B2B has traditionally relied on very specific types of content to engage buyers: case studies, white papers, and blog posts. While these can all be highly effective ways to generate leads and achieve other business objectives, they are not the only forms of content. B2B organizations should consider dedicating resources to creating interactive content that may also resonate with the target audience.
Like other forms of content, interactive pieces should be used to demonstrate thought leadership in novel ways, generate leads, increase sales, and boost brand awareness. Interactive content is also an effective way to forge an emotional connection with a target audience in a personalized way. In turn, a business can capture an audience’s attention, boost engagement, and pique interest in a way that positions the brand as an authoritative voice in the market.
- Forrester reports that one third of IT and line-of-business respondents in a survey said they preferred to read or use interactive content tools.
- The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) says more than three-quarters (81%) of marketers think interactive content is more attention grabbing than content that isn’t interactive.
- CMI also notes that Seventy-five percent of marketers use interactive content for education, and 59% use it for customer engagement.
Interactive content provides a more personal, memorable, and interesting experience for users. B2B businesses should consider all of the types of interactive content that exist and tailor a strategy that utilizes the most impactful types for their brand.
Quizzes, calculators and other assessment-type tools allow businesses to help their audience learn more information about their businesses or problems. Each are slightly different and may serve different purposes. Quizzes lean more toward the informal, polls can help educate an audience on sentiment, and calculators can generate useful information for users.
Calculators can be a great way to help a business audience learn more details about a specific situation by inputting their information and receiving a calculated numeric response. These may include cost estimates, cost comparisons, . The output may also feature some of the seller’s products or services along with listed benefits of those items.
Businesses can actually use existing information they own (data or benchmarks) to create these assessments. For example, you may have visitors answer a set of questions and allow them to view how they compare to the aggregate of survey responses.
Video has become a popular content medium. According to CMI, 73% of content marketers report using video as part of their content marketing efforts. B2B marketers should remember that videos can be interactive, too. While a newer trend, there are several benefits to using interactive video. Gamification is a way to reward users via video contests or giveaways.
Social platforms like Facebook also offer enhanced features that enable businesses to make video content more interactive, including extensions of polling features. Whether executed on owned or social channels, it’s important to remember that video does not have to be a one-way broadcast medium.
Augmented reality (AR) offers many options for B2B brands to leverage in interactive content marketing. Many B2C brands have already jumped on this bandwagon (e.g. Wayfair’s use of photo enables shoppers to see furniture as it would appear in their home), but B2B has room to leverage AR as well.
Cisco is a great example of a B2B business that has taken advantage of this medium. Working with Kaon Interactive, Cisco developed a 3D interactive product catalogue that creates an AR appearance that people can “activate and walk around.” It’s a highly effective way to provide an immersive customer experience, build brand awareness, and generate excitement around products and solutions.
Voice-activated assistants are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. As Amazon Echo and Google Home infiltrate homes and office spaces, they present an interesting opportunity for interactive content. As voice-activated commerce grows, more and more users are tapping into these smart speaker to browse and make purchases.
More than half of all searches are expected to happen by voice search by next year. While much of the search and commerce activity happening via voice-activated technology is geared towards the B2C space, B2Bs should pay attention. Beginning to build out an SEO strategy for voice versus text can be a shrewd move for B2B businesses that want to get ahead. This may include using more conversational language in blogs and website content and working more long-tail words into SEO campaigns.
Make the Most of Interactive Marketing
Interactive marketing will continue to advance and grow in popularity. As consumers demand more personalization, interactive marketing will adapt to provide more immersive experiences that cater to buyer preferences.
Storytelling is at the heart of an immersive, interactive experience, and messaging should be crips, relevant, and engaging. Providing multimedia and omnichannel experiences will become paramount to meet customers where they are.