Could this be the rise of interactive web content ?

I love exploring the web. And specifically the space where I play — the marketing technology space. I find myself clicking on one article leading to another, leading to another. Reading. Clicking. I have so many tabs open you can barley see the lexicon.

The other day I stumbled upon the Typeform blog. And what happened next was SO COOL:

Paul introduced himself at the top of the article and introduced a new concept: an interactive article.

As I read, Paul would interject here and there. And if I didn’t want to engage, I had the choice to politely say no — but if I wanted some friendly banter then I could engage in dialogue. It was unique. It was personal. It was conversational. And it was refreshing.

As soon as I saw it, I tweeted Dan, Amy and Amanda (on the Unbounce content team). A few days later, I saw Rand Fishkin tweet about it. And then last night Unbounce Co-Founder, Oli Gardner sent an email to the Unbounce marketing team with the subject line, “One of the most innovative examples of interactive content.”

When you do something jaw dropping — people stop and take notice.

Slow clap Typeform. And hats off to writer, Paul Campillo, designers, Iker Fernández & Sevkan Ariburnu and developer, Jepser Bernardino.

And how do I know these individuals were behind the creation of this interactive piece? It’s the little details that count. At the top of the post they credit the designers, developer and the writer. That’s also rare and refreshing to see.

The thing is… I’ve come across several interactive web pieces over the past month. Albeit, more on the web design side.

Could this be a trend?

Take a look at the Hubspot’s Year in Review.

Step 1. What in the world? Step 2. Virtually “Scratch” Step 3. Uncover Fun Stat

Hubspot played around with interactive content using a ‘scratch to win’ approach, making the visitor uncover what was below the digitalized tinfoil. It was like unwrapping a present for Christmas — or in this case New Years.

Or what about the Inside Intercom World Tour? Their webpage allows you to draw on the page with a digital, green crayon. It encourages you to move speakers and quotes around. In fact, the only way to read the big, bold message is to move around and play with the circles that contain speakers and quotes. “Inside Intercom World Tour ‘Lessons Learned’ — The Successes and Failures Of Building An Unconventional Product Company” it reads. Well isn’t that meta. The way you’ve went to market with this entire event is unconventional.

Hats off to Des Traynor and the team behind this project. And kudos to Hubspot and Typeform. You’ve managed to capture my attention in a time and space where there is SO much noise.

Speaking of noise…

Scott Brinker’s 2016 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic gives you a slight headache showing 3,874 logos in the space. And that was last year. I’m interested to see Scott’s 2017 state of the union come out. I predict we’ll have to upgrade to an even bigger magnified glass because, as Marketo CEO, Steve Lucas put it, “the marketing landscape is ridiculously crowded.” Amen, Steven

And guess what? The noise isn’t going to stop.

And that’s why it’s extremely important to think about future trends:

“When it comes to marketing it certainly pays to be a fast follower.”

This quote comes from Kieran Flanagan’s slide deck entitled, “Lessons Learned from Building a Growth Team.” In it he talks about how experimental approaches to future trends can give you a huge advantage when it comes to your marketing.

“It works for awhile, until your customers get used to the effect, and start ignoring it.” — Andrew Chen

Brands need to look beyond “the usual” to stay ahead rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon.

How are you going to stand above the rest? How will interactive web content shape web experiences this coming year?

PS — I’ll be speaking at CIMC, Western Canada’s biggest marketing and PR conference on April 5th & 6th about the Websites of the Future. I’ll be discussing things like this with some super smart people like Andrew Dumont (former CMO of Bitly), Sam Mallikarjunan, Head of Growth at Hubspot Labs and Shawn johnston, Agency Founder at Forge and Smith. Come join me!