Have you ever stopped to think about how much content is available online today?
There are movies, series, books, videos, gifs, texts, infographics, quizzes. In this myriad of options, who wins the interactive vs. static content contest?
Spoiler: the odds are on the interactive content’s side. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
In the article to come, you are going to understand all about the new context for Content Marketing. We are going to explain the following topics:
Curious enough? Don’t wait any longer to find all the answers!
What do data say about interactive vs. static content?
Among the interviewed buyers, 91% said they prefer interactive and visual content to plain static material.
In the war for the consumer’s attention, quizzes, assessments, 360º photos and videos, and calculators are winning at achieving the main goal of any marketing strategy, digital or not: engaging the client.
Interactivity is proving to be one of the most effective tools in educating the consumer about new products, raising your brand’s awareness, as well as getting people engaged with it, and most importantly, generating new leads.
Before we explain why that is happening, it is important to make some distinctions and make some things clear.
What, exactly, is interactive and static content? What are the differences, and which role is each of them playing in Digital Marketing today?
Want to know more about that? Read on!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of static content?
Static content includes all the material in your digital portfolio that basically never changes: a social media profile (not the feed), ebooks, a non-personalized landing page, a social media or banner ad, and a pre-recorded webinar.
The main feature of all these products is that they are exclusively authored and created by you, with no input whatsoever from your potential lead.
Once you have uploaded it, it is there, unchangeable, unless you replace it with new static material.
Does that mean static content is all bad? Not really. It has its advantages: it usually doesn’t take a lot of time to create; it is easy to control, promote, or convert into something else (the power is all yours!); and, generally, it comes at a cheap cost.
But do you know what it also is? Boring.
Once your lead accessed it, there is not a lot of reason for them to ever come back and visit you again — it is a one-time deal.
And most important, it is not a conversation, it is not engaging, or involving. Simply put, it is a one-way communication tool in which you basically talk down to your client with what you want to say or sell.
And let’s be honest: no one likes to feel talked down to.
How is interactive content different?
That is where interactive content comes in.
It bridges the gap made very clear in this research, which pointed out that 92% of marketers think the content they produce feels authentic to consumers, while only 51% of the people targeted by this content agree with that.
Interactivity, on the other hand, feels less like a bunch of information or selling points being shoved to someone than an invitation to dialog, to play, to create something together.
Per its own definition, interactive content demands the consumer’s active participation, which means they need to engage. And by doing that, they actually retain and assimilate what you are trying to convey.
At the same time, it allows the user to feel freer, to follow their path and make their own choices while responding more.
Consider a 360º photo or video of a new store layout, for example: it invites the viewer to get to know this space, but making their way, taking their time, focusing on what they are more interested in. It is more effective and fun.
It’s not a coincidence that, according to Ion Interactive, interactive content increases the retention of brand messages by 79%, and in 80% the submission rates.
It is also 81% more effective at attracting the buyer persona’s attention. A CMI survey among several Digital Marketing professionals revealed that 66% of them attested to an increase in engagement after they started using interactivity.
Do you want a good example of the effectiveness of this type of content? Consider your client is launching a new product on the market.
The same CMI Report said that creating a game is one of the best tools to raise awareness in the early stages of something that still needs to be discovered.
A game is more likely to be shared. It reaches a vastly new and hip audience, it is extremely mobile-friendly, and it’s fun. Apps are way more fun than webpages.
Interactive content helps educate your audience, but it will also give you a bump with SEO: interactive-friendly websites, which manage to increase the time on page, is an important ranking criterion used by search engines.
So, before turning all that statistic data into another ebook, how about an interactive infographic instead?
Most importantly, though, interactive content will help you with one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy: it will give you a perfect tool for persona optimization.
You know when people are answering those quizzes and personality assessments at Buzzfeed or Facebook?
They are actually telling you who they are. And if you use those tools correctly, you can have people tell you exactly what they want, what they like or don’t like, and what they expect from you.
The answers they give will allow you to create personalized landing pages and email marketing, as well as multiple calls to action.
Now, of course: interactivity is not a magic trick that will solve all your problems overnight.
As with any marketing tool, it demands a good strategy and a good team that knows what they are doing, and where they want to get.
Does that mean all my old static content is useless now?
Of course not. First of all, static content is not dead: a good balance between static and interactive is essential for any digital strategy.
Second, most static content can be converted to interactive.
Now that you know where your strategy stands in the interactive vs. static content quarrel, it’s time to get hands-on and see for yourself. Request an Ion demo and see what our tool can do for your content marketing strategy!