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The Complete Guide To Interactive Marketing

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With the rise of digital marketing over the last few years, dim campaign strategies have lost their persuasiveness because consumers now want and expect hyper-personalized messages that are specific to each individual and act as a personalised link between an organisation and their customer. A compelling hyper-personalized message contains two key components: First, it is relevant; the content is about the person and their needs, not a generic topic. Second, it is delivered timely. Interactive marketing allows brands to put out content that is personalised to their audience’s preferences. Interactive marketing is the future of advertising, and it’s about time.

However, we’ve seen that for an effective interactive site, there needs to be a worthwhile level of engagement. The experience must feel authentic, or else your audience will get bored. Almost all marketers (93%) believe interactive content is more effective in imparting education to customers than its counterpart [1]. Data also shows that such content can generate 5x more page views and double the conversions [2-3].

This guide will you walk through:

  1. What is interactive marketing?
  2. What are the different types of interactive marketing?
  3. Best practices of interactive marketing
  4. Some roadblocks to consider
  5. Classic interactive marketing examples

What is interactive marketing?

Interactive marketing is the solution to the antiquated problem associated with humankind – boredom. People need to be able to indulge in an experience. Since the advent of touch phones, there have been volumes of data at the user’s disposal, usually just one click or a scroll away. Constant exposure to the news feed, viral videos, stories, and pictures have flooded the brain with oxytocin. So much so that it has become challenging to keep the users engaged with static content, thereby opening gates for interactive marketing.

The advantage of interactive marketing is that the brands and businesses can proactively interact with potential customers and find out more about their preferences. For example, if you notice that a customer scanned an item in one of your shops, you may want to offer them some samples or discounts on that particular product. Interactive marketing consists of digital marketing content in which the reader can take control of visual elements by clicking or scrolling. An interactive marketing approach brings your customers into the process by involving them and giving them a platform to share their thoughts. This two-way method of communication can increase customer loyalty and followers as it focuses on building relationships & having meaningful interactions that often go beyond the cold approach of traditional marketing.

Also read: How Branded Content Is Changing The World Of Advertising & Building Brand Loyalists

What are the different types of interactive marketing?

To put interactive marketing into practice, you need to know the different types of interactive marketing styles:

  1. Email marketing: Ever got an email saying, “ Your cart is empty…” or “The items in your cart are waiting…”. This approach caters to interactive marketing being used in email marketing. Sending such messages when a triggering event happens lets a customer know that they are appreciated while at the same time subtly introducing some worthy information about the company.
  2. Personalised content: A piece of content that is relevant to a customer, irrespective of the type of content, can do wonders for a company and if you can convey to your customer that you understand their preferences and can deliver a unique personalised experience, that adds the cherry on the cake. Depending on their preference, create a personalised interactive experience committed exclusively to the customer, like sending them a follow-up email where they are required to download a piece of content or a video that dives deeper to resolve their problems.
  3. Quizzes, polls & surveys: Such content is a form of gamification of the content, and a game is always interactive. Introducing your products based on the choices selected by the customer is one of the surest ways to keep your customer engaged. The outcomes of such exercises serve as a medium of immediate interaction with the customer while addressing their curiosity about seeing how their choices align with the rest of the participants.
  4. Giveaways & Contests: This is another excellent way of interactive marketing where you can hold offline and online contests or host giveaways relevant to your customer’s interests.
  5. Virtual product launches & events: There is a massive shift toward online events from offline channels for several impressive reasons. Firstly, organising an event online is way cheaper than offline. Secondly, it is a clean, green and sustainable approach. Thirdly, it offers a tremendous scope of demonstrating your product dynamically in real-time. A pre-recorded video does not do justice to a demo, but a live event gives you the liberty to showcase your product in real-time.
  6. FAQs: FAQs are being rapidly moved to chatbots since chatbots provide a more personalised interaction with the customer and save the customer time by directly taking them to the query through a few initial responses.
  7. Training remote resources: Training teams has always been challenging and the task is even more complex with a remote workforce. Training is a 2-way path. For a resource to absorb and learn, there has to be an interaction between the two parties, in the form of knowledge exchange and Q n A. Video broadcast is one way of keeping that interaction intact and addressing the issue of personalisation.

Best practices of interactive marketing

If an interactive marketing campaign is on your agenda, listed below are some of the best practices to nudge you in the right direction:

  1. Leverage the tech: Just like most digital marketing campaigns, interactive marketing is also often on a larger scale. Therefore, manual methods of personalisation are never feasible. Time to turn to the tech! Use chatbots, AR-VR, data visualisation tools and metaverse and create a remarkable personalised experience for your audience.

