What Is Interactive Marketing and Why Does It Matter for Your Business?
As a content consumer, what do you enjoy more: reading a bunch of text or engaging, interacting, and playing around with what you’re consuming?
The latter, of course! Interactive elements make taking in content much more enjoyable for audiences, which is great news for you as a marketer. Millions of blog posts are published on the internet daily, so you want to make sure your content really stands out.
In this article, we take a closer look at what interactive marketing is, the benefits of using it, and the different ways you can incorporate it into your current marketing strategy.
What Does Interactive Marketing Mean?
Interactive marketing is marketing that makes use of visuals, videos, and other interactive elements to engage the audience, prompting everyone who participates to ultimately take some sort of action.
The focus can switch from one to many or remain one to one. Rather than creating content that’s meant to reach the masses, interactive content — while still meant to be shared like any piece of content — aims to have every consumer engage with the content. It’s a much more direct approach than traditional marketing.
6 Benefits of Interactive Marketing
As you can imagine, there are multiple benefits to using interactive marketing in your business. A recent study by Demand Metric indicated that interactive marketing is 45% more effective at educating buyers than passive content. Here’s a closer look at the specific reasons why you should use interactive marketing.
1. You Can Interact Directly With Your Audience
Why wouldn’t you want to converse more, connect more, and just get to know your audience better? Interactive marketing lets your audience directly respond to you and vice versa.
This is a big detour from traditional marketing, where businesses put out a piece of content, crossed their fingers, and hoped their audience followed the path that allows them to respond.
2. It Provides Instant Feedback
Quizzes, polls, fillable forms: these are all examples of interactive elements, and they all provide your business with instant feedback and information from your audience.
Want to know what your audience wants to learn from you? What about what to launch first? You can even ask how they feel you’re serving them, and how you could do better. With these interactive pieces, you can ask them and get your answers right away.
3. It Boosts Your Knowledge, Likeability, and Trust Factor
By now, we all know that marketing isn’t just selling. It’s about building a lasting relationship. Interactive marketing helps do this beautifully by helping you boost your knowledge, likeability, and trust factor.
As you interact and communicate, you get to know your audience, and your audience also gets to know your brand more. This interaction starts to build knowledge and likeability, and when you ask for feedback and genuinely listen, it helps your audience trust you more.
4. It Increases Engagement
You know how social media works: the more engagement a post generates, the more it gets seen. The interactive feature of this type of marketing works wonderfully by not only engaging your audience but also organically helping your content spread.
Also, the more an audience engages with your content, the more likely they are to stick with you. A win-win all around!
5. It Personalizes Content
Let’s face it: most people know what’s up. They know that being a consumer means they’re going to be on the receiving end of a sales pitch. It’s just part of the online business-and-buyer game.
This part of the game doesn’t mean they enjoy being just a consumer with a nameless face. Today’s consumer wants to be treated like a real person.
With interactive marketing, the consumer gets back some of the one-to-one interaction. As a business marketer, you get to personalize your content, not only by gathering info from your EXACT audience but by treating them like a valuable asset to your business.
6. It Increases Conversion Rates
When consumers feel like they’re taken care of and are acknowledged by a business, they’re more likely to stick around. They’re also more likely to become paying customers.
Interactive marketing has the added benefit of taking your audience from point A to point B, all with engaging elements.
Imagine not only giving your clients a fun way to get the information they want about your business but giving them the information they need to make a purchasing decision with strategically placed calls to action.
Types of Interactive Marketing
We’ve explored the benefits of Interactive Marketing. Now, let’s look at the types of interactive marketing for businesses.
Types of interactive marketing include:
- Surveys and Polls
- Interactive Storytelling
Quizzes are just plain fun. Not only are they entertaining, but they can also give your audience insight. Even better: they encourage your audience to take action — that happens every time they answer a question. At the end of the quiz, participants provide their email addresses to get their results, and that action adds them to your email list. This is a great marketing tactic that’s fun for your audience and has lots of benefits for your business.
