It’s no surprise that cutting-edge tech like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other exciting online experiences have been and still are on the rise. The broader theme behind these buzzword trends is that the content that is grabbing people’s attention is content that they can interact with.
Here’s the exciting part: because of the increased interest in new ways to experience online entertainment, interactive content is now easier than ever to create.
You don’t need a dev team and inventor of virtual reality to create interactive content. With all the online tools out there, your company can create interactive content in multiple channels across your marketing strategy.
How To Create Interactive Content:
- Use interactive social media ads
- Create responsive organic social content
- Design online tools that solve audience pain points
- Make quizzes your audience will resonate with
- Produce interactive and conversational video content
Facebook rolled out new interactive ads in 2019 with a focus on app and online gaming instant trials.
Interactive Facebook Ads
In mid-2019, Facebook announced a roll-out plan for new social ad formats that visitors and viewers can interact with. These new ads could be as simple as adding the functionality of answering yes/no questions on ads to voting on polls. Looking into the future, Facebook is testing more in-depth interactive strategies such as trials of apps or video games in the ad – the user doesn’t need to click to a new page to engage with the product.
Some fashion and cosmetic companies are running with interactive ads to virtually test products like lipstick or hair color. Users can simply turn on their front-facing camera to test lip colors instead of driving to the closest brick-and-mortar.
These kinds of interactive ads can streamline the consumer purchase process because the product awareness and product investigation processes are combined. A user can experience a brand for the first time, while also understanding the value of the product in a matter of seconds.
So, how can you jump on this interactive ad train if you don’t (yet) have the resources to harness virtual reality? Start with the basic updates. Add polls and questions to your ads that your audience can respond to.
Interactive organic social content
Similar to ads, Instagram makes it simple to open lines of communication with your audience. There is one major difference is with an interactive organic strategy. You can create a more personal, relationship-driven dialogue because this audience has already shown support for your brand by following you.
Organic content also (as of right now) has more interactive content options to choose from. Polls, the ‘ask a question’ stickers, ‘this or that’ stickers… You can get creative with your conversation.
This can benefit you in a few ways: First, your audience will appreciate that you are reaching out to them for your opinion. For example, running an apparel ad that asks “what color should we make this shirt in next?” and give a few options. This makes your audience feel like they have a stake in the future choices of your company, however small.
Next, you can use that information to make the changes that your audience wants to see. Remember when having your audience respond to product surveys was like pulling teeth? Now your audience does it for fun. Understand in real-time what your audience resonates with before putting time, money, and energy behind an effort. Influencers do this all the time, and we as businesses have the power to leverage the same tactic. Ask your audience “would you rather see content option #1 or content option #2?” and then deliver on the result.
So we’ve discussed what social brings to the table in regards to interactive content. What about what you can bring to the table yourself?
While blogs are still beneficial for organic growth and brand awareness, online tools are the future of quality content. It may seem like an impossible feat to create an online tool, but as long as you have a good idea, modern technology will find a way to make it come to life.
To find that good idea, start with the root problem your target market wants to solve. Understanding your customer’s pain points is the first key to creating a valuable tool. The tool you create doesn’t have to be as in-depth as a software platform. A simple product calculator, online assessment or a product locator doesn’t take much time to create and can be very beneficial for your audience. Create a tool that is valuable to your audience, and you may just stimulate consistent and high-value traffic to your site for years to come.
To connect that good idea to a pathway to conversions make sure it ties into your paid product. Moz Local is a great example of a piece of online content that offers value to the free user while also leading these users to the paid online software.
ThirdLove promotes a custom fit test in which relevant blurbs about the product value are included.
Quizzes are hands-down the easiest interactive content to create that commonly generates interest and engagement from your audience. We as humans love testing our knowledge and learning more about ourselves. One major trend in newer lifestyle brands is offering an introductory quiz to match users with the perfect fit, style, or type of product. ThirdLove and Birch Box both have this quiz as the main call to action on their home pages.
These quizzes do a couple of things to benefit the company. First, quizzes can promote domain expertise, because your audience is actively going to you for advice or information on a topic. This creates trust in your messaging and increases the possibility that your audience will come to you every time they have a question that falls in your area of expertise.
Next, Quizzes can be hyper-personalized and can be about the unique value of your product without coming off as too sales-y. ThirdLove’s fit finder peppers in small facts about the value of their product throughout the quiz. This promotion doesn’t seem obnoxious, because the value is relevant to the quiz. By the time you’re done with the quiz, you have actively and consciously read FIVE different pieces of value their product offers. On top of that, to receive your results, you need to enter your email. Boom – you just became a warm lead that ThirdLove can reach out to.
Many third-party platforms make quiz creation simple and possible even if you are a beginning quiz-master. Buzzfeed has an open-source quiz creation platform, and SurveyMonkey has options for a professional-looking quiz.
Interactive/conversational video content
Embrace your inner YouTuber.
Are you already creating video content on social media or your website? Create videos that warrant a response from your audience, and then give them a clear channel to respond. Engage your audience in your process. Ask for advice, preferences, and opinions in your video content.
With apps like TikTok, it’s easier than ever to create video content that takes seconds to create. If you create products that aim to engage younger audiences, you will have better chances of finding them if you adopt a video strategy along with your other efforts. Videos are versatile – use them on multiple platforms and you may see better engagement than any photo you could promote.
So how do we pull an interactive strategy into this already-established effort? Be creating more casual, conversational content that isn’t intimidating to respond to. Pull in your team to explain their roll in the company, like how your designer chooses the colors they use. Bring your audience to team events or fundraisers. Ask for recommendations from your audience for any new ideas.
This not only invites your audience to offer their opinions, but they may also be more likely to listen to your message because they now feel like they have a stake in business decisions.
Ready to amp up your interactive content strategy? Reach out to our team!