Imagine that a couple of your friends convince you to give speed dating a try.
“It'll be fun,” they insist.
The next thing you know, you're sweating your way through a seemingly never-ending carousel of two-minute dates. And when the hour finally winds down, you find yourself left with two options — accept a dinner invitation from the person that wouldn't let you get a word in edgewise, or the person with whom you had a good back and forth.
The answer seems obvious, right?
Aware that the one-sided approach is less than desirable, why do marketers continue to pump out the content equivalent to this all-too-familiar bad date?
In a landscape where volume tends to trump value, the companies that stand out are the ones that refuse to pile on with content that talks at people, but doesn't involve them. Rather than task their audience with consumption, and consumption alone, innovative companies are using interactive content to earn the attention of their audience and increase engagement.
To give you a better idea of what we're talking about, we've pulled together a list of seven easy-to-use tools for creating more dynamic content for your agency and clients.
Guides.co's mission is to “connect people who know with people who want to grow.”
In an effort to accomplish this, they've created a platform for users to create and share interactive guides on whatever they're passionate about. The guides employ text, images, video, and embedded files to create a rich, participatory experience for the reader.
By including a comment field within the guide, readers can share feedback and ideas to fuel meaningful discussions. This feature aims to promote a sense of community and open up a line of communication between guide users and consumers.
ThingLink is an interactive media platform that allows users to bring their photos and videos to life through the inclusion of rich media links.
By adding multiple engagement points to a photo or video, users are able to create a unique experience that encourages the user to interact with the content for longer.
To demonstrate, take a look at how New York Magazine enables mouseover points to make additional content easily discoverable in their weekly roundup:
This approach is not only interesting, but it works to reduce high bounce rates by providing readers with multiple content options that are related to the content on that page.
Ceros is a platform that provides users with the powerful tools they need to create high quality, interactive content without having to rely on developers.
Through the use of a drag-and-drop functionality, Ceros enables users to create six different types of content:
- Shoppable Catalogs
All Ceros designs start simple and come to life through the implementation of interactivity and animations. To get a better idea of what to expect, take a look at these screenshots from an ebook made with Ceros:
Through the incorporation of elements like video and interactive buttons, transforming a static piece of content into something more dynamic is quite simple.
Unlike a traditional ebook, an interactive approach makes it easier for you to guide your readers through the content in its entirety with the hopes that they walk away from it feeling more educated and sales-ready.
ContentTools is an interactive content platform aimed at helping businesses generate leads, drive website traffic, and increase social engagement.
Much like Ceros, ContentTools offers seven different types of interactive content:
- Personality Quiz – Engage your audience with personality-style quizzes similar to those Buzzfeed and PlayBuzz publish.
- Trivia – Challenge your audience with trivia-style quizzes.
- Polls – Survey your audience with our opinion-based polling tool.
- Ranker – Collect crowdsourced rankings from your audience on any topic from politics to entertainment.
- Can You Guess – Challenge your audience with informative, numerical-based quizzes.
- Caption This – Encourage your audience to caption an image with this interactive competition.
- Contests – Collect valuable information about your audience with giveaways from your site.
Here's an example of what you can create with their Caption This tool:
Hosting a caption contest incentivizes your visitors to hand over a bit of contact information and establish and strengthen your relationship with them.
If you're thinking about implementing this for you agency, consider using a candid office shot to humanize your brand and invite more personal engagement.
Want to facilitate both social sharing and repeat site visits?
While it can initially be difficult to imagine anything other than sports tournaments taking shape within a bracket, marketers have found a number of innovative ways to use this interactive tool. Here's a look at a creative bracket that helped BostInno score some viral success:
Looking to crown Boston's hottest new startup, BostInno was able to drum up a bit of friendly competition by creating this highly-shareable bracket.
Before you get started with Brackify, it's important to note the difference between the two types of brackets — Complete and Round By Round. While The Complete bracket allows users to fill out a bracket in its entirety with no round restrictions, The Round By Round bracket has specific start and end times for each round, meaning that users can only cast their vote when the round is active.
Zaption is an interactive video tool designed to engage learners (of all types) by prompting them with clarifying questions throughout an educational video.
This is how it's typically formatted:
While this tool is geared toward teachers, it's perfect for anyone looking to provide and reinforce information and instruction.
From an agency standpoint, this tool can be used as a method of training for both employees and clients. Whether you're looking to walk them through onboarding a new software, or easily explain a new marketing technique or approach, this type of video-based learning is designed to differentiate instruction and keep it interesting.
Looking to build a dialogue and drive more engagement for your brand? SnapApp is an interactive content platform that enables users to create and analyze nine different types of interactive content assets:
- Assessments & Personality Tests
- Knowledge Tests & Quizzes
- Polls & Surveys
- Interactive White Paper
- Interactive Infographic
- Contests & Sweepstakes
Below is a compelling example of a SnapApp quiz created by Development Dimensions International (DDI):
This piece of content is effective for a couple of reasons. First, it helps DDI uncover insights regarding the participant's knowledge level, which can be used to create more relevant marketing experiences moving forward. Additionally, it creates a sense of competition, as the copy encourages participants to share their results on social to see how they stack up against others.
