November 29, 2021 Content Chat Recap: Why You Need To Include Interactive Content In Your 2022 Marketing Plan

A #ContentChat header image that says today's topic is why you need to include interactive content in your 2022 marketing plan with guest Maureen Jann.

Tight on time and budget, marketers often stick to tried-and-true ways to engage their brand communities, which is an understandable approach. However, there is a case to be made for creating interactive content that directly involves your reader or viewer in the experience.

In this #ContentChat we explain how to include interactive content in your marketing plan with Maureen Jann, co-founder and chief marketing strategist at NeoLuxe Marketing. Maureen and her team created the What Kind of Marketer Am I? quiz, which was made for marketers by marketers to predict what type of marketer you are. Read the chat recap below to learn what went into creating the quiz and how interactive content can drive results for brands, including an exploration of the common types and examples of interactive content, how to measure the success of interactive content, and more.

Q1: What is interactive content?

Interactive content gets your reader/viewer to engage and participate with your content, instead of passively consuming it.

A1: A1: Interactive content is the type of content that brings words to life. Sometimes outstanding art can help bring content, and sometimes it takes a little more to get people involved in the words and ideas your put out into the world. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A1: Interactive content is content that requires + inspires participation from your audience, rather than passive consumption. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A1 Interactive content is content that your audience can participate in – like polls, surveys, things they can use as inspiration for their own content, etc
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/ARKHZFz2fd

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

And I think when you inspire them to create their own content, that’s when you make your relationship with them that much stickier (which is a good thing!) #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

Q2: What are the common types of interactive content that brands can create for content marketing?

Many marketers do not create interactive content, so there may not be a “common type” of interactive content.

A2: Because content marketers are so often reticent to use interactive content, I’m not sure there is a “common type”. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

However, interactive content can include quizzes, games, animated or multimedia ebooks, surveys, and even Twitter Chats.

A2b: But here are a few types you’ll see around:
–Quizzes
–Games
–Animated/Multimedia eBooks
–Surveys
–even these types of online chats can be considered interactive content marketing. @sferika, you sly devil you. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A2a: Quizzes and assessments are some of the most effective and enticing types of interactive content I’ve created in my content marketing programs. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

Many social media channels have an audience poll or quiz feature, making social media channels a great place to experiment with interactive content.

I feel like polls are making a big uptick as well. #ContentChat https://t.co/VUEq89I9dc

— Shane Shaps (@520eastbrands) November 29, 2021

I agree. I am seeing more polls on every social platform that enables them. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

Livestreams can be great interactive content if the hosts engage with the viewers, respond to questions, and involve them in the experience.

I think that livestreams are very interactive, and suit both B2B and B2C brands #ContentChat

— Irina Graf (@themiceblog) November 29, 2021

Audience comments and questions add great value to the conversation.

— Irina Graf (@themiceblog) November 29, 2021

I am always sad when I see livestreams that don’t interact with their audience. It feels like that misses the point of being live versus sharing a video. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

Social media sites with live stream capabilities are perfect for these opportunities.

A2: Countless answers but I don’t think we can ignore the potential of TikTok Live right now. #contentmarketing #ContentChat

— Chris Craft (@CraftWrites) November 29, 2021

Q&As, product demonstrations have been what I’ve seen so far. #ContentChat

— Chris Craft (@CraftWrites) November 29, 2021

Brands can also create tools that enable their community to create user-generated content using brand assets.

A2b: I also love tools that allow you to create UGC with brand assets. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A2 Oops, already answered this in the last answer – polls, quizzes, surveys, UGC and EGC, etc
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/osgxf2cG7S

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

Q3: How can interactive content help marketing teams meet their goals?

Interactive content can help brands break through the noise and effectively engage their communities.

A3: Well, to be honest, audiences coming out of the pandemic are looking to be delighted. They have no tolerance for B.S. So, in 2022, you’re going to have to pull out all the stops to garner the attention marketers to need to drive towards their goals. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

Interactive content can also humanize a brand.

