If you really think about it, the content formats we rely on today have an uncanny resemblance to the content formats we relied on yesterday — our blog posts look like print articles, our offers look like books, and our slide decks like look presentations.
Relying on the content formats we used yesterday to educate and entertain our audience today is fine: Our audience is ultimately used to these mediums. At the same time, “fine” is not exceptional, and we’ve missed a huge opportunity to engage them at record levels because we glossed over the fact that screens and computers are so much more than just digital pieces of paper and printing presses.
Fortunately, the interactive marketing movement is charging along, and their early adopters have proven that if marketers want to cut through the noise, they can’t just do what they've always been doing. They need to refresh their work.
What Is Interactive Marketing?
Interactive marketing is an innovative type of marketing where your audience can interact with engaging visuals or videos within your content. This new form of marketing unleashes your creativity and, in turn, allows you to tell more gripping stories, crowning it as one of the best ways to capture your audience’s attention.
Interactive Marketing Campaign Examples
Capturing attention sounds great in theory, but you may be unsure of how to incorporate interactive marketing into your strategy. To get some great ideas, learn from some of these great examples of interactive marketing:
Mash-up remixes like Two Friends’ Big Bootie Mixes are some of the most popular tunes around today, racking up over 35 million SoundCloud streams over the past three years. However, Eko, an interactive storytelling platform that produces interactive shows, music videos, and branded content, has created a remixed music experience that’s arguably more entertaining than any of Two Friends’ mixes.
In Clash Up, Eko’s interactive music experience, you are able to mix a variety of songs from different genres and decades with one main track. For instance, in their first episode, Six Degrees of B.I.G., you get to choose from a diverse range of songs like A-Ha’s “Take on Me,” Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle,” Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down,” Devo’s “Whip It,” and The Flaming Lips’ “When You Smile” and blend it with one of The Notorious B.I.G.’s most legendary songs “Big Poppa.”
Stand-up comedians might seem like the lucky wisecrackers who are blessed with the talent to improvise some of the funniest jokes and bits you’ve ever heard, but in reality, they polish their performance with painstaking precision.
To crack their audiences up as much as possible, they make sure their routines’ stories seamlessly flow from one to the other. However, some comedians like Ali Wong take their stand-up preparation to an entirely different level.
In their interactive slideshow about how Ali Wong structured her Netflix special Baby Cobra, The Pudding, a digital publication that crafts visual essays about culture and entertainment, describes how she sculpts her routine into a narrative instead of just telling a bunch of separate jokes.
By visually outlining her entire routine, The Pudding reveals how Ali Wong weaved all her bits into a story, building her world and perception of life in a way that her audience can truly understand, which left them with a deeper feeling of empathy, meaning, and ultimately humor.
We rely on messaging apps to interact with friends and family, so it only makes sense that brands should incorporate them for communication to reduce friction in the buying journey. Despite this, marketers have been sluggish to adopt conversational marketing — using chatbots, live chat, Facebook Messanger, and other chat features — into their inbound marketing strategies. In fact, according to Business 2 Community, only 36% of companies have adopted these tactics. At HubSpot, we hope to change that by offering new messaging tools that can integrate with your entire marketing suite and database.
We double down on this idea by using our own conversational marketing software on our homepage. Website visitors are asked a question and given several choices of potential answers. This allows the prospect to engage in website content almost like a "choose your own adventure" story. This improves the overall site experience and ensures that the site is serving up the content (or actions) that will benefit them the most... without any sales pressure.
Marriott Hotels manages to make vacation planning even more fun while positioning their brand in front of potential customers with an interactive infographic. Vacationers who are headed to Scottsdale are able to take a customized path through the flowchart to receive destination advice. Just a little bit of animation goes a long way, and it adds a touch of personalization that normal infographics don't.
The beauty of this is that infographics are a great visual tool that have a ton of utility. By using lemonly.com, Marriott pushes the envelope just a step further, which provides unexpected delight.
In their interactive slideshow, which honestly looks like it belongs in Tron, Velocity Partners, a B2B marketing agency, explains why innovative marketers need to leverage new content formats in order to tell more refreshing stories.
Velocity Partners shows, not tells, how their interactive slideshow can captivate an audience. This is in stark contrast to how marketers have churned out so many blog posts, eBooks, and SlideShares that they’ve become dull and predictable. The end result of this message hammers home the point that the most engaging and surprising mediums are the best at delivering the most engaging and surprising stories.
In honor of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, Ceros, an experiential content creation platform, decided to create an interactive article that spotlights the two things Gronk will always be remembered for — his athletic prowess and goofy attitude.
When you visit their interactive article, you can toggle between Gronk’s “Warrior” and “Goofball” side, clicking on hotspots that reveal his impressive achievements, his laundry list of injuries, and some of the funniest things he’s ever done. Once you finish interacting with the article, you’ll truly understand how Rob Gronkowski is just as athletic as he is goofy.
And a big reason why it’s such a spectacle is that Glen Coe, a Scottish valley that cuts through the ruins of an ancient supervolcano, is one of the most striking landscapes in the world.
With their immersive, 360-degree video of Glen Coe, BBC Scotland can grip viewers because they’re able to experience the landscape from an intimate point of view at every possible angle, making them feel like they’re actually there.
8. Playable Video Game Ad | Narcos: Cartel Wars
In the past, video game apps had to use video/gif demos to advertise gameplay in hopes to attract new players and increase app downloads. The thing about watching videos, though, is that it's a passive activity. The visuals of the game may be enough to attract prospective players' attention, but it may fall short of giving them enough inertia to actually engage and play.
FTX Games found their way around this by partnering with Glispa for their game Narcos: Cartel Wars. Prospects are immediately drawn into the action of the game with the ability to try it before buying it. Rockets and explosions abound for a few rounds before the demo prompts the player to install the app and continue their game.
The good news is that this type of functionality is about to become much more mainstream with Facebook offering playable video ads on their platform. Much like the Cartel Wars example, these playable ads are composed of:
A short video preview
A playable demo to get people hooked on the gameplay
A call-to-action to get the users to take the next step
Pandora for Brands has recently begun testing a new interactive ad functionality on their platform that allows users to verbally engage with the ad. Doritos is one of the first brands utilizing this new interactive format on Pandora. The audio uses the distinctive Doritos crunch and then prompts the user to answer a yes or no question. Using artificial intelligence, the ad can then serve up a personalized experience based on how the listener answered.
This is exciting for the same reason as the playable video game ads are: They disrupt passive listening in an attempt to get the listener to engage and actually process the information being conveyed to them. Plus, by being able to respond hands-free, there is less friction in order to learn more.
The campaigns in this article should give you a few takeaways to apply to your own marketing. As you create great content, you should also be thinking about:
How to disrupt expectation to earn attention, engagement, and interest
How to best personalize the experience for each individual prospect
How to reduce friction as much as possible to increase momentum
By putting concepts these concepts in action, you'll be in a position to generate buzz, make your content stickier, enhance the experience, and fuel your flywheel.
Originally published Apr 3, 2020 11:00:00 AM, updated April 03 2020