Using Interactive Content to Increase Marketing and PR Campaign Results in 2019
In 2019, marketing and PR goals are more direct than ever — increase ROI of your programming, to generate a higher impact upon your organization’s bigger business goals. To achieve these goals, teams are increasing the amount of content they are creating and testing new ways to get this content into the hands of your target audience. Unfortunately, these tests most often result in a glut of content, with mediocre results.
So how can today’s marketing and public relations team achieve true, impactful engagement of their communication programs? What tools are working? In an era where the customer is overwhelmed with content, how are today’s communicators actually achieving their goals? Today’s smart teams are moving away from traditional content and embracing the power of interactivity.
In 2019, passive content does not convert customers.
Good-bye Passive Content
And guess what? Most of the marketing and PR content created today is passive. Most of the content brands today are creating focus on a static photo, or video, that educates but does not provide the off-ramps needed to move the customer from viewer to buyer.
While these content pieces are necessary for the customer journey, the lack of ability to act at the time the customer is most motivated is a serious issue. Content creation is can be expensive, resulting in a low ROI for the time and effort put into making it.
What if there was an easy way to give these existing assets new life — turning them from passive content items, to fully interactive customer journey pieces?
Hello Interactive Content
One of the easiest ways to reuse existing assets for your communications program is to repackage your assets into a brand-new interactive journey. Create a customer journey by combining your supporting, educational assets with off-ramps that place your newly educated customer right into your sales and marketing funnel.
Why Interactive Content?
Interactive media offers something neither video nor images today can truly do — they attract, educate and give your viewer off-ramps into purchase funnels.
A singular interactive asset contains the element of surprise. Interactive media assets feature pulsing icons that present a road map for your customer to follow. Each click surfaces a different part of the educational journey, leading them from one icon to the next. Cleverly placed links allow audiences to enter your website and buyer journey from any point in their content discovery process.
Interactive Media Puts the Customer in Control of the Journey
As customers move through their icon-led journey, they consume your content and their data is recorded to be used later to asses each piece’s role in moving the customer from one click to the next.
Once customers engage with your content, they can read, watch, share, or more. Each pulsating icon they click surfaces new content ultimately leading them via well-placed off-ramps to your desired landing page. These content pieces frequently reduce customer marketing and buyer journeys by allowing the customer to lead their own journey.
PR + Marketing Work Together: Driving ROI While Reducing Your Workload
When it comes to who owns interactive content — marketing or public relations, the answer is both. When these two teams combine their work, program visibility is maximized increasing your active viewer pool, increasing your overall ROI within your target audiences.
When it comes to interactive media, Marketing, and PR work together to create a story arc and asset that both teams can use to meet their goals — one that activates media and influencers, garnering visibility across the web, and one that moves existing and new audiences through their funnel.
The marketing team should focus on maximizing impact across owned and paid channels. Are you interested in reducing your marketing sales funnel? Want to convert your audiences faster? Place your interactive asset on key landing pages, in your pressroom and even on the front page of your website.
The public relations team should maximize reach by leveraging the visibility power of a commercial newswire like Business Wire (my employer), through PR outreach (interactive assets are very easy for journalists to use via a single embed code) and influencer partnerships.
The more places you host your interactive content, the higher the results.
When should you use interactive content?
You should use interactive content when your goal is to increase program adoption and results. Because of the two-way nature of interactive content, it should be viewed is an ROI-generation tool. It is meant to generate true results.
Interactive content is your entire marketing journey, all in one gamified asset designed to encourage consumption.
· Are you looking to introduce something new? Awareness is going to be a major part of your program’s goals.
· Want to highlight your corporate social responsibility efforts or an infographic? Engagement with the various data points increases program adoption.
· Need to clarify complicated messages, FDA approvals or financial earnings release? Leverage the power of text and images to tell your complete story
· Are you looking to support product sales? Inbound traffic to purchase pages will be a key metric
All of these goals, and more, can be accomplished with interactive media. With one interactive asset, you can support your top of the funnel challenges, as well as showcase mid and lower funnel content, creating a single conversion engine.
How do you make interactive news releases?
There is only one newswire service that produces interactive media content at this time — Business Wire (my employer!).
At Business Wire, their Interactive Media team take existing and new content pieces and bundles them into a new piece of content. Your top asset, whether a photo or a video features an overlay that hosts interactive, pulsing icons. These pulsing icons are part of a gamified journey — they attract customers, and then when a viewer clicks the icon, a piece of content appears. Each click produces a new content piece and a chance for the customer to learn, share or enter your website via a well-placed off-ramp. Since each click produces something new, a majority of active viewers will click all of the icons just to see what you are going to show them. How is that for content consumption and adoption?
How do you promote your interactive campaign, maximizing reach and results?
Once the piece is created, the next step is to amplify your interactive content as widely as possible. The single biggest step you can take to ensure the success of your program is to place this asset in as many places as possible. This requires an integrated approach, with both PR and marketing teams working together to host the asset in as many places as possible to maximize impact across three core audiences: existing brand fans, prospective buyers, employees.
Here are just a few ways you should promote your interactive asset:
1. Share on your internal intranets to increase employee adoption of your news
2. Give reporters and influencers the asset embed code as a supplement to their news releases.
3. Place this asset on your homepage to greet new visitors
4. Include the asset in your online newsroom
5. Add the asset to key landing pages
6. Share with influencers and partners for promotion within their audiences
The more people who see your content, the more people will engage with it and the higher your overall results.
How do you measure a campaign?
Once the campaign is live, it is time to review your data and make content changes, if needed.
Interactive media provides organizations with high-value data. Since the customer leads the process, the data garnered reflects how the customer felt about your content pieces. You can see which pieces they engaged with the most, which ones were ignored and which pieces encouraged your customer to continue on their journey and which pieces resulted in the customer leaving the asset early.
This data can be used in many ways. You can swap out content pieces that are not performing well, to maximize your customer’s journey. This same data is terrific to use when creating your next piece of content.
You have the assets. You have the goals. Go build an interactive media unit that will turn your passive audiences into active viewers and generate the results you need in 2019. Need help? Let me know, I can help!