Importance of Interactive Marketing for Your Business Strategy

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The internet came and changed the way we see, shop, and purchase. It brought with it a lot of positive changes. For one, you can now shop from the comforts of your own home. There are no more long queues in malls, no noisy stores to navigate through, and less stress on your wallet when paying for things online.
Despite all this, many companies are still hesitant towards adopting the internet as part of their marketing strategy. They are afraid that the internet will eat into their profits since it has brought a lot of e-commerce competition. But here’s the thing: what the internet has done is consolidate everything into ONE big market… online!
The internet is becoming a large market where consumers can shop for whatever they want –a new phone, laptop, groceries, etc. And this spells BIG opportunities for businesses, but if only they adapt to the new way of doing things.
In this article, we look at the importance of interactive marketing for your business strategy.

Interactive Marketing: The Future of Brand Building and Sales

The internet has brought with it many changes, especially in the way consumers interact with companies online. Transparency is key here. Consumers are more informed today than they were a decade ago. They are less tolerant towards brands that try to pull the wool over their eyes.
But where there’s demand, there’s also supply – and this means stiff competition. To stand out from the crowd, you need a unique selling proposition. You have to think of creative ways to convince your customers to buy from and not your competitors.

So, What’s Interactive Marketing?

Interactive Marketing is a creative approach to marketing, which provides customers with information on products and services. It aims to give customers an enjoyable, interactive shopping experience – one that goes beyond just reading or watching content about your products or services.
It’s a marketing initiative that’s triggered by customer behaviour and preferences. It allows customers to learn about products and services without feeling pressured into buying them. Unlike traditional marketing, where brands want viewers to do one thing (buy their product), Interactive Marketing is more about building a relationship with the customer based on trust.

So, What Does Interactive Marketing Look Like?
If you’re not clear on how Interactive Marketing works, here are some real-life examples of companies that have embraced it:

Humans of New York 

Human of New York is a blog by photographer Brandon Stanton, who captures portraits and candid shots of different people in New York City. The site went viral when one of his posts on Facebook entered the “top link” section and surpassed Post Secret’s number of Likes (a popular community for sharing secrets). As of the time of writing this, the blog has over 11 million Instagram followers.
Humans of New York uses a very interactive approach to marketing their content. Here’s a photo from one of their posts:
It’s a picture of Meet Syeda Ghulam Fatima, a Pakistani woman devoted to ending bonded labour in Pakistan. When you visit the Humans of New York Facebook page, you’ll see that there are plenty more posts like this.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one company that has embraced Interactive Marketing by actively engaging with customers on social media and encouraging them to share their own content online. They also hold contests on social media where customers get the opportunity to win prizes.
Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Machine” was another example of Interactive Marketing in practice: it was a vending machine that dispensed free Coke products when you share positive posts on Twitter with #ShareACoke. The idea here was to encourage more people to use Twitter and engage with the brand.

PizzaHut

PizzaHut uses Interactive Marketing to encourage customers to share their content online – which works as free marketing for the brand. The company has an Instagram account where it posts photos of its delicious pizzas.
You can tag your photos on Instagram with #pizzahut and #mypizzahut to get featured on this Instagram account.

Adidas Originals

Adidas Originals has a Facebook page that’s updated daily with new content.
The company also encourages customers to upload their content, which they feature on the Adidas Originals Facebook page.
Adidas Originals also posts photos on its Twitter account that are tagged #adidasoriginals. If you have any pictures of yourself wearing Adidas Originals, you can tag them with #adidasoriginals, and they’ll get featured on the company’s social media pages.

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DiGi Telecommunications

Remember that time when you had to wait for days before seeing your favourite celebrity on television or in an ad? Today, you can interact with just about anybody – thanks to Interactive Marketing.
This DiGi video was viewed over 1 million times in just a few days! The company also uses Instagram to engage with customers by encouraging them to share their content.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Dove used Interactive Marketing when it launched its “Real Beauty” campaign in 2013. It was a YouTube video that showed how women perceive themselves differently from how others view them. The video went viral, and, as a result, Dove received a lot of free media exposure.
See That This Is Just the Beginning…
Remember when Interactive Marketing was considered to be an unconventional way of marketing? Today, it’s the way to go if you want your business to succeed.

