Over 53% of content marketers are using interactive content to influence the buyer’s journey, with 3/4 indicating they plan to increase investment in the channel in the coming year.
Why is interactive marketing becoming so popular? A few reasons.
In a crowded market, it helps brands differentiate themselves from the competition.
It generates 2x more conversions than static content.
More than 9 in 10 B2B buyers prefer it over static content.
But, the #1 driving force behind the adoption of interactive content marketing is its ability to better educate buyers.
Despite the growth, there are several implied barriers to entry when it comes to incorporating interactive content into a company’s broader marketing strategy.
The biggest one:
Interactive content is insanely expensive to produce – and requires teams of experts to execute.
I get it. When most people think of interactive content they picture lavish touch displays and big brand-immersive experiences like this one:
While these experiential marketing campaigns do leverage interactive elements to generate brand awareness and reach massive audiences, they are not the norm.
Truth is, successful interactive marketing campaigns can be executed using a variety of content types with just about any budget, or team size.
To prove it, we have outlined 8 interactive marketing campaign examples below that were used to boost brand awareness, better qualify leads and close sales.
The examples cover small and big budget campaigns, and showcase how companies in all types of industries have incorporated interactive marketing to help achieve top and bottom line objectives.
Let’s start by taking a look at how Deloitte used interactive videos to improve its selection and admissions process.
1. Deloitte Headhunts With Interactive Content
The “Big 4” of accounting – Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst&Young and KPMG – are in a constant, ongoing competition to recruit the best talent available.
To gain the upper hand, Deloitte decided to create an interactive video called, “Will You Fit Into Deloitte?” The video is designed to attract young job prospects to the company.
Unlike many other interactive video campaigns, this one only gives the user 5 rather basic choices.
For example, you spill coffee on a co-worker and get 3 options:
- Tell the person
- Say nothing
- Rub it in
There’s only one right answer for each scenario. If you do something “bad” – like refusing to tell the truth in the example above – you simply get directed back to the same question.
It’s a simple campaign, but through the different answer options it becomes very clear what type of people Deloitte is interested in recruiting.
Interactive content does not have to be complex, or require big budget production value.
The Deloitte campaign worked well because it:
- Created an immersive, first-person experience; something static content can’t do well
- Allowed the user to have a two-way dialogue with viewers stepping inside a big brand company
- Helped viewers gauge whether or not they would be a good cultural fit in the company
Viewer obviously loved the video because it was viewed and shared thousands of times, and had a 4+ minute average watch time!
2. A Simple Test Tool Helps HubSpot Get 50,000 Leads/Month
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a free tool that gives feedback on a website’s:
- Search engine performance
- Social Media Integrations
- Content Marketing Effectiveness
Inherently interactive in nature, Hubspot’s co-founder Dharmesh Shah recently said the tool is critical to the 50,000 leads the website gets each month.
While the tool may seem “big budget” at first glance, it’s actually based on a simple code that automatically grades headlines, keywords and other site elements.
Interactive content can be used to achieve goals at every stage of the buyer’s journey:
In this case, the website grader does a great job at educating the audience about a problem they may not have previously known they had – poor SEO, social media or content marketing performance. Or, validate the need to solve a specific problem.
Either way, the knowledge (education) helps the buyers move further down the funnel.
Similar to assessments and quizzes, interactive tools like the Website Grader work so well because they provide a personalized experience.
Before becoming a successful retail brand, Elephant Pants grew off the back of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
The company created a quiz titled, “Which Pair of Elephant Pants Are You?”, and used it to drive waves of traffic to the Kickstarter page.
The quiz was incredibly simple. It consisted of five short questions that suggested a specific pair of Elephant Pants based on the individual’s answers.
The results page also had a link directing participants back to the Elephant Pants Kickstarter page where they could help fund the company launch:
This campaign achieved several goals the company:
- It generated brand awareness and engagement
- It helped Elephant Pants blow its fundraising goal out of the water (raised over $8,500)
- It established a pre-launch customer base for the product
The use cases for quizzes are only restricted by your creativity. Outside of branding, engagement and lead generation, quizzes can also be used by businesses to help boost exposure for a pre-launch fundraising campaign. This is not only a great way to raise capital, but the supporters will likely lay the foundation of your initial seed customer base. Always be thinking about how you can take your campaigns one step further.
4. Blackbaud Smashes Expectations With a Creative Tool Suite
Blackbaud is a cloud software company that serves non-profits, charitable organizations and other businesses focused on supporting the greater social good.
