How to leverage influencers to take interactive content up a notch
Minimal time, flooded inboxes and new content coming from every direction — it’s no wonder why B2B marketers struggle with getting buyers’ attention in the digital world. These challenges have led marketing organizations to experiment with interactive content in the past as a means to stand out from the crowd. But now more than ever, interactive content is playing a greater role in content marketing strategies as a way to engage audiences and have two-way conversations with buyers.
“There’s a lot more growth as this age of information overload really starts to make competition for time and attention a problem,” said Lee Odden, CEO and Co-founder of TopRank Marketing. “The state of interactive is starting to mature more. A lot more companies are starting to differentiate the experiences that they’re creating for their customers, and interactive is delivering on that for the brave souls who are finally investing.”
While interactive content may sound like a huge undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. Content as simple as an assessment, survey or quiz can help companies learn more about their buyers, giving them an opportunity to deliver more personalized experiences. Uberflip, for example, makes assessments the star of their campaigns and has seen an average lead submission rate of 64%.
Uberflip began its interactive content journey by developing Buzzfeed-style quizzes on platforms such as Qzzr for “shareable top-of-funnel content,” said Christine Otsuka, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Uberflip.
But over the past year and a half, the company has tapped SnapApp’s platform to create interactive maturity assessments — or personality quizzes — as part of its pillar content campaigns.
“In B2B, we think of these as maturity assessments because the goal for the marketer is to understand how mature the prospect is in their readiness to buy,” said Otsuka. “You identify areas where you want to find out more information. But they’re not simple, qualifying questions like, ‘Do you use a marketing automation platform?’ Instead, you go deeper, asking a series of questions that will help plot them on a spectrum from beginner to advanced. Those answers marry up to a profile, so they get a result and you get an understanding of whether they’re a good fit, or simply more information about their current situation, needs or interests.”
51% of buyers said interactive content was helpful when tackling business challenges.
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"The benefits we’re seeing across the customer journey with interactive content is that it’s not just because it’s interactive that it’s delivering on performance goals, it’s also because it’s topically relevant in an interactive context. So, just making a quiz doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful. Just giving people an opportunity to choose their adventures isn’t going to make it successful. You’ve got to connect it either to a metaphor so that [the reader] can quickly understand how this works. People understand new things in terms of what they already know, and of course it’s got to be relevant. I think you can easily get sidetracked with the shiny object-ness of interactive and create those kinds of content experiences because of the tech, more so than the message or the experience, and I think that’s where you can go in the opposite direction."
“With surveys and assessments, people tend to incentivize some sort of prize. But you want the right people filling that out; you don’t want to bring in people who are just there to get a prize. For interactive assessments, there are basic things you can do to help your completion rate. We’ve had a lot of success with alternating content and questions. As I mentioned, asking a question [and] getting them to answer, but then also giving them something: a piece of content, which entices them to want to enter the next question because they want to see what the next thing is going to be.”
Need to make a case for interactive content and get your team on board? These numbers don’t lie:
79% agree that interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.
Best practices for developing interactive assessments/surveys
Monday 7th October
by John Smith
Source: Demand Gen Report
“When we first dabbled with interactive assessments, we went kind of crazy and came up with a 25-question assessment,” said Otsuka. “But I would recommend to not go that long. It’s too much of an ask of your audience. Now, when we make interactive assessments, we [aim for] five to eight questions and see a much higher completion rate and integration rate in the end.”
Creating co-branded interactive content with influencers not only benefits the company, but the influencer as well.
“You want to deliver a better experience for the influencer in the way that you make sure you’re delivering better experiences for customers, and that is to create the kind of content that they’re proud to be a part of,” said Odden. “Interactive is a really easy way to bring an experiential aspect to the co-created content, such that, as I said, it’s not only creating a better experience for consumers, but it also makes the influencers look good. It’s something that they can feel proud to be a part of, and it results in much greater sharing rates.”
"The biggest benefit that I see with interactive is really around the measurement of content. If you think of the static experience, at some point they download a PDF and that PDF goes into a folder on their computers and we have no idea what happens after that. You don’t know if they actually opened and read it. Once you make the experience digital and interactive, all of a sudden you have contact consumption data you’ve never had before."
"With interactive content, people get to have a voice and participate instead of just passively consuming it on their end. We want to engage our community. We don't want to just use a
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Tips & Best Practices For Creating Assessments
To take their interactive experience up a notch, B2B companies are partnering with influencers to co-create content and add credibility and interest to the brand message, according to Odden.
One company leveraging influencers in this way is Prophix, a performance management software provider. To spruce up their annual report on the financial planning and accounting industry, the company partnered with financial industry influencers to develop an interactive online game. Odden said, “the quiz-themed game asked questions using data from the report, as well as from the influencers, who were represented as avatars within the game. The creative element to the content, plus the collaboration with trusted industry experts, drove performance of this program above and beyond expectations — beating the benchmark for asset views by 600%.”
Prophix then developed another campaign that features a simulated voice assistant named Penny on an interactive microsite. “By interacting with Penny, users were able to access a group of influencers that provided their expertise via audio and text,” said Odden. “The microsite had 189% more views than the benchmark and 642% more engagement.”
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Engagement, Measurement And More Benefits Of Interactivity
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"One benefit is the ability to update and test more efficiently. If we notice that a piece of content or a content experience isn’t performing that well, we always try to see if there are elements that can be easily adjusted or changed so we can see if that leads to an [optimistic] engagement. With interactive platforms, you can go into the system and it’s updated in real-time. It’s the same link, so it’s not an arduous process. With static content, you have to go back into the design files, you have to reload it into your system or set your content management system and it’s just a more arduous and extensive process. [Interactive] allows you to easily test different elements, change headlines and it also allows you to easily duplicate the experience and channel it to different audiences. I think as we see more companies try to get the most value out of their content, this is a great way for them to easily refresh and repackage it for different audiences or even different roles."