Types of Interactive Marketing

Interactive marketing is sometimes confused with social media marketing. That’s because they go hand in hand! Social media platforms are a great way to spark conversations about your business.
Interactive Marketing isn’t limited to social media, though: it can be implemented across different forms of media, including email newsletters and websites. It has many benefits that go beyond free media exposure.
Not only that, it comes in many forms. Here are just some of the most popular types:

Interactive Storytelling

Interactive storytelling is the process of creating a story where users are given choices on what happens next. These stories can be read online or offline, but they are popular online because users have to use their imaginations!
You’ve probably heard of choosing your own adventure books – these were very popular before interactive media became mainstream. Interactive storytelling is a more advanced version of this because it’s not just limited to reading: you can watch, listen and even feel the story.

Personalized Content

Personalized content is based on the concept that we all want to feel special. We like it when companies acknowledge our existence and tell us that they know what we want!  Whether you’re running your own business or working for a big company, personalized content is something you should consider implementing.  You can create custom web pages that reflect the information on your customers’ social media profiles.  That means that when customers go onto your website, they’ll be welcomed by their own content or depending on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram activity.

Layered Information

Educating customers on your products is important if you want them to buy.  However, the problem is that people don’t like to sit through long-winded tutorials and product demos.
You can avoid this by implementing Interactive Marketing in the form of layered information. That allows customers to explore your product at their own pace instead of pushing them to make a purchase immediately.

Two Way Interaction

You don’t have to wait for your customers to make the first move. Engage with them by replying to their comments and answering questions via social media platforms.  Be careful not to spam them with vague one-line answers, though!
When you create a Facebook or Twitter profile, remember that it isn’t just you who will be talking to your customers – it’s both of you. Use this interactive platform to spark genuine conversation with your customers.

The Benefits of Interactive Marketing

Interactive marketing benefits both your business and your customers. Here are just some of the benefits that you can expect:

Customer Loyalty

Customers like to feel special – it makes them feel like they matter to your business. Think of it like this: would you do business with someone who doesn’t care about you?
Interactive Marketing allows businesses to show that they care, and it generally results in customer loyalty. Because customers are more likely to come back to your business, they’ll also bring their friends with them.

Support Customer Needs

Customers want personalized content and customer service – but not all businesses can provide it. Interactive Marketing lets you do this efficiently because you only have to create a specific version of your product once, then you can reuse it as many times as you want.
It saves your customers a lot of time and effort, especially since most of them don’t have the patience to fill out forms over and over again.

Lowered Advertising Costs

Since Interactive Marketing has tremendous potential for free media exposure, it costs less than traditional marketing methods like TV or radio ads. It also allows you to target specific audiences more accurately because of the highly targeted nature of social media platforms.
Competition is everywhere – so, if you want to stay ahead of the pack, you’ll need to implement Interactive Marketing in your marketing strategy today.

A Win-Win for Businesses and Customers

You might think that Interactive Marketing benefits businesses more than customers – but it actually helps both parties. By spending less money on traditional marketing, companies can allocate more resources to interactive marketing.
Meanwhile, customers get a personalized shopping experience where they can ask questions and have them answered quickly. They also had the opportunity to learn about new products at their own pace – while encouraging their friends to buy.

How social media Complements Interactive Marketing

Social media platforms are the perfect tool for Interactive Marketing. Here’s why: 

An Easy Way to Reach Your Audience

With a social media profile, you can reach a considerable number of customers quickly and easily. All you have to do is share fresh content regularly and interact with people who comment on it.

Your Customers Can Talkback

Interactive Marketing lets you engage with your customers on social media. You can answer their questions, ask them to provide feedback, or even have conversations about new products.

