4 Ways to Go Beyond Reading and Watching with Interactive Content

By Tim Bradley

Last week, Leo and I attended the quarterly Boston Content meet-up to engage in a discussion about Interactive Content. You’ve likely seen the term on several “trends & predictions” lists for 2016, but what is interactive content, exactly? And how can you use it to support your brand’s content marketing initiatives? Senior Content Marketing Manager at SnapApp, Lena Prickett, was the leader of the discussion and she had four key takeaways for using interactive content to help boost business goals.

1. Interactive content requires consumers to engage in a way that goes beyond reading or watching

Bringing users into the experience and allowing them to tailor the content to their interests is what interactive content is all about. This also allows marketers to essentially have a conversation with their prospects. Brands are able to gather additional data to then deliver a more personalized experience to users. It’s one of the best ways to deepen information exchanges with an audience. Especially if you have proprietary data – do something with it!

2. Interactive content can take on different shapes, but requires you ask the same questions

Content formats include, and are not limited to: interactive infographics, “gifographics,” quizzes and assessments, data visualization and maps, calculators, surveys, and generators and tools. The latter of which gave this blog post headline a “B+.”

And I must personally highlight one of 2016’s top trends, 360-degree video:

No matter what format you decide on, you should be asking:

  • What is my goal? How will this content format help me meet it?
  • What do I want my audience to gain?
  • What resources do I need to make this happen?
  • What existing content do I have that I could make interactive?

3. Speaking of questions, you need to ask yourself, “Why should this content be interactive?”

Sometimes it simply doesn’t make sense. If the interactivity is not actually adding any value for your audience, then spend your time and resources on something else.
4. When done right, interactive content can help you meet a variety of business goals, from qualifying leads to increasing blog interaction

As a content marketer, you’re often competing for people’s attention with Buzzfeed, the king of interactive content. So you should do your best to distract people with your own Buzzfeed-esque, “bored at work” content that ultimately keeps your brand top-of-mind and engaging. If people can engage with your content they are going to stay on your site longer, which can in turn help boost your SEO. The longer someone stays on your site, the more you learn about them and the better you can engage with them in the future. Appeal to the interests of your audience, while giving them something useful. And consider scalability by looking for and creating an interactive tool that will scale across all of your programs and channels; investing in a repeatable, templatable platform is often ideal.

What types of interactive content do you like the best, and why?