Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Winner? Interactive Content Ignites Demand and Fuels Engagement

Although 67% of your prospects rely on content to conduct research and guide purchasing decisions, 74% indicate they have less time to view content now than they did a year ago (DemandGen Report).

It’s no wonder that business buyers are extremely selective about the content they consume, and why your content may be left out in the cold. Prospects are receiving 32% more vendor communications than just 2 years ago (SiriusDecisions), and with less time than ever, 2015 saw a 21% decline in content marketing effectiveness (Content Marketing Institute).

Your prospects are drowning in a sea of look-alike content, so sending out more white papers (the crack cocaine of marketing) and other types of passive content won’t help you meet your lead-gen and sales revenue goals.

What can you do to stand out from the crowd, and most importantly, be more effective?

Research by DemanGen Report indicates that interactive value-focused content can lead the way to more leads, better engagement and higher conversions.

First, an overwhelming majority of survey respondents want their vendors to move from “product” to “value”: delivering more research and dumping the sales pitch.  And they want the content to be personalized, delivering insights, analysis and content unique to their company, role and challenges.

Second, your prospects want insights, research and value delivered in a very personalized way, with survey results highlighting three types of interactive content ranked most effective and important:
  • 45% ranking Interactive Presentations (dynamic personalized value storytelling) as extremely valuable
  • 42% rating ROI calculators as very valuable
  • 40% placing a significant value on Assessments.

Other research from Demand Metric research concurs, indicating that interactive content is 2x greater than passive content at converting prospects, 32% better at educating buyes and 60% superior in creating differentiation.

Interactive Content delivers results like this when it focuses on value (vs. product) and uses intelligence to customize the content, delivers personalized insights, helps diagnose and uncover challenges, delivers peer benchmarks, and quantifies the unique value, ROI and TCO advantages you can deliver. This includes:
  • Dynamic Infographics
  • Interactive Value Story Books 
  • Interactive White Papers 
  • Diagnostic Assessments
  • Cost of Do Nothing Calculators
  • Solution Guidance / Recommendation Tools
  • ROI / TCO Calculators 

Getting your Interactive Content Right
Evolving beyond passive to interactive content is a requirement - your buyers demand it, and your success depends on it. However, all Interactive Content is not created equal.

When it comes to interactive Content, there are some key practices to keep in mind in the design, development and deployment:
  • Dump the Sales Pitch! - Your prospects want content that is trustworthy and that keeps the sales pitch to a minimum. Unfortunately, SiriusDecision indicates that 93% of content remains product-centric. As you develop your Interactive Content, you can use this as a great opportunity to evolve the sales messaging to more value-focused communication and quantification.
  • Are you kidding me? - Your buyer’s time is precious, and they don’t want to waste it on content that might look good, but doesn’t provide real value. Instead of a “toy”, your Interactive Content should deliver personalized insights, precise advice, credible justification, and specific evidence to help facilitate their decision-making. And you need to be able to easily share the results, providing a downloadable / email report, enabling your Interactive Content to continue to tell your value story long after use.
  • In you they trust? - SiriusDecisions found that although most buyers seek out advice and help from solution providers, only 13% of buyers view vendor-created content as credible. Instead, content developed by a third-party analysts and publications ranked much higher, with 90% saying that they give more credence to this type of asset (DemandGen Report).  As you move to Interactive Content, consider 3rd party developed tools, content, research and insights to improve the credibility and gain buyer trust.

The research is clear, that evolving from Passive to Interactive Content ignites more demand and fuels better engagement. Are you ready and empowered to make the transition?


Get The Frugalnomics Survival Guide for more research and best practices.



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