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Interactive Content Marketing: The Future Online Experience

Interactive Content Marketing: The Future Online Experience

Interactive Content Marketing: The Future Online Experience

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Content marketing has always been personalized and dynamic. In a world of static and unchanging websites, it stood out by offering new, regularly updated, audience-targeted content. It stood one step above other content in terms of interactivity, and it worked. Heck, it still works! Yet, as more and more brands take that step up towards interactivity, it’s becoming harder to stand out.

Web technology has advanced rapidly since content marketing became digital. The kind of content you can produce, and the potential reach of that content, has grown by leaps and bounds. Static articles, even when updated regularly, are no longer state of the art; interactive, personalized and dynamic tools are. Users expect a dialogue, not a monologue. A constant stream of articles now seems stagnant and passive where it once felt dynamic and lively. The content arms race has advanced.

What Are We Talking About?

‘Interactivity’ and ‘personalization’ are great words to say, but what do they really mean?

Here, we’re talking about rich online experiences tailored to individual users. Experiences that users take an active part in, that relate to them more than a static experience ever could. Think of interactive video, where a user’s choices create a video just for them. Think of polls and quizzes that output information tailored to the user that fills them out. Think of calculators that let a user experiment and discover for themselves, instead of tables that feed them static, hypothetical data. Think of infographics that come to life and highlight the information a user is particularly interested in.

That’s what “interactivity” and “personalization” really mean. And the reason we’re talking about these terms is because they make content stand out. Articles are good and informative, but how many of them do you read in a day? How many of them stick in your mind? How many of them are relevant or exciting enough to share? The content arms race has progressed to the point where something more is needed to get attention.

Why All The Fuss?

Naturally, it’s a much bigger undertaking to craft an interactive, personalized experience than it is to write an article or share a few posts on social media. What are the benefits of this type of content, then?

Engagement

Passively reading content can’t hold a candle to actively co-creating it. Having something to play with is much more fun than something you can only look at, and content doesn’t need to be fully gamified to be fun.

Shareability

An interactive tool is much more shareable than a static article. If an article is relevant to someone, and if they think it will be relevant to their friends and family, they’ll share it, but predicting that relevance is difficult. It’s much easier to give users the tools to discover relevant information for themselves.

Education

Interactive content is much more effective at educating users than static content. When taking part in interactive online experiences, users are naturally more engaged than if they were simply reading text: their interest is piqued, their motivation is boosted, and their learning retention is amplified. In fact, retention and engagement have both been shown to increase by 50% when digital education is made interactive (Source: Growth Faculty). Interaction wakes people up and gives them the tools they need to learn for themselves and remember what they have learned better.

Market Targetability

Personalized content lets users create an experience closer to what they want. This sort of interactivity is better than a traditional “one-size-fits-all,” unilateral approach to marketing: it’s an “all-sizes-fit-all” approach.

Trackability

More points of interaction mean more trackable spots. Measuring quiz outcomes, calculator results or custom video play counts are all impossible with simple articles. If you’re looking to learn more about your market, interactive content is a great way to let them tell you.

Millennials and Zoomers

Millennials and Zoomers prefer to actively create than passively consume. They also prefer to do their own research and see for themselves, rather than going to an advisor with their questions. They’re also the most active social media users, and the biggest sharers. Wouldn’t it make sense to give them more interactive, more educational, more shareable content? If they don’t get it from you, they’ll get it from someone else.

Interactive content is the next leap forward in the evolution of digital marketing. It takes full advantage of the opportunities provided by the online experience. Passive content still has a place, and always will, but state of the art content marketing has progressed beyond it, and the taste of audiences has evolved.

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