For a lot of businesses, a large part of the selling process is helping your prospects understand that they have a problem that they need to solve and the benefits that they can get by solving that problem. How can businesses effectively do this at scale, without having a salesforce of hundreds of people? Interactive content provides a tangible way for businesses to engage their audience at scale and provide real-time, on-demand insights. We take a deep dive into all things interactive content.
What is Interactive Content?
Interactive content is any type of content — such as calculators, assessments and interactive infographics, white papers and videos — that requires and encourages users to actively engage with it rather than passively consume it. It’s content that is specifically designed to engage your audience in a guided manner that provokes, informs, educates or persuades your audience to take an action, change their mindset or look at a particular issue/area/problem differently.
Why is Interactive Content Important?
Interactive content adds real value to your prospects enabling you to demonstrate your expertise and help tell them something about their business that they didn’t know or realise! This plays out in real terms to help you improve lead generation, take a look at the stats:
What types of interactive content add real value?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to any type of content, interactive or passive, is that it needs to help your audience – typically in a sales or marketing aspect this would be to help them through the buying journey.
Recent research from Gartner identified six buying jobs that need to be completed in order to make a sale, this helps you identify the topics that you should be positioning your interactive content around that can help enable your buyers to make a purchase.
- Problem identification. “We need to do something.”
- Solution exploration. “What’s out there to solve our problem?”
- Requirements building. “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”
- Supplier selection. “Does this do what we want it to do?”
- Validation. “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
- Consensus creation. “We need to get everyone on board.”
Gartner goes further to identify the types of buyer enablement content that can add real value:
How can you create interactive content?
In our experience, creating impactful interactive content does take some effort and done well can be an incredibly powerful lead generation tool. We break down the process to make interactive content into 6 easy steps.
Map your customer journey against the buyer jobs
The research from Gartner highlighted some key buying jobs that nearly all customers need to go through. Use these jobs and map them against your target customer. Where in the journey do you find the highest level of resistance to purchase? Thunk of your easiest sales, what made them so easy? What did they know/realise/understand that made the sale much easier? It’s at these intersections where the impact for interactive content is at its highest.
Map out everything you know about the intersection
Now you have identified the area that your interactive content can support its time to map out everything you know about this intersection, the level of understanding/knowledge that your target customers have and the level of understanding that you want them to have. This where your subject matter expertise really comes to the forefront. If you’re a little stuck for inspiration see what your direct and indirect competitors are doing or saying that is aiming to help your target customers to see where the major gaps are and what you think works well.
Identify the type of enablement content that will work best for your target audience
Based on all the information that you identified about the intersection you want your interactive content to be based around its time to work out the best type of content that you want to choose. A good starting point is to list out all of the types of buyer enablement content that Gartner identified above and then try and come up with as many ideas against each one specific to the intersection that you identified. You may only come up with a few but this helps you identify the type of content you want to create.
Map out what you want the final result to look like
One of the hardest parts of the whole interactive content process is crafting the inputs that are required to be able to deliver some insight back to your target customers. We’ve found the most effective way to do this is to actually start by mapping out what you want the final result to look like. What do you want to display to your target customer after they’ve accessed your interactive content? What’s your call to action? Draw up a mock-up (don’t worry about how it looks) so you’ve got a good idea in your head what you want it to look like.
Work backwards from your final result to identify required inputs and rules
Now you have your mock-up of what you want your interactive content to look like you can start working backwards from that to work out what user inputs are required to get to that output. There will likely be a number of rules or logic behind them as well, write them all down. We find it’s best to draft them as statements such as “if X was Y then show Z”, you will likely have multiple statements depending on how complex your interactive content is,
Build and Launch
You’ve got all the components you need for your interactive content, now its time to build. Depending on the type of enablement content you are after there are a range of different tools that you can use that vary greatly in price and navigating it all can be a minefield. Do your research and make sure you are getting the result that you are after.
Need some help? We’ve got you covered
One of our specialties is creating simple, engaging and impactful interactive content, we’d love to hear about what you are planning and how we can help!
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