You have seen the benefits of content marketing, but are your recent campaigns falling a bit flat? You have a marketing automation system in place, but are you getting the most out of it? By layering interactive content into your marketing efforts, you can drive more leads, enhance profile building and scoring, and improve nurturing.

Interactive content is content that creates a dialogue with your audience that leads to an exchange of information. Unlike the passive, one-sided way we generally consume content (e.g., viewing, reading, watching, or listening), interactive content requires active engagement from your audience because it is a two-way experience where your audience can, vote, rank, compete, assess, or otherwise participate in an exchange.

Interactive content comes in many forms including polls and surveys, personality tests / persona assessments, contests, quizzes and more. It may be marketer defined content or it might, in the case of a photo contest, be user generated. Depending on your specific needs and objectives, this content may be published on websites and blogs, in emails or on social channels including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The “shareability” of this type of content further contributes to its distribution. In our research, we have found that a personalized result is 11 times more likely to be shared than a static web page.

Why interactive content?

Interactive content is powerful stuff. On average, when companies produce and distribute interactive content, they generate:

  • Click rates of 50%
  • Lead form completion rates of 80%
  • Social sharing rates of 20%

Compare that with average email click rates of 5% and it doesn’t take much to understand why modern marketers view interactive content as the next generation of content marketing and are weaving it into their email marketing templates, landing pages, blog posts, websites and social media channels.

Companies use interactive content for a variety of marketing goals from branding to top of the funnel lead generation to collecting relevant information for profile building and scoring, to nurturing—both pre and post-sale.

For example:

  • PBS uses quizzes and polls embedded in their CMS and Email marketing to generate leads for donor/ fundraising outreach
  • Forescout uses personality quizzes to perform pre-sales qualification and deliver targeted whitepapers.
  • Webroot uses various types of interactive content across channels to drive software trial downloads
  • RSA (security division of EMC) uses QR codes coupled with personality assessments at events to capture leads
  • Los Angeles Times and New York Times use daily trivia quizzes to drive time on site and advertising revenues
  • Kong runs photo contests on its website to drive email newsletter signups and build profiles
  • Luxury Link creates travel-related personality surveys to funnel prospects to highly targeted online offers.

How does interactive content fit with marketing automation?

If you consider marketing automation to be the engine for your sales pipeline, think of interactive content as fuel. From a top of funnel perspective, the sharable, engaging nature of interactive content grabs people’s attention. And from a mid to late funnel point of view, the enhanced user experience helps keep things moving by reducing much of the drag that usually slows leads down. By presenting interactive content in your templates and capturing the user data in your marketing database you can put more gas in and get more power out of your marketing automation/ CRM solution.

Metaphors aside, here are a few specific examples of how interactive content can integrate with and enhance your marketing automation efforts:

  • Interactive Content in Email Campaigns: Embedding interactive content—such as surveys, personality assessments, quizzes and even contests — directly in your email templates can dramatically improve open and click rates — to the tune of 10x.
  • Drive and Qualify Leads More Rapidly with Personality Tests: Enable early stage prospects to identify their own pain points or interests, and you can score based on their responses. All of the data collected can be appended to the lead or contact record. Marketers and sales executives then use these self-assessments to deliver just the right message/ content based on responses provided.
  • Increase Traffic to Webpages and Other Valuable Content: On average, when marketers integrate interactive content into their programs, site traffic increases by as much as 400 to 500% from the sharable, engaging, and well directed user experience. With web content measured and optimized by marketing automation, more traffic invariably means more leads in your pipeline.

How are you using interactive content in your marketing automation efforts? We would love to hear about it.