Find out what 400,000 articles taught us about content engagement
Could your content-marketing strategy use a shot in the arm?
Would you be interested in learning about a specific form of content that consistently delivers incredible results almost automatically?
Then, you’ll love discovering the potential of interactive content and how easy it can be to create. All it takes is an interactive content marketing platform (check out this list from Lilach Bullock) and the three tips below to generate the kind of posts that practically market themselves and can set your company up for easy conversions.
Interactive content is content that engages website visitors by inviting them to make decisions about their experience.
By using an interactive content marketing platform, companies can deliver much more customized experiences to their users.
There are a number of different types of interactive content, but the four main categories are:
You’ve probably already interacted with at least one of these types before. For example, many financial lenders offer mortgage calculators to visitors. They can use these tools to get a better sense of the kind of mortgage for which they could apply.
This interactive map of global migration is another example.
World migration map
Based on data from the U.N. Population Division, this map shows the estimated net migration (inflows minus outflows) by origin and destination country between 2010 and 2015.
It’s an amazing interactive visual that not only transforms in front of the viewer but also gives them the opportunity to zoom in on any area of the globe they want.
The answer is simple: interactive content is engaging. Engagement is important because it ensures the content gets read and/or viewed. By definition, engaging content must be valuable to the website visitor in some way, which means they’ll most likely spend more time checking out the rest of your site, too.
Furthermore, when we used BuzzSumo and SEMRush to analyze more than 67,000 pieces of content from the travel industry, we found that “Interactive content generates significantly more links and social shares [because] compared to static content, interactive content appears to be much more captivating.”
So, interactive content has become a powerful way to build those all-important backlinks, which end up generating greater amounts of traffic.
Finally, interactive content marketing software is now readily available to companies of all sizes. This means everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the most bootstrapped of startups can put this important form of content to work.
With that said, you’ll need more than just the right content marketing tools to create the kind of interactive content that truly engages your market.
Keep these three tips in mind when creating your content for best results.
The first rule to creating successful interactive content is the same first rule in all of content marketing: understand what your market wants.
Your options for interactive content are nearly limitless. Maybe you’ve even thought of a couple of ideas already. Still, you have to first confirm that your idea will provide value to the user and is something they are already actively searching for online.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor, it might be cool to use an interactive content platform to create a visual model of the spine. With user input about where their pain is coming from, the visual would adapt to show them what’s happening in the spine to cause it.
That might be cool, but is it something your market is looking for? Maybe. Maybe they’d rather just find a chiropractor ASAP so they can get adjusted. Do your research first and you’ll know for sure.
Social engagement is one way to find content that your audience finds interesting. Search volume is another passive indicator. You may also want to consider doing a survey of your customers.
For example, if you work in financial planning, “saving money” is probably a relevant topic. Let’s see what takes on the topic have done the best this past year:
As you can see, half of the most-shared results relate to food. How could you improve on this with interactive content?
Perhaps, you could make an interactive visual that shows how much someone could save every year if they cut out daily coffee runs, happy hours, eating out, ordering in, etc. That content would provide similar value as the examples above and would create immediate engagement.
You could also create a calculator to highlight savings from the same lifestyle changes.
If you use your interactive content marketing platform to create a post that brings lots of attention to your social media account and builds backlinks for your website, then feel free to congratulate yourself on a resounding success.
However, don’t forget that content marketing is still about driving an ROI by delivering your sales team qualified leads.
Social shares and backlinks will help, but to really double-down on the popularity of the interactive content you worked so hard to create, pair it with a specific lead magnet, as well. That will make it much easier to turn that traffic into customers.
Again, for our hypothetical post about saving money on food, the lead magnet might be an eBook that covers affordable-but-delicious recipes. That would be extremely relevant to anyone interested in the topic.
You can also create several lead magnets depending on the user’s input. If you were to turn your interactive visual into a quiz about food-spending-habits, the recipe book may be perfect for one segment, but another might benefit more from a monthly budgeting guide.
Like any new form of content, creating interactive posts becomes much easier each time. You’ll also feel much more motivated after your efforts pay off and you see increased engagement, shares, backlinks, and even conversions.
Get started using an interactive content marketing platform and thinking up ideas for successful posts. Then, as soon you create your first one, add room in your editorial calendar for regular interactive content going forward. The results will improve your content-marketing strategy like nothing else.
BONUS: How to develop an interactive content calculator
If you want to experiment with a calculator, remember that you will need to make it relevant to your audience by answering a question or providing information they can benefit from. That information should not be something they can easily find without you.
Anything that can be quantified mathematically, or estimated mathematically, is a good candidate for a calculator. Topics like money, weight, time, and calories are obvious examples.
Importantly, calculators take broad swaths of information and make them personal, based on a variable. So, a question like “What is the average amount people spend on coffee” would not create a good calculator. A better approach would be a calculator that determines savings based on criteria like the price of coffee, the price of happy hour, or the price of eating out. The best approach would allow for multiple variables and create a very specific result.
In other words, the calculator will need to tie a variable known by the audience to a more obscure variable, which you can provide.
For example, in the “How much money can I save?” example, there are several audience-known variables — how many cups of coffee they buy each week, how many times they eat out, and how many happy hours they go to.
The author provided variables are the average cost of each of these items.
The result of the calculation is the total amount spent on all of the above by the user of the calculator.
To apply this to your own topics, consider what questions your audience may have that can be segmented based on variables. Ask yourself what information would be needed to provide a specific, useful answer. The following formula may help.
Formula for a simple calculator:
Result of calculation = (Audience known variable) +, -,/, or x (Author known variable)
If you’re struggling to find the right topic for your interactive content, you can easily find what’s been trending and mostly shared using BuzzSumo. Learn how BuzzSumo’s Content Research feature can help you instantly find the right content for you.
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