Engaging Your Audience

What Is Interactive Content?

Interactive content, what does that mean? We’re talking about quizzes, polls, online calculators, interactive videos, even games; anything that gets visitors to actively engage with your website’s content.

What Are The Advantages Of Interactive Content?

This type of content, when done well, will stay with your target audience for longer.

Watching a video online is a passive activity and so is, to a lesser extent, reading a blog post. Although these can be successful ways to engage with your audience, actually getting them to be proactive can cement your relationship with your target customer further.

If you can get people to invest their time by interacting with content on your site you’ll leave a lasting impression on them, reminding them to return for more. In fact, why not make your content an enjoyable and entertaining experience for your visitors? Even if you’re a B2B organisation it doesn’t mean that your content has to be dull and boring. Provide your audience with an engaging experience and your interactive content becomes an effective a lead generation tool, a method of collecting email addresses, conducting market research and a source of evergreen content that users will share with their connections.

Evergreen Content

If you haven’t come across the term before, ‘evergreen’ refers to content that has a long life. Those blog posts that don’t go out-of-date once an event or news item is no longer current. Typically it’s also content that has an enduring appeal for your target audience. This could include ‘how to’ guides, or a blog post aimed at newcomers to your industry such as “What is a blog?”. The advantage of evergreen content is that it remains relevant and therefore is always of interest to visitors to your site.

Creating interactive evergreen content is a win-win. For example a mortgage broker might have a mortgage calculator on their site, or I could create a blog title generator for readers looking for content inspiration. Both these examples are relevant to the business’ core product and are also a resource that visitors will come back to time and time again. Ultimately they both add value and this is what good content does.

Key Factors For Creating Interactive Content

Value: If you want visitors to return for more, share your content and build a relationship with your business, you need to give them something they want. An online survey may be interactive but won’t add value for your target audience unless you give them something back. Therefore if you want to find out more about your audience, think about what you can give them in return – a free download or an infographic created with their survey responses.

Relevance: As your interactive content will be designed for longevity it has to have real relevance to your business and area of expertise. Firstly, if you’re going to invest in this kind of content you want to aim it squarely at your target audience, and secondly you want users to see a clear link from your content to your services.

Keep It Ever So Green: Naturally you don’t want your content to go out-of-date or need updating regularly. Aim for content that is sustainable, that you could get several years worth of value out of, particularly if it requires funding to start with.

Make It Shareable: Really useful resources get shared and if you follow the points above your interactive content will already be highly shareable. Make it easy for your visitors to share with their contacts, or even add a CTA to do so.

Capture Email Addresses: If you’re going to invest time and money in a really great bit of interactive content, what do you hope to get out of it? Most businesses look at content as a means to drive traffic to their site, and to generate leads. Some visitors will delve further into your website and this might result in a sale or enquiry, others may bookmark your page or sign up to your newsletter. However, you could make an email sign up part of the content itself, either as a prerequisite to gain access to the resource, or as an optional sign up to “find out more”, “stay in touch” or “get more great content”.

Don’t forget that your interactive content can also be invaluable for market research. For example, from visitor responses to a quiz you can build a picture of industry trends and opportunities for your business.

How To Create Interactive Content

There are plenty of tools available to create your own interactive content. From a basic survey using Google Forms or Survey Monkey, to quizzes, polls, calculators and contests provided by companies like Content Tools.

Of course, it’s a good idea to see what the competition are up to and make sure that you do something distinctly different. So, although all mortgage brokers get good engagement with their mortgage calculators, go the extra mile with yours and make it an even better experience for your visitors. This will differentiate your service from that of your competitors.

You’ll also need to consider where on your site to store the content. A dedicated landing page would make it easier to promote and for visitors to find your content again and again, but you may decide that it’s better positioned in a sidebar. Weigh up the pros and cons, or look for ways of duplicating your interactive content across your site.

Personally I think design is very important. There are plenty of examples of poor design, a lot of which come from 3rd party embeds into blog posts or other areas of a company’s website. In fact if you invest some resources into the design of your content you will instantly stand out from all those businesses who haven’t. It’s also worth branding your content, especially if it can be shared online. This will go some way to building brand awareness.

Finally, as with any content you need to promote it. The great thing about interactive content is that people are generally very enthusiastic about promoting it on your behalf. This is especially true of any content that fulfils the above criteria.

For more on promoting your blog posts, or interactive content have a look at this infographic: 30 Ways To Promote Your Blog Posts

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