Creating Conversations with Interactive Content


In the best of all marketing worlds, customers would not only buy your product, they would advertise and promote it to others, leading to even more sales. In today’s digital age, it’s another turn on the phrase, “word of mouth is the best advertising.”

Simply put, interactive content is exactly what it sounds like: material that makes the reader or viewer participate. In the 1960s and ‘70s, we might have considered those giveaway miniature car models offered for taking a test drive, or free glassware for buying a certain brand of gas, as interactive content.

Consumer participation was the result then, and it’s the result now. The difference today is that it’s easier to reach more consumers, and easier to target content to the audience. That’s because nearly every adult in America has access to the internet. According to a recent survey by Statista, nearly 90 percent of U.S. adults accessed the internet in 2018. Among high school graduates, that figure is 84 percent. Among college graduates, 97 percent were online.

So, there are fish in that internet pond. The question for marketers is, “what bait should I use to get them to bite?” Even if they bite, how do you get them to convince their friends to bite as well? That’s where interactive content comes in.

Because interactive content is one of the hot issues in marketing, you need to cast your line. Not only does it allow you to aim at specific markets – think millennials and online interaction, for example – it puts your branding out there to be shared over and over again. That’s winning, multiplied.

You’ve seen those quizzes on social media that cover just about any topic. That’s interactive content. The producer has hit a home run when participants proudly brag to their social circle what kind of zoo animal they’d be, and they’re sharing the link. That’s irresistible to their online acquaintances, who want to see if they’d qualify as something cute and cuddly or angry and obnoxious. So they’re participating, and bragging and sharing. And so on, and so on.

To the marketer, all the participants are cute and cuddly, because they’re providing valuable data that can be translated into results. The same goes for infographics, recipes, travel videos, or anything that draws in potential customers. Not only do these activities draw recruits into the marketing funnel, they keep prospects there.

So what’s the best way to create conversations with interactive content? For starters, creativity is king. A fresh idea, a colorful graphic, an attractive topic will bring results. With concerns about cyber security, some viewers are reluctant about quizzes that might be phishing for personal information or password secrets. Offer intellectual engagement, but make it easy to navigate. Or make it fun. Videos fall under all of those categories – OK, maybe not always intellectual engagement – but, hey, they’re fun!

Creativity is limited only by your imagination. There are plenty of starting points already out there to use as reference. Customizing and localizing are up to you. After all, it’s your market, and you’re the expert.

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