Interactive content is not a new concept, but it can be daunting for many companies to understand, let alone produce. However, it’s not as difficult as it appears to develop interactive content.
In our latest webinar, “Using Interactive Content to Engage Customers,” Matt Irving, Brian Lindamood and Robert Abbott share best practices and benefits of using interactive content to increase engagement and grow customer satisfaction for energy utilities.
What is Interactive Content?
Interactive content is easiest to understand as a two-way experience. It requires and encourages active participation from the user. In fact, customers are more likely to learn and remember your message when they actively participate. This type of content is more conversational because it allows the user to decide what path to take. Questline Digital Creative Director Matt Irving explained, “Your click is your voice.”
Customers now expect interaction. We live in an on-demand world, where consumers are constantly “choosing their own adventure.” Irving shared that 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content.
There are a few key factors that make interactive content so powerful:
- More rewarding – Customers want to have fun
- Human nature – We love to interact
- Social sharing – Encourages customers to share with friends
- Competitive advantage – Helps break through noise in the content space
Benefits of Interactive Content for Energy Utilities
Beyond the theoretical reasons to use interactive content, there are very real benefits. In general, interactive content can help marketers:
- Generate first-party audience data
- Gain insights on consumer interests
- Increase engagement
- Optimize lead generation
For energy utilities in particular, interactive content can help them stand out by:
- Teaching complex topics
- Increasing program awareness
- Improving customer experiences
- Learning customer preferences and behaviors
Interactive content is also proven to build relationships by building brand awareness and deepening customer loyalty. This type of content doesn’t need to be complex in order to meet business goals.
“We measure customer relationships in decades, and maintaining customer satisfaction with their utility throughout that lifecycle is so important,” said Brian Lindamood, Questline Digital VP of Marketing and Content Strategy. “When an experience is entertaining, as well as informative, it really makes the customer not just more interested, but more likely to engage with it. You’re showing the customer that you care about their needs and interests. … You’re literally interacting with them while also demonstrating that your utility is a helpful resource for them.”
Tips for Producing Interactive Content
Robert Abbott of Context Digital shared helpful insights on both the technical and creative sides of developing interactive content. As with anything, producing this type of content could incur added costs and resources, but it’s a worthy investment. Customers will recognize and appreciate the investment in their entertainment and education.
Abbott stressed that it’s one thing to have the idea for an interactive content piece and it’s another thing to build it. All teams need to be aligned in figuring out the best solution that meets the goal. In the end, the product needs to be produced with the audience in mind. “Always consider what your audience needs or wants,” Abbott said.
Some other tips that Abbott shared, included:
- Consider if you have a compelling reason to use it – Don’t create interactive content just for the sake of creating it
- Don’t always reinvent the wheel – Use content you already have and repurpose it
- Decide on how to measure success – Clicks and engagement rates are important, but consider quantitative metrics as well
- Match the format to its intended function – Make sure the type of content is created for the right goals
- Consider partnering with interactive content providers – You don’t have to do everything; allow experts to guide you to create a better experience for customers
Interactive Content is King
There are numerous types of interactive content to consider when producing new assets, including:
- Clickable images
- Interactive video
Each format has its own specific benefit to improving engagement or enhancing the customer experience. It’s up to your energy utility to research what hurdles your customers are facing and which format can best solve their problems. Put customers first and the content will follow.