Creating content experiences for The Participation Age

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Interactive content infographic

If you're a content marketer or involved in the copy writing or graphic design side of creating content...beware! There's a type of visual content asset you should learn about. It's known as interactive content. And, fortunately, according to Pew Research, it appeals to what has become the market's largest segment of all. It's not a demographic segment as much as a psychographic or lifestyle descriptor.

What shall we name that giant group of people? Millennials? The participation generation? Generation C? No matter the term, they're all device-carrying consumers who are online almost all the time. They're not defined entirely by age. More than one third are 35 or older. They're consumers who fully embrace the digital age. They consume news, entertainment, and content across all devices — large screens and small — wherever and whenever they choose. And fear of missing out, or FOMO, interrupts everything if a connection or the device itself goes down.

However, they're difficult consumers to reach using traditional media and interruptive advertising. They plow through lengthy strings of TV ads with their DVR fast forward button. They quickly dismiss modal interrupts on websites, often annoyed at the intrusion that takes their time and attention away from what they want to consume. They prefer ads that give the option of skipping them. Google says, “…they thrive on connection, community, creation, and curation; they’re engaged, and they want their voices to be heard. They're the sort of mavens who shape opinion and lead thought. Put simply, Gen C isn’t a quirk of when or where you were born; it’s a way of life.”

To be seen and stand out as a marketer, a brand, or a product, you need to be more engaging, interesting, and interactive; you need to give visitors a unique experience. Reaching these people living a digital lifestyle isn't done with last century's marketing techniques.

What is Interactive Content?

Interactive content, though, gets their attention. It's content that uses an interactive component and allows the user to choose the information of interest to him or her and to actively participate in consuming content, rather than passively scanning it. Actively responding to questions and engaging with interactive content guides visitors to the results that address their problems, ideas, and challenges. Interactive content encourages visitors to dive in head first. To interact and enjoy the process. And to gather the wanted information without feeling targeted or forced to create an account.

Interactive content allows the user to offer opinions, to share personal preferences and data, and to receive information tailored to them. Interactive content could be a quiz, a survey, a game, a contest, a poll, a microsite, a video, a specially-designed calculator, or an infographic with interactive elements.

Why Use Interactive Content?

Effectiveness. Marketers report interactive content is nearly twice as effective in conversion compared to static content and about 60 percent more effective in brand differentiation.

Metrics you've used in the past (click-through rates, etc.) don't provide actionable data that lets you evaluate lead quality. Because interactive content can gather rich information about the visitor, you're in a better position to evaluate each lead and assign the correct sales resources.

Engagement. Interactive content can capture a visitor's attention and keep him or her on the page longer because your visitor is enjoying your content and finding relevant information. More important, the data your visitors volunteer during their session gives you a clearer picture of your target audience. For example, if you sell women's clothing, your interactive content can let visitors design their own look. It can ask questions about colors, styles, fabrics, and about the visitor herself, which helps you gather valuable information about buyer preferences and your target audience. By adding a shopping cart button, you can encourage visitors to make a purchase.

Social Network Sharing. If your interactive content is well done and you include social media sharing buttons, your web page can benefit from the viral nature of social media. An interesting quiz, survey, or game can multiply visitors to your site.

Try It Yourself

Take a couple minutes and see for yourself how you can use interactive content to capture your visitors' interest. Check out the infographic to learn more about interactive content, take the survey, and sign on for an email that will keep you posted on future interactive content tips, tools, and strategies.

Topics: Content, Marketing

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