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In comedian Aziz Ansari’s most recent stand up act, he discussed healthy eating. While he would like to have a more vegetable-based diet with less or no meat, he concluded with this simple argument against it: “Salads need to step their game up. Salads aren’t bringing it hard enough.”
Whether you agree with Aziz or whether you think salads are delectable flavor bashes, the sentiment he expressed easily applies to B2B marketing: Most B2B content isn’t bringing it hard enough.
Due to the nature of a lot of B2B products, services, and industry spaces, bringing the content to life in a way that pops and appeals can be a tricky task, no doubt. When planning and creating your content, always look to infuse as much personality into the style and narrative as possible, but also look to use newer, alternative formats.
Usually you can find these new formats already in use by leading B2C marketers, and now more than ever, B2B marketers need start leveraging these newer techniques for their own content.
These campaigns have been so popular and successful that Forbes listed interactive content as a top 3 must-do for B2B marketers in 2016. Fortunately, a few marketing teams are already a step ahead for us to take a look at.
Multinational software company Citrix took product comparison content to a whole new level with their “GoToMeeting MVPs” campaign.
The campaign included content in multiple formats, engaging users at different points in their journey with unique content that stood out from the competition.
One of those pieces of content was this creative and dynamic assessment.
The company also created this fun, competitive-sports-style video featuring GoToMeeting MVPs.
Paradigm Life is a wealth management company with a unique approach to financial planning. Their originality and resourcefulness doesn’t stop with their service offerings, however. They also bring those creative elements into their content.
Rather than presenting their audience with another boring PDF, the company created a financial literacy quiz. Not only is this interactive content more interesting and compelling than most other content in the financial industry, but it provides Paradigm Life with valuable information about their prospects.
Video software company Vidyard knows a thing or two about engaging audiences with creative video. Their site is full of examples of interactive content that is not only entertaining, but incredibly helpful.
You’ll notice that much of their content also includes a call-to-action asking viewers to fill out a form – turning this interactive content into a series of lead-generation machines.
Vidyard example 1: Video tour of Vidyard’s platform
Vidyard example 2: Animated landing page
Vidyard example 3: Case study with video
BrightEdge is a content performance marketing company with an award-winning SEO (search engine optimization) platform powered by a sophisticated big-data analysis engine. Yeah, that’s a mouthful. On the contrary, their interactive marketing content is a snap to understand and engage with!
This SEO quiz challenges prospects to find out just how much they know about search engine optimization.
The Wistia video platform has taken the marketing world by storm, providing video playback, SEO, and integration features that challenger YouTube just can’t offer.
While video is obviously an integral part of their marketing strategy, I found their use of it in blog posts to be extremely creative. Take this blog post, for example. Wistia added motion graphics and explainer videos throughout to make this how-to blog post a fully interactive guide.
The financial services industry isn’t necessarily known for their creativity. Investment management company Militello Capital sticks out like a sore thumb – and that’s a good thing.
In partnership with RealReport™, Militello created this jaw-dropping interactive infographic that lets users explore 26 different investment types.
Believe it or not, the following interactive microsite is a B2B example.
Financial services company Morgan Stanley (in partnership with The Wall Street Journal) clearly took note of some of the big B2C campaigns in recent years, but they put their own heartfelt spin on the content.
This microsite takes you on a tour of current sustainability and climate change issues while positioning Morgan Stanley as a leader in finding solutions.
Pew Research Center calls themselves a “nonpartisan fact tank.” We know them, of course, as one of the foremost research organizations in the U.S.
While most research reports are pretty cut-and-dry, Pew broke the mold when they released a cybersecurity study just this year. At the top of the introductory article, readers are invited to test their knowledge of cybersecurity topics with this 10-question quiz.
Crew is a web design and development firm focusing on websites, apps, user experience, and branding. There are quite a lot of those out there these days, right? So what helps Crew stand out from the crowd?
They created an interactive content asset called How Much to Make an App.
The content is a clean and quick calculator that allows any user to apply their specific app intentions – like what device, what kind of user activity, design style – in order to get a cost estimate. Users can even start over and change some specifics to see how that would affect their result.
The calculator does a great job of giving an individual result quickly and easily while also reflecting the Crew brand.
Optum is a global health service and innovation company that connects thousands of experts and patients together through health system management.
Changing from the fee-for-service model to a fee-for-value model, Optum created an interactive content experience that enabled both health care executives and sales reps to easily find the content they needed to understand the changes.
The web-based interactive infographic allowed for easier navigation, but also provided more detailed information in downloadable forms within each section, allowing users to dig deep if they needed.
The content has received close to 1,800 visits, and a 3% conversion for form submitted to engage Optum further.
Mosaic is a world-leading mining company. Wanting to increase awareness about the influence of crop nutrition, Mosaic created a fictional serialized podcast series about a farmer named Gerald Fitzgerald and his brother Darrell.
The series took on a mystery narrative to track down the source of low-yielding crops. The content lived on a microsite, greatyieldmystery.com, and was promoted through social channels. Each week, listeners received small prizes for solving little mysteries and a grand prize for “The Great Yield Mystery.”
The campaign received 1,586 episode downloads, and brought in 1,764 sessions to the microsite.
Blackbaud is a supplier of software and services designed for nonprofit organizations. Having a strong collection of customer success stories around their Blackbaud University training program, the marketing team wanted to show rather than tell new prospects the results they too could get.
They created the microsite Realize Real Results, which offered 4 pieces of interactive content – 2 calculators, a quiz, and a survey – along with other static case studies and infographics. The interactive content allowed users to “try on” the successes of other companies to show how they would apply to their own organization.
One of three winners of DemandGen’s Killer Content Award for the Interactive Content category, the campaign gained more than 800 qualified leads in the past seven months – helping the sales team achieve 141% of quota attainment in Q1 alone.
As part of their prospecting calls, Blackbaud’s sales team used the calculators, Save 20 Minutes and Raise 20% More, during demos for a more engaging, show-and-tell conversation.
Most, if not all, marketers are familiar with HubSpot as one of the industry leaders of inbound marketing.
Knowing that a lot of their site visitors look to them as a resource as much as a service or a product, HubSpot created a simple “Blog Topic Generator” with a sub headline of “Don’t know what to blog about? Let us think of the ideas for you.”
The content presents you with different angles and subject approaches for your content topic. This of course helps you with your content efforts, but also keeps HubSpot’s brand position as a thought leader, actually giving you ideas on demand.
When interactive content is at its best, it is both engaging a user with entertainment and information, but also learning about that user. By asking specific questions about wants, needs, and interests, marketers can use that information to better understand their buyers.
Creating high quality content is not easy, and knowing which content to send to a specific prospect at the right time is a huge advantage in getting your message heard.
If you’re interested in interactive content but not exactly sure how to use it or how it fits in with your campaigns and goals, check out our interactive infographic for 34 different ways to use it!