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What is Interactive Content? The 8 Major Types (& Examples!)

By: Compose.ly — April 13, 2020

You need memorable and engaging content to help your business stand out and attract attention. Unfortunately, given the vast amount of information being added daily to the internet, getting noticed is a lofty goal.

Customers are expecting more value and quality from content than ever before. They want content that informs, entertains, and is shareable. Above all, they want content that is interactive.

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What is interactive content marketing?

Interactive content marketing encourages a two-way experience between you and the consumer.

Unlike traditional forms of content such as articles or videos, where audiences passively enjoy entertainment or absorb information, interactive content is active. Viewers must engage with what you put out by providing feedback, answering questions, or completing fun activities such as games or contests.

Successful interactive content provides value to your target audience and helps increase brand awareness, boost customer engagement, and build trust.

The 3 Key Benefits of Interactive Content

While interactive content takes longer to develop than static content like blog posts, it brings a variety of unique benefits that are well worth the time.

1. Increased Engagement

Interactive content provides innovative ways to present information and tell your brand story. It makes your brand more appealing and your content more memorable—hence more valuable. Indeed, 81 percent of marketers report that interactive content is more effective than static content at getting people’s attention.

Interactive content draws your audience in and gets them involved with your brand. Unlike static content, interactive content provides your users a chance to actively participate in what you have to say; it also greatly increases opportunities and motivation to share and offers relevant information in a way that sticks.

2. Increased Access to Consumer Information

People are selective about who they share their information with. But interactive content entices people—they want to take a quiz, play the game, or use the fancy calculator tool. With it, people are more willing to share their email addresses or provide feedback.

You can use the feedback you get, as well as other metrics such as number of shares or average session times, to gauge how effective your marketing efforts are, adjust your content plans, and more broadly reach your audiences.

3. Improved Organic Growth

Many interactive tools are easy to share on social media platforms or through email. When more people share your content, you organically grow your brand.

8 Types of Interactive Content to Engage Your Audience

There are many forms of interactive content, each of which serves particular purposes. Which kinds of interactive content you invest in will depend largely on your marketing plan and goals.

Here are eight popular types of interactive content you can use to enhance and serve your marketing strategy.

1. Quizzes

People enjoy taking quizzes because they’re fun and entertaining. They draw people’s attention and make people curious.

Successful quizzes can increase user engagement. For instance, BuzzFeed’s quiz, “What City Should You Actually Live In?” has been viewed over 22 million times. While not every quiz will be so successful, quizzes are perfect for sharing, especially on social media platforms, to increase organic growth.

Quizzes also help businesses educate web viewers, increase their brand awareness, and learn about their audiences. For example, Typeform’s SEO Quiz helps educate its target audience in a way that builds trust in the brand.

Quizzes are also easier than ever to create and use for your website, thanks to tools like LeadQuizzes.

2. Interactive Infographics

Infographics are a powerful content tool, especially early in the buyer’s journey. The visuals capture people’s attention and make it easy to digest complex information quickly.

Infographics help companies grow their traffic 12 percent faster than businesses that don’t use infographics and can work for any brand.

To make an infographic interactive, include flip tiles, embed questions, or create clickable content to direct the user experience. This approach makes your information more lively, keeps your audience engaged for longer, and makes your content more memorable.

NBTC Holland Marketing allows users to interact with their infographic using multiple clickable points, so people can select the information that most appeals to them.

When users scroll through this interactive infographic about Eastern Tennessee, animated pop ups help maintain the user’s attention. Easy to find share buttons also serve as effective calls to action for users to spread the word on social media platforms.

3. Assessments

Interactive assessments provide tailored feedback or recommendations to a user based on their answers to a series of questions. These tools allow potential customers to narrow down the products or services that will best fit their needs.

People often believe assessment results, especially since assessments involve information that’s specific to the user. This builds trust between you and your audience—make sure your assessment doesn’t provide the same answers to everyone, otherwise you’ll quickly lose that trust.

Assessments are particularly useful for people early in the buyer’s journey. You can use interactive assessments to help people identify their needs and compare product information.

Noom effectively uses an assessment on their homepage to help people identify what they are most interested in. The final results reveal how Noom can help.

Start Planner also incorporates an assessment (they call it a “quiz”) to help people figure out what they want from a planner. The user has a chance to think through their options and consider how they will use a planner before being presented with a few planner recommendations.

4. Polls and Surveys

Polls and surveys are two-way streets that help businesses glean valuable insights about their customers and give users a way to provide feedback.

  • Polls typically involve asking one multiple-choice question.
  • Surveys often involve asking users multiple questions.

These are useful in different stages of the buyer’s journey, depending on the information you ask about.

Polls and surveys can be used on websites, social media platforms, or emails. For instance, Ikea USA used a poll on Instagram asking followers to vote for the kitchen they liked best.

Another method incorporates subtle pop-up polls and surveys asking readers to rate content or give feedback on how easy pages are to navigate, like this example from Hotjar.

5. Interactive Calculators

Calculators are popular interactive content marketing tools that encourage high levels of engagement. They are useful and practical, which makes people more likely to use and share them.

Freedom Mortgage offers a variety of financial calculators, including home refinancing, mortgage payment, affordability, and more, so people can use the calculators that best fit their needs.

HubSpot offers an ROI calculator that allows users to simulate the possible return on investment they could achieve by using HubSpot software.

6. Interactive White Papers

White papers are authoritative reports that provide concise information on complex issues. White papers are useful content marketing tools because they encourage and drive conversions.

When writing a white paper, inserting interactive content will help increase engagement by helping to maintain reader attention. These tools are particularly useful for the middle stage of the buyer’s journey, as consumers begin to research products or services.

To make your white papers interactive, incorporate elements such as:

  • Video clips
  • Brief animations
  • Clickable content
  • Mouse over features
  • Pop-up comments

WSP Canada’s white paper uses appealing visuals, animation, and clickable content to keep readers engaged.

7. Interactive Videos

For consumers who want a more immersive experience, 360-degree and interactive videos will deliver.

  • 360-degree videos allow for audience interaction and offer dazzling experiences to bring places, events, and encounters to life in ways standard videos cannot.
  • Interactive videos allow users to click options and make selections that impact what they will see. They sometimes also serve as interactive quizzes or assessments.

Harvard College’s virtual college tour uses several interactive elements to immerse the viewer. Two examples of this are:

  • When the video starts, a “real” tour guide appears on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to humanize the experience and give instructions on how to use the video.
  • During the video, the user can click on destinations of interest or skip to other sections.

Nike’s interactive video helped users style their own fashion look, which proved to be a fun way for customers to interact with the products.

8. Contests and Games

People enjoy friendly contests and games. When used for marketing purposes, these interactive elements help increase engagement and encourage interactions with the brand. This content can often be completed in a short period and is easy to share, especially on social media platforms.

You can use contests and games to promote products, grow your email list, and gather valuable customer data. These tools are most effective in early stages of the buyer’s journey, though they can be incorporated in other stages.

To grow their email list, Single Grain uses a spinning wheel game. Before viewers can play the game and win a prize, they must first enter their email addresses.

Conclusion

Interactive content is the new trend of today’s marketing world. Used effectively, it boosts engagement, helps your brand stand out, and increases your conversion rates. To make the most of interactive content, be sure to have a clear marketing goal in mind and carefully plan your content. Choose from the methods we’ve highlighted based on your business needs to achieve your goals.

This article was written by Compose.ly writer Shannon Whyte.


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