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January 5, 2016

Using Interactive Content to Hang on to Visitors

If you have been in business long enough to face the first challenges related to your overcrowded market, those may include one of two common issues: fierce, deep-pocketed competitors and the apathy and short attention span of your potential clients.

You need an easy method to come up with the perfect bait for your visitors.

You want them to check out your landing pages for a longer while, read, assimilate and share your content ideas and respond to your calls to action in a prompt manner.

How can you achieve this ambitious goal?

For starters, you could (and should) focus on the development of interactive content.

What Is Interactive Content and Why Is It So Important?

Data shared by Content Marketing Institute in its 2014 report reflects that 90 percent of B2C marketers rely on content marketing to reach their targets. Considering that premium content is their weapon of choice, what are the elements that actually help them individualize their course of action?

While old-school marketers are still clinging to copy based solely on text, the true innovators are exploring a fairly new concept allowing them to connect with audiences at a higher level: interactive content. Unlike its predecessors, interactive content can stimulate people to touch base with a company multiple times, get the highest dosage of information and entertainment over the shortest period of time and benefit from a completely one-of-a-kind user experience.

This brings us to the next question: why exactly should we care about interactive content?

Simply put, interactive content lets you achieve more while doing less. SnapApp indicates that companies that have chosen to enrich their marketing mix by adding interactive content to their plan have succeeded in improving prospect engagement; moreover, they have also achieved 50 percent click rates on published Web content. This is one remarkable advantage that should encourage you to give interactive content a try and make it a part of your long-term strategy.

Turn Your Monologues into Productive Dialogues Using Interactive Content

Here’s something that you may not know about your clients and prospects: most of them are incredibly self-centered. Think about it this way: you’re not necessarily interested in a new product, unless its guarantees to improve your quality of life to some extent. You don’t want to try a new detergent because it’s new and cool and everybody is talking about it; but you may be willing to give it a try if it’s fairly cheap and powerful enough to help you get rid of some of the most stubborn old red wine stains in only a couple of minutes.

In this context, how do you market a new product (especially a fairly boring one that may be difficult to individualize on a competitive market)? You ditch your old-school copy resembling a dull monolog created to emphasize the features and benefits of your good, and turn to interactive content that can easily convert a passive audience into an active one. Whether you like it or not, most of the content that we are willing to devour online is meant for passive consumption. We scan, skim and say goodbye without even saying thank you. End of story. On the other hand, interactive content has the power to turn even the most unremarkable exposé into an absorbing story that your audience will want to be a part of.

3 Ways You Can Use Interactive Content to Reduce Your Bounce Rates 

Dealing with visitors that consume your content and leave your website quicker than a burglar in the middle of the night can be quite frustrating. After all, you’ve done everything in your power to churn out multiple fresh pieces of content regularly and you’ve been oh-so-active on all major social media platforms, so what’s stopping you from establishing a better bond with your public?

Here’s an idea: instead of reaffirming yourself as an omnipotent sovereign, give power to the people. Let them play an active role in your content strategy and truly benefit from the content pieces that you’re serving each day. Give them quality copy that they can actually interact with. Here are three foolproof tactics that you can apply to complete this task in a successful manner.

1. Know Your Audience. Start this new journey by finding out what your public would like to hear from you. Would your readers appreciate an interactive infographic allowing them to assimilate succinct information in an ideal manner, an interactive video involving physical actions such as clicking or touching or a poll enabling them to provide feedback while interacting with your engaging content? To make sure that you explore all the paths that could drive leads, opt for a mix of diverse, fresh multimedia content available in different forms. This way, you will manage to assess the performance of each piece and adapt your content strategy based on your public’s reaction.

2. Opt for the Right Kind of Interactive Content. If you’re getting ready to take your visitors by surprise with a well-balanced blend of interactive content, don’t hesitate to make the most of every single element that could consolidate your relationship with your audience. Here are four awesome options that you should factor in:

  • Polls. Interactive polls are great because they keep your visitors engaged, while also garnering feedback. As Convince and Convert suggests, polls are extremely useful tools leading to immediate engagement. Moreover, when you’re adding polls, you are basically crafting two individual content pieces: the poll itself and the material that you create to share the results with your audience. In this context, an intriguing poll with an original execution could give your public the chance to interact not once, but twice with your brand.
  • Reveal-Based Marketing Tactics. Reveal-based marketing techniques are always successful because they are founded on an element of mystery and surprise that is simply irresistible. To stay on the same page with fans and followers, marketers are constantly reinventing ways to stimulate the receivers’ interest and curiosity. This is precisely why they come up with problem-solving challenges, fun games, motion interactions and takeaways. Discounts and special promotions that compel the prospect to play a game, solve riddles or assemble a puzzle are twice as fun as standard online offers that do not give recipients the possibility to interact with the brand/product in any way.
  • Interactive infographics. According to Hongkiat, animated infographics created using HTML5 are extremely popular simply because they are more engaging and easy to analyze than the old-school variety. These forms of content help their creators establish a better connection with viewers, and also add color and interest to a great variety of topics that could easily be listed as mundane.
  • Interactive videos. Interactive videos (IV) are modern digital videos that support user interaction via clicks, touch, voice and/or gestures. As Forrester points out, IVs are incredibly useful because they let brands move well beyond awareness and explore the benefits of the most complex video format ever invented. IVs enable users to interact with all forms of content delivered through the video. For example, while watching an interactive video, viewers can fill out a form, enjoy a gaming experience or analyze interactive tutorials. Regardless of the type of microcontent they deliver and the end purpose that they serve, all interactive videos have one thing in common: they turn spectators into participants and give you the opportunity to increase brand awareness, boost your influence and create solid communities around the goods that you’re marketing.

3. Use the Right Tools to Produce Interactive Content. Crafting interactive content is not as difficult as you may think, considering that you can now use a plethora of free and almost free platforms and tools to complete this task virtually effortlessly. The key is to figure out what kind of content would be received with great enthusiasm by your public and use the tools that are 100 percent compatible with your project.

For example, Poptip, Wedgies and Polldaddy are excellent options that you should try when it comes to adding a poll. Ceros is a cool platform designed to help users create premium interactive content encompassing six different elements (nanosites, infographics, eBooks, magazines, lookbooks, and shoppable catalogues). Its drag-and-drop system makes it easy to use and ensures a positive experience for prospects, making them feel more informed, sales-ready and educated. Furthermore, with Zaption, viewers can actually learn something while watching interactive videos. This platform enables content creators to customize their videos by adding questions, text and images to their original versions.

Stay Relevant and Engaging with Interactive Content

Remember those annoying, awfully boring, monologue-like lessons that made it virtually impossible for you to stay awake in class? Don’t be that kind of teacher! Choose to rely on interactive content to show people you can think outside the box and stimulate collaboration in a more interesting and effective manner.

Creating videos, infographics, polls and other forms of interactive content is easy; you just need to focus on the input you get from your audience and select the proper tools and platforms designed to support your project.


Julia McCoy is a top 30 content marketer and has been named an industry thought leader by several publications. She enjoys making the gray areas of content marketing clear with practical training, teaching, and systems. Her career in content marketing was completely self-taught. In 2011, she dropped out of college to follow her passion in writing, and since then grew her content agency, Express Writers, to thousands of worldwide clients from scratch. Julia is the author of two bestselling books on content marketing and copywriting, and is the host of The Write Podcast. Julia writes as a columnist on leading publications and certifies content strategists in her training course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter, husband, and one fur baby.