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posted by Jillian Owens Jul 06,2016 @ 04:33PM

Interacting Out: Channeling the Power of Experience in Social Media

Even the most antisocial introvert requires some sort of interaction in their daily lives. We have to interact with the cashier at Publix, otherwise we don’t get to gnaw shamelessly on a wedge of gouda later that evening. We interact with coworkers, family members, acquaintances and friends. If you stopped to count every time you connected with another human in some way, no matter how miniscule, you’d probably be surprised at how high that number was.

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We recently launched an interactive campaign that challenged fans to declutter a room in their homes and share their successes. By gamifying a tedious chore, we increased engagement and donations for our client, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina.

 

But what percentage of these people do you truly interact with in a meaningful way that you remember for a long time afterwards? It’s probably not that huge of a number (unless you’re just one of those delightful/delighted people that find joy in every connection in which case I envy you and want to know your secret or what meds you’re taking).

All interactions are not created equal in real life, so why would you treat all of your social media interactions as though they were of equal value? The conversation you have with the guy at the deli probably isn’t as meaningful as a heart-to-heart with your best friend.

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The campaign was a success! The client saw a 42% increase in engagement on Facebook & Twitter, and a whopping 270% engagment increase on Instagram (compared to passive content).

 

A new study by Content Marketing Institute reveals that creators of interactive content experiences are shaping the future of digital marketing. And that’s a great thing for our clients and their customers.

In the past, a lot of digital content has been passive. Think of display ads, blog posts, pop up ads, video ads, etc. Like an in-person one-sided conversation, it can be a turnoff. Brands spend at lot of their resources talking at their audience, rather than fostering valuable and memorable experiences for them that lead to brand recognition, loyalty, and ultimately conversions. 

There is a glut of digital content out there and customers are getting fed up with it. They don’t want your content unless it’s helpful, entertaining or both.

Facebook’s recent announcement that it would continue making changes to the news feed ranking to favor updates from people rather than pages has put the importance of referral traffic at an all time high. One of the best ways to do this is by tapping into that part of human nature that wants to interact. We’re kinesthetic. We want to do.

What types of content are interactive though? Quizzes, surveys, calculators, contests, infographics with embedded interactive features (like the CMI one you just clicked on earlier), as well as games are all great examples of how brands can educate and engage with their audience in a meaningful way.

Stats don’t lie.

A conversion study by Demand Metric shows how dramatically more effective interactive content is at educating an audience than passive content.

interactive-content-more-effective-than-passive-content_1.pngI was out for an evening with friends a few weeks ago. When a stranger discovered I was a marketer, he asked me what “the next big thing” is for digital marketing.

My answer?

Brands are going to have to learn how to connect with their customers in increasingly life-improving ways and help them have a little fun by adopting gamifaction strategies in order to remain competitive.

We have be creators of experiences, not just content.

Topics: Interactive, Inbound Marketing

 

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