“If your goal is to really get that deep level of understanding of the people who could potentially buy from you, then you want to keep [sales] abreast of what you were doing on the marketing side. You want to ensure that they know how to follow up appropriately, where to find the information in your CRM, how it can be used, how it should be used and how it shouldn’t be used.”
“Have fun with the answers. When I put together these assessments, some of the answers are ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘sometimes.’ That’s what we basically want to get out of it, but that’s not very fun and it’s repetitive if you have the same three answers. Changing up the language, having a little fun [with answers] like, ‘heck, yes,’ or ‘no, I’d never do that,’ or ‘of course,’ is a little bit more playful.”
"A lot more companies are starting to differentiate the experiences that they’re creating for their customers, and interactive is delivering on that
for the brave souls who are finally investing."
Interactive content generates 2x more conversions than passive content.
“With lengthy assessments, if your prospect is filling out 20 to 25 questions, that’s a lot of information, but what’s going to happen with that information? You’re probably going to pick out three questions to map back into your CRM so that sales can have insight on that, but you can’t expect your sales team to look at the answers for all of the questions, right? In some ways, yes, you’re gathering all the information but if you’re not doing anything with it, then what was really the point?”
While interactive content such as assessments and quizzes tend to be more supplemental content formats for E-books and white papers, Uberflip actually makes them the star of their campaigns.
“Most notably, we developed an interactive maturity assessment for our Own the Journey campaign in 2017,” said Otsuka. “In that instance, the assessment was the pillar piece of content. It was what we were promoting and pushing to. Traditionally an E-book has been the star, but for this campaign, it was the supplement.”
According to Uberflip, the assessment helped provide better quality MQLs for its sales team and gain more information about existing accounts. In just three months, the campaign generated 1,297 clicks and 907,843 impressions on social media. The assessment also achieved a 38% question completion rate and obtained an average lead submission rate of 64%.
The company also made an assessment the star of its 2018 Content Experience Report — specifically for the end of a nurture. The report was a “big show piece” for Uberflip and the team decided to use the maturity assessment as the final email and piece of content they pushed to in the literature.
"With integrations to marketing automation platforms and CRMs, marketers can use [interactive content] to help determine fit, readiness to buy, pains/challenges and potential objections through assessment questions that will allow sales to have more meaningful conversations with their prospects, and marketing to gain a deeper understanding of their target audience.
"Plus, with interactive content, you entice your reader to engage further with you on a continual basis. What’s more is they get to have a voice and participate instead of passively consuming the content."
"The creative element to the content, plus the collaboration with trusted industry experts, drove performance of this program above and beyond expectations — beating the benchmark for asset views by 600%."
2019 State Of Interactive Content Marketing
Measure Content Consumption
Source: Demand Metric
How companies like Uberflip see success with interactive assessments
Source: Demand Gen Report
Make the questions useful for you
Have Fun With The Q&A
93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating its buyers.
Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing
See what our experts noted as the top benefits of interactive content.
Update & Test Content For Specific Audiences
Get sales on board
In just three months, the campaign generated 1,297 clicks and 907,843 impressions on social media. The assessment also achieved a 38% question completion rate and obtained an average lead submission rate of 64%.
B2B Organizations Level Up On Interactivity To Create Two-Way Conversations With Audiences
Offer an educational incentive
43% of B2B buyers said they find interactive content valuable at the mid-stage of the funnel.
Interactive Content By The Numbers
Klaudia Tirico is a writer, content creator, Jersey dweller, animal lover and fashion & beauty aficionado with an interest in all things related to content, social media and influencer marketing.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing
81% agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content.
Research from SnapApp shows that 45% of buyers surveyed said interactive content is one of their top three preferred content types, while 51% of respondents to Demand Gen Report’s 2018 Content Preferences Survey said interactive content was helpful when tackling business challenges. In addition, content creation agencies such as Content4Demand are starting to see a more even ratio of static versus interactive content requests from clients.
“ was probably the first year that we’ve seen people really jump on board with interactive,” said Dana Harder, VP of Strategy for Content4Demand. “If I just look at how many interactive projects we did in 2018 compared to 2017, we started to institute a 50/50 split between interactive and static content. I think that people are definitely buying in; they’re seeing the value of it. A lot of priorities for our clients that are coming down is that everything needs to be digital, whether that’s a fully interactive piece or just that the content is web-based. That is really turning the tide in the sense of where interactive is going.”
This special report will dive into:
Christine Otsuka, Uberflip
Developing Trustworthy Interactive Content With Influencers
Uberflip Makes Interactive Assessments The Star Of Campaigns
Shorter is always better
Find out more
As interactive content becomes more mainstream in B2B, marketers are realizing the value it brings at various stages of the funnel. It allows them to engage with buyers in new, interesting ways — and gain new insights on their pain points that can help with further content planning.
New tools and solutions have also made interactive content creation less of an expensive hassle, allowing marketers to experiment and test these new formats.
“I think there’s a lot to be said for the execution when it comes to interactive content,” said Odden. “I think companies should allocate a little budget to do experimentation for this sort of thing. Piloting things out, and then really ramping up with some data after a pilot. I think that’s a prudent way to go about it.”
megaphone and blast things at them. We want them to be a part of that conversation, as well.
Uberflip’s experience with interactive assessments has led the team to discover what works and what doesn’t when developing these personality-quiz style assets.
In the slideshow below, Uberflip’s Christine Otsuka reveals her team’s key learnings:
Demand gen report's
Gain More Buyer Insight & Develop
Two-Way Conversations With Audiences
The benefits of interactive content marketing