More often than not we find that marketing managers are not quite familiar with interactive marketing. Sure, most have a decent idea of what it is. But when it comes to describing it, using it or organizing a campaign around it, they often fall short. Well, to help combat this, we are going to cover all you need to know about interactive marketing and how to use an interactive content creation platform to help promote your website.
Advantages and disadvantages of interactive marketing
Before tackling anything else, we first need to elaborate on what interactive marketing is. Once you understand that you can, ideally, combine interactive elements with your current marketing efforts and ensure that your entire marketing content is in the same style.
What is interactive marketing?
If we put it in simple terms, interactive marketing is marketing content that has elements that your viewers can interact with. While it can come in many forms, the ones that are most often used are:
Apart from these, there are dozens of interactive elements that marketing managers use to great effect. Modern technologies and advancements allow for a degree of interactiveness that was never seen before. So much so that you can even create interactive stories, interactive videos and entire websites filled with different interactive triggers. These give a direct, intuitive and easy way for your customers to engage with your content. As we will soon elaborate on, this can give tremendous advantages to both your long-term and short-term marketing.
Caption: You can create some quite engaging content with a simple Interactive content creation platform.
But, due to the nature of interactive content, it does have disadvantages to be aware of. As with all new technologies, it can be difficult to figure out and implement properly. But, when you do, interactive marketing can draw in customers like standard marketing could only hope for.
The main idea behind interactive content is to have your customers directly engage with your brand. By doing so you automatically pique their interest and ensure that your content is well received. When your customers passively go through the content, there is only a slim chance that they will actually engage with it. But, when it is interactive, the chance of engagement skyrockets. This, in turn, has the following advantages:
- Cost-effectiveness - While Interactive content can be arduous to come up with, it is surprisingly budget-friendly. Even a relatively small amount of well-crafted content can bring you great traffic.
- Maintaining attention - Getting customers attention through marketing is one thing. But maintaing it after the first engagement is completely another. Luckily, this is one aspect of online marketing where interactive content shines.
- Customer satisfaction - A customer that successfully engaged with your company will always feel happy for doing so. They feel that their activity along with their impressions and feelings mattered. This is always a good thing when it comes to customer satisfaction.
As with any other marketing tool, there are certain disadvantages of interactive marketing that you need to be aware of. After all, it is still a relatively new concept. And, while it may be much more prevalent in the future, there are certain downsides that currently weigh it down.
- Comfort - The one thing that you need to recognize in standard marketing content is that it is fairly comfortable. Passively looking at videos or reading through posts may not be engaging, but is quite comfortable and non-intrusive. Therefore, if you yank people out of their comfort through forced interactions, they might not be so willing to engage with you.
It is surprisingly easy to annoy your customers by pushing interactive content where it doesn't belong.
- Differences in customers - Since interactive marketing is fairly new, it is difficult to predict. Most of that difficulty is due to differences between customers. After all, not all customers like interacting with marketing content, and some outright resent it. So, if you don't have a firm understanding of your target audience, your marketing efforts can be all for nought.
Creating a long-term strategy with interactive marketing
So, now that you understand the basics of interactive marketing how are you supposed to use it to promote your company? Well, as it is with most marketing content, you need to create a long-term strategy. Unforuatnelly, this is easier said than done. Creating a strategy requires proper planning and research, especially if you want to introduce interactivity.
Research your customer base
Seeing that one of the disadvantages of interactive marketing is that it is quite susceptible to customer preference, you need to do your part in researching your customer base. Without knowing what your customers like or dislike, you will have a hard time orienting your content so that it suits their needs and wants. Good interactive content helps customers better communicate with your company and gives them the feeling of agency. If you combine interactive content with good customer relations, you can even make your customers feel as if they were are a part of your company. But, to make any of this possible, you first need to research your customers.
The more customer research you do, the better your interactive content will perform.
In certain instances, forcing interactions onto your customers can be a bad idea. So much so that your customers may leave your brand, even though they liked it before.
Develop a brand
Brand development is a complicated and surprisingly deep subject that we will elaborate on in a different article. For now, let's just point out that you need to take the time and energy to come up with a good brand. Know that it will be an integral part of every aspect of your online, including interactive marketing. So, don't shy away from educating yourself about branding in general, and then applying your knowledge to your brand. Keep in mind that rebranding is by no means an easy task and that it can easily render your previous marketing efforts fruitless. So it is paramount that you get it right on the first go.