A Fuller View of Your Customers

When you interact with your customers on social media, you’ll get a complete view of who they are – and what makes them tick (and buy!). You can use this information to send highly targeted messages and reach the right audience.

A Stronger Connection with Customers

When you interact with your customers on social media, they’ll feel like you’re right there with them. They’ll know that there is a real person behind the business and that their feedback matters to this person. 
That will instantly put you on the same level – and it’ll also make them feel like they’re not just numbers to you but revered partners. 

More Likes = More Potential Customers

Haven’t you seen that one Facebook page that has loads of likes? It could be a music star or a popular restaurant, but no matter how popular the page is – the people who like it are most likely potential customers.
The more likes your business gets, the better! More people will be exposed to your products and services – which translates to more opportunities for new sales.

Increased Sales Conversions

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When you interact with customers on social media, you’ll get a better idea of their preferences, interests, and purchasing habits. That means that you can create highly personalized messages for each audience – making it much more likely that they’ll want to buy from you.

A More Targeted Marketing Approach

Interactive Marketing lets you stay on top of the latest trends in social media, which is essential given how quickly things change. You can adjust your marketing strategy to suit these changes, allowing yourself to get the most out of your marketing strategy and efforts.

Interactive Marketing Statistics You Can’t Afford to Ignore (Not in 2021)

1. In one recent survey, 81% of respondents thought interactive marketing was the most effective approach to marketing

Interactive Marketing lets you learn what your customers think, like, and want – which spells better conversions and higher revenue. You can use statistics like these (and more) to your advantage – by putting Interactive Marketing at the core of your marketing strategy.
The more customers know about your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you. Be it an engaging video or quiz; people prefer learning about products on their own terms. 
Customers who go through interactive marketing campaigns are more likely to return or talk about your brand online than those who don’t. 

2. Interactive Content Growth

How fast is interactive content catching on? Very fast! 
Let’s now dig through the specifics:

  • 77% of marketers prefer interactive content because it’s highly reusable. You can use it to gain multiple exposures – and increase your sales (Source: Content Marketing Institute).
  • More than 60% of B2B marketers are already using Interactive Marketing (Source: DemandGen
  • According to 45% of B2B buyers, interactive content is among their top 3 content types preferred for digital marketing (SnapApp).
  • 51% of B2B buyers admit they have used interactive content to overcome a business challenge or controversy (SnapApp). 
  • Interactive is two times more engaging than static content (DemandGen). 
  • 34% o9f marketers admit they have used interactive content in at least 10 percent of their content marketing efforts (DemandGen). 
  • 53% of marketers use interactive content (Content Marketing Institute).
  • Businesses are shifting more towards interactive marketing, with 88% of marketers saying they’re planning to turn at least 10% of the static content into interactive one in the next two years (DemandGen).
  • 79% of marketers say they have increased their message retention by combining interactive marketing with other content marketing strategies (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 90% of marketers say interactive content is better at educating customers and creating awareness than static content. 
  • Chatbots are interactive than you think. On average, they offer 64% instant responses and 55% correct answers to commonly asked questions. 
  • Customers prefer conversational marketing. 

3. Quizzes, Calculators, Polls, and Interactive Infographics

The three most effective types of interactive content at the top of the marketing funnel are quizzes, calculators, polls, games, contests, assessments, tests, and interactive infographics (Content Marketing Institute (CMI))
Here are content marketing statistics detailing what each one of them offers: 

  • 85% of marketers are using infographics as part of the interactive marketing strategy (DemandGen)
  • 96% of users on BuzzFeed finish quizzes. That makes quizzes an invaluable source of information and valuable insights for marketers. Not to mention, BuzzFeed content receives more than 10 billion views every month.
  • Women.com is rated as the most engaged website on the net. They even beat up Buzzfeed (Buzzsumo).
  •  The most shared quizzes online got more than 5.4 million interactions in the past five years (Buzzsumo).
  •  15% of content consumers prefer tapping through Instagram stories with polls or quizzes (HubSpot). Instagram stories have also been voted in as the 3rd most popular interactive content format. 

