101 Ridiculously Effective Ways to Use Interactive Content in Your Marketing Today
June 2, 2017 | Dan Trefethen
Interactive content has endless possibilities. It can take so many different shapes and sizes, tackle such an assortment of goals, and be used across the whole spectrum of marketing channels, that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.
But the results from interactive content are impossible to ignore: 81% of marketers agree that interactive content is more effective than typical, passive content.
So what’s the catch? Why aren’t we all using interactive content?
Well, we’re mostly all on our way. A recent survey from Demand Gen Report found that 88% of B2B marketers said at least 10-30% of their content would be interactive by 2018.
However, the snag for some marketing teams is not a lack of interest in interactive content, but a difficulty ideating on how to use interactive in their current marketing mix. We’re all super busy, and while coming up with new ideas can be the fun part of a marketer’s job, it’s also not always the easiest.
So we decided to extend an olive branch, honest-to-goodness people helping people, and came up with 101 different interactive content ideas for you to start using today.
These ideas can be used in any vertical, and can be largely created with content you already have – repurposing pillar assets like white papers, ebooks, videos, blogs, infographics, and the like into smaller, more engaging content pieces.
To kick things off, we’ve included out interactive idea generator below for some quick hits. Each idea is covered more in-depth throughout the post.
- Paid Media
- Landing Pages
- Case Studies
- General Campaigns (microsites, customer marketing, resource gallery, miscellaneous ideas, etc.)
While the majority of these ideas fit in several of these categories (and should for strong promotion), we tried to find the most suitable one for each.
Ready for some ideas?
1. Turn an ugly, Excel-based ROI calculator into an on-brand, user friendly tool. It’s always better to show rather than tell. An ROI calculator lets users put in their own variables and get a custom result that’s easily shared.
2. Create an interactive tour of your product or solution, letting prospects get a mini demo without the presence of a sales rep. Most people do want demos, they just want them on their own time and not always with a sales rep conducting them.
3. Offer a question-based Product Picker for your website where users give a few answers and are better directed to a specific solution that’s catered toward their situation.
4. Feature a time saving calculator on your website that uses average time saved from your customers using your solution and applies it to a prospect’s own variables.
5. Take your most popular performing video(s) and layer questions over the video or along the side during playback. These questions can be focused on “getting to know the viewer” for mild qualifying data, or gaining viewer feedback on the subject for increased engagement. This turns a passive experience into an active one, while capturing better lead data.
6. Provide a quote calculator on your pricing or product page. Many prospects want to know the rough cost of something before investing too much time exploring, but they’re not always wanting to talk to sales. Allow users to apply some of their variables and provide them a rough estimate of a quote.
7. Add Interactive elements to your webpages like the leadership page, about us, or team page — allowing you to tell your story better and present the people behind the company in a more dynamic and active way. Think things like click-to-reveal, hover images, and friendly welcome questions.
8. Make one of your static infographics interactive by adding in simple animations, click-to-reveals, and potentially a question or two. This allows you to repurpose content while also providing a better indicator of viewer engagement based on clicks during the experience.
9. Use an investment calculator to show the ROI and cost savings of your solution based on a user’s current practices. This can be used in paid media, on your website, and in email campaigns.
10. Interactive explainer videos that provide branching to different product solutions. Allow a variety of subjects to be presented right at the beginning to capture as many prospects as possible, which allows users to choose what they’re most interested in.
11. Offer a middle-of-the-funnel maturity assessment to see if your prospects are ready for certain content/platform solutions. The assessment collects valuable qualifying criteria on the lead while also delivering them the most appropriate solution or content piece.
12. Use a real-time poll to drive social twitter engagement by asking for people’s opinions on a new or key industry topic. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find popular keywords and topics to base the poll off of.
13. Create a What Is Your [Industry Term] Spirit Animal assessment. Sounds trivial, silly, escapist, irrelevant, and it is, but it’ll get results and build brand awareness.
14. Bracket of favorite projects within the industry to create community experience. Select your own favorite projects and build the bracket, or let your audience submit their favorites. Either way, you’ll create an extended multi-touch campaign. Incentives like prizes for continuous voting boosts participation.
