This is a guest blog entry by Kaitlyn Kirkaldy.
At this point, you’ve probably heard that consumer attention spans are now shorter than that of a goldfish. While you might get sick of the comparison, the point remains important: The shift to mobile has changed how we consume content.
As content marketers, our first instinct might be to freak out a little. Collectively, let’s all take a deep breath. While shortened attention spans might make our jobs more challenging, it doesn’t make them obsolete. It’s more of an evolution – something to be excited about. It’s up to us to create content that immediately captures attention, that stands out in the fleeting moments of attention we receive.
The Evolution of Interactive Content
With awareness of micro-moments – Google’s term for the seconds consumers spend using their smartphones to take various actions – increasing, marketers have experimented with new tactics to capture attention immediately.
One answer? Interactive content. One study found that interactive content better educates customers, putting its effectiveness at 93 percent compared to 70 percent for static content. That makes sense – it’s the moderated discussion style of learning versus the memorize-the-information-for-a-test approach. Like a mutually beneficial discussion, interactive content better educates viewers because it helps the brain process information in a busy environment (in our case, the Internet).
If the educational benefits aren’t enough to convince you, consider this: Consumers actually like interactive content. Ninety-one percent of buyers prefer it to static content, which gives you the window you need to further engage them beyond the initial micro-moment. Interactive content lengthens the digital conversation they have with your brand. Consumers typically spend very little time on a landing page – 55 percent of them will leave in fewer than 15 seconds. Interactive content not only keeps them there longer, but allows you to better measure exactly how long they stayed on the page, what they clicked on, and how they engaged.
Using Interactive Content
Interactive content provides viewers with something more powerful than a static landing page or another listicle blog post. There are numerous great use-cases for interactive content that will not only drive results, but diversify how we spend our days as content marketers.
Retail brands, not typically known for content marketing, can actually use interactive content effectively with pieces like personal style quizzes, complete-the-look features, and shoppable video. Added bonus: marketers can collect valuable, self-declared data from this kind of content even if the shopper doesn’t convert.
CPG brands often use coupons, videos, and recipes on their sites. All of these forms of static content can be adapted and made interactive. Consumers can unlock coupons and recipes by taking a fun quiz to find out what kind of Oreo they are, for example. Interactive video can give a product demo that asks questions of viewers along the way.
Interactive content increases the fun factor of B2B marketing. Interactive infographics help companies qualify leads by engaging them and collecting profiling data. Marketers can do the same with interactive video. Product hunts help leads find exactly what they came looking for, reducing bounce rates.
Interactive content can power marketing success when used effectively, because it will educate, and engage your customers while moving them further along in the customer decision journey. Ninety-one percent of non-engaged customers become dissatisfied – but engaged customers are 4x more likely to appreciate a brand’s outreach and 7x more likely to claim offers from the brand. We can’t ignore those numbers any longer. The next time you’re in your content planning session, challenge yourself to think: Would this capture attention in eight seconds? If not, consider making it interactive and see what it does for your marketing.