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.
I’m totally not a grinch. I love the holidays! But holiday cards have just become boring, especially from businesses. It’s the same stamped message with little personality and practically no love that arrives at your door in an envelope with a “Warm wishes for the new year!” scrawled on the front. I mean at this point, you’re lucky if anything other than the envelope address even has your first name on it. Personalization, people. When did so many things begin to lose that human-to-human touch? So we’re bringing it back in 2015 — coming off the boom of interactivity and engagement that was 2014. Introducing the first Quick Start of the Week for 2015: the Interactive Video Message Board.
We know, we know. You’ve read enough prediction articles already. We have too. It’s December and lists of what’s to come in the year ahead are just what marketing thought leaders do. So this time around, we vowed we would abstain from our own list of predictions. And we have. But along the way, we have stumbled upon a few gems that we really wanted to share. These are a few 2015 predictions that we hope will come true!
Predictions are great. They are fun, introspective and conversation starters for sure...especially for marketers, since we all have an opinion about everything. As we cull our list of 2015 predictions worth highlighting, we’re feeling a little retrospective—you know, like when you find a mix tape filled with ballads from the likes of Air Supply and Chicago from a high school boyfriend (not ashamed). So we are calling out 30 top 2014 Online Marketing Predictions that came to fruition!
With so much information out there (ahem, more like a flood, really), where to turn for great content about content marketing? Have no fear, we’ve got your go-to list right here. In no particular order, here are 15 Content Marketing Tweeple we are all about. You can always count on them for real-world, useful perspective. We hope you love these guys as much as we do!
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Santa’s naughty and nice list of content marketing! Alright, we may not be your true love but sure hope we jump up a few spots in the running for favorite after this. It’s December. Yes, December. Get ready to put a cork in 2014! So for the 12 days of Christmas, we thought we could give you the 12 naughty and nice practices of content marketing.