Interactive Content: Trends to Watch in 2017

“King Kong ain’t got no shit on me!”

For all you Denzel Washington fanboys (and fangirls) out there, you know this is his blockbuster one-liner from ‘Training Day’ that rung in the millions at the box office.

If you’re wondering how this is connected to interactive content, think about what you felt when you read that one-liner above.

If you visualized Washington playing the crooked cop, surrounded by an intimidating black mob, and you felt his contempt and unbridled rage as he talks down to people he extorts from, you’re not in the minority.

That’s interactive content for you – the emotive reaction you elicit in response to content related to your brand.

What’s tickling in interactive content

Now, let me make a shocking statement.

Demand for interactive content has been increasing (according to this recent Forbes report: Content Marketing Trends – What To Expect In 2017 And Beyond).

Well, yes, I was messing around there. That bit of news is as fresh as last week’s Papa John’s.

But, here’s something that may be truly shocking to learn (I know I was when I came to know this). What do you think is the number one reason for marketers to use interactive content? “Engagement” with the consumer?

Well, I thought so too.

Also read: Interactive Content: Let’s Get Engaged

Turns out it’s not so. Turns out “Education” is the number one reason. Educating the consumer, that is.

Here’s one such gem. To the untrained eye, it passes off as just another piece of interactive content that’s designed solely for engagement: The Foundation‘s interactive quiz Do You Have An Entrepreneurial Mind?

But, what it actually is is a piece of interactive content that aims to educate the brand’s target audience (wannabe entrepreneurs) about their entrepreneurial quotient.

Why did The Foundation do this?

Because The Foundation is an online program for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to start their own software venture.

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Talk about smart marketing. The interactive quiz not only educated the target audience, but also generated quality leads as a byproduct.

What’s in store for content marketers in 2017

According to a CMI study Use of Interactive Content on the Rise done in the first half of 2016, 75% of all marketers confirmed that educating the consumer was the number one reason for using interactive content.

The same study also found out that there was a correlation between the buyer’s journey (‘Awareness’ to ‘Consideration’ to ‘Decision’) and the interactive tools used by content marketers:

  • Contests and games were dubbed the most effective tool by 75% of marketers surveyed for buyers in the ‘Awareness’ stage. In this stage, the buyer needs to know more about himself and his need.
  • Over 50% of marketers surveyed chose educative tools like calculators and interactive e-books for the ‘Consideration’ stage. In this stage, the buyer needs to know more about his options and compare them.

When you connect the dots, you realize interactive content is not just about educating the consumer, but about what you are educating the consumer on.

Are you educating him or her on his or her need?

Or, are you educating him or her on his or her options (competing brands)?

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2017 will see more of this nuance playing out as more and more marketers get savvy about what kind of interactive content they will adopt at what stage of their marketing campaign.

The imminent onslaught of tools

Imagine you need to dig a trench. You have a shovel and an excavator.

Pick away.

If that’s a no-brainer, here’s another: why would you hack away at HTML code to get your interactive content going when there could be less messier ways of doing that?

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Tool creators in the interactive content space couldn’t agree more. The ecosystem for interactive content is maturing, with enablers and accelerators emerging by the day.

In particular, companies like Thinglink, Ceros, Zaption, ContentTools, and SnapApp have taken the lead in providing solutions that abstract the content from its interactivity.

Just what the doctor ordered for marketers strapped for time and money.

Also read: Content Marketing Strategies That Worked in 2016 But May Not Work in 2017

So, brace yourself for more such enablers in 2017.

Life. Ain’t it sweet?

This article was originally published on: Yourstory.com

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