13 June 2019 Katie Nelson

Using interactive content platforms to drive business: 3 quick steps

We’re here to deliver. To get stuff done. To bring experience, creative, skills and resource to make your project or campaign happen.

Content marketing is usually a long-game and you’re unlikely to see results immediately after you publish a blog post.

But what if there was a form of content that could deliver results quickly?

If your marketing strategy needs a boost, interactive content could be just the tonic.

So, what is interactive content?

Interactive content encourages website visitors to make decisions about their experience.

Although interactive content comes in many forms, some of the most common are:

  • quizzes;
  • calculators
  • timelines
  • interactive visuals

A big plus of interactive content is that it enables businesses to offer a more customised experience for anyone who visits their website.

There’s a strong chance you’ll have interacted with this kind of content recently. Loan applications and online questionnaires are examples of interactive content that provide a personalised, engaging browsing experience.

The power of interactive content

Interactive content has become vitally important for one simple reason: it’s highly engaging.

Think about the time you’ve spent on a mortgage application or online weather service that enables you to drill into the forecast for the coming week. It’ll have been considerable compared to other forms of content because it was valuable to you.

If your business website features interactive content, it stands a far better chance of keeping visitors engaged for longer. And they'll probably look beyond the interactive content and check out the rest of your site, too.

Interactive content also encourages social sharing. A travel industry study by BuzzSumo revealed that interactive content generates more links and social shares because it is “much more captivating” than static content.

This results in lots of valuable backlinks which provide more traffic and a positive impact on SEO.

DIY or bespoke?

Examples of DIY interactive content platforms include:

  • Apester: an excellent option for anyone who wants to create interactive visual content.
  • Ceros: this handles visual as well as Apester, but allows users to add interactive elements to their existing content, too.
  • Playbuzz: enables businesses to create ‘interactive brand stories’ via a simple online interface.
  • SnapApp: a great resource for quickly creating calculators, quizzes and assessments.

But what if you need something a little more bespoke? If budget allows, you could do a lot worse than bringing in the services of a content marketing company. Those with the right skills and tools will be able to create bespoke, custom designed interactive content that isn’t bound by the restrictions and template nature of the DIY platforms.

3 steps for making the most of your interactive content platform

If you decide to head down the DIY route for interactive content, you’ll need to follow these three steps to create content that engages your audience and delivers results:

1. Discover what your audience needs

People who interact with online mortgage calculators do so for a specific reason. This is why you need to nail down exactly what your audience needs before devising any interactive content.

The power of interactive content means your options are practically limitless, but that’s a mixed blessing. To create something people actually use, you need to ensure it answers a question or solves a problem.

For instance, if you run a private dental practice, you could offer an online tool that features an interactive model of a set of teeth. The user could use the tool to indicate where they believe the pain is coming from and watch as the visual adapts to show what might be causing it.

Sounds great, doesn't it? But would it be of value to your market? These are the questions you need to ask yourself and your audience before creating the content.

Use email marketing, social polls and discussions with existing customers to work out what kind of interactive content will best serve their needs.

2. Think about static content and how you can make it better

Once you have a good idea of what your market wants, consider the type of static content you’d typically want to create to serve them.

This might be a simple blog post, eBook or infographic, but you need to ask yourself what you can do to make it more valuable. How could an interactive version be better?

Take the interactive travel policy builder we created for Booking.com. A traditional content marketing approach would probably result in a blog post or eBook, but we decided to add value by making an interactive version. This enables users to customise the travel policy precisely for their company and its Ts&Cs.

Don’t settle for the static version; think how it could evolve into something interactive, engaging and which people are likely to tell their friends and colleagues about.

3. Don’t forget the lead magnet

Content marketing is still about ROI, and that means it needs to drive qualified leads to your sales team.

Gaining social shares and backlinks to your website is excellent, but it’s vital that you pair your interactive content with a lead magnet. This will turn that traffic into customers.

The lead magnet again depends on the needs of your market. In our example above, it was a customised travel policy PDF; something for which the market had a specific need.

Consider multiple lead magnets for single pieces of interactive content, too. For instance, if your content is designed to help people save money on their monthly bills, a personal PDF budget might be perfect for one segment of the audience. But what about those who want a monthly budgeting guide?


Wrapping up

Interactive content is great for businesses of all sizes, no matter their industry or marketing budget.

Whether you take the DIY approach or opt for a fully bespoke service from a marketing company, interactive content could give your marketing strategy the shot in the arm it needs.