19 Demand Generating Content Formats That Aren’t a PDF
November 17, 2016 | Jessica Mehring
PDFs have their place. They’re easy to download, send, design, and skim. Over the years, they’ve become the unofficial default for many marketers, but times are a changin.
When it comes to building buzz, holding attention, and reaching new markets, PDFs can fall a little … flat.
The good news is, there are lots of other content formats to play with. We pulled together 19 examples of more out-of-the-box content types to spur your imagination as you make plans for future demand-gen activities.
There’s something in here for every marketing department to consider.
So without further ado: 19 marketing examples to get you thinking creatively about your demand-gen content.
1. Multimedia Game
This A Love Story Game from Chipotle is actually a mix of mediums. The fast-casual restaurant chain encourages users to play and earn free food – and there’s also a cute CGI film to go along with the game.
This epic microsite from Wired in partnership with Netflix won awards for its editorial-style native content.
3. ROI Calculator
FulcrumTech turned their email marketing ROI calculator into an email-list builder.
4. Shoppable Virtual Tour
Mindy’s Shoppable House Tour on Apartment Therapy’s website is sponsored content by The Mindy Project on Hulu – and it’s just as fun and outrageous as Mindy’s character.
5. Interactive History Lesson
Truth or Denial is a multimedia article from the Washington Post that includes timelines you can interact with and a star-studded featurette at the end.
You can get a lot more creative with video than you might think. Look how Mashable brought this tweet to life with a video featuring a robotic kitchen.
7. Product Picker
Even farmers can benefit from well-done interactive content. Check out how John Deere made choosing a product as easy as apple pie with their product selector. Users can choose products in myriad ways: browsing an entire catalog, filtering by specifications, or answering questions about their situation in the “help me decide” assessment.
Webinars continue to be high engagement drivers as well as powerful list-builders. Marketo offers their audience two kinds of webinars to meet customers where they are: on-demand or real-time.
9. Blog Post
Yes, blog posts still work for demand-gen. The “trick” is to write blog posts on topics and subjects that your audience actually cares about. Interview series and even more tongue-in-cheek posts are some alternatives to the status-quo post. Here’s a great example from creativebloq.com, 19 Things Not to Say to a Graphic Designer.
10. Interactive Infographic
This interactive infographic beauty from Goldman Sachs will makes the subject of capital markets absolutely riveting. Don’t you agree?
Many marketers think they will lose swaths of their audience by investing resources in a podcast. That’s true – if you’re doing it wrong.
Sure, a podcast caters to commuters and gym-goers – people who prefer their content in audio format – but that doesn’t mean you can’t add content that will appeal to customers who prefer to watch or read. Consider adding a well-edited transcript to your podcast and/or offer a video version of the interview to capture these other types of content consumers. Check out how the team at Copyblogger is doing it.
12. Interactive Video
Take 10 minutes to explore the Universe Within interactive video from Highrise. Nothing I write here will prepare you for this remarkable experience.
If you’ve got the budget for it, a high-quality interactive video will get people talking about your brand fast.
Assessments are fantastic for turning content into two-way conversations. As users click through and make choices, marketers learn their preferences, wants, and needs. The result: Users feel engaged and marketers get insights they can use to make an even bigger difference for customers.
The How China Are You? assessment from Protonet is more than a simple quiz. It’s an engrossing experience.
14. Video Landing Page
Check out this high-performance wonder from Northrop Grumman. At certain points throughout the video, you can click for more information about the products you’re seeing in the video. This is a brilliant way to showcase a company’s people and products.
Quizzes can be fun for users, and have a habit of getting shared a lot. This one from Contently will determine how much of a grammar expert you are.
This might be an unusual content type – but that’s one of its charms. A flipbook is a bit like a digital magazine crossed with a slide show. See how Content Marketing Institute did it with their Rolling Content Magazine.
A gallery doesn’t have to be a static page of pictures. Nor does it have to be a multimedia extravaganza. You can simply make it more interactive to drive interest and create demand. Verity Health did this in a very simple but effective way with accordion dropdowns in their marketing gallery.
18. Bracket Challenge
See how the US Open used a bracket challenge to get tennis fans engaged and excited.
19. Pinterest Yard Sale
I had to put this one at the end to make sure you’re still awake. Yes, a Pinterest yard sale is a thing. Take a look at how Krylon did it. If this doesn’t spur your imagination … you may need resuscitation.
Looking for a way to go beyond PDFs today? Transform them into interactive expereinces for free right now!