Differentiating your content through apps, e-books, and interactive experiencesIn a revolving sea of tweets, blogs, videos, posts, gifs, photos, and streams, content marketers at every level face a similar challenge—how to make their content rise to the top. Previously, we discussed a variety of different ways to enhance your content—creating a smarter strategy, identifying the right target audience, adopting visual content—these skills are foundational for getting your campaign off the ground, but the engagement experience shouldn’t stop there. As we’ve discussed previously, content streams are rarely “finished”. They grow and adapt; every new post ought to be informed by the successes and failures of the content that came before it. So too, should your methods.

Interactive elements are a great way to expand the scope of your content marketing campaigns, enforce existing content, and ultimately reach your audience. Whether it’s through a custom webpage, an e-book, or even a quiz, interactive illuminates your content in engaging and memorable ways.

The data dynamicIn 2017, 79% of marketers planned to increase their use of interactive content and for good reason—posts and images give information to your customers; interactive content gives customer information to you. Where static content—stationary pieces like an image or blog—acts like a billboard for your campaign, interactive content invites your audience to participate in your creation, and collects data in the process. Apps and quizzes can be monitored for real time analysis of what is and isn’t working, e-books can be gated to generate more qualified leads, and calculators can be tracked to compile common traits among their users. This valuable data can be stored, analyzed, and applied in nearly real time to improve and enhance your content campaigns.

Bringing assets together

Interactive sites merge video, images, and blogs to create a comprehensive content experience for your audience. During the summer of 2017, we launched our own interactive experience in support of the Armenian EyeCare Project, a global effort that uses telemedicine and Skype for Business to empower doctors in Los Angeles to help treat patients thousands of miles away. The site brings a variety of content experiences together to improve their overall impact. Users can read about Dr. Thomas Lee and his efforts to fight degenerative eye disease, watch videos of the real people impacted by this campaign, and interact with digital tools that demonstrate how the disease affects the eye. Where each piece might have worked well enough on its own, together, the interactive site brings greater context and clear next steps to our audience, while incentivizing readers to stay on the page longer. This helps drive engagement, and increases the likelihood of successful conversion.

Enforcing existing contentOutside of comprehensive sites, tools like games and clickable workbooks can be valuable tools for moving customers further down your content funnel. By providing their audience with gamified interactive elements, marketers can highlight their audiences existing need and briefly introduce a solution, before inviting them into more immersive content. For example, our DIY guide to data navigation used two interactive elements, a choose-your-own adventure book and a click-able game, as stepping stones to lead our audience to the final e-book. While each element took a different approach to the interactive experience, both offered a glimpse into the information to come. Together, these assets helped bolster the visibility and effectiveness of our e-book by providing the audience with a low-risk entry point and encouraging them to take the next step by downloading the e-book.

While the barrier to entry for interactive content may be more complicated than writing blogs or finding images, interactive doesn’t have to be a flashy application or a complicated frenzy of code. Calculators, quizzes, and forms can make for just as effective as their flashier counterparts. Remember, the goal with interactive is to invite your audience to participate in your brand experience. Join us in coming weeks as we explore how interactive creators can better pursue their audience, refine their processes, and improve their campaigns. Until then, you can catch up on Microsoft in Marketing’s journey into content marketing with our latest SlideShare, Riding the rise of visual content.