15. Bracket for comparing solutions/tools within the industry. Same thing as above, but using a variety of common industry solutions to see what prospects like most.
16. Make a seasonal quiz around a very popular cultural event (e.g. the Olympics, big TV show premieres like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, holidays, sporting events, etc.). Use the theme to ask sales qualifying questions without being pushy.
17. Host a photo or graphic contest on an industry-specific topic within your customer pool. Have customers submit their favorite representations of projects or ideas and open it up to the public for voting. This will create a “winner” incentive for you customers and expose their success to prospects.
18. Post a Persona Assessment related to your industry with the emphasis on encouraging participants to share their results. It could have a more light-hearted focus poking fun at certain industry types or a more direct tone focusing on leading users to a specific piece of content or tool.
19. Try a quiz as a paid media call to action. Instead of your standard white paper download as a call to action for your paid search and social efforts, try taking the same content and creating a quick quiz. “Take this quiz” is a much more compelling CTA than “Download this paper.”
20. Use a keyword-related assessment to drive traffic on a pay-per-click campaign. Base an assessment, quiz, or calculator around a strong industry keyword, and then create ad language that highlights the interactive experience. Searchers will be prompted to learn something about themselves or a specific strategy they use.
21. Promote an industry benchmark assessment that asks prospects: how are you stacking up? Using industry averages, ask users to provide their own related performance metrics to measure if they’re performing at, above, or below average. Lead-gate the results page, and provide related follow-up content based on their results.
22. Create a knowledge assessment on upcoming industry regulations. Are you in an industry that has a big regulation coming up? Create a quick three-question assessment so your prospects can assess their readiness, positioning yourself as a thought leader in the space.
23. Interactive video tour of an event experience either before the event for promotion or after an event for a recap. Take video from the previous year’s event to capture the feel and layout, and then add updated sessions, activities, and relevant questions for the current year’s event.
24. An on-site interactive video interview for post-event follow up content. Keep the energy of the event going to reach out to contacts made. Record a quick interview where several questions are answered that are relevant to your product and/or event. However, allow the user to choose which questions they want answered during the video, so they only listen to what they want.
25. Interactive map of the event city with favorite destinations. Think Google maps but with your own design and branding. Have hot spots for users to click on and give them a guide to fun things to check out while they’re in town for the event. The broad value exchange will apply to all attendees and they’ll remember your brand when it comes to booth visits.
26. Interactive map of the event floor showing off different sections. Same as above but for the event floor. Have fun with it and even skew the language to be all about your booth and company.
27. Create and promote a “Sessions Selector” for a big event coming up that allows attendees to answer a series of questions and delivers specific sessions they may be interested in. Put a lead form right before the results page to drive conversion.
28. Post-speaking session quiz/assessment on the topic at hand. If you’re speaking at an event session, build a light quiz or assessment for all session attendees to receive after the session or event to further engage them and deliver more personalized follow-up content.
29. Create an interactive quiz for booth activity. Use iPads at your booth during your next tradeshow to present a quiz for an on-topic subject. Participants get swag, high scores get even better swag. HubSpot did a jeopardy-like marketing quiz at Inbound 2016, and booth traffic was high.
30. Create a real-time poll that can be used during a live presentation/ speaking session to gain immediate feedback and incorporate audience sentiment into the talk.
31. Interactive scavenger hunt for event participation. Create a series of questions or locations that event attendees need to cover throughout the event. As they complete their scavenger hunt checklist, ask questions designed to learn certain qualifying criteria about them. Offer a prize for completion incentive.
32. Interactive scavenger hunt partnership with industry favorites. Same as above but team up with industry partners at the event to ensure that foot traffic gets created at all your booths. The scavenger hunt would hit all participating booths, and have specific directives for each participant.
33. Send a mid-event poll asking what people are liking the most. Event attendees do still check email (frequently) when at events. Sending an immediate opinion catcher during the event will grab attention for attendees, and you can promote your booth.
34. Host a poll at an event booth on a key industry or event subject. Keep it short and simple with copy that informs all participants they will get the result of the poll emailed to them after the event, or revealed on the last day at the booth.
35. Create a poll where attendees can rank speakers. Target event hashtags on Twitter and allow booth visitors to vote in real time.
