Nothing is worse than spending hours putting together a social media post or a thoughtful blog . . . only to wait endlessly for any interaction from your audience. “It was a great post! I did everything right. Why is no one engaging with my content?”
This is an ongoing plight for marketers and one that can frustrate you to the point of not wanting to spend the time, effort and energy putting out great content. Stop the madness! We’re here to help. Even if you think you’re doing everything right to create interactive content, you might be missing some key principles that will drive your audience wild.
We’re opening the information vaults and sharing our top-secret dos and don’ts that will help you create content that our audience simply can’t ignore.
What Is Interactive Content Marketing?
Gone are the days when you could get by with boring blog posts, whitepapers and social media that were informative but not engaging. Now, brands have to pull out all the stops or risk their customers scrolling endlessly to the next interesting post or topic.
Interactive content marketing is a new way for brands to engage online, helping bring customers into the heart and soul of the brand. This one-on-one engagement often goes together with user-generated content, which can be created as an offshoot of this brand-to-consumer interaction.
Customers don’t want to be spoken to; they want to have a conversation with your brand! Your job as a content marketer is to facilitate and drive that conversation, offering insights into your brand that feel a bit like insider information and drawing customers into a deeper understanding of the core tenets of your brand.
Just like overpaying for underperforming Google ads can be painful, creating non-interactive content also stings. Keep these tips in mind as you’re developing your content calendar, and you’re sure to boost brand engagement online!
Creating Interactive Content: The Dos
Likes and views are great, but what is going to make your content stand out to your audience so vividly that they’re going to comment on it or, even better, share it with their friends and family? Keep these tips in mind as you’re crafting your content to be clickable and engaging for your audience.
DO: Consider Being Like Buzzfeed (Yes, Really!)
Many marketers look at popular sites such as Buzzfeed and shake their heads, wondering, “How?” and “Why?” — while Buzzfeed editors chuckle and the brand rakes in the cash. While we wouldn’t advocate for the same click-bait-like content that you often find on the site, there are tidbits of learning that we can take away.
Buzzfeed’s quizzes are bite-sized chunks of fun that are just the right length for social media. Create a quiz for your brand that taps into the needs and interests of your audience, and you might just find your brand going viral.
DO: Use Your Interactive Content for Lead Generation
Whether you’re driving readers to sign up for your newsletter or to make a purchase, there are actions you can encourage through engagement with your interactive content. If you’re going to make an effort to create amazing interactive content, be sure you’re gaining the full value of your investment.
Downloadable items such as whitepapers and infographics offer valuable information for your audience, individuals who are often willing to provide their content info to learn more about your brand.
DO: Educate and Entertain Your Audience
If a picture tells 1,000 words, how much are you able to communicate with an infographic? A lot! Infographics are fun, educational for your audience — and challenging to create, which means many brands decide not to invest in creating this type of interactive content.
According to Search Engine Journal, this is exactly what you should be doing if you want to educate and entertain your audience. An informative graphic (infographic) helps tell the story around your brand or a story that will appeal to your audience. Infographics are easy to share and eye-catching, meaning you can stop people from scrolling and capture attention with this type of interactive content.
What’s even better? Infographics can help you deliver complex information in a way that makes it friendly and understandable for your audience.
DO: Create a Calendar to Reduce the Risk of Overuse
Let’s face it: creating unique content takes time, and it can be painful for marketers to only use an in-depth piece of content once. Fortunately, content can be created in a way that it becomes evergreen — or usable for longer periods of time.
Defining a content calendar allows you to measure how often you’re sharing specific pieces of content so you don’t risk oversharing with the same audience, which can dramatically drop your engagement.
DO: Add a Well-Placed Call To Action (CTA)
When you’re asking readers to take action, be sure you’re placing the CTA in the appropriate spot, so you’re not distracting your audience. Your call to action doesn’t always have to be at the end of a piece of interactive content — on the contrary! You may wish to place it at the beginning of a social post to bring attention to something that could be shared.
If you’re creating a quiz, ask for an email address to receive in-depth quiz results. With an infographic, you may request audience information upfront before downloading a full-size or full-quality version of the graphics. What’s important is that you keep the reason for your interactive content top-of-mind so that you’re always driving the reader toward the action that you want to take.
Engage their senses of your audience on multiple levels, and you’re sure to see your content engagement growing over time!
Creating Interactive Content: The Don’ts
Now that you know what you need to lean into when you create interactive content, here are some suggestions of what to avoid. We have all seen cringe-worthy content posted by our favorite brands, leaving you wondering what the marketers were thinking when they decided to create a post.
It’s surprising how quickly brands can alienate their followers with content that doesn’t hit quite right. Forbes has a great recap of social media mistakes to avoid, but the below don’ts should be a hard pass for brands, too.
DON’T: Focus Only On Promoting Your Brand
You know that one guy, we’ll call him Bob, who does nothing but talk about his family, his life and brag about his accomplishments? Everyone kind of avoids him because he’s a bit … MUCH. Don’t let your content be like Bob! Sure, the ultimate goal is promoting your brand, but having every single post centered around the wonderfulness of your brand gets a little ho-hum for your audience. Create a mix of brand-centric and audience-centric content to boost your overall engagement.
DON’T: Overwhelm Your Audience With Irrelevant Content
OK, we got it. Don’t self-promote 100% of the time. What other type of content should you provide? Don’t find yourself jumping on trends and pushing out content that isn’t a good fit for your audience and their interests.
For instance, if you’re a cold-weather clothing brand, perhaps you want to share recipes for outdoor meals over a campfire, top places to go for skiing or outdoor activities you can do at all fitness levels. Look for ways to skew what you’re sharing to the interests of your audience, and you’re more likely to get engagement.
DON’T: Create Interactive Content Without a Goal in Mind
You’re spending mental energy and creative resources to define fantastic new content. It’s vital that you have a goal in mind when you’re starting down this path! What type of engagement are you trying to drive? If you’re looking for ways to grow your mailing list, you’ll create a different type of content than if you’re trying to drive direct sales.
If you want your readers to share your content with their friends and family members, that should be the focus of your content creation. Each marketing or sales objective has a variety of content types that can support your goals. Keeping your content calendar and business objectives in mind allows you to refine content marketing strategies and create success metrics so your campaigns are measurable, too.
Ready To Make Your Interactive Content Rock? Contact Us Today!
If you still feel like you’re swimming in the deep end of the content marketing pool without a life vest, have no fear! The Rock Content team has decades of experience helping brands of all sizes create sizzling, engaging — and, most of all, interactive — content. Check out our interactive content guide for more information, or reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable team anytime for a complimentary review of your content marketing strategies.