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The job of the marketer is becoming increasingly complex. More and more internet users are using mobile rather than desktop. With countless apps to choose from comes an appetite for interactivity. The online audience is no longer content with the written word alone.
Therefore, when you need to attract an audience, a more dynamic way is required for an audience already suffering from content fatigue.
New formats are needed to convey a message and give value to the audience. Video marketing is one option. Interactive content is another.
For years, marketing has been wholly one-way. The marketer delivers a message to the consumer – full stop. However, with interactive content, you get a chance to engage with the audience actively. The participant commits to spending time with your content, and in return they receive results that are relevant, humorous, interesting and/or important to them. They are willingly investing in what you are offering them.
By introducing interactive content, you give value to the user and set up a two-way dialogue. This ‘conversation’ allows an individualised experience for the user.
Some example of interactive content include:
Quiz – a generally fun activity, which asks trivia with right or wrong answers. These results are collated at the end, generally with a score.
Assessment – similar to a quiz, but users are categorised into one of several stereotypes. This is the traditional magazine quiz as it works well on print as well as digital.
Calculators – your audience inputs details, which will create an individualised result via a back-end set of formulas and calculations.
Polls/Surveys – information, opinions and feedback is gathered via a set of questions posed to the participant.
What was once a complicated and expensive way of generating content has become much easier, thanks to the developments in marketing software programmes.
These are now readily available to marketers who can produce creative and engaging content more cheaply and quickly – and without any need for coding or testing.
Cosmopolitan and other glossy magazines pioneered the “Assessment”-style quiz. Questions would be posed regarding aspects of someone’s love life, working life and family to bucket the participant into a category.
However, one of the biggest and successful examples of successful interactive marketing is Buzzfeed. Their range of “What sandwich filling are you?”-style quizzes went hand-in-hand with the surge of social media over the past decade. This established Buzzfeed as the “most social” publisher on Facebook.
Several hypotheses have been put forward exploring the future of interactive marketing. Beacon technology is one possibility, where a low frequency radio transmitter interacts with someone’s mobile phone. Walking through a city, for example, your mobile phone will recognise the presence of a beacon which will then present compelling experiences for the user from restaurants, banks, theatres and so on, nearby.
Virtual technology is also going to increase its profile over the next few years. This has so much potential it will become a marketing format in its own right. Like it or not, we’re not even at the infancy of what VR – or interactive marketing as a whole – can offer.