Money & Business

Report: Content Marketing Getting More Interactive

By / May 2, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new report from the Content Marketing Institute and ion interactive finds that large companies in particular are making interactive content a stronger part of their marketing mix.

Getting people hooked into your offerings can often be a challenge—in part because you need to create engagement, then keep it.

Is interactive content a hook that marketers can latch on to? According to a new Content Marketing Institute (CMI) report conducted on behalf of ion interactive, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all businesses surveyed that had more than 1,000 employees were relying on interactive content marketing, which involves a two-way dialogue or exchange between the consumer and the content. (Overall, the number was 46 percent.)

This content—which often takes the form of eBooks, infographics, calculators, quizzes, or self-assessments—is often used in a variety of ways by organizations, mostly near the top of the sales funnel. Among the most popular uses included engagement, audience education, brand awareness, and lead generation, with each of these four reasons topping 50 percent among survey respondents who said they relied on interactive content marketing.

In the report, author Robert Rose, CMI’s chief strategy advisor, described the value of such content as being most effective when it goes both ways.

“The key power of interactive content is that it provides valuable experiences where our audience wants to willingly provide us with insightful information,” Rose said in the report. “In exchange for entertainment, engagement, or true utility, consumers are trustingly giving over accurate data in order to receive something they perceive as valuable.”

And while there’s still room for interactive content marketing to grow within organizations, respondents seemed like they were raring for more. Of the organizations that said they were using interactive content marketing, 79 percent said they’d be more likely to increase their use in the coming year.

“That’s the most telling endorsement of the effectiveness and buyer usefulness of these interconnected experiences,” ion interactive CEO Justin Talerico added in a news release, noting it was the “most important number in the study.”

The report found that even smaller organizations were seeing growth on interactive content marketing, though actually measuring its return on investment was at times difficult. The report suggested focusing on more lightweight forms of interactive content, as well as putting a focus on an integrated strategy.

“Rather than focusing on producing one more piece, or some tactical quantity of interactive content, businesses would be wise to concentrate on getting more deeply connected and developing a more interconnected platform of interactive content experiences,” the report stated.

Curious to learn more? The full report is available for download from the ion interactive website.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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