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by: Lindsay Denton, Copywriter

Well into the digital age, marketing has made huge, previously unimagined strides. With increasingly tech-savvy and demanding customers, businesses need to employ new tools and assets to edge ahead of the competition. In this competitive landscape, customer engagement tends to come up often – and with good reason. So, in this article, I’d like to explore a way to renew and enhance your engagement efforts and please customers. Specifically, I’ll explore how to increase customer engagement with interactive content that’s now on the rise.

Why Customer Engagement Matters

 Primarily, it is vital to establish why customer engagement matters. Frankly, if it doesn’t, then there’s no reason to invest resources and effort toward ensuring it.
Fortunately, engagement seems to be a massive deciding factor for many customers. Consider the following statistics and findings, among others:

Coupled with a plethora of research highlighting how consumers seek to engage with brands, the conclusion is apparent. Customer engagement is crucial – even more so as customers continue to become more active, selective, and involved.

Why Interactive Content Is Effective
Having established that engagement matters, the next piece of the puzzle should be whether interactive content is actually effective. Assumptions about technology advances, changes in consumer trends, and generational behavior patterns will often not suffice.

Marketers worldwide will attest to the efficiency of tried-and-tested marketing strategies. Emails are great tools, and so are paid ads, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM). However, interactive content also belongs on this list – and it’s far from a novelty.

In this regard, consider the following sample of statistics and findings:

In short, interactive content undoubtedly works. After all, such platforms as Instagram boast tremendous marketing potential because of their uniquely visually stimulating focus. While the two are not identical, the same principles apply; customers like exciting, personal, and engaging content. Increasing customer engagement with interactive content is thus a very safe, data-driven bet.

How To Increase Customer Engagement With Interactive Content
With our fundamental data in hand, we may consider how to increase customer engagement with interactive content. Theorizing is often easy, but getting stuff done is where many might struggle.

#1 Live Videos
Arguably not the easiest content to create, and very likely dependent on your industry, live videos and content are still an excellent option to entice engagement.
Consider Q&As, AMAs, and any other live content format that may suit you or your business. Such content ticks many beneficial boxes at once:

It creates a 2-way conversation. A far cry from traditional marketing content or outreach, live videos enable actual communication. In much the same way as engagement in social media posts and comments, this incites trust and, eventually, brand loyalty.

It adds a sense of humanity and an approachable tone. Along the lines of adding character to communications, as Wendy’s and other businesses have done successfully over the years, live content highlights the humanity behind the message. Customers undoubtedly appreciate this more than traditional corporate language and the jargon that often follows.

It’s easy to create. Finally, while it may not replace other materials, it’s easy to create and quite cost-effective. Budget restraints are always significant, as cutting expenses where possible is in the minds of many business owners.

#2 Interactive Videos
Along the same lines, interactive videos can also help drive engagement. They retain all the benefits of video as a visually stimulating format while also adding interactivity to great effect.

For a recent example of this content by another business giant, consider Maybelline’s #TheGlamourEye. The concept was simple enough; an interactive video provided a makeup tutorial based on the viewers’ input. The results were amazing, to the tune of 14x higher click-through rates (CTR) than the industry average. While not every business will likely achieve such results, it’s still a shining example of how to increase customer engagement with interactive content.

#3 Social media contests and incentives
Another promising tactic lies in offering incentives through social media contests. This combines the benefits of social media engagement and incentivizing purchases, both of which are already effective on their own.

Since both components of this approach have stood the test of time, its merits should be self-evident. However, data can also back this up. PunchTab found that incentives through social media are demonstrably effective on millennials, as early as 2014.

#4 Questionnaires and quizzes
Similarly, questionnaires and quizzes are also notably potent. Such content can both incite engagement and produce actionable insights into customers, allowing for personalized marketing.

For a notable example, consider Orbitz’s interactive quiz. Alternatively, consider any questionnaires you might’ve seen yourself on any social media platform. In many such cases, the desire to see the results alone tends to drive users, which in turn incites engagement. Finally, such content can even be used as an opt-in form for future marketing outreach or as a source of referral traffic.

#5 Polls and surveys
Finally, polls and surveys are equally effective in terms of engagement. They share most of what makes the content mentioned above work but also boast the benefit of gathering more insights.

To traditionally-minded marketers, this may seem odd at a glance. However, consider the above data on engagement; users actively seek to engage with your brand. Thus, you can directly ask for input on your products or services - or even your digital presence. Your customers will be happy to oblige, producing more engagement, and you will gather honest, direct feedback. With it in hand, you can then optimize your efforts across the board and ensure your business’s longevity.