36. Add an interactive poll to your newsletter. This will allow you to create peer-related, real-time content for your readers, and also get them actively participating.
37. Send a “welcome” profile builder questionnaire to brand new leads that gathers key information. Position this questionnaire as a way for your company to send the best and most appropriate content to them.
38. Create an inside sales assessment to send to current customers. Use this assessment to pinpoint which upsell features fit each individual and how they could benefit from them.
39. Create personalized e-cards for converted leads as a thank you for submitting their information. Using their lead inputs, you can personalize an e-card with known information – creating a more friendly welcoming experience. Bonus tip: Ask an easy qualifying question in the e-card to collect more data after the conversion.
40. Send a dormant database segment a quiz intended to grab their attention. How do you get action from quiet leads? You have to be a little off topic. Leverage a popular culture event or make a declarative statement to frame the quiz and grab attention.
41. Add interactive videos to your sales emails featuring the sales person who sent it. This doesn’t have to be a big production, even a decently shot iPhone video will help give a face and personality to the email and add an informal personal touch. Ask 2-3 simple sales questions in the video.
42. Start a weekly poll on a specific topic that gauges audience feelings with a results reveal at the end of each week. These topics can be very industry or product specific, or more broadly related. Variety is key.
43. Embed the splash page of a Persona Assessment into the body of an email. Everyone is intrigued by a categorization or “type” they are. Whether it’s something light like an industry term/ strategy, or something more specific such as their level of advancement in a certain practice.
44. Create an “Introduce Myself” sales-enablement questionnaire where sales reps introduce themselves, share three things about themselves, and asks the recipient three qualifying questions.
45. Create an interactive “unsubscribe” landing page where potential unsubscribers are provided with alternative options for subscription and what that will do for them. Design the landing page to be friendly, helpful, and understanding – the refreshing tone and approach alone may prevent the unsubscribe.
46. Send a customer feedback survey about a new product launch or product function to see how customers want your solution to be better. Use this data for roadmap improvements or to create new content.
47. A post-sale survey to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie in the sales cycle. Potentially find out what the most impactful element was – the demo call, an event conversation, a specific video?
48. Create an entire interactive blog featuring animations, questions, and clickable hot spots. Interactive content can be put on any webpage, why not your whole blog page? This will grab attention and allow for more dynamic actions on the page.
49. Create a personality assessment for your blog. Link an industry strategy or trend with a persona and embed the assessment in the body of popular blogs, at the bottom for a closing CTA, or in the side margin. Think “Which [industry trend] are you?”
50. Embed an interactive call-to-action preview in the middle of a high-traffic blog. Bypassing the typical ebook-at-the-end CTA route, create a small flipbook or animated infographic that can be previewed right in the middle of the blog. Like this:
51. Create an evaluation assessment for your blog. Link a popular blog subject to an assessment so readers can evaluate the state of their practice on the subject. Embed the assessment in a visible position.
52. Provide a blog subscribe welcome assessment asking new subscribers what they’re most interested in and maybe a potential hobby. Design it to look like Netflix or Hulu preference selector for a familiar look. This content will provide a personalized touch while collecting more data.
53. Provide an on-topic quiz that focuses on your own customers and the problems they might be facing. Use for your blog or for a variety of campaigns as a supporting evergreen piece to drive engagement.
54. Bring your landing page to life with animations. Take the standard copy and images used on your landing pages and add motion and delays to direct viewer attention and guide them through the page. See an example by clicking below.
55. Feature an interactive infographic on your landing page that highlights compelling findings and points from your gated content assets. This will drive average time on the landing page, and give better preview of the content before giving over contact information.
56. Place an interactive video on your demo request pages to show a friendly face. The video can ask the user what they might be interested in and give a brief summary for each point. By asking questions within the video, this can shorten the lead form length.
57. Turn data points from a specific white paper chapter into a knowledge quiz and use that as the landing page lead form by gating the results. This asset would be targeted at driving leads to the white paper asset. It could also help promotion for email sends and social posts with a compelling CTA for the quiz.
58. Turn an old webinar recording into an interactive video. Use a video recording of a webinar you have and make it into an interactive video by layering in questions.
59. Send registered webinar participants a survey before the webinar on the subject and tell them that results will be revealed during the webinar. This can help drive up actual attendance rate.
