What Is Interactive Content? 9+ Ideas for Your Content Strategy

If you’ve never taken one BuzzFeed quiz, have you ever even used the internet? Whether you’ve taken an online test to find out which Dairy Queen dessert best matches your mood or to get an idea of how much car insurance will cost, you’ve experienced interactive content.

What Is Interactive Content?

Interactive content encourages and requires participation by the user. Information is combined with entertainment, which stimulates the user and keeps their attention. Triggers along the way keep the user invested.

Examples of interactive content include:

  • Calculators
  • Giveaways
  • Prize wheels
  • Quizzes

This is different from passive content, like blog posts and ebooks. Aside from opening the blog post or downloading the book and reading, there’s not much interaction that the user is asked for. You can have interactive content within passive content, but a blog post or ebook on its own isn’t interactive.

Benefits of Interactive Content

Interactive content has a lot going for it:

  • Attention-grabbing
  • Creative
  • Engaging
  • Stimulating
  • Unique

Every time a user interacts with your content, it’s a sign that they’re interested in your brand in some way. It also shows you that the user actually consumed the content. A page view isn’t proof that the user read what was on the page, but input via interactive content is a surefire sign that the user took action.

Provide More Value

For audiences that want more dynamic content, like millennials and younger, interactive content provides a fast, fun and innovative option. By giving these users challenges and experiences, you provide higher value than you could with static content.

Increase Engagement

By nature, interactive content can increase user engagement because the purpose of it is to engage. Also, the time spent engaging is increased as users stay with the content until the interaction is complete.

Time on page and consumption metrics will tell you how much time users spent with the content and how much of it they engaged with.

Improve Conversions

Some interactive content can be a bridge between the user and what they want. When they have to engage with your content to get what they’re after, there’s a bigger buy-in, which can result in higher conversions.

By making the user experience enjoyable, you can guide the user along the customer journey and toward a conversion.

Encourage User Feedback

With interactive content, feedback is more immediate than with passive content. This is because the user is encouraged to engage with the content in the moment. You can see the clicks, interactions, views and exit points for each element of the content.

While they still may opt to not interact with your content, there’s a higher likelihood that they will when there’s something interesting for them to do. This is more enticing than, say, a comment section on your blog post.

9+ Types of Interactive Content

Pretty much any kind of business can use interactive content. Whether it’s fun or serious depends on your brand, niche and the purpose of the content. But we’re willing to bet there’s something out there that will be a good fit.

Achievement Awards

Education websites and online courses are already interactive. But you can increase participation by awarding course achievements.

WordPress plugins like GamiPress let you send badges to participants when they complete certain actions, like signing up for a course or taking a quiz.

You can use these types of rewards for non-education sites, too. For example, you can award coins, credits or gems when website visitors comment on a blog post or log in to your membership portal.

Gamification plugin to help explain what is interactive content.
Source: GamiPress

Sometimes, gamification is all that’s needed to get users interacting with your content. You can also offer actual awards for certain achievement levels. For example, if a user acquires 150K points, you could send them a virtual gift card.

Calculators

Calculators help users make financial plans, like this Simple Savings Calculator from Bankrate:

An online calculator.

This is a great way to help a user get over a barrier. For example, if someone is considering buying a house, they may eventually look for a real estate agent. But if they’re struggling with the math of how much they have to save for a down payment, they may never get to that next step.

A mortgage calculator like the one from Realtor.com can take the mystery out of the process enough for the individual to move forward.

Giveaways

Users love giveaways because they have the chance of getting a prize if they follow the steps you ask them to take.

A social media giveaway.

Let your audience know what the giveaway is and how they can enter. For example, you can ask them to follow one of your social media accounts, share the giveaway with their audience and then tag a friend in the comments.

Maps

Interactive maps let users move around the map, zoom in and out, and select items to learn more information.

This Disney park map is an excellent example. You can move the map around with your finger and zoom in or out as needed. And by clicking on an attraction, you can see how long the wait is.

An interactive map of Epcot.

If you have a lot of different data to show on your map, let users switch views. For example, the interactive Disney map lets you view info based on events, dining, rides, etc.

Questionnaires

Questionnaires are similar to quizzes (which we’ll get into next), but they’re more serious. The idea here is to gather information while helping the user along the customer journey.

Questionnaires can help users identify their needs so they can receive custom help from your brand. Or, if the user is closer to the end of their journey, the questionnaire can guide them to a solution (and a conversion).

Quizzes

Quizzes can be lighthearted or more earnest depending on the niche and topic. For example, BuzzFeed quizzes are on the silly side:

Four types of BuzzFeed quizzes to show what is interactive content.

The Career Quiz from The Princeton Review is on a more serious topic:

A career-finder quiz.

Quizzes can be used to educate and/or entertain users, and you’ll capture information about them along the way. You can then use that information for targeting purposes or to learn more about your audience as a whole.

Searchable Data

By presenting collected data in an interactive way, the user may spend a lot more time on the page.

Selfiecity is an excellent example of this. It gathers selfies from five major cities around the world, and you can look at the selfies and filter by location or crop style.

Interactive selfie data.

You can also play a slideshow of the selfies, and there are hover points that show more data when you put your cursor over them.

Solution-Finder

A solution-finder walks the user through different questions to match them with the most relevant result. This “Where Should You Go On Vacation Next?” solution-finder from Conde Nast is a great example. Here’s how it begins:

A self-guided travel-finder.

With a solution-finder tool, the user is trying to figure out something specific and make a decision.

Spinning Wheel

The spinning wheel is a popular lead magnet for e-commerce sites. By asking users to click to spin, they can win all sorts of surprises, like free shipping or a discount on their next order.

A wheel spinner for your website to showcase what is interactive content.
Source: WP Optin Wheel

In order to claim the prize, the user will have to enter their email address, which will help you grow your mailing list.

More Interactive Content Ideas

You can add interactive to the following types of static content to make it more engaging:

  • Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Landing pages
  • Lookbooks
  • Resource libraries
  • White papers
  • Videos

Adding buttons, forms, questionnaires and quizzes creates interactive content from static content.

You can also include links that let users follow a choose-your-own-adventure experience. For example, instead of clicking through each page of a lookbook, you can ask the user what they’re interested in and guide them through the content based on their answers.

How To Create Interactive Content

When it comes to creating interactive content, many of the same rules of static content creation apply, such as:

  • Consider the buyer persona
  • Address the customer’s pain points
  • Create responsive content
  • Match content to the marketing funnel stage
  • Collect visitor information and measure data

Here’s a standout tip, though: You don’t have to create interactive content from scratch.

Instead, look at the static content you already have and figure out how to make it interactive. That could mean adding interactive elements or completely repurposing it into an interactive form.

Then, as you get new content ideas, you can always opt to make them static or interactive from the start.

Here’s a list of tools that can help you create interactive content.

Wrapping Up

Dynamic, interactive content is an excellent way to increase engagement, collect more customer data and increase conversions.

Feel free to blend two or more types of interactive content, too. For example, you can have flash cards followed by a quiz or giveaways that require the user to fill out a questionnaire.

Choosing the right type of interactive content depends on where the user is in the digital marketing funnel. We have an article that will help with this.

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