Content marketers increasingly understand that interactive content can help them stand out in the sea of content. However, interactive content, which requires buyers to click or touch and make decisions about what to view, is valuable in the latter stages of the buyer journey, too.

Sales people can use interactive content to stand out, speed the buyer journey, and flip the conversation so that customers drive it. This content drives engagement, retaining the buyer’s interest and attention, while moving the buyer deeper in the sales cycle. Here are five specific ways that interactive content from sales improves customer engagement.

1) It differentiates your business

One of the key reasons that marketers like interactive content is that it helps them to stand out. Sellers should like it for the same reason.

In the CSO Insights 2019 Sales Enablement report[1], 57.7% of buyers reported seeing little difference between sellers. They all began to look alike. Only a third of buyers (31.9%) eventually found that one seller seriously stood out from the others.

You want to be the one that stands out, and for the right reasons. Interactive content can help.

2) It puts the buyer in the driver’s seat

You’ve heard the statistics:

  • 62% of B2B buyers say they can finalize their selection criteria or vendor list based on content alone[2]
  • 70% of the buyer’s journey is completed before a buyer ever reaches out to sales[3]
  • 74 percent of B2B buyers do at least half their research online before making an offline purchase.[4]

It all adds up to one thing: buyers prefer to be in control. They are doing their research, picking the information important to them, and choosing their own path.

When they finally reach out to sales, they aren’t looking to abdicate control. They’re looking for a partner. When you deliver interactive content to the buyer, you acknowledge their intelligence and let them stay in the driver’s seat: continuing to view the information they care about and that is most relevant to them.

3) It provides buyers tailored experiences

Everyone wants to feel special, not like they’re being lumped in with everyone else. At the same time, at the top and middle of the funnel, it’s hard to produce unique content for every prospect. And you may not know enough about the customer to really deliver quality custom content.

Interactive content offers a middle ground. Your marketing team can create one piece of rich content that nevertheless covers multiple scenarios, personas, use cases, or amount of detail. It may not be custom content, but it feels like custom content. Because the customer picks their own path through the content and chooses what to engage with, the information feels and is more relevant and more interesting to that particular prospect.

4) It lets you better understand customer needs

When done right, interactive content can gather useful information to allow you to better assist the customer in his or her decision. With quizzes, assessments, and other questions embedded in the content, you can gather relevant information to better understand the customer’s business needs, pain points, and environment.

Or, track what parts of the content the user engaged with and what information the prospect chose to view. That tells you what the prospect really cares about, enabling you to select the right follow-up content and information to focus on.

5) It flips the conversation, enabling more productive customer meetings

Especially today when so many meetings are online, it’s hard to keep the buyer’s attention. The last thing you want is to flip through a slide deck, skipping around or—worse—forcing the prospect to sit through slides that aren’t of interest.

Whether it’s in person or online, interactive content with flexible navigation lets you easily jump to the relevant use cases or products as you learn more about the customer in the conversation. You can get a broad set of content—as large as any slide deck—and deep content that drills down into the details of your business solutions. But it doesn’t have to feel burdensome and it can be easy to navigate in the middle of a meeting.

Even better, you can embed questionnaires, videos, assessments, and calculators. You can hand the reins over to the client, asking them to enter information or answer questions and choose what they want to know more about. By flipping the conversation and putting the customer in the driver’s seat during a meeting, you ensure engagement and that you’re truly talking about topics that resonate with the prospect.