Simple ways to differentiate yourself from the competition using interactive content marketing
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “Content is king.” While that’s true, it’s no longer enough to simply write a text-rich blog post and wait for engagement to occur.
According to a Microsoft study, the average human has an attention span of eight seconds. Eight seconds! You must attract the attention of your readers or followers and require their active participation quickly.
That can easily be done with something called interactive content marketing.
While pieces like blog posts and e-books are considered passive content, interactive content requires the person to actively engage with the content, whether it’s swiping, tapping, answering a question …
In this article, I provide 3 ideas that you can use to attract your audience’s attention and stand out from your competitors.
Some of you may remember those books from your childhood that say “choose your own adventure.” The TV show Black Mirror made an incredibly unique episode called “Bandersnatch” that allowed you to choose the moves of game designer Stefan and his final destination.
While you probably won’t go that far with your marketing videos, an easy interactive marketing tool is to have a Facebook Live where you answer questions and take comments virtually.
Here is an example. During my Facebook Tea Time Tips episodes, I ask questions and encourage my viewers to comment. They can also ask questions that I answer live on video.
It’s a simple and fun two-way conversation that gets everyone involved in the episode and I only talk “to” my followers.
Surveys and questions
These are great interactive social media marketing tools. Let’s start with the surveys. I’m going to use an example from Facebook again, because it’s so easy to create a poll while you’re inventing your post. That is how:
In addition to polls, another way to easily encourage participation is by asking a question on your Facebook feed.
While it’s a good idea to keep your question relevant to your business, go ahead and have fun with it! You want your audience to be motivated and excited to answer your question, whatever it is.
This is an example from one of our clients who owns Malarys Fashion Network, a clothing boutique in Cloverdale, BC. Yvonne happily framed a fashion-related article on her Facebook page and garnered a slew of engagements, including 20 comments.
To get it right, think of some cool topics that relate to your business. Here are a couple of generic pointers that might help:
Can you recommend something good? [your product or service category] books this summer?
What business advice would you give yourself when you first started out?
If you could run your business at any time in history, when would it be and why?
Infographics with attractive visuals to communicate statistics or other information quickly and clearly. Neil Patel did a great article in 2014 on the power of infographics. It is still relevant today and you can read it on our blog.
However, it’s time to step up your infographic game with interactive elements. It is true that it takes more time and effort to create a two-way infographic instead of a static one. But if it’s relevant to your business and captivates your audience, the traffic, engagement, and social shares you get (which will link to your site) will be worth it.
There are numerous sites that allow you to create infographics from a template, or you can hire a professional graphic design company to create them for you.
Here’s an infographic Google made to explain the complex topic “How search works”. You can interact with various elements to move through the content, which is much more interesting than a long text page.
Now that we’ve gone over a few ways that you can create these unique pieces of content marketing, let’s look at some of the benefits.
I talked a bit about how to increase engagement – you share interesting and fun content and users are more likely to engage with it and share it themselves.
In addition to increased user engagement, here are 3 other ways interactive marketing tools can be beneficial:
They can collect data for you.
As marketers, we rely on data to make decisions that will benefit our business. It can be challenging to collect behavioral data by asking questions directly for a number of reasons: Customers are extremely cautious with these tactics, and it’s no fun!
(When was the last time you filled out one of those surveys that a website asked you at random, just because?)
By using an interesting poll or question, you can learn more about the likes and dislikes of your audience. If you’re inviting your audience to engage with an infographic, you can gain valuable insights by seeing where they navigate and click.
Clicks and conversions increase.
As a small business owner, you should always look for ways to interact with potential customers. It can be a real challenge to get someone to download your ebook or make it a landing page on your website.
That’s where interactive content comes in. It can greatly increase clicks and conversion rates. The Content Marketing Institute did some case studies of brands that had click-through rates greater than 50% when they used them.
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers – what would you rather click on at the top of the marketing funnel?
A “Submit” button on a website that asks you to provide your email so the company can send you a technical report? Or a questionnaire or survey that asks for your opinion on a relevant topic and then asks for your email to send you the answer?
You will find that many people are much more willing to provide your information if it is presented in an attractive way and it does not seem like you are asking.
They build brand loyalty.
When a viewer simply reads an article or watches a video, their participation is minimal, as is their engagement. But the content that people can interact with is different; it can create deeper relationships.
Research has shown that the more a consumer has a relationship with a brand, the more likely they are to be long-term loyal customers. You start to be seen as an expert in your area and people trust you.
And the more people trust you, the more likely they are to buy from you.
The content marketing landscape is always evolving, and you must be willing to change with the times if you want to be successful.
Expect to see more interactive videos, quizzes, surveys, questions, infographics, and more; It’s time to seriously consider adding them to your marketing tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
We know that it can be nearly impossible to keep up with your marketing when you have a business to run!