“Content marketing!”

Did you know that all companies, regardless of size, are publishing a lot more content than ever before? While most of us would like to believe that’s a step towards constructive, relevant marketing, the truth is far from that.

Despite the various rules and regulations set by Google and the changing trends of industries, the state of content—despite the volume—is considerably bad.

Why?

Because most of the businesses out there associate content marketing with the production of content pieces one after the other to please the search engine bots – which basically means “words without agenda”. There is absolutely no strategy behind them and no end goal associated with the so-called content marketing plan.

A recent study by SiriusDecisions, a B2B research firm, revealed that as much as 70% of marketing content goes unused. This is primarily because the content published by companies is not consumer-focused but brand-focused and therefore, marketing efforts go waste they don’t directly target to the target audience or the content is not engaging enough or syndicated well.

source

So if you have been churning out content in the hope of reaching out to your target segment in vain, here are 6 ways to create content designed for interaction and to maximize your marketing budget:

Visuals

1. Infographics

Want to pack a lot of information—full of complicated business process, insightful industry data and statistics, etc. in a content piece, but not overwhelm the reader at the same time? Infographics are for you! They have a unique quality of making even the most tiresome topics look appealing, exciting and extremely consumable.

While most businesses think infographics are just about putting a few industry specific numbers against a theme that resonates with the brand, it is not so. An interactive infographic is the one which carries a narrative and compels the consumers to think about the insightful information presented to him. If it doesn’t make them think, they aren’t going to engage with it.

made-in-canva

Tip: Tools such as Visual.ly, Piktochart and Canva are great for creating quick infographics when you don’t have a designer around or simply want to save time!

2. Presentations

Convert your long-form content into a slideshow/presentation to only highlight its major points. While most people will be hesitant to read a 2000+ word article, a scroll-able presentation is something no one minds going through—even if it is a 20-slide presentation. But just like infographics, your presentation needs to have a storyline to make it entirely consumable by the reader.

Tip: Tools like Prezi and Slidely enable businesses to create and share interactive presentations. The tools offer a simple drag, drop and edit functionality, making it extremely easy and efficient to produce presentations.

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Videos & Animation

3. Webinar/ Videos

A webinar is like an interactive video, but with a motive. It is a popular form of content for interaction—with the ability to give, receive and discuss information in real-time. You can conduct a webinar to hold an hour-long workshop on an industry topic or present a slideshow that not only makes sense to your business, but also adds value to your target audience in some way.

For example, marketing companies like Wishpond, conduct a lot of webinars that present tips and ways to help a business grow.

Tip: You can use tools like Whatfix to create interactive how-to-guides (in the form of slideshows or video tutorials) on the web, in just a few minutes. It is also a great tool for onboarding purposes.

4. GIFs

Animated GIFs have taken content marketing to a whole new level! GIFs enhance the visual message, emphasize on key points and therefore, communicate better. The content automatically becomes more relatable when shown in the form of a short clipping that a target audience relates with or recognises.

And if the trends are to be observed, people really love GIFs. In fact, even Twitter is testing a GIF button for mobile—which will bring a complete new potential to content-sharing on the niche platform.

Tip: To make awesome GIFs, you can use a variety of online tools such as Giphy and Gifmaker.me. It literally takes just a few minutes!

Smarter Content

5. Quizzes

Let’s begin with an example: Buzzfeed quizzes. Love them or hate them, you can’t ignore them. These quizzes are not just popular and entertaining, but can also be educational without boring anyone! Quizzes, in general, offer a creative outlet to engage with your target audience.

Quizzes give you an opportunity to present your target audience with a lot of content, in a properly spaced manner. And if executed well, you can not only encourage them to participate, but also share their results on social media channels.

But remember, unless the result is going to add some value to the participant, don’t use quizzes in your marketing strategy.

6. White paper

A white paper is usually jam-packed with information but if it is industry-specific, it is the one long-form content that can generate leads like no other. But to make the whitepaper more interactive in nature, you can embed surveys, knowledge tests, quick checklists, etc. within the content. Remember the whitepaper needs to be downloadable in a PDF format, so that the reader can consume the information as and when the need arises.

Here’s what NetProspex, a marketing data and contact management company, did with an existing white paper to generate more leads:

interactive content
Source: business2businesscommunity.com

Over to you

Remember, each form of content that you produce, can be broken into different formats and promoted on different channels. So don’t let the tedious research and writing process that went behind a piece go waste just because it wasn’t syndicated well!

Giving your content due exposure on various digital channels available today will also help you maximize results from your marketing budgets—by increasing inbound links.

So apart from social media, use professional networking websites such as LinkedIn and book-marketing sites such Inbound.org, Reddit, Hacker News, etc. to share your content efficiently. And make use of personalization with tools like Wigzo to get the right message across to the right set of people, at the right time!

Which form of interactive content have you made use of?