Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital by Will Blunt - B2B Marketing Expert - Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing.
7 Advantages of Interactive Marketing for Savvy Digital Businesses
This content discusses the advantages of interactive marketing, including user engagement, conversion improvements, qualified lead generation, virality and sharing, customer feedback, personalization, and SEO benefits.
Now more than ever, people are using the internet to find local businesses, shop for products and services, and interact with brands through social media.Every second of every day, Google processes more than 40,000 search queries.With the maturation of internet marketing tactics in the last decade - as evidenced by more sophisticated algorithms, marketing software, and data collection - marketers and online businesses need to come up with innovative ways to reach and engage their customers.The advantages of interactive marketing have never been more apparent.Savvy digital marketers are designing and implementing innovative, state-of-the-art technology to improve the customer experience. With interactive marketing, businesses are able to grow their brand awareness, differentiate from the competition, increase customer loyalty, gather qualified leads, and increase their profits.
With interactive marketing, businesses are able to grow their brand awareness, differentiate from the competition, increase customer loyalty, gather qualified leads, and increase their profits.
So, what exactly is interactive marketing?
Interactive marketing is a one-on-one marketing tactic that adjusts and responds, in real-time, to the customer’s actions. This gives the online interaction with a brand a more personal touch for the customer.Examples of interactive marketing include:
- Contests -- an effective way to grow your customer base and increase brand awareness. People have a natural inclination to be competitive, and everyone wants to win. A contest is a great way to get the customer to engage with and familiarize themselves with your brand.
- Quizzes, polls, and surveys -- a fun and engaging way to combat customer boredom.
- Videos and email marketing -- to answer questions and explain the buying process.
- Calculators -- can entice users by comparing them to others or providing accurate quotes.
- Interactive infographics -- add click animations and moving graphics to catch and maintain a user’s attention.
- Messenger bots -- add a conversational touch to customer interactions, leaving them with a favorable impression of your business.
If used effectively, interactive marketing can convert more prospects into your sales funnel and shorten the buying cycle.Even though the customer is only interacting with pixels, a quality interactive marketing strategy will give them an interesting, almost tactile experience. Think of interactive active marketing as an in-store or on-site excursion, but without the inconvenience and hassle of one.The rest of this article will explore seven advantages of interactive marketing.
#1. User Engagement
Interactive marketing increasesthe time spent on your website and makes the experience memorable for a customer.There is an opportunity for those willing to adopt these techniques, because a majority of businesses aren't using them. By setting up your site to maximize user engagement with interactive marketing, you are differentiating yourself from the competition.So how does interactive marketing improve user engagement?
- It engages multiple senses at the same time. Rather than reading text, viewing an image, filling out a form, listening to a recording, watching a video, or clicking on a button - interactive marketing combines the best elements from all these things.
- It creates excitement and interest. Interactive marketing improves the delivery of your message by enticing users to take action.
- It gives them the information they are looking for in real-time. Interactive marketing enables users to pick their own journey and answer the questions they have on their mind. Messenger bots, for example, give your customers a one-on-one, conversational experience, without you having to invest the time, money, and training that would go into fielding these queries with a human customer service representative.
#2. Conversion Improvements
People are losing their patience with outdated and over-used lead generation tactics. Things like popups, eBook downloads, and generic signup forms are decreasing in effectiveness.The cool thing is most of your competitors are still relying on these conversion tactics on their websites, so there is an opportunity for you to stand out.Interactive marketing does a great job of engaging users, as I mentioned. Once you have their attention and interest, a conversion is more likely to follow.VenturePact, a software development marketplace, decided to experiment with an interactive content strategy because they felt like traditional inbound marketing tactics were losing their sting. They managed to increase conversions by a whopping 28% in two weeks.But this is not only about top-of-the-funnel lead generation conversions. Interactive marketing guides buyers through the entire sales cycle by providing targeted and personalized content at the exact moment they need it.
