The amount of content in the digital sea is seemingly infinite.
At least, that’s how a hacky cyberpunk writer might put it. But it’s true: 91 percent of respondents say they use content marketing in a recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) benchmark survey. How’s a business supposed to stand apart from all that competition? What can organizations do to create more engaging content for increasingly capricious customers?
One way is to incorporate interactive elements into your digital content.
According to another CMI report, 81 percent agree that interactive content attracts attention more effectively than static content. And why wouldn’t it? It’s more interesting to view an animation, play a game, or take a quiz than it is to read otherwise “dry” traditional content.
Want to spiff up your static content? Here are a few ideas:
1. Make Annual Reports More Dynamic
It’s the end of the year. You could produce another text-only annual report full of graphs, pie charts, and various infographics that detail the company’s earnings, and export it as a static PDF file. Or you could create a compelling microsite that customers can have fun navigating.
Multiple organizations, including Girls Who Code and Kickstarter, are already creating visually impressive annual reports that utilize animation, color, and huge photos and illustrations to tell the story of their brand, their year, and what they hope to accomplish in the future.
They’re responsive, too, which means busy B2B buyers can absorb easy-to-read, visually rich information broken down into digestible bites as they scroll or swipe down the page on mobile devices. It’s a more dynamic way to educate and engage customers or investors, and if your report is especially impressive, it’s an effective method for building backlinks and organic traffic. Check out some examples of great annual reports here.
2. Create Interactive White Papers
Like annual reports, ebooks and white papers are another dry type of content you can spruce up with interactive elements, especially if they cover dull subjects. It’s okay to admit that not everyone wants to read about the detailed nuances of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—even though they probably should. It’s an important topic that involves Internet privacy, plus it affects every industry that collects customer data.
Financial advisory firm BDO knew this, so they created an interactive white paper that users can click through, bit-by-bit, to learn about the GDPR, who it affects, and read tips from experts. It’s all presented in a linear, magazine-style fashion, but a stickied table of contents allows users to jump around pages or skip to the end where they’ll see a call-to-action that leads to landing page with a contact info capturing form—perfect for generating leads.
Brands with white paper projects should focus on a complex topic that users want more information on, and like the interactive annual reports, break it down into digestible parts via easy-to-read, simple-to-navigate design.
3. Add Animations and Social Buttons to Everything
Whether it’s a blog article or ebook landing page, animation and video can brighten up any piece of content. Animated GIFs generate interest and can act as a shorthand for complicated topics. For example, an article about a product’s extensive feature list could include GIFs that demonstrate each point for easy understanding. Animations that occur as the user scrolls also jolt curiosity.
Check out this stirring example from HuffPo’s Highline publication. As you scroll, the page flashes, wraps, shifts orientation for each important point, and plays out video game-like animations when it really wants to show off. These flourishes greatly enhance the story and leave a lasting impression on the viewer.
Additionally, integrating social buttons into your content gives users another way to interact you’re your content. Line them up in a sidebar and sticky them so they’re always there for visitors to easily share with their social circles.
4. Give Visitors Assessments
Like quizzes, assessments ask visitors some short, specific questions about their challenges and pain points. But rather than simply telling users what Hogwarts House they’d be sorted in, assessments offer actionable advice based on the answers given. This assessment from software company Citrix offers a customized tips sheet in PDF format once visitors answer each question, which is helpful for customers in need of answers.
The information gathered in assessments also help marketing and sales in learning customer pain points, and where customers are in the buying journey, which they can leverage by segmenting audiences into more precise personas. Your content creation team can
also produce a comprehensive report based on the findings once you have enough data.
Interested in more ways to make your digital content more interactive? Let us know and we’ll brainstorm together.