4. Interactive Videos, Real-time Interactions, Voice Shopping, Influencer, VR, and AR

The following stats detail the use of interactive videos, real-time interactions through chatbots and virtual assistants, voice shopping services via smart speakers, influencer content marketing, VR (Virtual Reality), and AR. 

  1. 62% of businesses plan to make interactive videos a priority in the coming year (DemandGen).
  2. 43% of consumers say they prefer watching interactive videos over static ones. That’s because interactive videos allow them to decide how and when to watch the videos (MarketingCharts).
  3. 38% of agencies prioritize helping their clients produce interactive webinars for content marketing strategies (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 45% of agency staff say they have been helping brands create live experiences with virtual events, webinars, quizzes, and Q&As (Content Marketing Institute).
  1. In 2018, 88% of companies with a marketing budget between 100 million and 1 billion were already experimenting with AR (Deloitte)
  2. 88% of businesses thank interactive marketing for giving them an edge over their competitors. 
  3. Voice shopping is projected to hit 40 billion in 2022, from 2 billion in 2021. 
  4. 71% of consumers say they prefer shopping with stores with AR because it helps them make better shopping decisions.

5. Shoppable Content Marketing

Shoppable content marketing is an interactive content feature that allows users to shop an item directly from the content, much like the Amazon Dash buttons. 
It is projected that in 2022 nearly half of marketers will utilize shoppable content marketing strategies (Content Marketing Institute). 
Here are some interactive features and stats:

  • 40% of consumers use shoppable content (especially shoppable videos, infographics, and animations) (40% of marketers).
  • 86% of shoppers prefer actionable, visual, and interactive content (Demand Gen Report).
  • Shoppable videos have an average click-through rate of 16%. 
  • Shoppable ads have two times higher engagement rates than regular videos (source: Wirewax).

Top 7 Interactive Marketing Trends for 2022

1. Voice Assistants

In 2022, more than half of all Internet users will be using voice assistants as part of interactive marketing strategies (Cisco).
Google, Amazon, and Apple have been the leading players in the industry so far. In 2019, only 3.29 billion devices had voice assistants, but the number is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, even surpassing the size of the population.

2. Interactive social media

Social media networks will become more integrated with virtual and augmented reality technology in the next few years. 
That’s why marketers should keep an eye on how Facebook and Instagram are dealing with this trend. If we want to make our content engaging and personalized, we can’t limit our marketing efforts to just 2D content.

3. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

VR (virtual reality) will begin to play a more significant role in the way companies do business. 
This year, more than 58.9 million people already use VR, while 93.3 million are using AR. This number is expected to grow significantly in 2022.

4. Interactive Chatbots

Chatbots are forecasted to become smarter and more integrated with AI (Artificial Intelligence). 
That means that companies will need to pay attention to how their chatbots perform or risk losing potential customers. Customers expect brands to answer their questions quickly and accurately.

5. Voice Search

Even though VR and AR are the trendiest topics in the industry, voice search is already playing a significant role in consumer decision-making processes (Google). 
Voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant want to make things easier for their users, which means that apps will need to be optimized for voice commands.

6. Interactive Video

Interactive video is on the rise. 
With this in mind, marketers need to consider paid advertising options for their YouTube videos. 

7. Interactive Presentations and Infographics

This interactive content type has been popular with marketers for a while now, but in 2022 they will need to start paying more attention to how their infographics are performing. In the next few years, marketers will be able to use augmented reality content for their infographics. This way, they can add a layer of interactivity and engage viewers on a whole new level.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore These Trends

It’s time you enhanced your content with interactivity. 
Today’s consumer expects their shopping experience to be more personalized and engaging. 
Even if you ignore these trends, your competitors won’t.

Best Practices for Interactive Marketing

Planning to run an interactive campaign? Here are some tips for making the most of your marketing efforts.

Segment Your Market

If you’re using interactive content to reach different audiences, you need to consider how to tailor your content. 
For example, if you’re targeting millennials, an infographic might not work the same way it works on baby boomers. The same goes for email marketing. Tailoring your message and marketing strategy is key to getting your audience engaged with your brand.

