Best Practices for Your Dynamic, Interactive Content Marketing

by Elliot Sedegah

posted on 08-08-2016

As marketers, we are challenged to grab and hold the attention of an audience. Today, we often experiment with different tactics to ensure that we are having the right conversations at the right time — with the goal of increasing engagement.

The latest tactic is to transform your existing marketing content from a “static” experience to one that drives engagement and is more dynamic and interactive.

From an organizational point of view, you might be happy with static content. It can be repurposed for multiple channels, it’s easy to control, and it’s great for highly regulated industries in which all content has to be approved. But, think about this from the customer’s point of view — are you boring your audience?

Static Content Can Be Boring.
Static content can get old very quickly. Your customers may not take the conversion or engagement actions you desire, or they may not return if they receive the same digital experience repeatedly. How often have you quickly glanced over an image or whitepaper and realized that the marketer missed an opportunity to engage? Customers expect to have a conversation; and it’s the conversations that keep them coming back.

Interactive Content Is Where It’s at!
Interactive content has a demonstrated ability to increase conversions, satisfying a customer’s desire to see only what she is interested in. According to the recent Content Marketing Institute study, over 75 percent of their respondents said they would increase the use of interactive content in 2016. The proper use of interactive content combined with personalization ensures that your potential customer sees only what appeals to her — and in an engaging manner that moves her along to the next stage in the sales funnel.

Interactive content can include quizzes, dynamic infographics, shoppable images or videos (hotspots), calculators (for calculating ROI, mortgage payments, etc.), surveys, blog comments, social-media content that can be shared and liked, follow buttons, games, webinars, courses, galleries, and shoppable media — just to name a few. One of my favorite types of interactive content is video. You can embed this type of experience in any web or mobile channel to drive engagement. If done right, it can significantly increase brand loyalty as well as conversions.

Get Started With These Best Practices!
Making your content interactive takes some thought as well as investments of both time and money. Here are some practices to get you started.

1. Understand Your Customer’s Journey and Touchpoints.
Don’t start developing content until you have mapped out your customer’s experience at every touchpoint and channel of interaction with your brand. Locate every place where the customer’s experience is less-than-optimal — and then fix it. Understand where, how, and why customers want to interact. All departments should be working toward the same goal — to create outstanding customer experiences.

For example, a late-stage customer may want an ROI calculator to help him prove something to his boss. But, a customer who has just recently become aware of your brand may want to be both entertained and informed, so an interactive infographic would be more beneficial than a static image.

2. Use Data to Monitor Your Interactive Content.
Be sure to monitor your interactive content to understand how your audience is engaging. How long are they spending with your content? What are they clicking or tapping? Do you need to change the colors? Are they taking the expected actions? Are they coming back or sharing the content?

For example, when tracking video-engagement data, be sure to track the videos’ starts and stops, drop offs, and clicks on interactive experiences and constantly test and tweak your video’s final call to action.

3. Consider Mobile When Creating Your Content.
Creating content that is mobile-friendly is no longer optional — it’s a requirement, as most of your customers will be interacting with your content on mobile devices.

Your challenge is twofold. The first is speed. You have about seven seconds to make a positive first impression before a potential customer will move on to a competitor! With slow-loading content that is not optimized for mobile devices, you will never get the chance to make your case.

The second challenge is engagement. Your content should be designed for mobile devices — so make sure the experience is touch-ready. Don’t miss out on chances to drive deeper levels of engagement in those mobile moments — your customers likely won’t remember to engage with your desktop-only experience once they return to their homes or offices.

Bottom Line
Adding interactive content to your content-marketing mix could result in significant increases in customer engagement, conversions, and referrals. Keep it agile, respond to shifting customer interests and trends, and you just might realize someday that your site has become one of the most-visited places for today’s digitally demanding consumers.

Topics: Content Management