In my article on inbound marketing, I have mentioned attraction nodes as one of the strategies to attract visitors to your website. In this post, I would like to shed some more light on one particular type – interactive content. Interactive content is being used right now to dramatically increase engagement and conversion.
If you have already tried creating visual content like info graphics, this is undoubtedly your next step in growing your brand.
What is Interactive content?
Chances are you have already come across interactive content. As opposed to the traditional static form of content, it lets you, well… interact. The interaction increases the engagement and drives more leads.
One of the major reasons this type of content is so effective is because it grabs users attention.
Attention span crisis
Content marketing is all fun and games until you find out that the attention span of your audience is lower than that of a goldfish.
No, seriously. Human attention span is lesser than that of a goldfish and here’s a study conducted by Microsoft in 2013 to confirm it.
With more and more people spending their time in front of multiple screens, the attention span has dipped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds when this study was conducted.
It is because of this fear that content publishers like myself often break their writing into small chunks.
Luckily, some content marketers came up with a great solution to this problem.
An innovative breed of content marketers have been taking content marketing to the next level by creating attention grabbing, interactive content. Getting your users hooked is the key focus in all forms of content marketing and adding interactivity has worked very well.
There are several ways to go about creating interactive content, and I will cover a few in the rest of this article, but the key to a successful interactive content lies in good storytelling and usefulness.
Types of interactive content:
1. Wizards / Calculators
Calculators and wizards can be very effective forms of interactive content. These utilities can be pretty straightforward to develop as you only have to worry about one major parameter – usefulness.
Mortgage calculators on real estate websites, personality test wizards for psychologists, and PC configuration wizards on a computer hardware website are some great examples.
Sometimes you will have to be creative and think outside the box to come up with an idea for a wizard or calculator for something your audience really needs. Not every niche will have room to add this type of tool.
Some SEO companies for example now provide a tool to estimate the ROI.
2. Interactive Info graphics
Interactive info graphics are another way to engage your audience. With the evolution of animation rich apps, some webpages can seem a bit dull.
Interactive info graphics also allow you to pack more information in less space. That way, a user can click on something that interests them and get a whole bunch of details on it.
3. Quizzes / Polls & Surveys
Unlike static content; quizzes, polls and surveys let your audience express themselves. Your quiz or poll can be about something quite simple; such as, do you like xyz celebrity’s new hairstyle (don’t you love those frivolous magazines), or to find the opinion of the people in your electorate on a bill you are about to propose in the house of representatives.
People like expressing opinions and this form of content often draws a considerable amount of shares on social media and and intense debate in the comment section.
4. Interactive Information sheets and Micro sites
Information sheets is a collective term I like to use for content like whitepapers, blog posts and cheat sheets. Their interactive versions pack useful information in an engaging manner.
You may have also come across product, event or service related micro sites. At the time of writing this post, Google, in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., had launched this fun micro site to promote Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The micro site provides an extremely engaging experience by letting you transform your phone into a lightsaber.
Usually micro sites are completely independent of their main site when it comes to design and use a theme of their own to match a specific subject.
Scalability is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to interactive content production. A lot of small businesses simply can not afford to create interactive content due to the lack of resources.
Unlike static content, Interactive content creation requires a lot of time.
These are just a few ‘major’ types of interactive content. With technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality emerging, we are bound to see some other innovative ways of presenting content.