A3 I know something I love about interactive content, is it’s personizable (to a point) for each user so more people are going to be interested in it, and it makes the brand more relatable/human
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/1XNPLfTWNF

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

A3: Interactive content humanizes the brand which makes everything from lead generation to share of voice to lead nurturing MUCH easier. #ContentChat

— Chris Craft (@CraftWrites) November 29, 2021

Beyond audience engagement, interactive content can help you learn about your community and tailor your future content and campaigns to their needs.

A3a: When done well, interactive content doesn’t just engage your community, it also helps you learn a little more about them, by recording the actions they take and using that info to make strategic content decisions. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A3b: In the case of assessments, for example, you can use the results page to serve up content that’s tailored to their maturity stage, and then segment their ongoing nurture stream content accordingly. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

We’re seeing that be the case with our recently #mktgzodiac project as well. As people fill out the quiz, if they want to see more, they have to give us their email address and we add them into a job-specific segment. Magic: https://t.co/zx5THbtESx #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A3c: If your interactive content is a survey, not only do you get survey results to par with insights to create craveable content with, you also get relevant insights into your ideal customer and their challenges. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A3: The engagement alone is worth the cost of entry. If you can throw some data capture in there, too, you’re on the right track. #ContentChat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

However, a necessary disclaimer: Do not mistake your interactive content insights for legitimate research. It can certainly tell you more about your community, but your sample may not accurately reflect your entire target market.

But beware! Do not mistake this for real research! #ContentChat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

That is true. After working with academic organizations, it’s clear marketing surveys aren’t the same as full scale market research. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

Tell us more! What does real research need to have in place that much of the interactive survey content you see brands producing does not? #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

It’s all in the methodology – samples that reflect your population, survey design that’s about getting real data rather than engaging, even distribution. You know you’re skewing your sample if the survey is online only, for example. #contentchat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

Q4: What examples of interactive content can you share?

Maureen, Erika, and Alyx share a few interactive content examples below. What examples can you share? Let us know in the comments, or Tweet us using #ContentChat.

A4: A few years ago, my team at a Seattle-based digital marketing agency did a retail digital holiday wizard and it was well received. You can see that here (but don’t put your email address in, that company is gone): https://t.co/R1lawdkbZn#ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A4b: Most recently @neoluxemktg put together a zodiac-themed predictive career quiz that was designed to clarify marketing role curiosity, validate your career hunch and generally just have fun. It was a blast to put together and we’ve had a ton of interest in it. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A4c: ICYMI, you can find the predictive career quiz here: https://t.co/zx5THbtESx#ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

And here is some real-time, promoted interactive content for you. #ContentChat https://t.co/jidXiQFjvV

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A4a: One of my favorite interactive content examples is the @CoSchedule Headline Analyzer tool. It is a very effective way to get prospects to read more of the brand’s content. https://t.co/S32QUf3rr1

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A4b: And of course brands use Buzzfeed all the time for interactive content like this: https://t.co/3ynfZBrhyP #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A4 We regularly send out surveys to our clients asking how they would rate our CS and services in general and for any feedback they have to make the next time they work with us better/more productive/etc
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/rGqUi5bz4r

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

Q5: What are some common challenges or hurdles content marketers encounter when planning or creating interactive content?

Fear is a common challenge when planning interactive content. Marketers can become concerned the project will be too difficult to complete, expensive, hard to measure the return on investment, or that no one will engage with the content.

But don’t let this fear stop you—you never know what could happen until you try.

A5a: One of the biggest hurdles marketers have to overcome to create interactive content is fear. We’re afraid it will be too hard, too expensive, or too edgy/unpredictable so we stop before we start. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

It can be hard to justify the investment into something new and unproven for your market. I get that. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

There’s something to be said for being an early adopter. I’m not always among that group… I’m a little more hesitant & like to see how things perform first. #ContentChat

— Shane Shaps (@520eastbrands) November 29, 2021

A5 I think a lot of content marketers get too comfortable just continuing to do what they’ve been doing instead of trying new content styles, and those new styles scare them
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/tSknOilXG4

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

A5: For interactive content that’s a little different, I think fear that nobody will come and play. #ContentChat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

Maureen and John allocate 20-25% of their client budget for projects that explore new ideas, like interactive content.