The Interactive Marketing Funnel
#3. Qualified Lead Generation
Qualifying leads is much easier with interactive marketing. You can weed out any low-quality prospects with deliberate questions and targeted content. For example, you could create a fun and engaging questionnaire for your website visitors, or use qualifying questions in a contest.One example of this is in this Quiz Contest designed to qualify prospects based on their interest and knowledge about camping in New Zealand:
New Zealand Camping Quiz View and Create Your Own Usually the more questions you ask the more likely people will drop off and your conversions will decrease. However, by making the whole experience interactive you can get the information you need without people getting bored and disengaged. It’s not like an old school survey or questionnaire!The key to getting the information you need and qualifying prospects is to ask for small, simple snippets of data along the interactive journey. For example, comparison website iSelect use this tactic to qualify prospects with interactive questions on their homepage. Below are the first two steps in this process. Step 1:
iSelect Interactive Marketing Example Step 1Step 2:
iSelect Interactive Marketing Example Step 2
#4. Virality and Sharing
One of the biggest drawcards of interactive marketing is its built-in social media virality.By rewarding participants for sharing your interactive content, you can increase the number of people who see your experiences, generate more leads, and bolster your ROI.Interactive content is inherently more shareable than static content in the first place. But it is also scalable if you get smart about it. For example, you could craft a contest or giveaway that requires entrants to share for points. That way, your business could get in front of thousands of people without you doing any grunt work or paying for ads.Here is an example of a contest that has used the incentive of sharing:
Built-In Virality Contest ExampleIf you create an entertaining quiz or poll, participants will share it. People love to compare and share their results with friends, family, and followers on social media. What sounds more appealing to the average viewer - a fun, short quiz, or a long-form article?
#5. Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is incredibly important for businesses. Without it, you are unable to make improvements to your sales messaging, discern any weak points in your marketing strategy, and learn what customers like or dislike about your products.Misunderstanding the customer’s wants and needs can be harmful to the long-term strategy of your business and hurt your bottom-line.But how can you get feedback in a way that will be painless, even fun, for your customers?Polls and surveys are a quick way for customers to share their opinions about your product or service. By giving them an outlet that is fast and immediate, they will be more likely to give feedback. You can see the feedback in real-time, and pivot your marketing or product strategy in a timely fashion.Uber is one big brand who use interactive polls and surveys to get quick feedback from users:
Interactive Marketing by Uber - Image Source Gathering real-time feedback from customers can also arm you with powerful social proof elements such as stats and testimonials. Seeing over half of consumers select a business because it has positive reviews, you can see how important this is.
Billions of people log onto the internet every day. Most feel like a faceless entity, a conglomerate of pixelated data without a personality. Some are starting to feel the pinch of being “just another number” who feel like they are constantly being “sold” something when on a website.With interactive marketing, you can provide the consumer a more personal, intimate experience.Interactive marketing views the consumer as an individual with unique goals, needs, wants, and problems that only your business can solve. The experience is tailored to talk to and satisfy these personal elements.Self-disclosure is a neurologically satisfying experience. It is a part of human nature that people want to know and be known, and to make connections through personalized communication.Interactive marketing techniques can give consumers this type of experience much more effectively than static content. Through polls, surveys, calculators, or quizzes, you can give your customers a voice.One way to personalize the experience for a prospect is to let them pick their own journey with interactive video. Here is a cool example of Toyota using this approach to interactive marketing:
Interactive Video by Toyota
The possibilities for formulating a varied, white-hat SEO strategy with interactive content are endless.To start with, interactive content attracts more links and is more shareable. Increasing the number of inbound links to your website and social media shares for your content will have a positive impact on your SEO ranking.Certain types of interactive content are also embeddable on websites, unlike static content. This has “link-bait” written all over it. Think about the endless link building opportunities if you can create an interactive experience that other websites can embed and link back to yours? This could be an interactive infographic, poll, contest, calculator, or an array of other interactive techniques that act like link magnets for prospective sites in your space.As well, search engines favorably rank sites with higher dwell times. Interactive content keeps viewers more engaged than static content and on your web pages for longer.The bottom line is that with more dwell time, more links, and more shares, your search rankings are likely to shift.
All in all, consumer expectations are changing, and search engines are responding to website visitors’ modern, progressive preferences. As a business owner with a robust online presence, it is important to understand these changes and how you can incorporate the current tastes of customers and search engine algorithms into your marketing strategy.While static content is still necessary for your website, you need to diversify your content strategy in this changing landscape. By tapping into interactive marketing, you will differentiate yourself from the competition.But to reap the rewards of these advantages of interactive marketing, you need to push yourself into an area of discomfort and uncertainty.Your customers are counting on you to continue fostering a relationship with them. Speaking to them as individuals, and giving them content that is highly engaging, personalized, and conversational will feed the symbiotic relationship between customer and business owner.
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