3 Ways to Accelerate the Buyer’s Journey with Interactive Content

3 Ways to Accelerate the Buyer’s Journey with Interactive Content

By Karen TaylorOct 15 /2019

Digital marketers face two significant content challenges: standing out among the ever-growing quantity of digital content and engaging with prospects who have increasingly shorter attention spans. One type of content helps overcome both issues: interactive content.

Unlike passive content, interactive content requires active participation from consumers. In return, they receive real-time, hyper-relevant information they care about in ways that are interesting, fun and memorable. Organizations gain higher engagement rates, increased data capture, improved brand loyalty and more.

A growing body of research speaks to the impact of interactive content, including:

  • 81% agree interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content
  • Instagram contests grow organizations’ followers 70% faster than other methods
  • Quizzes get shared 1,900 times on average

3 Interactive Content Ideas

B2B marketers have a wide range of interactive content options to choose from, including gamification, contests, quizzes, interactive eBooks and infographics, chatbots, and calculators. Some interactive tools perform better at different stages of the buyer journey. Here are three examples of how to accelerate purchase with interactive content at three stages of the buyer’s journey:

  • Discovery Stage — Gamification
  • Consideration Stage — Calculators
  • Decision Stage — Interactive eBooks

1. Discovery Stage — Gamification

“Vendors say gamification strategies can lead to a 100% to 150% increase in engagement metrics.”— M2 Research

Before prospects will begin the buyer’s journey with a particular brand, they need to receive a compelling reason to engage with content. People have a natural inclination for competition — and everyone likes to be a winner. As a result, games and contests are a great way to engage prospects.

Gamification refers to the use of game design elements within non-game contexts. It takes the building blocks of games and implements them in real-world situations with the goal of motivating specific behaviors.

B2B gamification methods are endless and can include ideas such as submitting an innovative industry concept, providing product feedback, and participating in a photo or video contests. Common elements of gamification include points, badges, leaderboards, performance graphs, meaningful stories, avatars and teammates.

Gamification Marketing Advantages

  • Games are fun. The right games will attract people simply because of the fun factor.
  • Boost customer engagement. This reduces the likelihood that visitors will scroll past the content and begin engaging with a brand.
  • Increase brand awareness. The more prospects interact with a brand, the more they’ll begin the process of forming connections.

Gamification Pro Tips

  • Get the rewards right — This will be what inspires people to participate. For example, give them the chance to earn points, which can be redeemed for everything from charitable donations to a free business analysis.
  • Brand the contents and games — This will consistently boost participants’ comfort level with and loyalty to the brand.
  • Choose a qualifying mechanism — There are six main options for prospects to enter games:
    • Connect: Like/follow the company’s social account
    • Like: Such as a particular piece of content
    • Share: Share a piece of content
    • Vote: State preference from among multiple pieces of content
    • Create: Develop user-generated content and upload
    • Join: Such as an exclusive group or community

15Five pulls data from prospects’ survey responses and sends them invitations to join its Leaders program, which includes challenges and other functions. The gamification component includes giving participants ways to earn online points, which can be redeemed for offline prizes like gift cards or charitable donations, and a free analysis of how successfully a person is doing at using his or her social media accounts for business networking.

15Five - Gamification

2. Consideration Stage — Calculators

“51% of marketers agree that calculators are most valuable as mid-funnel content, during the consideration stage.” — CMI

Before your prospects will move forward on the buyer’s journey, they need an organization to prove its worthy of the investment. Calculators are great tools for this purpose. Calculators can achieve a variety of results, such as determining hardware processing speed, estimating optimal product pricing, calculating investment ROI, providing a cost and instant quote, and determining a savings discount.

ROI calculators are especially great because they provide a way for a target audience to quantitatively evaluate the benefit of a business and use the figures to persuade others within their organization to trust the brand.

Calculator Marketing Advantages

  • Provide instant gratification. People love instant answers and calculators give them just that while educating them to make better decisions.
  • Build trust. Thanks to transparency, calculators help build the all-important customer trust.
  • Deliver evergreen content. Calculators don’t have expiration dates and can continue to produce results in the long-term.

Calculator Pro Tips

  • Keep ideal customers in mind. Ensure they’ll find the calculator useful for their business purposes.
  • Make it easy and intuitive to use. The process should be smooth to ensure that prospects use it successfully.
  • Consider two versions of the results. To form stronger leads, give prospects the option to have either a free simplified version of their results or a full report in exchange for contact information.

ZoomInfo launched an ROI calculator to help prospects’ sales teams determine their call-to-connect rate. The metric can influence revenue and the percent of conversations with prospects required to improve connect rates.

ZoomInfo - Calculator

3. Decision Stage — Interactive eBooks

“80% of people want brands to tell them stories.” — The Drum

Before prospects will commit to a conversion step in their buyer’s journey, they need to go deeper into a brand’s solution, features and advantages. Interactive eBooks give prospects a way to become immersed in content more deeply and get their many questions answered.

Done right, interactive eBooks offer a sensory experience driven not only by words but also by sight and sound, as well. Any information that could be released as an eBook, whitepaper or report can — with a little creativity — be turned into even more engaging interactive content. Components of interactive eBooks include links to video and podcast interviews, case studies that flesh out key concepts, and links to supplemental information, including checklists, maps, infographics, calculators and quizzes, for example.

Interactive eBook Marketing Advantages

  • Engages multiple senses. Rather than providing written words, interactive eBooks combine a range of actions, including images to view, recordings to listen to, videos to watch and forms to complete.
  • Better retention. With more participation options, interactive eBooks engage a variety of learning mechanisms, thereby, improving prospects’ ability to retain an organizations’ messaging.
  • Boost conversion rates. As visitors gain more information and get their questions answered, they’ll start to convert along the buyer’s journey.

Interactive eBook Pro Tips

  • Tell a compelling story. This will be the key for brands to reach highly targeted audiences.
  • Aim for relevancy. To keep the interactive experience aligned with the buyer’s journey and encourage more conversions, keep the message focused on the brand’s personas.
  • Be clear on goals. Let the creation of the content be driven by the organization’s goals, such as driving more website traffic, generating more leads and sales, or expanding a social media following.

Argo Limited’s “The Future of Insurance” annual report includes all of the best features of an interactive eBook, including video, podcast links, an infographic and links to a wide variety of additional high-quality content.

Argo Group - ebook

Done right, interactive content in multiple formats can boost organizations’ ability to attract new prospects, support their consideration of a brand’s solution and make the all-critical conversion decisions necessary to become customers.

By moving beyond passive, one-way viewing experiences with interactive content options, brands gain a powerful way to stand out in the growing quantity of digital content, overcome consumers’ shorter attention spans, and engage more prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Check Out Essential Content Marketing KPI - Interactive Checklist

Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at karentaylorwrites.com.