5 Most Common Interactive Content Mistakes
January 13, 2016 | Elizabeth Wellington
We’ve all been there: a few late nights in the office, and we still can’t figure out what went wrong. We checked all the boxes — develop content, run by the marketing director, post to website — but our work is just not capturing leads or driving conversions.
As frustrating as these moments can be for marketers, they help us improve our game. As with all new skills, honing your marketing chops takes practice. It’s always worth brushing up on the basics. Here are five of the most common interactive content mistakes and easy solutions to rock your next campaign:
1. Fail to Document Strategy
According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, only 35% of marketers take the time to document their content strategy. Are you in the majority? If so, a little bit of extra effort will go a long way — 60% of marketers with a documented strategy rate their content marketing effectiveness as high, compared to 32% of marketers with only a verbal strategy.
Without a written game plan, you can’t be effective as a marketer because you don’t know if you’re the hitting the mark. Without a clear roadmap, you have no steps or defined goals. Even if your content goes viral, it won’t serve your purpose — you don’t have one! Defining your content strategy is also an important way to review your impact. You can go into meetings with your boss, knowing that you reached clear benchmarks.
If you work with bigger teams, it’s even more important that you share strategy between individuals, aligning each person’s work with a larger mission. Moz made an awesome template that any company can use to sync their interactive content with greater goals.
2. Bad Design
There’s a lot of bad content out there. A badly designed piece of content requires that readers dig through visual detractors or funny fonts. Meanwhile, a well-designed piece of content makes it effortless for you to absorb information, participate, and enjoy learning about a company. Because when creating interactive content you may not have design training, it would be easy for you to miss the essentials:
- Stick to two main colors, and do not use more than four colors.
- Provide a lot of blank space.
- Use crisp, clear, consistent typefaces that are easy to read.
- Emphasize importance with bolding and scale.
- Implement a simple grid system to keep your graphics and text aligned.
- Always get a second opinion.
Salesforce Pardot’s RXBAR Dreamforce Quiz struck a perfect balance with its tablet-themed design. Their marketing team used simple colors — khaki and black — with a pop of bright blue. You can see open space and clear typefaces, intuitively scaled and centered. Great design may take extra attention, but it goes the simple route. When in doubt, ask a good friend to check something out. They can give you an honest opinion without over thinking.
3. No Brand Personality
Our favorite thing about interactive content is super clear: IT’S FUN! We all crave entertainment, and interactive content meets that need and provides value, too. It builds on the same momentum of Buzzfeed quizzes and interactive video games, sucking us in with a rewarding experience. But without personality, even the coolest quizzes will fall flat — for a piece of interactive content to bring in the clicks, your company’s voice has to shine.
If you’re not sure how to bring human personality to your company’s content, think about four adjectives that describe your brand. Next, dig into the following brand personality spectrum, which can help you to identify a spot-on voice for your brand.
Ideally, your audience should be able to pick out your company’s content from a crowd because of its voice and tone. What makes you unique should be clear to readers, especially as they choose between you and a competitor.
4. Awful Headlines
The worst headlines are bland, boring or irrelevant. You probably don’t notice them because they fade into the background of your Google search or email newsletters. Headlines need to offer a sense of timeliness and excitement that makes readers want to keep reading (even when they have 100 other things to do.)
To write the roaring headlines, Quicksprout suggests that content marketers follow their four “u’s”:
- Your headline should be unique.
- Your headline should be ultra-specific.
- Your headline should convey a sense of urgency.
- Your headline should be useful.
No matter your topic of choice, headlines should never invoke fear — you want your company to connect with audiences through positive rather than negative emotions.
5. Forget to Amplify
Follow through is everything. Even the most amazing content needs a clear channel to reach audiences. Posting an interactive quiz to your website is a great first step, for your piece to make an impact, you need to look at different methods:
As much as we love social media, email marketing is still king. It’s still 40x more successful than Twitter and Facebook at customer acquisition, making it an important part of any content strategy. Always add your interactive content to newsletters — you get your content out there in the world, and prospective clients enjoy consistent, wonderful content.
Quizzes were made for social media. There’s no reason not to share your interactive content with your social community. Heinz built a quiz titled “My Grown Up Beanz” and shared it on Facebook. By matching users’ personality to one of five kinds of beans, they recruited 30,000 extra Facebook fans! If the quiz just wallowed away on their website, there’s no way they would have gained that kind of traction.
Collaborate with each part of your marketing team to spread the word about interactive content every way you can. Reach out to peers at partner companies to get their help too!
With higher engagement rates and tangible ROI, interactive content can help you seal the deal with customers. To make an even bigger impact, go back to the basics: build on a clear content strategy, create easy-to-read designs, craft personal copy, and amplify, amplify, amplify!