By, Gokul Suresh
When it comes to creating meaningful content, a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice.
The landscape for creating content is changing almost everyday. As an expert content creator, one must know how to adapt and render interactive ways to communicate with the audience, effectively.
Technical documents, white papers, ebooks, case studies and blogs may be the most popular types of content to engage prospects, buyers and existing customers. But with the change in the tide, if we add a pinch of interactivity to the content that we create, we might just double the expectations of its impact.
Through this article, I’ll show you the perks that come with jumping onto this interactive content bandwagon. Additionally, let’s also look into how we can break out of the monotonous content clutter and the different approaches that can be adopted to create interactive content.
Understanding Interactive Content
An article from Kissmetrics hit the right chords while describing interactivity. It says, “Internet. Interactive. The two were destined to collide. The reason – all internet users were destined to interact online.”
That was probably the necessity that ultimately lead to the creation of interactive content.
But, then again, what exactly is this interactive content?
Interactive content, unlike its static counterparts, is focussed on getting users to emotionally interact with it. Its aim is to engage users, by helping them explore scenarios, understand the context, perform tasks, make choices and a lot more. The most important aspect of this content is that they enable content creators to capture the user’s attention throughout the content experience .
So, simply put, interactive content is the next level of engaging web users. A lot of the content creators and marketers are now upgrading their arsenal from traditional static content to that which users can interact with. This, not only gives them the advantage of producing better content, but also helps the users receive real-time information and results.
Communicating With Interactive Content
When embraced, interactive content can create powerful and profitable experiences that rivals traditional content mediums. Many of the newer content platforms have already recognized this approach and have adapted accordingly.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
If you are already inclined to give interactive content a shot, then here are some ways with which you can communicate using an interactive approach.
1. Make Your Knowledge Base Interactive
Take a step higher from the regular knowledge base. Integrate interactive slideshows or articles in them instead of regular documentation.
Interactive slideshows and articles are a great alternative to the step by step verbose instructions that is present in most of knowledge bases. These initiate interaction with users and make them take actions, while understanding the context behind it.
Here’s an example of an interactive slideshow that can be embedded on a Knowledge base.
To see a live example of an interactive knowledge base, click here.
2. Use Animated GIFs Instead of Images
Animated GIFs are taking the internet by a storm. After Facebook & Twitter adopted this fun way of showing images, there was no looking back for animated GIFs.
So if you have an idea or a concept that you want to describe using images, why not create them as animated GIFs?
3. Interactive Infographics for Data
Infographics are a powerful medium for communication. But, what if it is made interactive and engaging to users?
Say for example, you are reading an infographic about data visualization of Twitter. What if that infographic has a dynamic way to pull current Twitter data and give you an in-depth information on the number of Tweets, trending hashtags, etc. Wouldn’t that be more useful?
4. Interactive Walkthroughs for Training
Interactive walkthroughs are the next thing for web apps. They help in hand-holding users in real-time using a task or a process, helping them complete tasks from start to end, all seamlessly. They are more or less, balloon-like tips that pop-up and prompt the user to take an action. Onclick, they lead the user through an ideal funnel that trains the user to perform that particular task.
Check out this interactive walkthrough by Whatfix:
Whatfix is a SaaS company that has been helping enterprises improve their Onboarding, Training, Support and Documentation with their interactive walkthroughs. The walkthroughs, like the one above can be easily integrated on any web application. It can be used extensively to provide efficient in-app guidance and interactive employee training. They help in reducing the chances of human error and ensure re-usability of training material created.
5. Engage with Quizzes/Polls/Assessments
These have always been a great way to interact with your audience. With the involvement of companies like Buzzfeed such quizzes, polls and assessments have gained a lot of popularity. It peaks audience curiosity to inspire interactions with them.
6. Reinforce the Idea with Interactive Calculation Tools
Let’s say that your company is hosting a huge conference and you are sure that people who attend the conference will definitely have benefits in terms of their ROI. Then, why don’t you create a simple ROI calculator that takes into account the attendees company size, investment, scope of investment and suggest a probable ROI for the same. Such an idea would not only emphasize why they must attend, but also thwart the need to write something specific that explains the inherent ROI benefit.
There are many more examples when it comes to interactive content. New tools and software (to create them) keep popping up every now and then. Such software help users realize the value of the end product in a non-intrusive way. It also helps them articulate your value proposition even better.
Why Should You Make Your Content Interactive?
To a reader consuming the content that you create, there maybe two objectives:
- Value proposition
As a content creator, it is your responsibility to create content that helps achieve both the objectives.
Interactive content can help with both the cases. They engage the user, make them interact with the content and provide them the value that they expect.
Additionally, it gives a lot of edge to the data driven content that exists today. With such interactions, you can gather a lot more data on user behaviour. Data helps in tailoring the content on the basis of what users like, and ultimately achieve your end goal with better results.
About the Author
Gokul is the Content & Social Media Expert at Whatfix. He’s an avid storyteller and a techie who specializes in B2B articles. He loves playing with the latest technology and writing in-depth articles on them.
Twitter Handle: @i_mgokul