When you’re shopping in a physical store, there’s a clear experience. You can chat with salespeople face-to-face, touch the products in front of you, and surround yourself with the atmosphere of the store. As more and more customer journeys go digital, the virtual shopping experience needs to become just as engaging. That’s where interactive content comes in.
Knowing how to create interactive content is now key to making your website stand out from all the rest. We’ll explain what interactive content is, then explain four reasons why it’s needed (and debunk three reasons it’s not).
What Is Interactive Content?
Interactive content is a type of website feature that encourages your audience to actively engage with your content. It captivates users and leads to full participation. On the other hand, users often skim and scroll past static content like text and still images.
Examples of interactive content include:
- Product recommendation quizzes, like The Ordinary’s Regimen Builder
- Price calculators, like Caliber Home Loans’ mortgage calculators
- Videos, including embedded YouTube videos
- Interactive infographics, like National Geographic’s The New New York Skyline
- Games, like JustPark’s How Old Are Your Reactions?
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4 Benefits of Using Interactive Content
Higher engagement isn’t the only benefit of learning how to create interactive content. Here are four ways that interactive content can help you drive results for your clients.
1. Capture More Leads and Sales
Every company wants to boost their sales, and interactive content helps your clients do just that. Adding interactive content to your website can increase conversion rates by nearly 30%. If you’re embedding video to your landing pages, make that 80%.
So why is interactive content so powerful for sales? It answers your audience’s questions using an engaging medium. Website visitors no longer have to scroll through pages and pages of static content. They can quickly get answers, learn about a brand, and find the product or service they need. This can drive them through the sales funnel — from awareness and consideration to intent and purchase — faster than usual.
Consider product recommendation quizzes, for example. It cuts down users’ research time by creating a custom solution based on their needs. By decreasing the length of the sales cycle, you reduce the chances of your client’s leads dropping off.
Interactive content can also serve a lead magnet, which is an enticing free offer given in exchange for contact information. When you offer valuable insight, like instant quotes, people will submit their email or phone number to receive it. This allows your clients to get more quality leads, who they can continue engaging across channels.
2. Boost Your Dwell Time
A natural effect of higher engagement is more time spent on your web pages. The more your content captivates users, the less likely users are to leave. This can help you improve a key metric: dwell time.
Dwell time is the amount of time a visitor spends on a web page after clicking in from a search engine, before they jump back to the results page. It’s not a definitive ranking factor. But many marketers believe that higher dwell times can signal to Google that your site is relevant to a search.
More generally, high engagement can improve your bounce rate and average session durations.
Paired with effective content writing that uses relevant keywords, interactive content could be the key to better SEO.
3. Get More Customer Data
Customer data is basically gold in the world of digital marketing. The more you know about your audience, the better you can create a great online experience.
Many forms of interactive content can help you gather valuable details about your website visitors. For example, a price calculator may help you get insight into what shoppers are looking for, where they’re located, how much they’ve budgeted. An educational quiz helps you gauge shoppers’ understanding of an industry or product.
The data you collect can help your clients get to know shoppers and segment their lead lists. This way, they can better target their marketing and ad campaigns and personalize the customer experience.
4. Recreate the In-Person Shopping Experience
Understanding how to create interactive content can help you recreate an in-person brand experience, online. Interactive content can feel like a real-life conversation — only you don’t need salespeople present. Shoppers can engage with your website in real time, and your site instantly responds with information they need.
As a result, your site will be better equipped to help your clients build relationships with users. Interactive content helps brands build rapport and trust. It makes a website feel more personal, and immerses users in a memorable experience.
Plus, since interactive content creates active engagement, brand recognition can increase. This is key to boosting brand loyalty as shoppers become customers.
3 Perceived Downsides of Interactive Content (Debunked)
Some businesses are hesitant to implement interactive content on their sites. In fact, 38% of marketers don’t use interactive content at all. But adding interactivity isn’t as risky as you might think. Here’s why you should stop worrying about three perceived downsides of interactive content.
1. It Costs a Lot
A big misconception about interactive content is that it costs a lot, in both money and time. The truth behind this assumption is that some sites include highly sophisticated features and tools. But learning how to create interactive content (and actually doing so) doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
As mentioned before, interactive content can be as simple as embedding a YouTube video on your site. And if you want to get more advanced, there are plenty of tools that can streamline your content creation process. For example, uCalc allows you to make forms and calculators for free.
When you do want to get more sophisticated, interactive content can be worth the cost. Many shoppers choose brands based on the experience they provide. If that experience is simpler and more engaging than static content, your client will win — and they’ll stick with your agency for longer.
2. It Requires Extensive Information-Gathering
Interactive content can seem daunting. The interactive infographics you see on major news sites, for example, are often highly precise and detailed. But you don’t have to spend hours collecting information for your site. Again, interactive content can be simple, rather than research-driven. And it may not require your client’s input at all.
When you do need your client’s help, you still won’t have to waste any time. Tools like SimpleStage can help you avoid content collection issues like missed deadlines by making it easy for clients to contribute. You can simply request content on specific areas of your site — for example, if you need clients to create questions for a quiz. Then, clients can see your designs and understand how the content will look and feel in that section. Your clients will have more visual context, while your team can get content sooner and with less hassle.
3. It’s Hard To Track
Metrics are important for every agency. Both you and your clients need to know that the content you’re spending time on actually works. Interactive content is no harder to track than static content. The same metrics — like click-through rates and bounce rates — can tell you if web pages with interactive elements are working as planned.
More worried about tracking if your interactive content is working at all? SimpleStage can ease your concerns. Our bug issue tracking tool allows users to quickly capture the information your web team needs to resolve bugs, right when they occur. If your interactive content isn’t compatible with a specific device or browser version, you’ll know.
Get Started With Interactive Content
The time for interactive content is now. With more competition on the web than ever, moving away from fully static content can help your clients stand out. When shoppers can get helpful information through engaging features, your clients can win more sales, higher SEO rankings, and better data. Over time, they can win brand loyalty, too.
The “downsides” of interactive content can easily get debunked, so adding interactive content is bound to help your websites thrive.