Basics of brand development
Large companies spend millions doing research and trying out different brands before they settle on one that they feel represents them properly. If you don't have millions to spend, or years to do research, here are is a few things to keep in mind when designing yours:
- Come up with a core idea - Every company, big or small, needs to have a core idea on which every other aspect of marketing will lean on. With interactive marketing, this is especially important, as it gives content creators a clear guideline to follow.
- Hire a professional to design your logo - Even though they may seem simple, good logos are quite complicated to create. And seeing that your logo will be shown pretty much everywhere on your website, you'd do yourself a favour by having a decent one. Keep in mind that your logo can also be an interactive element.
- Understand what kind of a message your brand conveys - Both your core idea and your logo serve to convey a message to your customers. Whether you plan on promoting your brand locally or internationally, your message needs to be clear and well understood. Once you have that, you can then build up the rest of your marketing.
Outline a clear goal
While interactive marketing gives you a lot of room to experiment and explore, you should plan your campaign around a clear goal. This is not so much to hinder your creativity, but more to keep tabs on your progress. If you have a clear goal with a clear timeline and milestones, you can see whether your campaign is performing as well as you'd expect. If everything goes according to plan, great! But, if not, you should try to find what is wrong as soon as possible. The more you can learn from your marketing campaigns, the less chance there is to repeat mistakes.
Even a simple marketing campaign can easily become quite complicated to keep track off.
Leave enough room for flexibility
Since interactive marketing is a fairly new concept, we would suggest that you leave room for flexibility. This means delegating extra time and money to test out different ideas and tools. As you will soon learn, there are dozens of different tools that can help you with interactive marketing. And each of those tools can inspire new ideas. And if certain ideas perform better than others, you'd really want to have the extra room to elaborate on them.
Keep your content quality consistent
From the moment you start posting online, you need to make sure that your content quality either stays the same or improves. There are few things that kill the public interest as quick as a quality drop in content. Even well-known brands struggle if their content fails to meet the expected standard. Know that there is always some competitor for your customers to turn to. And the only way to prevent that from happening is to maintain or improve your content quality as time goes by.
Our pick of Interactive content creation platforms
Even though interactive marketing is still fairly young, there are numerous interactive platforms that can make your life easier. While we cannot possibly cover all of the platforms, we will try and go over the ones that we feel give you the biggest bang for your buck. If you a decent understanding of your marketing campaign and what your goal is, you should be able to pick the platform that suits you best.
If you are completely new to interactive content, we suggest that you start off with Ion Interactive. It is intuitive, easy to use, and it comes with prebuilt templates. True, you may not use any of the templates available. But, they should at least give you an idea of what interactive content can look like.
For those that are better versed in marketing, we suggest Involve.me. While it may not be as easy to use as Ion Interactive, it is still quite intuitive and well optimized. Through it, you will also have access to a large gallery of templates, most of which can be customized to fit any brand. All in all it a much more customizable platform than Ion Interactive, which makes it perfect for people who are already skilled in design. And the true beauty of it is that you can fully customize it without adding a single line of code. Considering that Involve.me has a free version, there is hardly a reason not to try it out.
Involve.me is an interactive content creation platform perfectly suited for people with design experience.
The main selling point of Thinglink is its visual features. With it, you can create 360-degree videos and photos, as well as add audio attachments. In certain instances, 360 videos and photos can be of great benefit, especially if they used for visual storytelling. And if you incorporate the right interactive features, your presentation will be quite immersive. So, if you are looking for a new visual tool for your brand, Thinglink might just be the platform for you.
Finally, if you plan on running an online shop, we suggest that you use Calculoid to add an interactive calculator. With it, you can easily factor in discounts and lucrative offers. This will, in turn, improve user engagement and naturally increase your revenue.
In order to level up your marketing campaign, you first need to understand what role interactivity will play in it. Certain brands benefit from having a strong presence of interactive content. While others are suited for standard marketing. Your goal should first be to understand your audience and then build your campaign from there. Once you understand your brand and how it interplays with interactive marketing, you can look to research an interactive content creation platform. Some, like StorifyMe, focus on creating interactive content in story format. While others like Calculoid, focus on providing a calculation tool. So, there is a lot of room to explore and experiment. With luck, you should find one that suits your needs and your budget properly.