This is a guest post from Neha Mirchandani, Chief Marketing Officer at Dot.vu.
Are you expected to constantly generate new leads? And does your boss or your sales department have high expectations in terms of lead quality? Well, you’re not alone. Most marketers are being measured on the quantity and quality of leads they generate.
The trouble is, lead gen is not what it used to be 5 years ago. Back in the day, you’d create a decent-looking e-book or white paper, and the leads would fly in. But today, audiences have so much content to choose from – much of which is of sub-par quality.
Consequently, the perceived value of traditional content like e-books isn’t quite what it used to be; which is why marketers are turning to new, alternative ways to generate leads – such as interactive content.
Most traditional forms of content like blog posts or infographics are about reading. Interactive content, on the other hand, engages people through active participation. Your audience is interacting with your content by answering questions, choosing preferences, guessing, voting, navigating, or playing. Common formats include quizzes, assessments, interactive videos, product finders/recommenders, calculators, calendars/countdowns, polls, interactive e-books, and games.
Interactive content is typically quick-to-consume forms of content that give the user a personalized experience or results. For example, imagine a basic personality quiz like, “What kind of marketer are you?” The user answers 7 fun questions and then sees his/her result, which is 1 of 4 possible marketing personality types.
Example of a quiz that captures basic lead info before seeing results
How does it capture leads? It asks the user to enter her name and email address before she can see her results.
Instead of using an 8-field lead form, this form asks only for 2 pieces of information (name and email), and instead draws key information from the user’s quiz answers. For example, what success means to the marketer, which software they are most familiar with, etc.
In this way, marketers can inject important questions into interactive content and capture deeper data with a shorter input form.
Every click, answer, navigation, and choice will aid in drawing a clearer image of each lead. Over time, you can use different interactive content formats to develop rich lead profiles that serve as a treasure trove of lead insights for sales teams.
Educational, challenging, or entertaining – quizzes are the ultimate forms of snackable content. They’re great for social media and for growing your email subscriber lists.
Assessments are typically longer than quizzes and give the user more in-depth personalized feedback or advice. Marketers can use them to test their audience’s domain knowledge, expertise, or skills. In a B2B context, they can also be used in the form of industry benchmark tests, best practices assessments, risk assessments, compliance assessments, or technology readiness tests.
This works like a virtual shopping assistant. The user answers a series of questions and is led to the best suitable product for his/her needs. The product recommender works for many purposes, including retailers or web shops.
Interactive videos get the user to actively participate in the video experience by choosing their own adventure, clicking on “hotspots” to purchase products or answer questions. They can also contain lead forms that totally or partially gate the video.
Calculators offer real utility to the user, as a tool to help better buying decisions, business plans, budgets, and more. Marketers can create calculators with their own “secret sauce” formula for calculating savings, ROI, risk exposure, and more.
Solution builders work like assessments but give the user detailed feedback for her answer to each question. They are meant to provide in-depth advice for the user’s specific needs and challenges.
Interactive countdowns create a buzz leading up to an event. They’re great for Christmas, Black Friday, or even company anniversaries, special events, seasonal sales, or festivals. The idea is to “unlock” a special surprise (premium content or giveaway) every single day or hour leading up to an event.
Interactive e-books are multi-device friendly, and you can enrich them by embedding assessments, interactive charts, or videos. You don’t even have to download the e-book — instead you can just read them on your phone, tablet or computer.
What better way to hold people’s attention than to use games — the ultimate procrastinator? Between memory card games, spot-the-mistake games, or what-happens-next games, marketers have so much to choose from.
Get your audience to vote on their favorite or their least favorite thing. This could work for things like products, looks, concepts, and more.
It’s incredibly important to know how to balance what you’re asking of the user with what you’re offering to him/her. For example, if you’re using a product recommender as a piece of promotional content, you shouldn’t gate it behind a long lead gen form.
On the other hand, if you’re giving the user something more substantial, like an educational assessment that gives them custom business advice, you might want to use a lead form before they see their results.
Place your standard length lead gen form at the very start, before your users begin consuming your interactive content.
Like the option above, but with a lower gate of 2-4 input fields.
This works for quizzes, assessments, calculators, or solution builders. Keep your questionnaire open – let people answer all the questions without requiring them to fill out anything – but gate the results.
This is sneaky stuff. Show only the most basic part of the results and require the user to fill in their details to ‘unlock’ the full analysis.
With this tactic, you’re not making it mandatory to fill out any form, but suggesting it before the results are revealed to the user. Here, you point out the value of subscribing to your newsletter or blog and encourage people to fill it with a highlighted CTA – making the ‘skip this’ button less attractive.
This is a less intrusive experience for the user, where you place an opt-in form just below or to the side of the results.
This works well for interactive videos or e-books. This allows the user to view or read certain amount of the content and gate the rest with a lead gen form.
Turn your interactive quizzes, polls, calendars, or countdowns into contests. Use the allure of a great giveaway or prize to get people to fill out a short form.
Below is a guide that will help you decide which tactic to use for your desired interactive content format. (Refer to the 8 lead generation tactics listed above to follow the chart.)
As the digital space gets more crowded and competitive, marketers will need to start innovating with new content formats. Interactive content offers loads of options for generating leads, and capturing valuable data that is almost impossible to get using traditional tactics. Marketers can even go one step further and feed all the rich lead data from interactive content into their email or marketing automation software – to send super-targeted emails and offers to their audience.
Neha Mirchandani is the Chief Marketing Officer at Dot.vu, an Interactive Content Marketing Platform. Marketers use Dot.vu to publish quizzes, assessments, interactive videos, calculators, and more – quickly, easily, and totally code-free. View Neha’s on-demand webinar, Interactive Content Marketing: How to Unlock Powerful Data and Boost Conversion, below.