But wait, there's more …
SnapApp offers integrations with marketing automation software (HubSpot included), CRM platforms, CMS solutions, and email service providers to provide users with an opportunity to leverage their existing investments.
Is your agency using interactive content? What are your favorite tools? Let us know in the comment section below.
15 Tools to Create Interactive Content
The future of content has slowly been pointing more and more towards interactive content. Consumers today are looking for more personalized and memorable experiences.
It’s those brands that have embraced interactive content who have seen more engagement from their consumers, and that engagement often leads to more sales.
So, how do you jump on the interactive content bandwagon?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here, you’ll find 15 software tools you can use to create interactive content to engage your consumers and build brand loyalty.
Some of the most popular types of interactive content are quizzes. Qzzr is a tool that makes great looking customizable quizzes incredibly easy. Qzzr can be both embedded on your own website and easily shared on social media like Facebook, which can help really drive traffic through social channels.
SnapApp allows you to make a variety of different types of content from calculators to surveys and even infographics. One big boost you’ll find from SnapApp is that it integrates with tons of other tools like CRM systems and marketing automation software to really make things flow.
Video content has been growing by leaps and bounds the last few years, so it makes sense to want to try to capture the attention of your customers with interactive video content. Enter Zaption. Using Zaption, you can take your videos and make them completely interactive, have the video stop and show a quiz, ask a question, or highlight a guide or whitepaper that can be downloaded.
Think of Guides.co as a SlideShare for interactive guides of sorts. This site allows you to take a standard whitepaper and really kick it up a notch by adding videos, images, and embedded files right into the standard text. This directly gets your readers involved, since they have to click to move forward, and with the ability to comment on each page, you can find out exactly what they are loving.
When it comes to video and eCommerce stores, WebyClip can be the tool to really skyrocket engagement and interaction. This tool lets you highlight specific products inside a video and then when that product is shown, your customers will be presented with that product and related products. Once your customer clicks the product, they are brought directly to the storefront to buy it.
Brackets are for more than just March Madness, and it’s one of the more fun ways to get your readers and potential customers really involved. Brackify is a tool that lets you create two types of brackets, one called complete, and another called round by round, which is set with specific start and end dates. Brackify is both set to be shared easily on social media and can also be completed on mobile devices.
RooJoom is an easy way to take your existing content and transform it into something that is very interactive. Take everything from video to pdfs to images and text and make it far more engaging to your readers by bringing them on a “content journey.” RooJoom designed their tool with the idea of creating the maximum amount of “stickyness” and it also even lets site visitors create their own content as well.
ContentTools is a platform that was specifically designed to “help companies generate leads and engage customers through the use of interactive content.” They employ a number of different features for brands to use like a content grader, business assessments, quizzes, and even micro-sites that help collect valuable data.
With ThingLink, you can actually embed content (like videos, text, and other images) inside another image. This means when your customers are enticed to click on more content within the image, they are brought even more targeted and engaging content. ThingLink is able to turn a simple piece of content like an image into something far more interesting and engaging.
Visual displays are generally seeing more clicks than just text on websites, so amplify that by creating your own interactive graphics using a tool like Infogr.Am. With Infogr.Am you can create over thirty different types of visually appealing graphics that can be easily embedded and downloaded from your website.
Mapme is an interactive mapping tool that really lets you take your readers on a journey along a specific story line, news event, or travel trip. Users can follow along with set pins that highlight a starting point on the map and can be given even more information in the form of video, images, gifs, and data along the way.
Ceros is a content creation platform that can be one stop shopping for marketers who are looking to create all different types of interactive content from infographics to micro-sites and even magazines. Ceros highlights the fact that you don’t need any design skills to make highly engaging and interactive content, they handle all of that for you with their design studio.
PlayBuzz calls itself a “digital publishing platform” it’s goal is to allow marketers to create content that is optimized for engagement, interaction, and sharing, especially across social media. Its already become hugely popular on social media channels like Facebook. The platform is simple to use, simply choose the format, write (or add) your content or select content from their network, and share.
If your brand really wants to up the amount of interactive and engaging content you put out there, check out Votion for a really simple solution. Votion offers interactive brackets, polls, and lists, as well as quizzes and this vs that matchups. You can run anything that’s be created on social media and mobile devices, and Votion integrates with a number of other platforms.
Last but not least, we have to throw our name in the hat. Zembula is an interactive content creation platform for email, SMS, and social media. Our first interactive content type, Scratch-it, is a digital scratch-off that reveals a hidden image and call-to-action. It is incredibly effective and uses several principles of psychology that influence human behavior like curiosity, FOMO, and the Near Miss Theory.
There you have it, 15 tools to create interactive content. Start bringing some of these into your marketing mix and there’s little doubt you’ll start seeing an increase in engagement. Which of these are the most compelling to you?