Author: Anna Talerico
It’s no secret that content marketers are churning out more whitepapers, ebooks, and online content than ever before, devoting huge portions of their budgets and resources to circulating as much information about their brands as possible. But when it comes to content marketing, is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Probably. Based on research conducted by Content Marketing Institute, 60% of B2B and B2C marketers are struggling to produce engaging content and 35% find it difficult to produce a wide enough variety of content to keep their audience interested. Worse yet, only 30% of B2B marketers and 38% of B2C marketers said their content marketing was effective.
So what’s the solution? Pumping more content into an already oversaturated market as competitors scramble to do the same? Not so fast! Your best content could already be in your wheelhouse just waiting to be shaped into a perfect piece of shareable, engaging content that will differentiate you from the crowd. It just takes a little know-how and some strategic repurposing.
A recent study by Sirius Decisions found that as much as 70% of content marketing goes unused. Think of all that research, writing, and analysis ready for an audience. All it needs is the right application. That’s where interactive experiences come into play. A recent Demand Metric report found that interactive content was 93% effective at educating buyers and 88% effective at distinguishing a brand from its competitors.
An interactive experience is designed to deliver interactive desktop and mobile content that invites users to explore, learn, and share content, rather than passively reading or watching. And everything you need for creating meaningful, effective interactive content is right at your fingertips. Don’t let it go to waste!
Here are the most common ways to take passive content and repurpose it into engaging interactive content experiences:
Quizzes are a fun way to get users at the top of the purchase funnel thinking about your product. They’re not a direct sales pitch; instead, they get buyers focused. For example, Fodor’s Travel website recently asked readers “Which Beach Vacation Spots Are the Best Match for You?” and provided an interactive quiz to let users choose their own adventure. Depending on results, users could explore Royal Caribbean cruises and other great vacation spots with an option to book on the right hand side of the screen. Consumers are used to being bombarded with cheap travel deals, but they’re not used to customized travel tips based on their own ideal beach vacation.
Use this new form of personalization in your marketing. Any industry facts or benchmarking data can be repurposed into a quiz. Take a peek at your last infographic or whitepaper for inspiration—you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to transform some of your fact-based content into a question/answer formatted quiz.
Chances are, you’ve got a great product catalogue at your disposal. Why not make those images a chance to invite users to explore your product by moving them off the page? Recently, STYLEPIT, an online fashion retailer, wanted to draw users to its European site. To do that, it decided to immerse customers into its catalogue by making a slow motion lookbook designed for mobile, where buyers could learn about the product, share it on social media, or even make purchases at the touch of an image.
Of course, not every lookbook needs to be a full-on campaign, but breaking images into shareable pieces or using them as an impetus for a product description is a great way to accelerate buyers through their journey by getting them to actively click, explore, and share.
3. Interactive Infographic
You’ve done your homework to pitch your product. Why not use that research to educate customers? By allowing users to explore your industry or market with a shareable, navigable infographic, you’ll not only be teaching them about the concept, you’ll be encouraging them to pass that information along on social media. For example, The New York Times often takes rather dry data –like the U.S. Census Bureau’s immigration statistics—and invites users to “play” with the numbers by making them interactive, which in turn gets readers to invite friends to play along and draws new visitors to the site where, hopefully, they stick around.
Assessments are the quiz’s older brother, providing a helpful tool to buyers with an invaluable feedback loop for content marketers. Add them in strategic spots to any whitepaper or ebook to get readers to tell you what they know based on the information you’ve provided. People love testing their knowledge, and you’ll get a great sense of which parts of your content are working and which parts they’re skipping. Let your visitors assess themselves by answering questions, and then provide them with customized results and tips based on their responses. This personalization and usefulness helps propel your buyers through their journey.
5. Solution Builders and Configurators
These two tools help later stage buyers who are already considering a solution or product to make an informed choice about how your product can work for them. Using specific needs-based questions, the outcomes provide recommended options for products, solutions or services. Again, they serve double duty by not only helping customers considering a purchase to educate themselves about what’s right for them, but if you’re a B2B marketer, it also helps you identify quality leads in order to surface the highest potential prospects to the sales team.
In this cyber security assessment from IFSEC Global, visitors answer 20 simple yes/no questions across 5 categories in order to receive a score and personalized recommendations based on their responses. The results are gated behind a lead generation form. In an experience like this, the marketing team collects valuable data about the buyer, and in return the buyer gets highly valuable, personal set of recommendations—a win/win for everyone.
Waste Not, Want Not
A single piece of content can typically be transformed into a handful of interactive experiences to target buyers throughout the customer journey. This makes interactive content a powerful ally in your effort to repurpose and reuse an initial content investment to extend its value.
Take research from your existing whitepaper and shape the numbers into a fun, shareable infographic for customers early in their buying journey. Add an assessment for buyers in the middle stages and add a solution builder for your most engaged leads, all the while creating a feedback loop of user data that lets you know which information is connecting with customers to inform future content. You probably already have the existing content to make these interactive experiences; it just takes a bit of reconfiguration and some imagination.
Have you seen some engaging interactive content lately? Share it in the comments below!
5 Ways To Create Interactive Content and Maximize Your Marketing Budget was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com