Increasing your commitment to content marketing is a good place to start, but you also need your content to work hard – and smart – for you. You probably already know about leveraging your marketing automation with interactive content. But did you know that according to DemandGen Report’s 2013 Content Preferences Survey, only 5% of buyers are willing to provide detailed information in exchange for whitepapers?
That is why many marketers are incorporating interactive content into their overall strategy. Assessments, benchmarking tests, ROI calculators, interactive infographics, interactive whitepapers, and knowledge tests about best practices, as well as old standbys like polls, surveys, and quizzes – interactive content is smart content.
You can think about the benefits of interactive content in three categories – facilitating dialogue, creating a value exchange, and delivering content in new, exciting ways. Here’s how these three benefits break down:
1. Facilitating Dialogue
As marketers absorb an increasingly larger portion of the sales cycle, marketers are naturally becoming better sales people. And what makes a good sales person? The ability to listen. It’s about dialogues, not monologues.
Interactive content enables you to have real conversations with your audience. That means you can ask questions and deliver answers that address their specific challenges, painpoints, or interests. Dialogue-inspiring content delivers dramatically more value (see the next section for more on that) and it’s massively scalable (you don’t need a W2 for your content).
A few examples of companies facilitating dialogue through interactive content:
- SilkRoad used calculators and assessments to create dialogue – resulting in $236,000 of new pipeline value in only a few months.
- Ezidebit turned a static infographic into an interactive one – which converts over 66% of its users.
- Endicia, an SMB package logistics company, repurposed static content to make it into an interactive quiz .
2. Exchanging Value
Now that we’ve established the need to have conversations, let’s talk about what you’re going to say. If your mission is deliver value at each stage of the buying process, this might take the form of education, problem identification, analysis, and even entertainment.
Interactive content allows marketers to customize an experience for each user, and deliver specific information based on that individual’s needs, pains, or challenges. But a true value exchange goes both ways – smart content also needs to deliver value to you, the marketer.
Interactive content can pull specific, actionable data from your audience – which can then be organized within your marketing automation. As they interact, prospects happily provide deep insights into themselves, quickly filling out profile information for lead scoring and triggering campaigns, and creating better, faster MQLs.