Just text is not enough.
Even adding images and video may not be enough.
Think about expanding your marketing content beyond something for your audience to passively consume to something that requires the audience to actively engage.
According to DemandGen Report, 93 percent of marketers agree that interactive content is effective in educating buyers, compared to 70 percent who felt the same about static content.
Interactive content doesn’t have to be complex, but it does have to draw the audience in and provide a reason to engage. If you are looking for ideas to expand your content marketing repertoire, read on for 10 types of interactive content you can start creating today.
Quizzes have been around for years and still keep drawing engagement. They can be as simple as a list of questions in a blog post (like our quizzes inviting readers to rate their marketing-sales relationship or business website). Or you can increase the interactive aspect of the quiz using buttons readers click that bring up a different answer or description for each response.
Quizzes can be simply fun and entertaining, while continue to position your brand, or they can be used as an education and awareness tool. If quiz questions are written to reveal what the reader/prospect needs or wants, you can then tailor responses with information about your products or solutions based on their answers.
2. Social media
Social media is a natural vehicle for interaction by encouraging participation. While it can be consumed passively, most users engage by “liking,” commenting, sharing content from pages they follow or contributing their own content to business pages.
Content within your social media campaigns can be interactive in its own right, as well, such as carousels of photos for followers to scroll through.
Calculators have long been used by B2C websites as ways of providing additional information for visitors. Financial institutions offer mortgage and loan amortization calculators, health and fitness focused sites might include BMI and calorie calculators, and website for many businesses may include calculators for determining needed quantities of their products.
Think about the value of this calculator from Wall Street Journal to wade through the complexities of cell phone plans and purchases.
4. 360* tours and other interactive video
While 360 degree tours may have started as a way to bring buyers into a home without an actual walkthrough, they are now being used in ways that far beyond real estate, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic made “in person” visits to many places challenging or even impossible.
Prospective college students can walk through campus on an interactive video tour, and tourism destinations showcase their highlights for visitors. Interactive or 360 degree videos can be used to show the production line of a company, providing a behind-the-scenes look at how it all comes together, whether that means allowing a new car buyer to see the final pieces being placed into their new vehicle or highlighting the processes that provide superior quality for your product.
Interactive elements in videos can allow viewers to see alternate views of a story with the click of mouse.
5. Interactive e-books
With all of the capabilities available even in simple PDF documents, why limit an e-book to a simple flip (or scroll) to the next page? Add enhanced information in pop-ups, menus that allow instant navigation throughout the ebook and insightful links to related information that take readers to more in-depth information when wanted without making the text seem overwhelming at first.
6. Interactive infographics
Pack more information into a graphic that still fits into a smaller viewing space with popups, sortable tables, maps that lead to additional content such as photos or video tours.
By using interactive features, you can keep the main size of the infographic easy to view on your audience’s most-commonly-used device, whether that is mobile or desktop, but embed incredible amounts of information.
How can you gather and share hundreds or thousands of pieces of information on a single screen? With an interactive infographic like this one from MeTooMentum, which tracked six months of tweets using the hashtag #MeToo—each seed in the infographic on their site turns into a pop-up with a tweet when you hover over it.
7. Surveys and polls
People like to give their opinion and to see the opinions of others. Website polls with instant tallies generate more engagement and may even encourage visitors to check back later to see how the numbers have changed.
Surveys can guide future content development by both highlighting what interests your audience and providing valuable data that can be used as the content itself.
8. Mobile apps
Not all interactive content needs to be on your website or social media. If you have already introduced a dedicated app to connect with your customers, but calculators, scheduling tools and more right at your customers’ fingertips.
9. Assessments and planning or diagnostic tools
Offering tools on your website or app that customers can use to find the right solution for them benefits both you and the customer. The customer may save valuable time considering options to fit their need if your online assessment narrows down the problem through a series or questions, while you gather valuable data to build a customer profile that enables you to better serve the customer.
As the preference among consumers shifts toward self-service and information gathering without involving a salesperson, online assessments and planning tools provide the link that engages prospects with your company, even if they aren’t engaging directly with your staff.
Think about Ikea’s kitchen planning tool that lets you select cabinets, appliances, fixtures and countertops to see how they all fit together, without setting foot inside a showroom.
Free trials of software offer similar benefits, with technology buyers increasingly wanting that option before making a purchase decision, or even before engaging with a live person to learn more about a product.
10. Interactive emails
Even seemingly basic emails can be interactive if they are designed with elements that pop up additional information when a cursor rolls over them. It is one more way to both squeeze more information into a smaller space and catch the attention of an audience sometimes numbed by the volume of messages filling the inbox.
In many ways, content marketing is no different than any other type of education or communication—it tends to be most effective when there is interaction. See more of our favorite interactive examples here.
What are the best examples you’ve seen of interactive marketing content? Share in the comments below—we’re always looking for more great ideas!
And if you need ideas about how to handle all of the tasks that go into content marketing, from auditing your website for needed improvements to planning a full year’s marketing calendar, check out our Inbound Marketing Learning Library for more than 100 resources, including e-books, videos, templates and success stories. You can also subscribe to have this blog delivered to your inbox weekly.