Why is Interactive Content an Industrial Growth Opportunity?
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines Interactive Content as, “content that engages participants in a two-way dialogue or exchange, often providing utility and usefulness (e.g., interactive infographics; self-assessments or report cards; quizzes; calculators; interactive eBooks; configurators or solution builders; and interactive lookbooks). Interactive content also may be structured to be dynamic.”
CMI's 2017 research reveals the latest trends in use and effectiveness of interactive content:
- Nearly half (46%) of marketers surveyed are already using interactive content and 79% intend to increase their use of it. Their top 5 reasons for doing so is to drive engagement (66%) – followed by educating the audience (63%), creating brand awareness (58%), lead generation (57%) and conversion (50%).
- They also looked at the types of interactive content that marketers indicated are most effective for their programs (defining effectiveness as “accomplishing your content marketing objectives.” Interestingly, the interactive content types that respondents rated most effective were not necessarily those that had the highest reported use.
- They researched at which of 3 buyer stages the different types of interactive content are most effective; early 'awareness/discovery' stage, middle 'consideration' stage and late 'decision' stage. Contests and games are most effective in the early stage, interactive eBooks, lookbooks and white papers in the middle stage and wizards, configurators and calculators in the late stage.
Here's our take on this trend for B2B industrial suppliers:
- The trend in usage of interactive content is substantially upward because it's proven effective at improving user experiences throughout the sales funnel. The research even shows that 40% of small companies are already using it and the trend across all sizes of company is up. The types of interactive content continue to grow and businesses continue to expand their usage. We recommend that B2B industrial suppliers similarly apply interactive content for the same effectiveness reasons.
- All the above listed types of interactive content are probably relevant to B2B industrial suppliers but CMI obviously focused on generic types of interactive content in their excellent cross-industry research. However, there are other industrial specific types of interactive content that weren't included in the above research. For example, interactive configurators within industrial product catalogs and 3D catalogs, interactive viewing and manipulation of 3D CAD models of products and free-standing interactive configurators for industrial products. Optional downloads of 3D CAD models and 2D CAD drawings (spec sheets) are proven outstanding lead generation and sales conversion tools. We recommend that, where applicable to their products, B2B industrial suppliers apply industrial specific types of interactive content, especially those proven to drive industrial sales conversions such as configurators and CAD model viewing/download.
For links to a few live examples of customer sites using these interactive tools see this post or for more in depth questions on these types of industrial interactive content read the other references below:
- 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SELECTING AN ONLINE PRODUCT CONFIGURATOR SOLUTION - especially Questions #3, #4 and #6!
- 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SELECTING AN ONLINE CAD MODEL SOLUTION - especially Question #4!
- 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SELECTING AN ONLINE CATALOG SOLUTION - especially Question #3!
As always, please let us know what you think by commenting below, or if you'd like to know more about or see the technology in action click one of the buttons below.