As I was sitting and staring at the little graphic I whipped up to show the four facets of interactive content — content, presentation, function and data flow — another application occurred to me. Hopefully, this simple visualization helps relieve a common pain that we hear again and again… ‘How do I know what types of interactive content I need?’. Part of how you know what to produce is understanding how the types of interactive content differ. And then mapping that understanding to stages of the funnel.
Buzzfeed is all over social media and it’s not because they only do funny (and addicting) quizzes. It’s because they give you insight in return for your interaction. So in typical ion fashion, we wanted to throw some insight your way and hope for your simple interaction. We thought… why not create a fun (and extremely simple) quiz to show you what type of interactive content fits your personality? You can find out not only what type of interactive content you may be, but how that interactive content can transform your static, passive material into engaging, lively, exciting content right in front of your eyes!
Interactive content varies by its function—a very different axis that is much more specific and much less portable than its passive counterparts. That specificity is what makes interactive content so engaging and effective. But that’s also what makes it more challenging to repurpose and scale. The use-case axis is actually an entirely new opportunity for scaling.
Often in the software industry, we get so enamoured by our passion and the jargon used that we never really think twice about it. So we started to think… Do people outside of our little bubble even know what the term ‘interactive content’ means?So in typical Jimmy Kimmel fashion, we took the question to the streets to hear what the public thinks ‘interactive content’ is. Take a look at the video to see what they thought, what we discovered, and even some answers from ionians themselves.
This week’s Quick Start shout out is all about the power of the road… Introducing the Solution Builder. Solution builder guides visitors through a set of ten personalized questions. Using their answers, the interactive content experience provides a recommendation of which service or product would be best for them, as well as an explanation for the recommendation and a call-to-action. It also includes additional content about your brand below the quiz, along with an additional call-to-action.
It’s easy for us and others to say that interactive content is better. It’s true that every metric and shred of research around this stuff supports the idea that static content has diminishing returns. But easy to say and justify doesn’t mean easy to execute. For many marketers still struggling with content, the idea of making that content do things is almost preposterous. In the spirit of transparency, I’d like to give you my CEO/CMO view of how ion brings interactive content to market for its own use.
Valentine’s Day is upon us and you know what that means! Everything flowers, chocolate, hearts, and ion video love notes (really, check them out and see how much we love you!). We’re filled with mushiness these days, so in the spirit of the holiday, we thought we’d point out 10 reasons you’ll love interactive content. Maybe so much you’ll want to marry it!
Is it better to scale your white paper up from a PDF to an interactive version? Or is it better to conceive that content as interactive and then distill it down to a static PDF? Cutting to the chase, I think it depends. Here at ion, we’ve developed content both ways and a few ways in between. We’ve scaled traditional white papers and research reports up into assessments and interactive white papers. And, on other occasions, we’ve conceived interactive infographics, calculators and configurators as original, interactive content experiences.
Some of you might have had the chance to take our Deflate-gate quiz and learn a bit about being an AFC Championship winner (or maybe now I should change it to say Super Bowl winner). As you saw, deflate-gate is a simple quiz created solely for fun. However, a quiz like this one can be created just as easily to support your product, service, or messaging. Deflate-gate was created—using an ion Quick Start interactive content experience—by a modern marketer with little coding knowledge… Well guess what? Hi. I’m the modern marketer. Nice to meet you! So I thought I’d take you a little further into the creation of the quiz.
As marketers, we all know it’s our job to measure. Take a look at this asset. How’d it perform? This email. High click through rate? Lead gen campaigns. Low CPL? And our CMOs want to see the return as well. At the end of the day, is your (and their) investment worth it? Wouldn’t it be nice to see the potential of the return on investment easily before actually acting on it? We can sit here all day and crunch numbers but why not have a simple calculator do it for you?
When it comes to prophesying trends (especially in the marketing world), everyone thinks they’re the top banana. But here’s the thing - there’s not really a right or wrong. There are opinions and that’s the beauty of it. There doesn’t have to be a top banana. There can be a whole bunch of awesomely smart and innovative bananas. So, we took a little forward looking glimpse at the year to come and what it holds for interactive content (which is big deal right now by the way). Here we go!
ion relies heavily on its content marketing digital dialogue to provide reliable data points that can programmatically move the right people from one-to-many marketing to one-to-one account development. Prospects don’t want to waste their time speaking to someone about a solution that isn’t a fit for them. And our sales team can’t afford to squander time and resources searching for needles in a haystack. Marketing needs to do that for them—surfacing best-bet buyers rather than long shots who might be sold.
The deep data that comes from the digital dialogue with interactive content is incredible. Really, that’s not hyperbole. It’s mind-blowing, market-making, sales-empowering go-go juice of the highest order. But how do we do something with all that incredibleness? There are two vastly different ways to use interactive content data. One is human, the other is software. For humans to use data, it must have context and be understandable. When data has value, context, and is understandable, it earns the old 'actionable' adjective. For people to use data, it must be actionable. That can be hard to come by.
This week’s interactive content Quick Start is a visual quiz that guides visitors through an interactive flow of eight questions and visual answers. Who doesn’t love to test their knowledge on a product, service, or industry standards (that is, once we’ve grown up and aren’t graded like our future lives depend on it)? Quick Starts are a great way to do just that: get a quick start to creating engaging interactive content that is useful and educational for your audience.
As a sales leader at ion, I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of ‘meeting the buyer at the point of interest’. It’s incumbent upon sales to not drag a buyer through some sort of rigorous pre-defined process, but rather to start the conversation based upon where the buyer is in their journey. The best sales people instantly (intuitively, perhaps?) pick up on this and know how to shape their conversations accordingly. Buyers appreciate connecting with a sales person who is knowledgeable enough to make it all about them.
As you work towards those New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to start planning and brainstorming for your content strategy. We’ve got some exciting things coming this year and some awesome tools and ideas to take away from this past year. So take a look at some of our favorite content marketing articles of 2014 and grab some advice and tips from the experts to make sure you’re on top of the content marketing game in 2015!
How many people really listen? The best conversationalists listen, process and engage extraordinarily well. Listeners tailor what they say based on what’s said to them. Their message gets more and more specific as the conversation goes on. Marketers have traditionally not been real good at listening. There are reasons for that—some more valid than others. But the fact is, marketers have always been much better at talking than listening. Unfortunately in the digital world, this lack of listening skills affects sales as well. If marketing doesn't probe and listen, they can't pass on what they hear and the sales team is left in the dark.