Interactive Content Informs a New Decade of Data Marketing

Get to know your customers by giving them something to do

It’s a new decade and, while the concept of interactive content is nothing new, marketers are finding new ways to put the medium to use. The organizations on the leading edge don’t only use interaction to merely entertain and engage. They use interactivity to learn more about their potential customers and how to serve their needs.

The argument for interactivity

At the dawn of the consumer internet (about 25 years ago!), all online activity was defined as interactive. In fact, the entire field of creating content for the web was often called Interactive Design. That went out of fashion once it became evident that the mere act of clicking on a link to access additional content did not really constitute interactivity. By then, web designers found ways to make online experiences that featured real back-and-forth interaction.

So, interactive content has been around in one way or another for a long time. That it is now, in 2020, trending in the marketing conversation is one indication of how long marketers have relied on banner ads a conventional print media for the web approach where a clickthrough rate of 0.35% is the average across all industries.

Interactive content can be successful yet completely ineffective

Savvy online marketers have long employed content marketing to draw the attention of both search engines and consumers. Brands looking for a further edge have created truly engaging interactive content. The Elf Yourself campaign from OfficeMax is one of the most prominent examples: Visitors have created over 1.5 billion elves with this highly shareable holiday promotion since its launch in 2006. 

However, for all its popularity, the campaign did nothing for sales. As Advertising Age quoted OfficeMax Vice President Bob Thacker, “We were looking to build the brand, warm up our image. We weren’t looking for sales. We are third-place players in our industry, so we are trying to differentiate ourselves through humor and humanization.”

We weren’t looking for sales? Is it any wonder why OfficeMax has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Office Depot since 2013?

Interactive content isn’t enough it needs a purpose

Interactive, shareable content is a good thing. However, it needs a job to do if it’s going to pay real dividends. Interacting with consumers is an excellent opportunity one not to be wasted on just entertaining and engaging. Interactivity that doesn’t let you learn something about your audience and encourage future communication is wasted effort.

One great example is a campaign run by computer manufacturer Lenovo. They developed an effort featuring content relevant to their user base IT survival guides and related video content supported by interactive quizzes that functioned as lead qualifiers and needs assessments. As a result of the campaign, Lenovo’s engagement rate with prospects doubled, and its email list unsubscribe rate dropped by half.

From where does all this new content come? Well, a lot of it can come from the minds and hands of your talented marketing team, but much of it you already have. Quizzes and surveys focused on acquiring new prospect data can be created from some of your pre-existing blog and white paper content.

The relevant information is there. The research is done. Reconfigure it into a question-and-answer format to qualify what will soon become the newest leads in your funnel. It’s much less labor-intensive and more cost-effective not to mention quicker to execute than starting from scratch. Imagine having all of this new data, fleshing out the profile of the sometimes-mythic target consumer, and making likely prospects easier to identify. How much would that be worth to you?

In marketing, you win if you have the best data and the wherewithal to use it

The best marketing efforts come from accurate, actionable data. Not only that, but they generate just as much data in return, whether that’s new information that further qualifies existing leads or fills your email list with the addresses of new prospects. With new information comes the possibility of surprising insights and innovative ways to be relevant to your customers.

BDEX endows your marketing with the power and depth of human connectivity. Call 917-410-6616 or contact us to learn how marketing solutions from BDEX can help you engage your ideal consumer with communication that generates actionable data for future marketing efforts.