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In the world of content marketing, sticking to text-based blog posts or relying on static images won’t fully generate the results you want. Discover how you can supercharge your content strategy by including interactives in your marketing mix.
Image via Flickr by Wiertz Sébastien
In an age of ever-decreasing attention spans and always-increasing levels of distraction, engaging readers can prove particularly challenging. What’s become increasingly clear, however, is that visual content pays off.
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster compared to when it has to wade through text. Posts with visual content, therefore, have the potential to receive almost twice the level of engagement as text-based posts.
With interactive media, the potential for engagement remains even higher. While the notion that 1 percent of online users actively contribute to their communities might not be completely accurate these days, the percentage of engaged users is still remarkably low in most corners of the Internet. Media that prompts a response is a smart way to get readers engaged.
No matter what kind of blog you manage, you’re bound to create densely detailed posts and information-heavy content from time to time. After all, doing research, performing case studies, and sharing your knowledge through high-level content are all effective ways to position yourself as an expert in your industry.
While expert-level blog posts, white papers, and e-books are essential marketing tools in most fields, these pieces of content are less effective if they rely solely on writing. Try augmenting expert content with interactive media, and you’re likely to gain not only better engagement, but also increased reach, more leads, and a greater impact overall.
With mobile users, creating targeted campaigns and digital media is a no-brainer. After all, the number of mobile users has doubled in a few short years, and the rate of adoption doesn’t show signs of slowing. Not only do about two-thirds of American adults own smartphones, but an even higher percentage of young adults rely on these devices for online browsing.
More importantly, smartphone users turn to their mobile devices for a surprisingly wide range of activities. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of people used smartphones to research health conditions, while almost half relied on a mobile device to find a place to live. About one-third of mobile users researched educational content with their devices.
For mobile users, however, simple text-based websites and content aren’t enough. Instead, smartphone users demand interactivity. Whether they’re watching videos, engaging with infographics, or consuming vibrant visual presentations, mobile users increasingly prefer content they can act upon instead of material they consume passively.
The good news for marketers is that they can benefit from this exchange, too. By aggregating responses and other data that mobile users offer as they interact, marketers can develop analytics that will help them create more valuable content in the future.
For marketers, one of the greatest challenges is the constant need to produce more content. When you’ve already shared your latest insights on a hot industry topic in a white paper, created a comprehensive guide to overcoming a common problem, or answered some of the most popular industry questions in a new e-book, producing new content on the same topic may not be possible.
When you’ve reached this point, interactive infographics can be particularly beneficial, as they allow you to repurpose existing content. Now, you shouldn’t use interactive media simply to rehash tired ideas either. On the contrary, interactive illustrations and animated videos allow you to breathe new life into your content.
Create an interactive infographic that highlights a pressing problem from your e-book or produce an animated video to generate new interest in a dense topic that you tackled in your white paper. Make sure the avenue you choose resonates with your audience, and you’ll continue to get even more value from your high-level content.
In many ways, interactive content and social media go hand in hand. After all, the inherent value in the two platforms lies in user participation, and both thrive on increased interaction.
Visually appealing interactives can seriously boost a brand’s social media presence. Static images alone increase traction by an impressive amount, and images posted on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels generate an impressive interaction rate of nearly 90 percent. When done right and formatted for prime visual interest on social media, interactives can strive to meet similar engagement rates while simultaneously pushing your fans to consume and share your brand’s content.
As great as interactive media often appears, most marketers don’t produce content for interactive media for looks alone. Instead, one of interactive content’s strongest points is its ability to drive sales and generate both new and repeat customers.
When high-level materials, such as white papers or e-books, incorporate interactives, this kind of content can lead to increased conversions. After all, a reader who’s taken the time to seek out and download expert-level material has already demonstrated initiative and interest. An embedded infographic that provides value, relates to the brand’s products or services, and encourages interaction has the potential to drive more sales.
Not all interactives need high-level origins, however. In some cases, animated demo videos can stand on their own as strong candidates for lead generation, especially when a clear call to action and an outlet for capturing contact information accompanies them.
In addition to leads and conversions, well-done interactive content can offer even more value for marketers. Interactives that improve SEO, increase engagement, and decrease bounce rates all contribute to larger marketing goals at hand.
Whether your marketing efforts have started to go stale or you’re looking for the next best way to expand awareness of your business to new customers, take a closer look at how interactive media can work for you. Add one or a few interactives to your robust marketing mix, and you’ll find countless new avenues for engaging your audience, increasing conversions, and building a continuing relationship between your audience and your brand.