When I help my clients build out budgets for their outreach, we like to break it down like this:

—75% of your budget on what works
—25% of your budget on what could work

That way you’re always testing something new to you… #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

I’m roughly the same, though we tend towards 80/20. Funny for an organization that prides itself on taking bold risks…. #contentchat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

Another challenge marketers may face is that interactive content can become irrelevant quickly (like most content).

A5 Interactive content can become obsolete quickly. What sounds trendy today may be a flop in a week. #contentchat

— Paula Kiger (She/Her) (@biggreenpen) November 29, 2021

I think that’s potentially true of a lot of content, but the design of said content makes a lot of difference. #contentchat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

For the NeoLuxe Marketing team’s quiz, they had to learn a lot about statistics and correlation, which could be a challenge for some marketers. Additionally, it was a significant time investment to create all the post-quiz content. Maureen shares a blog post that explains her team’s challenges and results.

A5: Well, we have learned a ton about the complexity of statistics and correlation through the custom quiz function we had to build. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A5b: The other thing that has been very time consuming for us is the amount of follow through to create an effective experience AFTER they interact with our quiz. We wrote 12000 words to create custom themes for each “sign” #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A5b: We’ve shared all of our challenges and results in a recent blog and we’re updating it weekly to reflect performance numbers and share the trials and tribulations that we’ve run into. Check it out if you like! https://t.co/4ifeOVZvyx #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

Q6: How can teams measure the success of their interactive content?

Set both long- and short-term goals for any interactive content campaigns.

A6: Like any campaign, ensure that you have some long and short term goals. Be realistic about what you’ll get out of the interactive content type of content. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

This is so important! If you only have super long-term goals, and a long deal cycle, for example, something can feel like a flop, and the team can get discouraged. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

Develop your interactive content so you can measure its impact through views, shares, form submissions, click-throughs, and more.

A6a: Align your goals with your interactive content CTAs, and you can measure through views, shares, form submissions, clickthroughs—all the usual suspects, depending upon why you created the content in the first place. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A6 Tracking info like traffic, visibility, engagement, types of engagement, responses (for surveys, quizzes, etc), contact info given, subscribers, etc etc
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/682RXh2MNe

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) November 29, 2021

In Maureen’s case, the team has top-of-funnel goals like lead capture and is tracking the number of people who take the quiz, the number of conversions, and engagement on the post-quiz emails.

A6b: In the #mktgzodiac case, we were clear that we were aiming for the top of the funnel, and anyone who gave us their email address (conversion) would be someone we’d invest in communicating with. That’s why we decided to send 6mos of “horoscopes” in. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A6b: We have already seen the #mktgzodiac quiz shorten the sales times on a few conversations! So, ensure that you’re thinking down the entire journey to ensure that you’re maximizing the novelty of your interactive content! #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

We were VERY intentional about saying that we expect a 6 month return on our efforts. We didn’t want to fall into that trap. So short term KPIs were:
* Quiz Takes
* Conversions
* Email Engagement

Long term:
* 3 new retainer clients#contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

I love it b/c it shows awareness of what short-term KPIs are likely to lead to that longer-term conversion. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

It’s all about consistency, right? Even if your campaign ends, the follow up needs to continue. Then you need to come at them with other useful content outside of your control. Building trust takes time and energy and useful information. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

Q7: What tools or resources do you recommend for marketers looking to create and host interactive content?

Maureen, Erika, and John share their favorite tools for interactive content below. What did they miss? Tell us in the comments.

A7: If you’re trying to make a quiz like ours, we used a combination of @gravityforms and @wordpress, along with @mailchimp for follow up. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A7b: There are tons of interactive content providers out there: @prezi for animation-infused presentations, @uberflip for a book-like experience with your interactive content, Google’s Tour Creator https://t.co/gjkJfmE768. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) November 29, 2021

A7: I really loved using @Snap_App for creating interactive content when I was at @anaplan. It was so easy to use, and very effective. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) November 29, 2021

A7: That’s a tough question, since it’s so dependent on the type of content. We do our live streams on @streamyardapp , landing pages on either our marketing automation tool or the client’s, polls in 2 or 3 different survey tools. #contentchat

— John Cloonan | Audacity Marketing (@johncloonan) November 29, 2021

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