Interactive content: how to best engage your audience in 2021

3 min read

Love or hate it: everything is content. Every ad, every video, every picture, every tweet — almost anything and everything you consume on a daily basis — is content. Knowing this then, how are you going to best engage the audience for your product or service as we fight our way through 2021? Yup: content. Interactive content. Let’s explain.

First, some context

Interactive content: image of computer screen showing various distribution channels
Image: Envato

Online content marketing is hardly a foreign concept to any marketer worth his or her salt. In fact, agencies, B2B businesses, B2C businesses, nonprofits, and more — 84% of them have a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is crucial to attracting any attention, and therefore success, to a business.

That presents an interesting reality.

You need content to be noticed, but everyone’s using content to get noticed.

It’s like we’re all grains of sand on a vast beach. Each grain is unique and different, but hardly noticeable when compared to another.

So that begs the question: How does content stand out these days? While there are ways to give your brand an edge in attracting attention, such as making intro videos for social media, there’s one thing that some businesses aren’t using to its full potential:

Interactive content. 

In 2021, interactive is the way to go. It provides a new way to connect with audiences, makes sure you have their attention, and sustains it throughout their experience. This results in greater interest, greater engagement, and positive customer experiences.

Get ready to interact. You’ll be wanting to dive head first into interactive content after you see what it can do.

What is interactive content?

Interactive content is content that requires the active engagement of consumers, rather than passive engagement. 

The difference can be answering a quiz to find out what you need (active), versus reading an article for the same information (passive). Speaking of quizzes, interactive content can also come in the form of polls, interactable infographics, and even games. 

Marketers will say this active take on content is superior to traditional content. 79% agree that interactive content enhances retention of brand messaging when combined with traditional marketing tactics.

Why it’s time to be interactive

Interactive content: image of a man using a tablet and a laptop.
Image: Envato

Retention of your branding has never been more important, especially in our pandemic-steeped reality of 2021. It’s undeniable that people are spending more time at home, and are exposed to more content.

The result?

People are becoming numb to the information overload. Attention spans are shrinking. And instead of passively consuming content as people might’ve in the past, they are becoming more particular with what they consume.

This is what makes interactive content the next big thing. Interactive content calls for engagement, it pulls people in, it gives them a good time. Most importantly, it’s content people deem worthy of consuming. That’s the sort of distinction content needs to rise above the rest these days.

Interactive content in action

Take a look at Circle K’s rock-paper-scissors game with renown mixed martial artist George St-Pierre. Yes, we’re aware of how bizarre that sounds. But doesn’t it just scream ‘interesting’? 

It’s a chance to play a rock-paper-scissors game and win giveaways. As you select your choice of hand, you’re face to face with a video George St-Pierre. Select your weapon, and two hands face off in an overhead view of the table. Cut to a shot of the MMA fighter reacting to the win or loss. 

Winning gives you access to something like buy-one-get-one deals or other coupons. If you scan a QR code on one of Circle K’s products (why not the one you just won a coupon for?) you can enter the grand prize giveaways. 

It’s fun, it’s valuable, it’s engaging, exciting, colorful, personal, and it’s simply a good time. It barely takes anytime to do, yet tempts customers with offers.

Did we mention you can play on a daily basis until the event ends?

 

You imagine the positive emotional impact from repeating the interaction daily. Along with the enhanced: customer retention, brand recall, and virality from the celebrity presence. What more could you ask for from a marketing campaign? 

How you can use interactive content

While you might not be able to get a top-level UFC fighter on board with your next piece of interactive content, you don’t have to aim that high. Of course, we’re also not going to stop you should you choose to!

Image: Envato

As mentioned before, making interactive content can be as simple as using a quiz. Check out Spotify’s Mood Quiz. It helps users figure out what mood they’re in, and subsequently what music is best for them at the moment.

Quizzes and polls are a good way to personalize a customer’s experience. It can make them feel like they’ve come across a unique solution to their query, instead of being pitched one. And it just so happens you offer the solution.

Calculators like CoSchdeule’s Headline Analyzer or HubSpot’s Website Grader draw in traffic while educating consumers about each business’s offers.

And of course, games and giveaways like the rock-paper-scissors interactive brings in a lot of engagement and keeps the brand in mind.

The key is to make the customer feel like they’re gaining something from the interaction. Whether it’s knowledge, discounts or a good laugh, if you’re providing value, something can be made interactable.

Maybe you own a bike store. Why not make a quirky bike personality quiz that leads people to their biking personality, and subsequently what bike fits them best? Or an interactable that lets people see other bikers’ routes? You can get creative!

Final thoughts

Interactive content is probably the best way to engage your audience in 2021. The fact is that not every business is using it, it’s still surprising when businesses do use it, and they’re super-effective.

The best part is, interactive content can be catered to your business. You can provide a unique interaction that other businesses can’t, so long as you have a niche expertise. Or you can even leverage your location.

And since interactive content hasn’t been oversaturated like everything else, there’s a good chance your idea will be the first to shine amongst your competitors.

Bottom line, our advice is to not sleep on interactive content. Get active!

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