Why We Preach Interactive Content Marketing

When you breakdown our sole purpose and our GoEdison brand, you can say it stems from curiosity, passion, creation, and of course, it wouldn’t be any kind of Edison at all if we didn’t mention, invention.

(We know,  try and focus real hard and not get hungry by the waving pizza up top. Consider this a life test.)

GoEdison was built from us seeing a need with small businesses needing quality marketing help at a reasonable price. Instead of making clients, we decided to make partners, and thus far, that’s what we’ve done.

Outside of making small business partners, one of the main needs in the small business world we saw was the need for better content marketing. We knew right away that we could help businesses create more opportunity through better quality content.

In our blog last week, we told you how your new secret ingredient to content marketing is creating more video content. We also spoke about the evolution of content marketing which we are calling “Interactive Content Marketing.” If you’re not constantly trying to not only improve your content, but also ‘evolve’ your content, you’re missing major opportunity.

Before we get into why interactive content marketing will be critical for your brand moving forward, let’s breakdown a few things first. First off, what the heck are we even talking about? Second, how GoEdison came to deem the term interactive content marketing.

What is Interactive Content Marketing?

Although there is no real definition for interactive content marketing, we will do our best to describe what interactive content marketing means to us and where it came from.

When digital marketing first hit the scene years back it was a shouting match between brands who all tried to be the loudest. It was constant selling and spam like messaging. Everything was different and there were no traditional rules since it was all online. For a long time, many businesses in the early days didn’t believe online marketing would stick, well, years later, it not only stuck, it’s now essential. The evolution of digital marketing has been pretty remarkable if you think about it.

Shown below is a graph we created that lays out in simple terms the evolution of digital content. Like we mentioned, in the early days businesses rushed to digital marketing to sell, sell, sell! As you could imagine, the hard sales messaging didn’t last long, brand’s online were forced to change.

So then we saw the influx of social sharing. Every brand started sharing industry relevant content, but ALL for backward reasons. They would share this content in hopes that they could tap into a new audience and convert them to their audience. Although that tactic isn’t harmful, many brands were manipulating people into signing up for email lists that would again do nothing but sell to them. You should never manipulate someone to “click” on your content. Your content should honestly be helping people learn and solve problems. The minute you use manipulation tactics is the minute you lose ALL credibility.

In phase three of this graph you see where true content marketing starts taking place. This is actually the current phase we’re still in. Digital brands got smart. They understood the need to invest in creating original and genuine content. Just recently, within the last few years, have businesses in a multitude of different industries started seeing and believing in the true power of content marketing. Almost all businesses today understand that they need some kind of an online presence, that’s essential, but now we’re starting to see brick and mortar like businesses execute some creative content marketing strategies.

Interactive Content Marketing - Evolution Graph

 

Now let’s talk about the future. Interactive Content Marketing. As shown in the fourth and final phase in this graph you can see that interactive content is built for engagement. Routine content marketing is still critical and will still help your business establish trust, but interactive content will take it to a whole NEW level. Your focus should be engagement.

Let’s face it. How many emails do you get on a weekly basis asking for you to “check out our latest blog?” Or how many Facebook posts do you see asking you to “share an article.” Or my personal favorite (totally kidding), when people re-share their company’s press releases on LinkedIn. We as a digital user base are growing numb to current and old traditional content marketing tactics. As business owners and marketers, we now have to think outside the box and aim for engagement when crafting our content. We must “Be Bold” with our content marketing moving forward.

So you might be asking yourself, so where’s the blend between content marketing and interactive content marketing? Great question! Think of everything you produce as content. From a blog post, press release, news article, ect. Think of interactive content as something that enhances your content to the next level. Something that will engage your online audience to take action. What would entice you to share a your own content, outside of the cut and dry value it provides? Ask yourself this, when was the last time you actually read a full press release….? Exactly. The graph below breaks down what we feel a good balance of “what” Interactive Content Marketing really is.

Interactive Content Marketing Graph- GoEdison

 

Tracking Your Content’s Engagement

Like we said before, we have to start evolving our own content to be more engaging. Ask yourself, how can you engage your online audience even more? Some people mix up engagement for flash. Engagement doesn’t mean your content has to “flash”, it means your content should spark thought which would entice your readers to take action.

