Obviously, we’re the biggest believers in content marketing. Marketing with content is a permission marketing tactic that works. (According to recent surveys on content marketing impact, more than 65% of B2B content marketers think that their content marketing delivers business value). Content marketing is also a great way to share your unique knowledge with the world and brand yourself as a thought leader.
But just like us, a lot of people are believers in the power of content. And thus, the internet is pretty darn full of it: Blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets, Quora questions, YouTube videos, etc. So, in this world where there’s already so much content, how do you even get people to notice yours – and make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle?
One effective way that we’ve discovered is by using interactivity. Interactive content – stuff you can click, watch, manipulate, and just generally interact with – drives up engagement, makes your content stand out and is also just plain fun.
Here are a few important factoids that might just convince you to think interactive when you’re dreaming up your newest content ideas:
It appeals to a short attention span.
If you’re like me, you probably check your phone, look at your computer, watch the TV, and listen to a snippet of a podcast all within the same half hour. And — we’re not alone. Studies on attention have shown that, on average, people swap between their devices more than 21 times per hour. Researchers also recently discovered that the human attention span is decreasing. In 2000, humans were shown to have an attention span of 12 seconds; today, we can only pay attention to one thing for 8 seconds. Interactive content appeals to a short attention span. With buttons to click, moving pieces to track, or videos to watch throughout a piece, interactive content helps keep people’s attentions piqued, so they don’t decide to go to another page before you’re able to get your message across.
It allows for non-linear narratives.
We live in an on-demand world. People don’t watch TV at its regularly scheduled airtime; they watch it when they want online. They don’t want to drive to do errands in their free-time; they want to push a button on an app and have someone do it for them (i.e. Postmates, FlyCleaners, BloomThat, etc.) Interactive content appeals to this on-demand mindset. When visitors go through interactive content, they don’t have to scroll through from start to finish, the way you designed it. They can pick and choose the things they want to see and the ones they don’t, so that they’re only exposed to the things that are relevant and interesting to them.
It helps convince people to buy.
The end goal of your interactive content is convincing people to become paying customers, right? Well, interactive content has proven to be effective for educating people about your product or service, and in turn, convincing them to buy it. According to a report on the buyer’s journey done by Demand Metric, interactive content effectively educates a buying audience 93% of the time. Also, according to a recent market survey, 70% of marketers believe that interactive content has been effective at converting visitors (while only 36% believe that static content works).
It increases your content’s lifetime value.
Interactive content keeps a piece fresh, even as time passes. Static content becomes stale overtime because information becomes outdated. Also, once a static piece has already been read, it doesn’t offer anything more to a consumer. Most pieces of static content are simply one-and-done. Interactive content, on the other hand, like quizzes, surveys, or calculators, continue to offer value to a customer even if they’ve already been consumed once – which means you get more bang for your marketing buck (and who doesn’t want that?!).
It shows – not tells.
When you were in high school chemistry class, you probably zoned out when your teacher lectured to you about the periodic table. But, when you got to pour different chemicals into test tubes and watch their reactions, you were probably much more engaged (and you probably remember that experience, too!) Interactive content does well because it is based upon the same philosophy as project-based learning.
Content that allows people to do something in order to learn a lesson increases the chances that that lesson sticks with them. Information imparted by static content – which is simply stated to readers – is far less likely to be remembered or make and impression.
Want to know more about why interactive content works? Check out our own interactive ebook – How to Generate Great Visual Ideas — that we created in partnership with the interactive content experts, Ceros (how meta!). It can help you come up with ideas for interactive content that will help you show off your expertise and convert more sales.