Blogging has always been a central piece of any content marketing strategy – but not all blogs are created equally. In fact, many blog posts fall on deaf ears.
Why is that?
Well, for one thing: There’s a lot of competition for attention in today’s online environment. Some estimates indicate that there are as many as 2.75 million blog posts published per day. Yes, that’s per day.
So what can you do to improve your blog content so that it stands out from the noise?
Look to interactive content. By adding in engaging elements like quizzes, calculators, and interactive infographics (to name a few ideas), you can enhance your long-form content and make it even more impactful for your audience.
Here are 10 ways integrating interactive content like polls, quizzes, and interactive video can help improve your blog:
1. Strengthen Two-Way Communication
Data from AdWeek shows that Millennials especially like to be spoken with, not spoken to. They want a dialogue rather than a one-sided information dump. And when you think about it, the traditional blog post is just that. This is likely why 37% of marketers reported that increasing two-way communication with their audiences at scale was a top challenge.
However, it can be fixed. By integrating an interactive element like a poll, quiz, or interactive video for example, you can give your readers a voice (with minimal effort.) Just repurpose some of your existing material into an interactive element, and re-launch. Here’s how Brightcove did this:
2. Build Engagement and Community
There are lots of “hot takes” floating around in the content marketing world today–which is to say more brands are taking a stance and sharing opinions. It’s great to get some honest insight from a company – but wouldn’t it be great if the community the content is targeted at could speak back?
ESPN thinks so. Even though the brand regularly lets writers and content creators showcase their own opinions and projections for players and teams–they also let their audience weigh in, too. Take a look at how they integrated an interactive quiz into this article on the Celtics:
It’s working, too. Notice that more than 11,330 votes were collected on this single question. Pretty incredible, right? That instantly validates the fact that readers want to be able to share their opinions.
3. Share Original Research
When the New York Times wanted to showcase some of the original research they’d conducted on dialects around the US, they included a quiz along with their written article. It was effective, too: The quiz was their most-clicked article of the entire year.
The same tactic can be used within your own blog content strategy. If you have new data to spotlight, don’t let it stand alone in a blog post–make it interactive and engaging. By putting your insights into a quiz format, readers get to learn via hands-on experience, not just one-sided consumption.
4. Make Events More Enticing
Event promotion is a tricky thing. How can you make “We’ll be at this event, come visit our booth, or set up a meeting with us” more interesting?
It’s pretty common practice to write blogs leading up to an event to let your audience know you’ll be there and to add your specific take on the event. Sometimes these take the form of “5 Things to Do in Nashville for X Event,” if the event were in Nashville.
An alternative would be to include a quiz or poll in the blog that connects to the event. You could even use the response data as an event feature at a booth or follow-up email.
DemandBase used a quiz to get attendees (and prospective attendees) excited for their event in Las Vegas by playing up some of the highlights found in the city. At the same time, they were able to learn more about what their attendees were looking for in the conference experience.
By adding an assessment like this one to an otherwise static blog post, you can create a piece of content that’s much more memorable (and useful). Plus, you can help promote some pre-and-post event activities that attendees maybe hadn’t learned about just yet.
5. Leverage Data to Build More Content
The more interactive content you launch, the more user data you’ll have collected on the back end. And guess what? That rich data can be leveraged into new content that’s laser focused on your target audience.
So imagine using this type of data gathering in your blog – your turning a channel that usually delivering information into a channel for collecting information. All you have to do is title you blog in the vein of a BuzzFeed article.
Uberflip recently did this with their What Kind of Marketer Are You? quiz.
The blog has a brief introduction and then goes straight into the quiz.
For another example, the LivePerson blog did this with their Digital Engagement Selfie assessment, which built on the idea of a “selfie” to assess digital engagement strategies of C-suite leaders. They got more than 300 responses, and then turned that data into an ebook and webinar on the state of customer experience.