60. Promote a “Should you go to this webinar?” assessment to prospects before an upcoming webinar with the goal of driving sign ups. The assessment would hit on a few main topics in the webinar, while asking for user opinion on them. The trick? All answers lead to “Yes, you should go to this webinar for reasons x, y, and z.” based on their answers.
61. Send a topic quiz to registered webinar attendees before the webinar. Instead of sending the typical reminder email, challenge registrants with a quiz on the upcoming topic to get their mind in gear.
62. Provide a post-webinar assessment on whether the attendees are now experts on the subject covered. The questions can also ask about which aspects of the webinar they are most interested in, collect sale qualifying criteria, and point them to the most appropriate follow-up content.
63. A survey dedicated to learning about top-of-mind topics that people want to be covered with a blog or webinar or speaking session. This survey should be quick, and offered towards the end of webinars or in the middle of blogs. Position them as “What topic would you like [company title] to cover next?”
64. Build a “webinar picker” that asks users a handful of questions and then serves them up the most relevant webinar for them. This asset would breathe life into older webinars that might just be sitting there, collecting dust.
65. Create an interactive question-based case study for a more active experience. Include questions like “Do you have these problems too?” or “Do you think this solution would work for your team?” or “Which aspect of this case study most interested you?”
66. Create a calculator based on case study results. Allow prospects to “apply” successful customer metrics to their own variables to see how your solution will make an impact.
67. Create an interactive case study that features video testimonials and short interviews from the clients, themselves. Instead of just reading superlative quotes on the page, allow users to click to see videos of the customers describing their own experience. This creates a more active experience while also humanizing the story.
68. Present a “personal journey” interactive case study that focuses on individuals in your client make-up. This highlights a specific person and their efforts, while making the customer story more relatable to the reader. They could think “I have that same problem” or “That’s my job title too.”
69. Offer an interactive case study picker, maybe called What’s the Best Case Study for Me to Read? If you have a lot of case studies, categorize them be persona and have visitors answer a handful of questions about their priorities and company situation. Collect this qualifying data by also guiding them to the most relevant case study.
General Campaigns and Resources
70. Make a hybrid infographic and assessment/ calculator that presents research statistics and persuasive ideas like an infographic, but allows these figures to be applied to the individual user. Users answer questions throughout that add up to give them a specific result. This drives momentum in the experience while also allowing you to lead gate the results. Click below to see what this could look like.
71. Turn meeting or conference slides into an interactive infographic. Add animations and hot spots that reveal more information to selected slides. This repurposes presentation slides and also helps bring them to life without the need of a narrator. Share on social media.
72. Host a competitive bracket pinning industry strategies against one another for audience participation. Use the campaign to not only create a competitive community contest, but also take the results as you would a poll to see the top strategies in your industry. Use the results in future content like blogs or webinars.
73. Swap out static promotion images and ads with interactive assets that allow clicking and questions – think a mini interactive infographic promoting a specific content instead of just an image, some text, and a CTA.
74. Send an interactive deck version of sales demos, kick-off calls, or presentations to users. Instead of simply sending the slides you used, create another layer with an interactive version of slides that allow for feedback about which components are of interest or topics that need more follow-up information.
75. Use an interactive game to drive engagement and brand awareness for users. Provide an appropriate incentive like a limited time free trial, or a free consultation as reward for winning the game. See how Chipotle did it below.
76. Or add gamification to static content to help bring the experience to life. Style an interactive infographic or report after a board game or a popular contest (jeopardy is a solid stand by) to bring more excitement and activity to the subject material.
77. Create a Mad Libs experience on an industry topic that allows users to input their own words and specifications. Write out a little story or faux-blog post that inserts buzzwords into the copy. You can still highlight key points with the unchanging copy parts.
78. Create an interactive ebook with animated images and text, plus include questions that appear on the side or during the experience. This can be created from pre-existing ebooks for longer campaign life.
79. Build an interactive checklist about a specific process or subject related to the industry. Put it on a microsite to be used as a regular free tool for prospects. Plus use it in email campaigns or newsletters.
