.
We have seen Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube rolling out updates that allow users to create and post interactive content. For example - 3D photos on Facebook, Interactive stories on Instagram, YouTube polls and cards, etc.
Similarly, brands will be eyeing more on interactive experiences like interactive videos, 360-degree videos, quizzes, etc.
Want to know more about the future of interactive content post Covid? Check this out!
Tips to Create Interactive Content
1. Think before you create
Before you start to create your interactive experience, take some time to think about your target audience.
Figure out your audience persona.
According to your findings, decide what type of interactive content suits your audience. Try using interactive infographics if you have a busy audience with very little attention span. Or if you are dealing with products that are visually appealing (like tourism packages) you can try out interactive videos and images.
And if you have a broad audience from different backgrounds, try creating interesting quizzes, assessments, polls, etc.
2. Think long term
One of the key advantages of interactive content is that it is reusable. So, fix your future goals and plan your entire interactive content accordingly.
If you do not plan ahead and create content just for your short-term goals, you will have to keep creating the entire content over and over again. On the other hand, with a set long-term goal, you simply need to modify one or two aspects of your content as you move forward.
3. Maintain your brand aesthetics
Maintaining a synergy between your brand aesthetics and content is quintessential for building a better brand identity. Design your content according to the style, color scheme, typography of your brand.
Also, create content that goes with your line of business and speaks the tone of your brand.
Must Read: How to Create Kickass Interactive Content [Infographic]
Interactive Content FAQ
1. Why do you need an interactive content tool?
Easy to use: Leading interactive content tools like Outgrow, are built on a no-code platform or drag and drop technology. Hence anyone can create interactive experiences like calculators, quizzes, chatbots, etc. without any coding knowledge.
Superfast: Traditionally, IT professionals were hired to create interactive experiences like calculators, quizzes, etc. through coding. That was really time-consuming. But, with the introduction of the interactive content creation platforms, developing a robust interactive experience became a matter of hours. With the simple drag and drop features and the pre-built templates, you can now create interactive content in a jiffy.
Cheap: As interactive content creation tools eliminated the need for hiring programmers, the cost of creating these experiences reduced drastically. With monthly subscriptions of these tools, anyone from your organization can create interactive content.
Attractive design templates: Interactive content tools like Outgrow offer pre-built templates that are built according to modern designing best practices. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the designs or aesthetics of the experience.
Robust analytics support: These tools also come with a pre-built analytics setup. You can measure key KPIs of your content through the interactive content tool itself.
2. What are the most promising tools for authoring interactive content?
Outgrow is one of the most promising tools to create interactive content. It lets you create quizzes, assessments, polls, contests, recommendations, calculators, chatbots, etc.
And it is super easy to use. Anyone even without coding knowledge can create interactive experiences using Outgrow’s interactive content builder.
3. How can I use interactive content for lead generation?
Always try to build interactive content that addresses the problems of your audience.
Now, interactive content is proven to attract users better than any other static content. But attracting your audience is the first step. The next step is to keep your audience engaged. And due to its interactivity, users keep on engaging with the content for a considerable span of time.
Since your content has added value to your audience, they are more likely to give up their contact information. And even if they don’t, you can always use the data from your content to retarget them and squeeze out leads in the future.
Example: This Savings calculator by SmartAsset lets the user find out their future savings in a jiffy. It helps them in their financial planning process. And even if the calculator doesn’t have a lead form, SmartAsset can retarget the visitors using cookies.
4. What are the top effective ways to use interactive content in today's marketing?
Thanks to its flexibility, you can use interactive content in a lot of ways. Let's talk about the best few. Try embedding interactive experiences in:
- Landing Pages
- Social media posts
You can also create interactive videos as we mentioned earlier.
5. Why interactive content? / Why is interactive content important?
Well, this is what we have discussed so far in this blog. Here’s a gist:
- It attracts users more than static content.
- Higher engagement rate.
- Improved CTR
- Better lead conversion rate. (You can get more qualified leads through interactive content)
- Reusable content (You can only do minor changes and use the same content over and over again)
- It can provide a lot of user data that helps you better define your audience
6. Does interactive content perform better than regular content?
As we have already discussed, Interactive Content performs way better than Static Content. And these are the reasons at a glance:
- Interactive content performs better when it comes to grabbing your user’s attention.
- It increases brand awareness. In comparison to static content, interactive content has 79% more retention.
- Leads generated through interactive content have a better conversion rate than static content.
- You can collect more data on your users through interactive content rather than static content.
We don’t want to bore you with conventional conclusion write-ups. So, to wrap up here’s an assessment on ‘Interactive Content’ that will help you gauge your understanding. Take this quiz to know whether you're an interactive content master and tell us your scores in the comments section! And before that, try Outgrow's free trial to create your own interactive content for free!
Roy is a full-time content marketer at Outgrow. He often travels to the Himalayas in search of his muse to breathe. Being a professional marketer & a passionate traveler, he struggles to keep the balance.