Since they’re a B2B company, we decided to focus their interactive content campaign on useful tools that helped drive home their audience’s biggest pain points – inefficiencies, lost time, and poor resource utilization:
The campaign generated over 800 sales qualified leads, smashing their initial goal by 41%.
You can create large, valuable, effective pieces of interactive content by pooling small assets together.
Also, quizzes are one of the most powerful marketing vehicles to help pinpoint problems and highlight your target audience’s biggest pain points. By the end of the Blackbaud quiz, users were able to see how much time and money they were wasting every single day with inferior clouding computing solutions, and couldn’t wait to find out how they could solve the problem.
Pain questions evoke emotion. And as you’ll learn in any sales 101 class, people are more likely to buy when they are in an emotional state.
5. Earth 2045: Webby Award Winner for “Best Use of Video”
Sweden has the world’s fastest-aging population outside of Japan. For this reason, SPP – a large Swedish pension management provider – decided to invest into an interactive video made by M&C Saatchi Stockholm.
The concept is simple. Users can move a slider to change between two alternate visions of the future:
- One in which everyone saves and lives sustainably, protecting the planet.
- One in which everyone spends money (and energy) frivolously, resulting in a worldwide energy crisis.
According to a Saatchi spokesperson, the clip helps users see “immediate consequences” to their decisions – and makes them think of their future as a pensioner.
This is a powerful example of how compelling stories, told through interactive media, can make a message resonate and impact a large audience. In this case, the video showcases how small choices can make a big difference. And, leaves you with a question:
How do you want the world to be when you retire?
In a world where people are inundated with content, and attention spans are shrinking, it is becoming very difficult to engage an audience. As we can see with SPP, interactive content can be used to raise powerful questions that help your audience understand the driving force behind your brand. A compelling storyline that helps users empathize with, and form a more personal connection with your brand – the #1 way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market.
Next up, let’s look at an oldie but goodie: a print-media era ad campaign that relied on interactivity to popularize…
6. The Interactive Campaign that Made America Brush its Teeth
100 years ago, North Americans weren’t brushing their teeth. Pepsodent – then an unknown company – was making toothpaste, so they weren’t too happy about that…
The company hired (now) legendary copywriter Claude Hopkins to help them.
Claude quickly figured out that the fastest way to show people why they need to brush their teeth was by explaining what plaque was. To that end, he made ads that read:
Just run your tongue across your teeth. You’ll feel a film- that’s what makes your teeth look ‘off-color’ and invites decay. Pepsodent removes the film!
True, the interactive aspect of this content is a bit DIY – but it made Hopkins and Pepsodent millions of dollars, and was a major reason we all brush our teeth today.
Pretty remarkable, right?
Claude Hopkins made his message felt, rather than just heard or read. This is the very reason interactive content is more effective at educating, and generates 2x more conversions than static content – users “experience” the problem.
7. Facebook IQ Lets Users Step into the Research Based on More than 1.9 Billion People
Facebook IQ Live was an event where users could learn more about using Facebook for business. Specifically, the company wanted to showcase how businesses could leverage the collected on users to better understand and market to their target audience.
The result was a real-life installation (model home) that literally allowed people to step into the research, Facebook’s new functions, like:
- 360-degree videos
- Selling products via ChatBots
- Facebook Stories
This experience created a whole new level of engagement for users. And, the results were impressive:
93% of 1500+ attendees said the experience gave them valuable insights on how to use Facebook for business.
Build an experience for people who aren’t sure how they could use your product or service. Allow people to interact with your brand in a way that spells out how they could benefit from the solution.
Since 65% of people think live events help them understand a product better, bring your interactive content experience to in-person events.
Lists have been a content marketing staple for many years.
Earlier this year, ESPN decided to take one of their static lists and turn it into an interactive poll where users could vote on the most outrageous cricket shots.
The result was a whopping 50,000+ shares and a tidal wave of positive social media buzz.
Even the most basic content assets such as bulleted list posts can be turned into interactive experiences that drive massive amounts of engagement, and help your brand reach new audiences. Interactive campaigns don’t need huge budgets to be effective. All you need is a message that will resonate with your audience, and the right tools to bring it to life.
Ready to launch an interactive marketing campaign of your own?
There you have it – 8 successful interactive marketing campaigns built with different budget levels, team sizes and content types.
The question is:
When will you take the proverbial leap and add an interactive layer to your content marketing strategy?