    Also read: Marketing In The Metaverse: A Digital Odyssey for Brands

  2. Know the triggers: You should know when to trigger your campaign before you decide to launch it. For instance, a click on a particular social media post can be a trigger to launch a campaign that is admissible to that audience. This will scale your efforts.
  3. Load your content with bait: Even though the barter system is long gone, its effects on human psychology are still evident. We are always looking for an exchange in return for an investment. So if you want your customers to take those surveys, read your content or engage with you in any form, you should consider incentivising the experience.
  4. Personalise those responses: What happens when you receive an email in your name? You get intrigued to open it. Personalisation pushes your brain to take action. Create personalised content that delivers a unique experience while addressing your customers’ issues.
  5. Create a market segment: You must have heard of the saying to each his own that basically sums up human nature. So it is wise to devote time in segmenting your target audience based on their interests and preferences for your interactive content to make sense to a larger audience.

Some roadblocks to consider

Like any other marketing approach, interactive marketing possesses its own impediments. In this article, we have listed four critical bottlenecks identified with most interactive marketing:

  1. Limitation of scale: Interactive marketing content, especially when developed by a developer, is often one-time content. It doesn’t scale so well, making it challenging to plan for campaigns.
  2. A campaign without intent can be pricey: If you’re building a campaign with an interactive experience, make sure you have good acumen for it being interactive. Otherwise, the result might not deliver on your expectations. Since, often, businesses use developers to create interactive marketing content, it is expensive and therefore challenging to make alterations to it.
  3. It can sometimes be too much: Most audiences are effortlessly distracted while reading content. As such, interactive marketing should be mindful of this by being simple and easy to navigate by gauging how your audience has been trained over the years. For instance, operating a website on a mobile or a tab that has not been optimised is a next-level challenge because we haven’t been trained well enough on horizontal scrolls. So even though we are acquainted with the process, the intent gradually fades away.
  4. Interactive content can dwarf other content: The whole point of interactive content is to draw attention. But often, it can come at the cost of other content pieces on the website and customers losing sight of the real you.

Classic interactive marketing examples

Listed below are some of the cherry-picked best interactive marketing examples for you to cherish:

1. Honda: One of the world’s largest automotive enterprises, Honda, launched the interactive content hub “Engine room” to publish interactive tales for its customers through compelling brand storytelling. It has since seen an 85% uptick in the website dwell time [4].

interactive marketing

Image source: Shorthand

Also recommended: The Art Of Brand Building – Storytelling & Creative Communication

2. Doritos: Doritos launched an interactive voice ad on Pandora that took the listeners through the experience of having it through its crunching sounds. The ad also gathers the audience’s preferences through questions and uses AI to generate a tailored experience [5].

interactive marketing

Image source: Hubspot

3. BBC Scotland: BBC Scotland gave one of the befitting interactive marketing example by taking the viewers on an immersive journey to Glen Coe through its 360-degree video by showing the viewers the impeccable Scottish landscape [6].

Image source: YouTube

4. Marriott Hotels: For people headed to Scottsdale for a vacation, the global hotel chain launched an interactive infographic to initiate the fun before your actual vacation commences. The interactive ad, a take on vacation planning, offers a clickable flowchart that helps viewers develop their own customised trips [7].

Image source: Vidalgo

5. Soundhouse: Soundhouse is the virtual extension of the art museum, the Barbican, that has taken its exhibit online and made its place in this list of interactive marketing examples. The brand’s interactive content helps convert longer-form pieces into an entertaining multimedia experience. The range includes artist biographies, art galleries, and film previews that are sure to engage the audience [8].

Image source: Twitter

 

Endnotes:

  1. https://www.inc.com/jonathan-lacoste/long-term-benefits-of-interactive-content.html
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/interactive-content-vs-static-sairaj-mahesh/
  3. https://uplandsoftware.com/kapost/resources/blog/interactive-content-conversions/
  4. https://shorthand.com/case-studies/honda/
  5. https://www.sxmmedia.com/insights/pandoras-interactive-voice-ads-a-new-way-to-engage
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn1phYYFhG8&feature=youtu.be
  7. https://lemonly.com/l/marriott/family-fun-in-scottsdale/index.html
  8. https://sites.barbican.org.uk/soundhouse/

 

 

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