Creating meaningful content is one of the most important ways for brands to communicate and engage with customers. There is so much content produced and consumed every day that much of it goes ignored. User’s attention spans are short, so only the high-quality content gets any visibility as we scroll past the seemingly endless clickbait, spammy articles, competitions and quizzes.

Interactives (and by that we mean any content that allows the user to explore, interact with or otherwise control) offer an opportunity for brands to connect on a more meaningful level. This content typically stands out because it’s more engaging, relevant or genuinely useful. This content is far more likely to be shared and enjoyed, attracting more attention as a result.

We’ve looked at the key points for making sure your next interactive is a success.

Our advent calendar for Willerby lead to a 289% increase in datasets and contributed to a 65% increase in sales revenue for January.

What are your KPIs or objectives?

Before planning any campaign involving interactive content it’s important to define some desired outcomes. By starting with a clear objective, it helps to ensure that any investment in creating this type of content has a positive ROI.

Typically, a campaign will have one or more of the following objectives:

  • Brand awareness
    Some campaigns are mainly for getting a brand noticed. These might be for offline or impulse purchases, such as a consumer product
  • Immediate sales
    The opposite of the brand awareness approach is to try to drive as many leads or conversion as possible on day 0. This type of campaign works best for B2C sales and lower value goods or services, where users make an impulse decision to buy.
  • Top of the funnel leads
    Not every potential customer is ready to make a purchase. For example, for an insurance brand where customers typically have an annual renewal date, those customers are unlikely to make a purchase until their existing product has expired. B2B customers often have a lengthy consideration period, where an expensive or risky long-term switch of supplier needs careful thought. For these types of companies, creating a positive association with their brand is vital, so that they are front of mind when the time is right.
  • Research
    Market research can be extremely valuable, but also difficult to gather when working with a tight budget or when targeting the right people isn’t easily achievable. Getting accurate data quickly can be a big challenge, but through making the means of collecting this data as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, brands can gather customer data more easily. This approach often leads to some surprising or unusual data, which can be used as part of a PR strategy going forwards.
  • SEO
    Most campaigns also have the added benefit of generating coverage and inbound links. It’s an additional bonus to driving measurable revenue. Making sure that there is a reason to link back to the interactive leads to long-term rewards as a result of improved authority to the website.

What format should the content take?

An interactive has the power to inform or entertain users (or both). Whilst humorous content is often more likely to be shared, it doesn’t always translate to as many direct sales as content that customers find genuinely useful. An interactive decision engine can take customer’s input and recommend a suitable product or service. Those users are far more likely to convert as that point as they have been shown a personalised result that meets their requirements. By helping users to make difficult decisions they are empowered to take the next steps.

Our interactive for Paddy Power was featured in Campaign’s roundup of the best general election ads.

How will you drive traffic?

In order to meet these objectives, we need users. Attracting the right type of visitors to your interactive can be via a combination of the following channels:

  • Website
    An inexpensive way of directing traffic from your existing customers and regular visitors to your site. Interactives can be promoted via blog posts as well as banners and features shown throughout the website.
  • Email
    Another way of directing your existing user base to your content is to make use of your database. Content can be featured in newsletters, or for larger campaigns a tailored email marketing approach can drive significant traffic. However, this approach is unlikely to reach new audiences, so should be used in combination with other channels.
  • Social Media
    Promotion via social channels allows you to reach a wide audience of your existing followers, who will then hopefully share the content with their own followers and communities.
  • Organic
    Generating content that answers specific search terms and answers high-volume queries should lead to increased organic visibility. However, this approach is harder to predict in terms of how large an audience will be reached.
  • PR
    Content that is particularly newsworthy such as survey results or a major announcement are likely to generate column inches and coverage from journalists, bloggers and influencers.
  • Paid Social
    Organic social reach can only go so far, particularly as most posts are throttled and won’t reach all your followers. Adding a paid budget allows you to reach a highly targeted audience who are more likely to find your content relevant.

B2C considerations

For B2C campaigns there are likely to be additional considerations that should be contemplated ahead of the launch of your interactive.

Encouraging opted in leads
Adhering to GDPR legislation can mean that campaigns can result in fewer opted in datasets. But the fact that users have viewed and hopefully enjoyed your content gives a great opportunity to collect valuable customer data. By explaining clearly how a user’s data will be used, and showing the great content that they will gain access to you can maximise the chances of users opting in.

Exploring new channels
Depending on your audience, the main social channels may not be the best place to promote your content. For a younger audience Snapchat and TikTok might offer a better match to your users. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide large audiences, but Reddit is often overlooked.

B2B considerations

For B2B brands, the consideration and conversion process are often different, so a different approach may be necessary.

Top of the funnel leads
If your product or service typically has a long consideration period, generating top of the funnel leads is vital to avoid the pipeline from drying up. An interactive can be a great way of informing and educating potential customers, and a strategy is needed to keep them engaged until they are ready to purchase. A nurture journey should be adopted to make sure that users don’t drop off over time.

A different approach to targeting
LinkedIn is a good option for promoting your content to a targeted audience. However, the other major channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) shouldn’t be ignored.

Gamification & Engagement

A great idea still needs to be well executed to get results. Usability is important, as interactives often tackle complex subjects and the user needs to find it intuitive and easy to navigate. Animation and a slick visual style will help to keep users engaged, if the usual rules of good UX are adhered to.

For quizzes and games, implementing a leaderboard or prize giveaway will encourage entrants to take part and share their contact details, adding a competitive element to the campaign. This approach often leads to more shares and social engagement as friends compete against each other to try to try get bragging rights for a high score.

Our match predictor for Marston’s and Fosters generated a 34% voucher redemption rate for spot prizes.

Technology

As well as the underlying codebase or framework for developing the interactive, careful consideration is needed around data capture and how this is stored. An interactive can feed data directly into a CRM system, automatically adding their details to relevant lists.

Device compatibility is also important. Depending on the method of promoting the content this will impact on the types of devices being used. An email or social campaign is likely to see a high number of mobile users, but desktop remains vital in some situations such as B2B. Testing for compatibility on the major devices and browsers is always important, but special attention to Facebook’s own web browser is also especially relevant.

Results

As well as a measurable ROI based on the campaign objectives, there are many other ways of measuring success. The average time on site for an interactive is often far greater than typical blog posts or other ways of creating content. For some campaigns we have seen an average time on site in excess of 10 minutes, giving brands far more exposure. Analytics allows us to track how many users have clicked through from the interactive to product or service-related pages as users sessions continue after having consumed the content.

The PR coverage and number of inbound links generated by a campaign also gives a good indication of the success of a project and offers a huge SEO benefit too.

Wrapping up

As technology evolves, we are given a much wider range of options as to what can be achieved in the browser. Users have powerful devices capable of virtual and augmented reality, viewable at the touch of button without installing apps. Making great content is the perfect way for brands to take advantage, growing their digital audiences and becoming famous for their high-quality content.

To find out how we can help planning and delivering your next interactive, get in touch to discuss your brief.

By Tim Butler

Head of User Experience

Digital UX

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