Generating quality leads is often listed as one of the top priorities for businesses, large and small. Currently, companies deploy a wide range of marketing tactics to generate new leads, including publishing content, cultivating a following on social media platforms, buying online advertising, renting lists, building subscriptions to email newsletters, and more.
The results of these efforts often fall into one of two categories:
Many marketers default to a “that’s the way it is” approach and focus on looking for small tweaks and amplifications on the backend to slightly improve cost efficiency or conversion rates. But what if the issue is with the front end? What if the very first step in lead generation - engagement - is where marketers are falling short?
Savvy marketers are now leveraging new engagement features to turn their narrative content into interactive discovery experiences and collecting leads and actionable data in the process.
Yes, fishing is a tired metaphor used to describe lead generation. But we’re not above tired metaphors if they work. So here are the key interactive elements brands are using to transform their content efforts into highly-efficient and profitable lead funnels:
When you think about it, reading on a screen is a fairly passive experience. One small foray or tangent into a related topic that doesn’t interest a reader and you can lose her in a second to a "Breaking News" headline or an incoming email. Engaging someone fully, all the way through to the end of your post, article, email, etc. is hard work. Even the world’s most talented producers, novelists, essayists, etc. struggle to do so.
However, marketing pros and content creators have started adding significant interactive elements—assessments, quizzes, surveys, and polls—into their content. In the process, they not only create compelling pieces with high engagement metrics, but launch powerful tools to gain insight into readers’ market knowledge, intent, preferences, and more.
Polls and surveys aren’t exactly the newest technological advancement to hit the Internet. Many content producers have been using them for years. But most often, they’ve been deployed as a supplement or an afterthought. Unfortunately, they’re too often pop-ups, interstitials, or links to another site—disruptive to the user experience, often an annoyance. And, results generally reflect how audiences feel about being interrupted (i.e. turned off.)
Savvy companies are now integrating these interactive experiences into their narratives in a natural way; enhancing the flow, not disrupting it; and keeping visitors on their site, within their own branding and UX. Visitors are responding to this cohesive experience, dramatically improving site engagement metrics and funnel performance.
Consider the following approaches:
Which is more impactful? Which will drive more reader interest and follow through?
The second approach does two things: 1) It asks a direct question; and 2) It offers the prospect of a personalized, relevant answer, based upon the reader's input.
Questions are the bait which gets visitors hooked. Questions motivate people. Questions get people thinking about what they know, don't know, or might miss out on. Smart questions almost compel readers to continue on with the experience, and they reinforce the value readers will get by continuing on with the experience. In short, interactive questions are engagement powerhouses.
Presenting insightful questions is the first element. The second is providing rich answer explanations, performance data for knowledge-based quizzes or assessments, and comparative insights into how similar people answer the same questions. The key concept is to provide commensurate value in exchange for peoples' time and their lead information.
When planned strategically, interactive content not only provides tangible value for your audience, it provides actionable data for your business and measurable returns on your content efforts. Interactive, question-based content lets you know your audience much better than you did before - which inevitably improves your marketing.
Interactive content provides the opportunity to incorporate lead qualification right into the user experience, in a natural way for the audience. What are the 2 or 3 questions that can help your marketing & sales team identify prospects or at least score or categorize them effectively for future outreach? Add these questions to your quiz, survey, and assessment and you'll not only deliver leads, but provide invaluable data and insights to help you drive leads to take specific actions and better inform your subsequent marketing & sales efforts.
By having your interactive content experience do this work for you up front, you'll save time, money, and effort in your follow-up communications, advertising, and marketing.
Many of you may be thinking that "interactive content" sounds time-consuming and expensive. It's actually not. And the resulting rewards can be quite significant and immediate. Check out the following case studies on how two CredSpark clients leveraged interactive content to exceed their business goals.
Incorporate interactive experiences and make your content efforts work harder & smarter in terms of lead generation and qualification, and drive a measurable return on investment for your content creation efforts. Who knows? Your results may exceed even the best fish stories.
Need help? Start with a CredSpark demo.
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