Surveys and Polls
Spend just a few minutes on social media and you can easily see that people love offering opinions. Why not make the most of this tendency by creating fun surveys and polls for your audience to answer? They can be as light-hearted or straightforward as you’d like, depending on your brand. Surveys and polls are a great way to gather research and find out what your audience wants from your business.
If your audience is data- or numbers-driven, then a good calculator function is sure to excite them. They’re commonly found on financial websites — think banks, mortgage lenders, budgeting sites, and auto sellers. But calculators aren’t limited to just lenders and budgeters. Anything that might utilize real data could be perfect for a usable calculator and an interactive element that provides useful information for your audience.
Love ’em or hate ’em, chatbots are extremely useful. While they can’t replace real-time, live support, chatbots give people something to respond to in the moment. They can also provide immediate support for common questions or help automatically segment your audience.
You likely know that video is one of the most effective elements in digital media. But did you know that marketers are making videos even more engaging now?
Elements like letting the viewer choose the next step or 360-degree filming that lets the watcher be truly immersed are not only fun for the viewer but are becoming more popular in marketing, too (think behind-the-scenes looks and product launches).
If you’re not ready to dive deeper into interactive marketing, written text can be made interactive by adding elements that captivate the reader. Infographics, memes, gifs, short video clips: these visual elements break up the written text and also give your reader something to interface with. Charts, graphs, and maps are a few other useful storytelling pieces.
How To Use Interactive Marketing in Your Business
As you can probably guess, one of the biggest places to use interactive marketing is going to be in your content. Your website and social media platforms are gateways for customers to get to know your business, so it makes sense to use entertaining and engaging content here. But there are other ways to make use of interactive marketing, too. Here’s a closer look at how.
1. Your Launch Process
Launching has so many elements — so many moving parts — it’s one of the BEST places to use interactive marketing. Ideas for using it in your launch process include:
- Surveys to ask your audience about their needs
- Polling your audience to gauge their interest and get them excited
- Videos, gifs, and memes to break up sales pages
- Chatbots to respond to questions
2. Email Newsletters
People on your email list already know a little bit about you, so this is prime way to develop trust. Using interactive elements in your emails makes them engaging and can set your emails apart from the rest.
Another way to add an interactive element to your emails is to use triggers. Many email marketing platforms let you tag subscribers or set up action-based events. Adding clickable elements to your emails to segment your audience, for example, is an easy way to interact with your subscribers and get more detailed information about them.
Do you already have a list of FAQs? Make it even more helpful by adding an interactive element. Chatbots and automated sequences not only take your audience deeper into learning about your business but are also extremely helpful to them… and fully hands-off for you.
Tips for Using Interactive Marketing
Ready to use interactive marketing? Here are some tips to get you started.
Know Your Audience
Just like any other type of marketing, not all interactive types are going to be effective or enticing to all types of audiences.
When implementing your new interactive pieces, pay close attention to your target audience. For example, data-driven audiences might appreciate calculators and charts, whereas busy moms might appreciate chatbots or other elements that provide immediate answers. Younger audiences might like polls or quizzes.
You also want to be mindful of the kind of actions your audience members are most likely to take. Are they more likely to watch a video or click a link? Determining this can help you pick which elements and triggers will engage your audience.
Ask yourself what it’s going to make your audience want to take the quiz, read the article, or watch the video you’ve posted. What’s in it for them?
It doesn’t have to be an obvious incentive like a prize for a contest, but make sure your content has enough value to make people want to keep reading, give you their email address, click the link, or whatever the action is desired.
Analyze, Measure, and Tweak
Once your marketing campaigns are live, you’re not quite done. Pay attention to how your campaigns are performing and what your conversion rates are, making any adjustments if necessary.
Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level
Interactive marketing takes traditional marketing to the next level. It goes beyond educating and dives into entertaining and invoking action. Use it to engage your audience, build your credibility, and get to know the people who are genuinely interested in your brand.
Corinne is a writer and blogging strategist, who specializes in finance and online business. After earning her BA in English, she began working in the fast-paced finance industry. After 6 years, she left it all behind and turned to her first love, writing. Focusing on valuable content that not only teaches and inspires, Corinne uses words to help businesses get the visibility they deserve online. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and two kids.