Many marketers feel like the engine is always running. There’s always more to do – campaigns to run, technologies to master, analytics to check… And, of course, there’s the constant need to drive more leads, better leads, and faster MQLs. In fact, 78% of B2B marketers state that “generating more leads” is the biggest challenge they are currently facing.
Increasing your commitment to content marketing is a good place to start, but you also need your content to work hard – and smart – for you. You probably already know about leveraging your marketing automation with interactive content. But did you know that according to DemandGen Report’s 2013 Content Preferences Survey, only 5% of buyers are willing to provide detailed information in exchange for whitepapers?
That is why many marketers are incorporating interactive content into their overall strategy. Assessments, benchmarking tests, ROI calculators, interactive infographics, interactive whitepapers, and knowledge tests about best practices, as well as old standbys like polls, surveys, and quizzes – interactive content is smart content.
You can think about the benefits of interactive content in three categories – facilitating dialogue, creating a value exchange, and delivering content in new, exciting ways. Here’s how these three benefits break down:
1. Facilitating Dialogue
As marketers absorb an increasingly larger portion of the sales cycle, marketers are naturally becoming better sales people. And what makes a good sales person? The ability to listen. It’s about dialogues, not monologues.
Interactive content enables you to have real conversations with your audience. That means you can ask questions and deliver answers that address their specific challenges, painpoints, or interests. Dialogue-inspiring content delivers dramatically more value (see the next section for more on that) and it’s massively scalable (you don’t need a W2 for your content).
A few examples of companies facilitating dialogue through interactive content:
- SilkRoad used calculators and assessments to create dialogue – resulting in $236,000 of new pipeline value in only a few months.
- Ezidebit turned a static infographic into an interactive one – which converts over 66% of its users.
- Endicia, an SMB package logistics company, repurposed static content to make it into an interactive quiz .
2. Exchanging Value
Now that we’ve established the need to have conversations, let’s talk about what you’re going to say. If your mission is deliver value at each stage of the buying process, this might take the form of education, problem identification, analysis, and even entertainment.
Interactive content allows marketers to customize an experience for each user, and deliver specific information based on that individual’s needs, pains, or challenges. But a true value exchange goes both ways – smart content also needs to deliver value to you, the marketer.
Interactive content can pull specific, actionable data from your audience – which can then be organized within your marketing automation. As they interact, prospects happily provide deep insights into themselves, quickly filling out profile information for lead scoring and triggering campaigns, and creating better, faster MQLs.
Two companies leveraging interactive content to exchange value with their audiences:
- Payscale allowed financial professionals to benchmark themselves against a 5,000-person panel to see how they compared – converting and gathering in-depth data on an impressive 70%.
- Bizo built a series of interactive blog posts, asking their audience to guess which ad performed better in an A/B test. This entertaining quiz earned Bizo a huge pool of new leads, at less than half the cost of leads from other sources.
3. Delivering Content in New, Exciting Ways
Whitepapers and benchmarking studies can crystalize your thought leadership and value proposition, but they often aren’t delivered in an appealing way. Interactive content can help you slice and dice this information into bite-sized, consumable pieces.
Which is easier to eat? This:
When you make difficult or complex ideas visual and entertaining, you help users get invested in the process. Best of all, if you already have whitepapers, you may already have all the content you need. Writing big weighty pieces is hard and time consuming; pulling out some of the core ideas is fast and easy.
Here are a few examples of interactive delivery:
- Whitepapers can be a challenge to slog through, which is why Unitrends made their whitepapers interactive. (This also leveraged value exchange, as Unitrends was able to collect data on how their audience solves specific challenges around backup and recovery issues).
- Atmel, a microcontroller and components company, ran a contest to reach their engineering audience – much easier to consume that a technical paper. So far, 82% of their target audience is engaging, yielding more than 11,000 social shares.
Want to learn more about boosting conversation rates, SQLs, and lead quality with interactive content and marketing automation? Register now for our free webinar, tomorrow at 10:00am PT/1:00 PM ET: Interactive Content Marketing: The Future of Your Funnel