The internet is a vast expanding universe. It’s way bigger than the orbiting rock we call home. The limitless expanse of cyberspace certainly makes for a noisy marketplace for a content creator. So how do you cut through?
Of course, there’s SEO to push your site to the top of the pile. But if your content is written for algorithms rather than humans, converting that click into an engagement is hard.
What is engagement?
The key-word here is “engage.”
A blog is just a read, or a listen, or a view. A list of your services is just a list. Your copy might be composed to convince, but how do you ensure that your visitors read it?
This is all just one-way traffic.
You may very well be providing informative and brilliantly constructed content for the user, but what’s to stop them from passively consuming, then leaving without so much as a “thank you”? Or without signing up to your mailing list.
How to make your site interactive
Interactivity is the key. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that encouraging active engagement is way more effective in converting your visit from one page read to a visit that explores more of your content.
Demand Metric’s study suggests that interactive content is “very effective” in keeping hold of your visitor.
The bottom line? Don’t just offer content – encourage your visitor to interact with it.
Using Buzzfeed-like techniques for your site
We’ve all seen those Buzzfeed quizzes. Cooky; a bit of a time filler — they pose a list of visual questions, collate your answers and tell you what super-hero you are, or which horror movie you’d have been the first to die in.
It’s just a bit of fun. But essentially, it kept you on the Buzzfeed website.
Did you click on an advert or a link to another article? Did you share your hilarious outcome on Facebook? Which is probably where you found the quiz in the first place.
This simple interaction — find a quiz, engage, leave, then share — demonstrates the five key components of a great content marketing campaign – present a problem, tempt, engage, satisfy, call to action.
I didn’t buy anything
What does Buzzfeed get out of it?
They kept you on their website and you saw their advertising (which is tailored to you by cookies). And you might have clicked on one of their other articles – which started the process all over again. And perhaps you signed up to Buzzfeed via your Facebook account?
Now they have your social network data.
Isn’t that exactly what you want for your website or blog?
Invite them in, keep them there and get their details so that you can stay in touch?
Playbuzz is an amazing service that helps you create interactive quizzes, video stories, polls, surveys, flip cards and galleries which can be shared via social media and embedded onto your website. The platform is really simple to use, and a brilliantly simple way to add interactivity to your website, which cleverly integrates perfectly into your existing design.
The Call to Action
WriteForTheStage has created a teaser video from Playbuzz and embedded it into their website, accompanied by a call to action to explore more about their services. They’re using FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to entice new subscribers by sharing what their group is going to be studying and what they’ll get out of it.
There are several opportunities to explore other pages on their site embedded into the introductory text and when you go to close the page down, a converter pop-up appears asking if the visitor would like to sign up to the mailing list.
The page includes a number of interactive elements – the tempter, the content, and two calls to action. And this page didn’t cost a penny to set up and almost immediately doubled the conversion rate of visits.
Quizzes and surveys
Quizzes are great for boosting the entertainment value of your visitor’s experience. And, all importantly, encourages your user to engage in an activity that keeps them on your site.
With some lateral thinking, it’s quite possible to apply any business niche into a quiz. Quirky is the key. People like to be surprised. If you can find a fun angle and make people laugh, then you’re winning.
You might run a plumbing business. Try “The most famous pipes in the movies” – a “name the film from the image” quiz. The key is to have fun with it – it doesn’t have to be a water pipe.
The flip quiz
Flip-card quizzes require the user to click on an image so that another image can be revealed, often accompanied by a piece of trivia.
WriteForTheStage are a small business offering playwright training. They set up a flip-card quiz related to their services and embedded it onto their website, as a means of attracting new visitors and more deeply engaging existing users.
Once the quiz had been prepared, Playbuzz provided an HTML embed code which was simply copied and pasted into the WriteForTheStage website.
Once the quiz had been embedded, they shared it on Facebook and Twitter, tripling their conversions in the space of a couple of hours.
The Flip Quiz is a particularly useful tool for “before and after” stories. If you’re a painter and decorator, for example, this is a great way to show off successful home transformations.
Interactive calculators are an excellent way to brighten up dull facts and figures, whilst allowing you to customize a quote completely unique to your potential customer. This device encourages interaction because the user receives an immediate response to their query – much better than asking them to complete an online form.
This Student Loan calculator allows a visitor to identify repayment figures directly from the home page, offering a complete monthly breakdown of repayments according to interest rates.
If you’re a builder, you could use this device to give your visitors a rough idea of costs for a job, as well as being a great opportunity to capture their contact details.
Both Facebook and Twitter now have “poll” capability, so this is an easy, interactive device you could add to your business page. Polls are an effective way of gathering useful market research information, whilst identifying those who are interested in your services, just because they’ve participated.
A poll could be used to advertise your products. For example, if you lay laminate flooring, you could ask users to decide which of your beautiful products they’d prefer. Include great shots of your floors in situ and tempt your customers with your great standard of workmanship.
Infographics are an effective way of representing dry facts and figures without the lengthy longhand of yawn-inducing, off-putting reports.
Why Pinellas County is the worst place in Florida to be black and in a public school is an amazingly impactful way of presenting the findings of an investigation that requires the user to navigate their way through the information at their own rate.
By targeting users with specific questions, you could aim them toward various levels of service. Many websites use tick charts to demonstrate what each level of service provides –
You might need an adrenalin shot to get through that beautiful array of black and white!
You could easily bring this information to life with an interactive assessment, to identify what your customer needs. qzzr.com has a really strong example of interactive assessment on their home page. Click on the “What’s your leadership style?” test.
A good example of the interactive questionnaire is Paycor’s 3 Minute HR Audit.
Through a series of questions, using the familiar tick-box questionnaire, the user provides business-specific information. After completing the full questionnaire, the calculated response is held back until you provided contact details.
The information that this questionnaire gleans from the user could, of course, be passively expressed via a simple tick chart. And, of course, it’s a little annoying that the site holds back their advice until you’ve supplied your information.
But, essentially, by engaging the user in a process, they’re more likely to feel that they’ve invested their time. The questions have been curated to demonstrate that Paycor understands the customer’s needs – the user, hopefully, feels that they’re in safe hands. Paycor has used the interaction to convince the potential customer that they have the answers.
Interactivity is the way forward
In an internet that gets bigger by the day, it’s easy to get left behind.
Perhaps it feels that creating interactive content for your website sounds like a lot of work. But, actually, where there’s a need, there’s a service – and there are many service providers who are keen to help you to develop your own interactive marketing strategies.
About the Author: My name is Kevin and I’m founder of Residual Income Secrets. I’ve been online for almost 4 years providing advice to people on how to start an affiliate marketing business, how to perform SEO the right way, email marketing strategies, etc. You can connect with me on Facebook.