interactive-content

So you're looking for content that will drive engagement, generate leads and lead to greater exposure online? Consider interactive content.

Interactive content is different than your normal "read me and share" fare that many content marketers use to generate inbound links. Interactive content, as the name implies, requires interaction from the website visitor. Usually, this interaction is of the point-and-click variety, but it can involve much more, such as user-generated content.

Here are four types of interactive content that will drive leads.

1. Quizzes

As of this writing, quizzes are among the most popular types of interactive content. Websites like BuzzFeed have made them particularly enjoyable with offerings such as: "Which Character From "Friends" Are You?" Visitors answer a number of personality-related questions and, at the end of the quiz, they learn which character they most resemble from the hit TV show.

However, quizzes can be used to drive engagement for your brand as well. For example, Memolink gives visitors the opportunity to take a quiz that will help them find the perfect anniversary gift. At the bottom of the quiz is a link where they can view products from vendors that participate in the company's rewards program.

interactive-quiz-memolink

Memolink isn't alone. Andrea Birdsong of CEB said that her company saw a 54 percent increased click-through rate by using an interactive quiz versus a static call to action.

2. Surveys

Surveys are different than quizzes in this way: They typically show the respondents how they stack up against other people who've taken the survey. For example, a survey that asks "How many cats do you own?" will allow people to answer, and then display a graph or chart showing how other people have answered. For example: 12 percent own no cats, 22 percent own one cat, 11 percent own two cats, etc.

Surveys are great because people often like to compare themselves to their peers. They present an opportunity for self-reflection.

Fortunately, they're also a great way for you to build your business. MarketingProfs' "A Day in the Life of a Marketer" survey gave marketers the opportunity to talk about themselves for a bit "and what marketer doesn't like to do that?" the survey's creator asked.

interactive-survey-marketingprofs

The end result: a 42 percent click-through rate, a 73 percent lead submission rate and a 4 percent share rate.

3. Live Price Comparison

A live price comparison with offerings from other companies is a great way to build trust with your customers because it shows that you're not afraid of competition. It also shows your customers that you want what's best for them, even at your own expense. That generates goodwill, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty.

Price comparison charts also help your business because they can answer the following question that is almost certainly lurking in the minds of your visitors: "Is this the lowest price I can find?" In fact, the uncertainty surrounding that question can lead to shopping cart abandonment, a perennial cause of frustration among eCommerce webmasters. The bottom line is this: If you want to minimize shopping cart abandonment, make sure that your customers have easy access to a price comparison chart right there on your website.

CJ Pony Parts, a Mustang parts retailer, offered a Christmastime price comparison chart for people browsing its products. The chart first lists the company's own price and the prices of two competitors. This gives savvy shoppers the opportunity to shop around for the best deal, even if that means going somewhere else.

interactive-price-comparison-cjpony

Customers can appreciate the integrity of a company that is out for their best interests.

4. Contests

A contest is an outstanding way to build engagement and increase brand awareness across the digital space.

There are a couple of different ways that you can structure a contest. The simplest way is to offer an online raffle. Everybody enters by submitting an email address, for example, and then a winner is randomly chosen after a certain amount of time has elapsed. That winner will receive a prize, preferably one that reinforces your brand.

You can enhance the online raffle option by incentivizing entrants to do the promotional work for you. People who recruit new entrants into the contest receive additional points. At the end of the contest period, the person with the most points wins the prize. This option is particularly attractive because it can lead to your contest going viral on social media. That will, in turn, build brand awareness.

Still another contest option is the well-known user-generated content contest. That's when you ask people to produce something creative relevant to your brand or your industry and then give a prize to the person with the best entry voted on by other people who have to visit your site, naturally.

Brands of all sizes have seen success with all these types of contests but it is perhaps this last option that can have the greatest impact when done correctly. For example, Coca-Cola's wildly successful "Share a Coke" campaign involved a photo contest including the personalized Coke bottles. They credit this campaign with an increase in American sales of 2% after years of dropping revenues, and got to enjoy viral results, like this one:

interactive-contest-coke

Interactive content is a great way to promote your online presence and, ultimately, increase your sales. Why not pick a couple of these options that you think will work for you and start boosting your revenue?

What's your favorite kind of interactive content, and have you seen a great impact on your bottom line? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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* Title images adapted from j.reed,Kris Kruginteractive-content-leads