80. Turn a video interview into an audience participation video where they can give their feedback on the questions and answers. Along the way, ask viewers things like “Agree or disagree?” or “How much do you know about [questions answer]?”
81. Create a “coffee table” look-book of each of your products or solutions as an introductory overview. Mimic the look and experience, while also amplifying the on-page material with follow-up links, videos, and timed animations.
82. Create a persona builder for different positions and stereotypes within your industry so people can build their own, or co-worker, avatars. Every industry has familiar scenes and characters. Whether you want to do it in a satirical way or a more-straightforward angle, people will be curious. Here’s a nod to the aughts for an example.
83. Challenge your audience with a trivia quiz that specifically directs them to an appropriate solution or content piece based on their score. This is also a good tactic for dormant database leads.
84. Offer a questionnaire that uses the answers to build out a “convince your boss” letter for a specific solution/ purchase/ business use case. The end result is a ready-to-go document that helps buyers persuade decision makers on a new tool, event, or solution.
85. Offer an evaluation assessment based on your customer’s own company or team processes. This assessment measures their process and gives them a grade or a popular standard, like a specific celebrity, sport teams, or company, etc. The assessment should be short – four to six questions.
86. Design a preparedness checklist for new regulations that are passing in your industry. This creates a tool for customers to use to see if they’re understanding the impact correctly and how well the are ready for them. Each checklist item gives information about the regulation and offers steps to aligning with it. Bonus tip: create an Adwords campaign around the regulation and checklist to bring in visitors.
87. Create a research survey to collect fresh data to be used in a report or blog post. Blog posts with original research in them are big traffic drivers. Use a prize as an incentive for participation.
88. Offer a Should I go to [Industry Event]? quiz. Allow users to test themselves about whether they would get value from certain events. Even if your company isn’t going, the content will get use and traffic, and you’ll get potential attendee data.
89. Create an interactive timeline on the specific development of an industry technology or company. Use as engagement material to attract new visitors and leads with a follow-up CTA included at the end.
90. Offer a diagnostics assessment that allows users to put in their top struggles compared to some current goals and processes. Based on their responses, bucket them into result that suggests solutions they should look to. Provide follow up content.
91. What your [top industry priority] says about you? assessment. Target the curiosity of your audience members and their interest in, well, themselves. This great for events, social, blog, and dormant database.
92. Feature an explainer interactive infographic that shows off how your product works. Going beyond just a product demo or video explainer, this content would encourage participation and show instead of telling how your solution works and why it’s important.
93. Turn a Slideshare deck into an interactive experience using key slides to ask users questions on the topic or add a calculator element that lets them put in their own variables along with any stats presented. This repurposes content for one assets and adds a new dimension for your resource gallery.
94. Turn a top performing white paper into an interactive flipbook. There are a slew of possibilities to this option including adding animations, qualifying questions, data research collection, and seeing metrics on individual page views. But, ABOVE ALL, you can play with the position of the lead form from right at the beginning to the early or late middle.
95. Promote and host a voting campaign among prospects and customers to name a new feature, or pick a new logo, or select the next development project, etc. This could be done around an event to gain brand buzz and drive engagement.
96. Interactive microsite scavenger hunt where facts are hidden across a “map” or landscape and viewers have to search and click to find them. Like an interactive infographic but based around a “Can you find all the hidden facts?” element. This could be launched around a seasonal event like an Easter Egg Hunt.
97. Send a pre-demo call interactive wishlist where leads are presented with different topics and product aspects that can be covered, and they rank their top discussion points.
98. Create interactive instruction guide for getting the most out of one of your solutions, strategies, or a specific event. This provides a similar purpose as a guide, but with a more one-on-one feel. Think Ikea instructions but with words and the ability for users to put in their own variables.
99. Create a True or False flashcard quiz that mimics the look of flashcards and asks users key facts about your solution or product in quick succession. This provides a quiz format in a familiar or throwback theme and allows you to show off persuasive facts about your company.
100. Provide a national or global interactive map of your different office locations and/or headquarters. Present interesting facts unique to the office, city, and employees. This can boost sales and recruiting by telling your company story at a large scale.
101. Use interactive demonstrations and tours of new product launches and updates. Blog posts are fine, but users want a more one-on-one feel that shows exactly what changed and how it’s useful to them.