Static content is so yesterday. Today it’s all about interactive content.
Why is interactive content so important? Proponents will tell you that interactive content is more effective at educating buyers, earning social shares, and differentiating a business than static content. Plus, adding interactivity drives two times the number of leads, according to a study by Demand Metric.
If it’s so successful, why hasn’t everyone jumped on the interactive content bandwagon? According to the same study, people lack the budget, resources, or developer skills. Even if they love the benefits of interactive content, they might not have the means to incorporate it.
But these barriers are dropping quickly.
What Do We Mean When We Say “Interactive Content”?
You’ve probably come across interactive content during one of your routine Internet runs. In fact, you may have created some without even knowing it. Remember that poll you added on your Instagram story, asking social media which sweater you should buy? The blue one just slightly edged out the red one at 54%, but it was up to your audience to decide. It might sound like a trivial example, but it reflects the very essence of interactive content.
By definition, interactive content refers to digital content that a user engages with. Unlike reading an article or watching a video, they have to click, drag, or otherwise interact with the page or content to see the full information.
Some of the most common types of interactive content include:
- Interactive charts
- Quizzes and polls
Using the above doesn’t just create a fun experience. A study put together by Demand Gen Report found that “93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating buyers versus just 70% for static content.” It’s time to take advantage of this resource and use it to drive your audience to engage with your content marketing.
Interactive Content Ideas and the Tools to Build Them Yourself
Thanks to a plethora of online tools that make creating interactive content yourself easier than ever. And you can include that interactive content in places you might not have thought possible: white papers, emails, and video, for example. Check out these interactive content ideas and the tools that make them simple:
1. Provide value with a calculator
Calculators do a lot more than solve pressing math problems — they also provide high-quality leads. How, you ask? From a prospect’s perspective, a calculator is a tool they can use on their own to determine the cost of something. They don’t have to speak with a salesperson and feel additional pressure to carry out an action. Calculators can also save your business time and manpower because prospects have already walked through the costs and are vetted for the budget.
As a business, you’re providing tangible value through your calculator, and people engage with your brand as they use it. According to Calconic, calculators have conversion rates of 40-50%. This example from WebFX shows a simple and effective interactive calculator that helps prospects plan their marketing budgets:
How to create a calculator: These types of calculators are also easy to create yourself. You can build one using a free tool like uCalc, which allows you to make up to three calculators and embed them on your site. Another option is Calconic, which gives you up to five free calculators with 500 impressions.
2. Earn more clicks with interactive email images
Have you ever been so compelled by a video thumbnail that you just had to click on it? You’re not alone. In fact, according to Wistia, emails that contain a video thumbnail see 40% more engagement. Unfortunately, creating videos can be expensive and time-consuming for a lot of businesses.
So, how can you make a similar impact utilizing interactive email images? Something as simple as an image rollover can be a great alternative. There’s also the “reveal” technique that is often used to hide discounts or promotions. This technique uses the same psychology behind scratch-off lottery tickets and can increase the click-through rate by 4x. Here’s an example from Stripo that shows how pricing on a pair of running shoes is revealed when hovering over the image with your arrow:
How to create interactive email images: FreshInbox offers a free code generator you can download to create simple rollover images in your emails. Stripo also offers free interactive email templates you can build with your own content. Simply use these elements and templates with your regular email provider.
3. Build revenue with quizzes
People love quizzes. Whether it’s a personality test or finding out what our favorite kind of pizza is, we love them. A big part of that reason is that quizzes play into our innate vanity as human beings. Mark Healy at Ceros says, “We are drawn to online quizzes for the same reasons some people shell out $20 for a tarot reading at the county fair: All of us have an insatiable need to get a deeper understanding of who we are and why.”
In other words, quizzes are all about us, whether affirming what we already think we know or teaching us something new. And they’re popular — Kissmetrics found that quizzes are the most shared content on Facebook.
Not convinced about the power of quizzes just yet? That’s fine. Maybe this example from Zenni Optical will change your mind. Their “You’ve Been Framed” quiz took the simple premise of finding the right pair of glasses and added interactive elements to give it a unique spin. The quiz resulted in over $1 million in revenue and 29,410 lead conversions with a 9,655% ROI in six months.
Here is an example of one of the eight results you could potentially get after taking the quiz that leads directly into a call-to-action:
How to create quizzes: If you’re looking to create your own quizzes, Outgrow.co includes templates and starts at just $14/month with a seven-day free trial. This tool also includes several other types of interactive content, such as chatbots and assessments.
4. Show data with infographics
Have you ever tried to read a giant spreadsheet of complex data? We feel your pain. Visual infographics get around this issue by making complex data easily consumable for the average person.
Not only do visuals make infographics easier to consume, but they also make the data more compelling. The user is able to drill down into the parts they are most interested in. The simple addition of infographics can also increase website traffic by 12%, according to a study by Demand Gen Report. Check out this beautiful infographic created by Visual Capitalist, which highlights the rising speed of technological adoption:
How to create interactive infographics: Many tools allow you to customize the infographic experience for your business. Visme.co is $25/month for a single user. It includes templates, so you don’t have to know programming, just drag and drop and use their database of images. Make sure you also customize infographics to include company logos, branding, and colors so that people identify the information in front of them with your business.
5. Gain more leads from dynamic white papers
White papers are a great way to establish your business as an authority on a particular industry topic or issue. With that in mind, the often complex nature of white papers can also make them susceptible to passive reading and dry subject matter at times. What better way to spice things up a little than by introducing some interactive content into the mix?
Adding a quiz, assessment, timeline, or infographic to a white paper can be hugely beneficial for your business. This type of interactive content is hosted online rather than sent as a static PDF, so analytics can also be gathered to see what parts people interact with most. Enterprise Management 360 says it has seen “an average increase of 150–200% more leads” from incorporating interactive white papers in their own marketing campaigns. Here’s an example from a compelling interactive white paper about predictive analytics from computer software company Dataiku:
How to create dynamic whitepapers: Publizr offers a free option to turn your white paper into a dynamic flipbook. Foleon is an interactive content platform that generates interactive elements for white papers, newsletters, digital annual reports, and more with plans starting at $300/month. And Enterprise Management 360 can convert your existing PDF to interactive content.
Not Sure What Topics to Make Interactive Content For?
The statistics on interactive content are compelling. But the format and tools are only part of the equation. Choosing the topics for your content that readers want to know about is the most important step.
Our Content Exploration tool helps research what topics interest your readers. Simply input a topic or website to find the topics and articles that are resonating with your target audience across social media.
Then, armed with the right topic and tools that let you do it yourself, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of interactive content in no time!
Ready to find engaging topic ideas that you can turn into highly converting pieces of interactive content for your audience? Try Alexa’s Advanced Plan free for 14 days and get started today!