Why Your Content Plan Must Include Interactive Content
From Demand Gen Report to Marketing Profs to Content Marketing Institute, leaders in the content marketing field are touting the benefits of incorporating interactive content—content that encourages prospects to engage and respond—into the modern marketing mix.
Through interactive assessments, calculators, infographics, benchmarking tests, or a combination of all the above, marketers can expand their brand, generate leads, build better prospect profiles and enhance lead scoring across all marketing programs.
However, even if you’re fully on board with using interactive content, your boss will still want to know the value of adding interactive content into the mix. So, here are some of the key questions—and answers!—to help fuel that conversation:
1. Do our buyers want to see interactive content?
Short answer: Yes, B2B buyers crave interactive content.
According to Demand Gen Report’s 2015 Content Preferences survey, 91% of buyers prefer content that is visual and has an element of interactivity.
Meanwhile, more than 20% of respondents report using assessments, one of the most popular types of interactive content, for researching B2B purchase decisions, and those numbers are increasing every year.
Just think of the popularity of quizzes in your personal life: from BuzzFeed to The New York Times, media venues that put out quizzes are wildly popular and incredibly effective at engaging audiences. If your customers are people (hint: they are), chances are they’ll interact with a quiz that speaks to them!
2. OK, but does interactive content work?
A study by DemandMetric found that interactive content in general converts two times better than its static counterpart. At SnapApp in particular, we see average click rates of 50%, question completion rates of 80%, and 40% lead conversion rates.
3. How will this show marketing ROI?
More, higher quality leads equal more revenue. Period.
Here are examples of companies that used interactive content and could directly attribute increases in sales pipeline to the content:
- Blackbaud achieved 133% of its sales quota by using interactive content to tailor the sales conversation to the prospect.
- Unitrends used a superhero themed assessment as part of a lead gen campaign that generated more than 700 leads and $1 million in sales pipeline in just 4 months.
- CEB (Corporate Executive Board) saw a 54% increase in click rate when they added an interactive call to action to its LinkedIn ad.
Interactive content also enables you to measure and quantify engagement at a very detailed level. The data points allow you to refine and tailor your content to make it even more effective. If something isn’t performing, it is easy to identify where the fall-off is and make adjustments.
Meanwhile if you aren’t creating interactive content, how you aren’t able to test it against your current ads and email campaigns to see what converts at a higher rate.
4. IT doesn’t have the bandwidth to create interactive content right now. So I think we need to wait on this, right?
If you choose to build from scratch, then chances are you will need some help from the IT department.
However, the emergence of interactive content creation platforms, software, and apps, like those of SnapApp, enable marketers to be self-sufficient—and give IT a much needed break. Even sophisticated content like assessments that branch down different paths based on responses, interactive infographics, and interactive videos, can be created by marketers that have the right software platform at their disposal.
And, yes, this includes integration. Using existing APIs, data can flow from your content into your CRM or marketing automation system without any special coding. That’s right—you, the marketer, can hook an interactive content marketing platform up, design and publish content, and pull data without involving the IT department AT ALL (I’m sure they’ll thank you for that.)
5. What will it cost?
It depends: how much content do you want to create, and what kind of content do you want to create? Also, how important is branding vs. templated solutions? All of this impacts pricing.
The good news is that you can get started with interactive content via a simple free polling solution (think Facebook polls.) But for a sophisticated platform that includes white labeling, customizable look and feel, a range of content types, and the ability to publish across channels, you will need to allot about $1000-$3000 per month. And a custom development job can easily cost you $10,000-$15,000 per piece of content.
As a starting point, spend some time mapping out your vision for interactive content so you can offer your manager a realistic estimate.
6. Will this work with our marketing automation system?
All of this new content and the data and leads you collect does not have be cut and pasted from Excel spreadsheets and .csv files. Instead, the data should flow seamlessly into your marketing automation platform. This makes all of the data immediately actionable. And there’s a bonus—it helps you get more out of your marketing automation investment. Cha-ching! By introducing more high quality content, you now have more content for nurture streams and landing pages, more leads to nurture, and more data to score those leads.
7. Do you have a few ideas that you plan to start with?
It’s always good to have your ideas organized so that you can jump in and get going (Bonus: It’s also what every manager likes to see)! A list of “here’s what I am going to produce in the first 90 days” shows initiative and that you really have thought this through. Here are some interactive content ideas to get you thinking:
- An assessment that enables prospects to test their knowledge of “best practices”
- A calculator allowing your prospects to understand how purchasing your product will result in a positive ROI for their organization
- An interactive whitepaper derived from your current planned paper
- A user-generated photo (or other) contest designed to boost community engagement and generate a positive emotional association
- A pre, during, and post-event survey to help you get more out of your big tradeshow, driving traffic and leads
Overall, interactive content is delivering solid results for B2B marketers across industries. So don’t get left behind—jump on board this trend now! As a start, click here to take a short quiz to see how much you know about interactive content. Enjoy!