Make User Engagement Your Priority Via Interactive Content Marketing

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The metrics used by marketers when setting goals and evaluating performance have long been measurements of size and reach, such as number of users or market share. These metrics are still valuable but only tell part of the story, and with new customers looking to participate in different ways, many believe new metrics that measure engagement are now more important than reach. To successfully market to the modern digital consumer, it is paramount to monitor metrics that measure how people are engaging with your content.

To start, lets establish what exactly engagement is for a marketer. To engage someone is to capture his or her attention through your campaigns and content. So when we talk about consumer engagement, we are looking at how you are capturing and retaining the attention of your audience. Now, how can we measure that? Looking at metrics such as time spent per user per month, average session durations, interactions within an app, purchases completed per total sessions (conversion rate), or the consistency of repeat daily visits give brands and marketers a good look into the way users are interacting with their content.

So, why is prioritizing engagement so important?

According to Content Marketing Institute, engagement is the content marekting goal for 76% of the B2B Marketers. Looking at engagement metrics lets you know whether you are publishing the correct content for your audience. If customers are spending large amounts of time on your content, returning on a regular basis, and bringing your company sales, then you know you are properly engaging your audience. If not, you know you need to switch some things up and transitions to content that better suits your audience. 

With too much content published everyday and increases in social media and mobile usage, marketers face challenges to cut through the noise and create quality content that reaches their audience faster and keeps them engaged to their content. Over time, technology has given consumers a greater degree of choice when it comes to the content they consume, which makes it even more important to make sure they are coming to you for their content. Lots of companies have tried to increase engagement on their content, and while some have been successful, many are struggling to make the necessary transitions from static to more interactive form of content. 

How Interactive Content can help?

Interactive Content Marketing is a great way to provide more personalized content that resonates with your audience and helps you create more user engagement through your content. Interactive tools such as Polls, Quizzes, Interactive Infographics, Interactive eBooks and Brackets helps marketers to easily create content on topics based on what their users care about that generates more sharing and engagement and are twice more effective at driving conversion rate.

Here are 4 characteristics of interactive content help achieve engagement goals:

1. Visual - It is more visual than your standard text heavy content forms, and visual content allows your messaging to stick better, as it influences the viewer much faster and the imagery sticks in the brain longer than text. Tapping into the power of visual learning and engagement while creating content enables marketers to tell stories that resonate strongly with their audience and are easily shared. According to a study by HubSpot, 65% of marketers believe that visuals like photos and videos are core to how their brand story is communicated, and 55% plan to create more visual content. Take this piece from the Dallas Cowboys, where the Cowboy's let the viewers click through the content to tell a compelling story about Quincy Carter and Tony Romo. These types of visual content makes it easier for your users to consume and interact with your content and increase engagement and time on site.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-22_at_5.16.38_PM.png2. Meaningful Consumer Connections - Interactive forms of content create a two way dialogue with your audience, with every engagement giving you insight into your customer. In this way, it allows you to personalized future content based on how the user interacts with today's content. It also lets you insert a meaningful call to action based on how they interact, meaning the engagement does not stop when the user reached the end one piece of content. This two way dialog also serves to build trust between the brand and the buyer, raising brand awareness. If the customer feels their voice is heard and appreciated they will interact with your content more and be more likely to return to your company in the future.

3. Repeated Interactions - In an interactive forms of content like brackets, not only does your audience engage upon initial release, they keep coming back to vote again or view results. This round by round interaction will drive your engagement numbers but more importantly will serve as repeated visibility to your brand. For example, below you can see that Sam Heughan received over a million votes in one round of RadioTimes TV Champion bracket series, and if you check the link you will see that the support shown from fans of these characters perpetuated through multiple rounds of voting.

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4. Quick and Easy to make: We all know that time is money, and writing a good blog post can take a while. Interactive content can be created quickly and allows you to effectively communicate your message to your audience. This is hugely valuable when you consider the efficiency of your work, and how much engagement comes out of every minute you put into creating the content.

Conclusion

Lack of staff, budget, and technical experience are some of the barriers between marketers and creating interactive forms of content but increasing user engagement through interactive content is actually easy and affordable. When customers have a choice in the content they consume, it is important that you are taking steps to keep your consumers engaged and paying attention to the metrics that let you know if you are engaging them effectively. Interactive forms of content are valuable tools that can help you achieve your engagement goals, especially in the changing landscape of content marketing. 

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