What’s even better: This original research helped boost their authority on the topic, and increased opportunities for link-building as other sites referenced the data they showcased. Every time a new writer wants to reference this data set, they’ll have to link out to it within the content.
6. Provide Value With a Helpful Tool
If your audience is looking for a quick shortcut that will solve a problem or spotlight a gap in service/processes, a helpful tool like an interactive calculator makes an ideal tie-in for blog content. In seconds, the reader can get a precise calculation or answer to a question teased out by the blog post – which presents an opportunity to show the impact of your solution as a fast and easy fix.
In one of their blogs (as well as many other channels), CPA firm Kaufman Rossin did this with a tax calculator:
As the brand discusses the topic of US taxes for foreign-owned corporations, they provide a contextual asset that can generate quick, precise data points for readers.
Plus, at the end of the calculator, there’s an opportunity to connect with the company for additional questions. That’s smart lead gen.
7. Boost CTA Click-Throughs
Blog posts that only feature text and images sometimes struggle to drive click-throughs (AKA conversions.) But again, this is a point where interactive content can come to the rescue.
BirchBox does this well within the beauty industry. They integrated a quiz to drive more clicks on their website and to better segment and personalize later experiences on the site. Even though the initial questions weren’t product related, it got visitors clicking and invested in the experience.
Down the road, they begin to ask more targeted questions that are brand-relevant. Then, with the data collected through these quizzes, they can send more relevant follow-up emails, deliver better product suggestions, and more.
For a more B2B toned example, let’s look at Freshbooks. For their blog, they use recurrent CTAs in designated area (much like many blogs do), however the difference is they invite a reader to take a quiz or find their right solution, instead of the more standard ebook download option.
8. Tap Into a Curiosity Gap
The invitation to test one’s knowledge is nearly impossible to resist. It’s the same reason you keep seeing the same “Which Disney character are you?” Buzzfeed-style quizzes circling platforms like Facebook for weeks on end.
These quizzes leverage what’s called a curiosity gap, which scientific research indicates our brains are programmed to want to close.
You can use this tactic within your blog content, too. As you’re writing about a specific topic that’s relevant to your audience, include a short quiz that lets the reader test his/her knowledge on the topic. Direct Energy did this with their energy quiz:
Plus: It’ll help you gauge whether or not your audience is reading your blog posts, too. If the answers to the quiz are within the blog post, a perfect score should be a no-brainer.
9. Increase Social Shares
The best blog content is shareable content – because it organically reaches more people. But how do you increase social shares? One tested way is to create quizzes. Data shows that the average share rate of things like personality quizzes is 4.04%.
Why does this work so well? For one thing: It’s fun.
Dr. Stuart Brown states in his TED talk, “Play is not the opposite of work.” By building on the notion of “play” in your content, you allow people to engage with meaningful content in their own way. In a way, quizzes turn static content into a game, and this gamification spurs interaction. The BBC knows this works, as evidenced in their weekly news quiz:
The more organic social shares your blog content can earn, the more people you’ll reach. It just makes sense to strive for building highly shareable content.
10. Diversify Your Content Types
Sometimes readers can get tired of the same old thing. If all you ever deliver is the same style of content (blog posts, videos, etc.) over time, your readers might get bored by the lack of diversity in your material. By adding in some different content types with interactive materials, you can ensure your readers always have something new and interesting from you.
Take a look at this example from Vidyard. They created an interactive video series that educates, entertains, and engages the viewer – which makes for a much more interesting content format.
They can work these videos into regular blog posts so that readers are greeted with fresh, multi-faceted content each time they come to the site. And so can you.
Blog Better: Make Interactive Content Work for You
Armed with these 10 ideas for integrating interactive assets into your blogging efforts, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Whether it’s promoting events with a pre-event assessment or increasing the shareability of your posts with fun, engaging quizzes, there are many different tactics for you to implement and test.
What’s holding you back? In no time at all, you can start making your blog efforts more effective and profitable with the help of interactive elements. All that’s left to do is to start creating.
Want to learn a little more about interactive content?