All websites, social media profiles, ads, and videos must have a message, a content to share. However, it is no longer enough to say something to get an audience’s attention. We need to offer something extra so that people decide to stay with us, something that really makes us have their interest for a longer time. Interactive content is the next step in the evolution of online content. Soon in the profiles of content creation works will be requested that they can develop interactive experiences. But what is interactive content? what does it classify as such? and what benefits are there in them? In this blog post, we will see more about how content that invites users to participate positively impacts the perception of our brand.
Interactive content: what is it?
For a long time, content on the internet was the most important thing for websites. People wanted to consume information. It was enough to have good articles, news, or videos for audiences to like you. However, this is changing. It’s not enough to have something to say anymore to make people interested in what you have to offer.
There is a great debate around the "attention span", the attention span, of people today. Some argue that it is less and less a consequence of the immediacy of the internet. There are even those who blame apps like TikTok for ruining children’s ability to pay attention. This current estimates that people currently have an 8-second attention span. However, some believe that this is not true since they would not give rise to the possibility of people doing Netflix marathons or people who spend weeks completing missions of a video game.
Perhaps the most accurate position is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain attention at first. The first few seconds are crucial to engaging your audience. Whether they like what they see will determine whether they stay longer, whether your content will keep them interested enough to stay and share it.
Interactive content is an option to get the audience to stay with us. Interactive content is what invites users to participate. Beyond just consuming, there is something you can actively do to be part of what is being shown. Interactive content always triggers an action in the audience.
You’re probably thinking about video games or videos, but interactive content comes in a variety of media. A text can be interactive or passive, this blog for example is passive, unlike a book "choose your own story" where the reader has options and alternatives. Similarly, a YouTube video can be passive, but if it is a live stream and viewers get involved, it is interactive. Examples are given below.
Marketing experts believe that interactive content is much more effective in educating buyers about services or products. but it also brings with it many other quantifiable benefits with indicators you can analyze and metrics.
Benefits of interactive content
One of the great challenges of education has been to evolve to better transmit knowledge. The classes in which teachers exposed and students copied and repeated are obsolete. The same has happened with how brands communicate with their customers. It used to be enough to make it clear that a need was met, but in the globalized and competitive world, you have to think about exactly what makes you unique and communicate it most efficiently.
Therefore, keeping in mind that content is efficient for communication with customers is crucial. Interactive content can make our product information more digestible. This is why many brands have turned to interactive content to show all the benefits of their products and services, for example with interactive catalogs that, when browsing it, unfold the characteristics of the product.
On the other hand, interactivity makes people spend more time on a website. This has a positive impact on search engines, indicating that people like our content and are more likely to recommend us to more people. You think that reading an article can take about 10 minutes, but if it also requires the reader to make decisions it could increase to 20 minutes, more if you want to go back and change your options.
Finally, interactive content is much more fun to share. When something amuses a person they will want their friends to participate as well. That’s what happens with quizzes, makes them a person and wants to know the answers of their friends. also with some Google experiments happens that people share it to see what they create, for example with Google’s Blob Opera Arts&Culture or with any Doodle that was a mini-game.
Of course, these are quite sophisticated examples and it might seem that producing interactive content is not available to everyone. But it’s more about creativity than resources. Here’s how some brands manage to produce content that engages people.
Examples of interactive content
Any medium can produce interactive content. A simple text may require the participation of the reader. And this is not new, in literature it has been done for years. Rayuela de Cortázar for example, can be read in a different order and it depends on the reader to discover the story, also in the series Goosebumps there were books in which depending on your choices you advanced in history, this is the list of some books of this style. There are many ways to involve the user, here we will see some examples, from very sophisticated to simple and creative ideas.
Infographics are a very digestible way of transmitting information, they are often widely shared on social networks. but the rate increases, even more, when they are interactive. What can happen when the user moves through the infographic? Are there graphs that grow, are new images shown, numbers? The actions that can trigger the audience to unfold the information are the key. This is an example from Washinton University of an interactive infographic about the lunar cycle and sleep, it is a good sample of how to show information clearly and pleasantly.
Videos 360 degrees have grown in popularity. Data from analytics indicates that they have more views and that users tend to view them from start to finish rather than static content. Although live streams also count as interactive videos since the audience can participate in real-time. Another example is the Netflix series Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, an Emmy-winning interactive adventure. All of these types of video are technological productions, but there are simpler ways to engage the user. The music video "Golden Touch" by Japanese singer Namie Amuro, only requires the viewer to place his finger in front of the screen to make sense of everything that happens.
Surveys and quizzes
Some simply written content to do but that can get very viral are surveys and quizzes. In this area, BuzzFeed is a great leader. Their quizzes are often very creative and in many of them, they do not miss the opportunity to affiliate with brands to sponsor products. They also generate controversial surveys to get people involved, usually, they can immediately see the percentages of responses. This type of content is very fun and is often shared well on social networks. In a way, the BuzzFeed Quizz page is a black hole of procrastination because one quiz takes you to another and another… they are experts in preserving the permanence of users.
This is a very interesting interactive content option. Online calculators can be just a fun tool for your audience. There are calculators of loving compatibility of names or zodiac signs and those are liked by children or those who have leisure time. But calculators that are useful tools, are great interactive content. For example US tax calculator. Similarly, there are calculators for many other things that can help users estimate costs and make projections. Being a useful tool, they will continually return to your content.
Unlike quizzes, evaluations bring more value to users. It’s not the same to discover which Disney character you seem to like as to find out if you agree more with left or right political positions. There are psychological evaluations of personality online, for example, the one offered by the site 16 Personalities. Evaluations can also be used to sell products, such as Function of Beauty and its hair type test. To create an evaluation, you need to think about what you can evaluate that is related to your economic activity and that adds value to your audience.
Keeping people’s attention is getting more and more complicated. Interactive content is one way to do that. This type of content is defined by requesting that the audience actively engage instead of passively consuming the content. Almost any medium can produce interactive content, the point is to be creative to produce it. There are many types of interactive content, some require sophisticated technology, others just an innovative idea, it’s all about finding the ideas that best fit your brand’s goals. With good interactive content, you can get a better reaction from your audience to your image, share more of your content and stay more on your site.
Have you ever used interactive content for your site? Tell us in the comments.
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