Employ More Than Just One Interactive Tactic

Your target customer won’t engage with your content if it’s all-text or all-video. 
Include an interactive tactic to your marketing strategy, but don’t limit yourself to just one thing.

Make It Personalized

Customers want more personalized shopping experiences, and they expect brands to deliver a tailored approach.
If you don’t show some personality in the content you produce, your customers won’t be interested.

Incentivize Your Content

What’s in for your customers? What do they get out of it when they take your quiz, read your content, or open your email?
Create a clear call to action and let your customers know how they can benefit from interacting with your content.
The motivation in the giveaway or contest itself is enough. But people will find them irresistible when you’re offering them something in return for participating or sparing a few minutes of their time. So, consider offering a bonus for sharing their information.
Examples of the giveaways include a free download, discount code, or sweepstakes entry.

Make It Unique for Each Channel

Unify, but don’t homogenize. 
If you produce interactive content for various platforms, try to keep the same feel throughout each interaction. 
However, don’t be afraid to add an element that feels natural only on the platform you’re currently using.
For example, if someone is taking your quiz on their phone, be sure to include a mobile graphic or two.  If they are watching your video on YouTube, you’d better have some annotations or calls-to-action on the side.

How To Use Interactive Content for Your Business?

1. Focus on live events 

You can engage customers during your next conference or event by creating an interactive piece of content, like a quiz. 
Be sure to provide enough time for answering questions and that your results have a purpose, other than just showing off how smart you are.

2. Integrate with digital marketing

Integrating interactive content into your digital marketing strategy will help you engage customers on a more personal level.  You can add an interactive infographic to your Facebook page, for example, or create a quiz that helps you find the ideal customer/client for your company.

3. Use image sharers

A great way to engage customers is through visual content, like infographics. You can do this by hosting an event or conference to get people’s opinions on different topics.  Using an image sharer to collect comments and questions will help you generate more interactive content ideas. This time there are no limitations.

4. Let your customers participate

Customers want to engage with brands, but they also want to be heard. Using interactive content will help you achieve both. You can do this through surveys, questionnaires, or even feedback boxes.

5. Use live video streaming events

Live video streaming is one of the hottest trends. You can use this to your advantage by hosting live video streaming events.  Ask thought-provoking questions and pick the best answers using an image sharer.

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6. Design for on-page and on-site usage

People engaging with your content need to be able to do it fast. Otherwise, they’ll get frustrated and leave.  Make sure their on-site experience is easy and fluid. It’s also a good idea to create quizzes that can be used throughout your website, not just on one page.

7. Take the time to analyse results

Don’t let an interactive content piece end after publishing it live.  Make sure you take the time to analyse results and use this information in future iterations.  That is also a great way to build relationships with your customers/clients.

8. Integrate with advertising campaigns

Advertising campaigns are an essential part of any marketing strategy, but they can be hard to measure. That is where interactive content comes in handy, as it provides you with essential data that will help you improve future campaigns.

9. Promote your content on social media

Promoting interactive content on social media is a great way to spread the word about the new stuff you put out.  Start by writing an interesting title and choosing the ideal image to represent your content. Then, promote your posts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

10. User Interactive Content to Educate Buyers on Your Product

Your content doesn’t have to be boring. Not when it can help potential buyers learn a thing or two about something important. You can do this through interactive content, like quizzes, photo contests, or even polls.
That is particularly important in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey. 
An Analyst form, Demand Metric, released a report investigating the impact of using interactive vs. static content, and the results were as follows: 

Content Effectiveness at Educating Customers (Passive Content Vs. Static Content)

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25% of those who participated in this study said they had used interactive content, and the reason for doing that was to educate their target audience.
93% of those who used interactive content reported that the content was somewhat effective to very effective at educating buyers compared to only 70% who used static or passive content.
45% of marketers who used interactive content would report that they found the content to be very effective – compared to only 6% of those using passive content. 

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