Engagement could be measured and tracked in different ways. Some companies measure engagement with how many times their content is shared through various social channels. Other brands track engagement and make their content downloadable and measure how many “sign ups” or “leads” they get through their content. And many businesses have their own internal calculations on how they measure engagement. Some combine multiple channel tracking tools and analytics to measure engagement. Our recommendation is to define and track relevant metrics that are important to your business. Define what “engagement” means to you and have a specific goal for the content you are creating. Once these areas of strategy are defined, start tracking. After a few months you will have enough baseline data to understand what content pieces are working, and what content isn’t working as well. Now, let’s talk about simple tips on how to elevate your content marketing strategy and simple content hacks you can use to make your content more interactive.

 

Three Simple Interactive Content Tips

GIFS: In our last blog, we discussed how GIF’s are one the newer trends in content marketing. At first, brands were hesitant to use them because no one knew if they would stick around for the long run. Well, it’s safe to say they are here for the long haul. It’s more than just millennials using GIF’s online now. Major brands are starting to adapt and insert GIF’s into their marketing strategies.

So you might be asking yourself, why integrate GIF’s into my marketing? GIF’s are still new and trendy. They are still eye catching. Start mixing up your content and using GIF’s in your tweets and blog posts and analyze how your online audience responds. Using GIF’s in your content marketing moving forward will give your brand a fresh new feel. Aim for creating fun content with GIFs in return creating more engagement.

Video: Also in our last blog we told you how video content is your secret ingredient moving forward with your content strategy. Video is huge in today’s digital world. We have the data and numbers to prove it. Let’s look at some simple video engagement numbers.

  • Links = 5.3% overall online engagement
  • Status Updates = 5.8% overall online engagement
  • Video Content = 8.7% overall online engagement

Remember, if our goal with interactive content is “engagement”, the numbers above show why video content is extremely important to your content strategy.

Interactive Apps: There is a plethora of new mobile apps out there that allow us to learn, interact, and use on a daily basis. Moving forward, one of the trends to look for is the evolution of interactive mobile apps. Apps are so much more than just games. We literally live inside the apps on our phones. Apps are now part of our everyday, just like email and text. Apps have evolved from being “fun” to now being helpful. They make our life easier. Listed below are my two new favorite apps that display the use of Interactive Content Marketing.

Google Primer: Primer is a fast and easy way to learn new marketing skills. Obviously this app makes sense for GoEdison. But what really makes Primer awesome how the app gets the user to engage at all levels. This is a perfect app for a student or entry level marketer trying to get learn all the “marketing jargon” in today’s digital world.

Primer gives five minute marketing courses on various topics like content marketing, SEO, Pay Per Click and much more. Primer’s courses don’t just read to you. They make you interact. You are forced to problem solve, engage and you’re tested at the end of the course.

Primer is a perfect example of a mobile app that forces its user to consistently engage with it. It’s 100% interactive.

Lumosity: If you’re a problem solver, then this app is for you. Lumosity, similar to Primer, forces your hand when it comes to engagement. Lumosity helps you become more decisive, pay attention to detail, and have fun, all while exercising your brain.

Although some might say Lumosity is more of a “game app”, it’s giving you the ability to learn. The app is fully interactive which keeps “learning” interesting. Very few apps have done a great job at developing a strong brand. Lumosity has done the exact opposite. Through engaging and interactive content they have kept a healthy subscriber base happily engaged and interested in their product.

Conclusion

Great products and services can only go so far. You have to have substance. People not only care about your product or service, they care about your story. Just like you want people to engage with your business, you have to give them reason to invest in your brand. There is a big difference between having a business and honing a brand.

Content marketing no longer gives people the “awe” factor it once did a few years back. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in anymore, content marketing has become part of businesses of all different shapes and sizes strategy. We now have to think bigger. We have to be “more bold” with our content. Once again- It’s time for us to evolve and change. We have to start being more creative, innovative, and yes, interactive with the content we’re producing.
If you need help crafting your brand’s content strategy, we would love the opportunity to help you. For a limited time only, we are offering a free Content Audit to any business that is ready to enhance their digital brand.

Free Content Audit