Marketing techniques may always be evolving – but even with all the wonderful technologies that are ushering in a new phase where content is not only visually breathtaking but interactive to boot, the underlying principles remain the same. These can be summed up in the age-old acronym of AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
However, although the principles remain steadfast, what is changing is how we must go about attacking each stage of the funnel.
The first two steps of the process – grabbing attention and piquing interest – in particular are becoming more and more competitive as each day goes by.
In a digital world increasingly saturated with articles, memes, videos, games, and instant messaging – how do we effectively make our content stand out and grab the attention of our audiences?
Here’s an idea: interactive content
Making our content interactive compels web users to engage, participate and share.
But what do we mean by ‘interactive content’? Well, often it’s best to illustrate with examples – and here four great ones to give you some inspiration for how to start introducing interactive elements into your own content output.
1. Are you a meeting MVP?
Citrix offer technical solutions to enable better collaboration, secure data sharing, improved workflow and other efficiencies. One tool the company offers is GoToMeeting – a web app that companies can use to host online conferences. How better to demonstrate their understanding of meeting productivity than to present their audience with a tool that measures the value and effectiveness of meetings?
Their interactive content challenges the audience to find out if they are a “Meeting MVP.”
They could have just as easily written a blog discussing the factors that contribute to a meeting’s value: the cost of staff downtime, whether follow-up actions are determined necessary, and whether follow-up actions are indeed followed up, for example.
Instead, they ask the participant to answer some simple questions.
At the end of the assessment, which takes only a few seconds, participants are presented with their results.
Wouldn’t you love to know you are a “Quality Collaborator?”
This piece of content is an excellent marketing device. It has a fun look and feel, is easy to use, takes seconds and gives meaningful insight to the user. It’s a great example of simple and effective interactive marketing.
2. Realize real results
Blackbaud helps non-profit organizations become more efficient by offering a range of software solutions and other services. With many happy customer success stories to talk about, Blackbaud’s marketing team was keen to illustrate the results rather than just tell the stories.
They developed a microsite, Realize Real Results, which offers interactive content including calculators, quizzes and surveys, as well as other static case studies and infographics. By extrapolating the results from the real-life case studies and applying these findings to data submitted by participants, the content enables users to gauge exactly how they would benefit from Blackbaud’s software solutions.
When clicking on any of the calls to action (CTAs) – as displayed in the above screenshot – users are greeted with various pieces of interactive content that they are encouraged to engage with. Here’s the short questionnaire that pops up when clicking the “Work Smarter, Not Harder” box, for example (and note that the copy also references Blackbaud’s existing users who have had success with the solution).
The results of Blackbaud’s marketing efforts speak for themselves. This campaign gained more than 800 qualified leads in seven months and helped the sales team achieve 141% of their quota attainment in just one quarter. It also bagged a DemandGen Killer Content Award for Interactive Content.
3. Great yield mystery
Mining company Mosaic is the world’s largest supplier of phosphate and potash, and has a mission to “help the world grow the food it needs.”
Keen to increase awareness of how crop nutrition affects crop size and crop health, the company produced a series of podcasts serializing the experiences of fictional farmer, Gerald Fitzgerald, and his brother Darrell.
The series was hosted on a microsite, Great Yield Mystery, and then promoted through social channels. In the story, Gerald and his brother were trying to figure out why they were experiencing such low yields. Podcasts and case files gave clues as to what could be causing the yield issues.
Listeners to the podcasts were invited to help solve the case, and received small prizes for solving smaller mysteries along the way. A grand prize was up for grabs for anybody who could solve The Great Yield Mystery.
Attracting 1586 episode downloads and 1764 sessions on the microsite, the campaign was a huge success and more than worthy of its DemandGen Killer Content Award.
4. Making financial services funky
Militello Capital is an investment management company. It came up with an imaginative and useful way of educating people on 26 different ways of investing.
Miltello partnered with RealReport™ to create an easy to use interactive infographic that vividly illustrated how the various investment types worked. By clicking on the various elements of the graphic, the information is sorted much more clearly.
By making investment mechanisms clear, tangible and transparent, they were able to educate their customers while winning trust at the same time.
Interaction: one foot in the door
Interactivity brings a whole new dimension to your marketing content – active engagement. It’s the sort of stuff that users crave.
These are four of our favorite examples – but have we missed yours? If you know of any other sterling examples of great interactive content, tell us about it in the comments below.