As business owners, we’re always looking for what motivates people to purchase our products or book our services. We want that one thing that moves them from considering the purchase to actually buying.
Many business owners have found that interactive marketing is that thing. Through strategic efforts to grow interactions with leads (particularly using automated processes), they’ve been able to nurture consumer relationships and make sales.
But what is interactive marketing and how can you use it for your business?
That’s exactly what we’re talking about today. We’re discussing:
- What interactive marketing is
- The advantages of interactive marketing (AKA why it works)
- Interactive marketing examples
- How Interact can help you with interactive marketing
By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to get started with interactive marketing.
An introduction to interactive marketing
It’s helpful to start a discussion on interactive marketing by first talking about what it is. NG Data defines interactive marketing as a “one-to-one marketing practice that centers on individual customer and prospects’ actions. Interactive marketing involves marketing initiatives that are triggered by customers’ behaviors and preferences.”
In the above definition of interactive marketing, two phrases need to be unpacked. The first phrase is “one-to-one marketing practice.” The other is “triggered by customers’ behaviors and preferences.” Let’s talk about what these two phrases actually mean.
One-to-one marketing practice
One-to-one means that you’re marketing to individual leads and customers, not to the masses like traditional marketing. With traditional marketing, it’s more of a “spray and pray” method. Everyone gets the same message at the same time. Whether it’s fliers in the mail, commercials on network television, or store advertisements in newspapers, there’s no consideration for who is receiving them or how relevant the ads are to the recipient.
With interactive marketing, you “know” the person you’re marketing to and that your message is tailored to that person. While you probably don’t know them in real life, you know enough about them to craft your message, making it more powerful.
And here’s a #spoiler for you. Interactive marketing is significantly more effective!
According to Statista, 90% of U.S. consumers think a more personalized marketing approach is very or somewhat appealing. This is supported by the fact that “72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized” to them. It’s a good idea to listen when over 70% of people say that NOT doing something will keep them from buying from you.
Triggered by customers’ behaviors and preferences
Interactive marketing strategy is built around the idea that customer actions and preferences determine marketing efforts. When a customer purchases something, specific marketing is triggered. When they click on something, other marketing is triggered. Whether the behavior is liking something on social media, opening an email, subscribing to your email list, or even not taking any action, customer behaviors can impact how you decide to market to them.
Customer preferences are a little different. To successfully market to someone, you need to know them. While behaviors can reveal a great deal about someone, you can customize your marketing before a lead has visited your site or even before they know the name of your business. Through an understanding of the demographics and psychographics of your potential customer, you can tailor your message to them.
For example, let’s imagine that you know your dog treats brand is popular with city-dwelling women in their early 20s who own small breeds of dogs like chihuahuas and Yorkies. You can use this information for targeted advertising on social media. When you’re deciding which platform(s) to advertise on, look at platform usage among your target demographic. Sproutsocial states that over 75% of all women and 79% of individuals in that age range are on Facebook, so it’d be a good idea to start advertising your dog treats there. A high percentage of that group is also on Instagram, so it might be wise to advertise on that platform, as well.
When creating ads for your dog treats, use images and copy that are more likely to reach your target audience. Taking the time to build your ideal client profile to reflect your audience makes it easier to create advertising that will reach them. When they feel seen and reflected in your marketing, there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll buy from you.
Now let’s talk about why interactive marketing works.
Advantages of interactive marketing
When you consider all of the advantages, it’s obvious how truly powerful interactive marketing campaigns can be. Let’s explore each of these advantages to get a clearer picture of why you should use interactive marketing.
This might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but I have a real point in discussing what makes interactive marketing, well, interactive. Stick with me.
Traditional marketing efforts move in one direction. A business owner (That’s you!) creates advertisements and sends them to potential customers. The customer receives the advertisement and either buys or doesn’t buy. The process is repeated over and over as the business owner continues to send advertising campaign after advertising campaign to the potential customer.
It’s like those people who send text message after text message without waiting for you to respond. They just keep coming. The repeated ding, ding, ding of the phone makes me crazy!
Interactive marketing is different. There’s a back and forth between the business and the consumer. Each side participates. Like experiential marketing, there are meaningful interactions between the company and the potential lead.
How these interactions occur can be very different, but they all have some sort of interaction between these two groups. It’s not a one-way process.
For example, a business owner might create a Facebook ad for their product that targets a specific audience. A potential customer sees the ad and clicks the link. They visit the site and subscribe for a discount. They might even go so far as to add the item to their cart before clicking away. Since they subscribed, the business can then follow up with an abandoned cart sequence.
Another example might be a company that shares a blog post on a specific topic, maybe interactive marketing 😉, as part of their content marketing strategy and offers their readers a trial of their amazing quiz-building platform for FREE. The potential customer reads the post and decides to test out the platform, so they sign up. They then have the opportunity to use the platform, and the company can help them achieve success during their trial by sending tips for quiz-making success. After this introductory email series, the new user can go through a sales sequence to highlight the features available when they upgrade their account.
The back and forth nature of the interactions make this approach much more engaging for the potential customers and provides additional information about their audience to the business owner. Everybody wins!
Instead of passively bombarding potential customers with advertisements, interactive marketing gets them involved. They’re taking action in the process. They might add a product to the cart, complete a survey or quiz, or download a lead magnet. In each of these instances, specific customer activity triggers the next step in the marketing strategy.
The nice thing is, as the business owner, you can decide how active you want the lead to be and build your strategy to run that way. Maybe you want your potential customers to download that lead magnet and then your sales email sequence begins. Maybe you prefer to have more detail about your potential customers, so you ask them to take a survey. This can help you segment your email list for more targeted email marketing. Perhaps you’ll offer a discount that’s only available for a limited time and include a countdown timer to give a sense of urgency.
You even have the option to make NOT taking action an active part of your interactive marketing approach. If people don’t buy, it triggers an abandoned cart sequence. If they don’t open your email, you can resend it a few days later. When they aren’t opening your emails for an extended period, you can set up a re-engagement sequence or unsubscribe them from your list.
Whichever strategy you choose, your potential customers are actively involved in the process.
Another powerful advantage of interactive marketing is that it’s personalized. Individual customers can be introduced to your company in unique ways. Maybe they move into your marketing efforts through a quiz funnel. Maybe they follow you on social media for a while before they subscribe to your email list. They might find you through Google search results and contact your sales team for a quote. All of these approaches work, and each one is as unique as the person involved.
A second part of the personalization in your interactive marketing comes after the potential customer has begun interacting with your company. Some people convert to paying customers in their initial interaction with a business. Others take significantly longer and require more nurturing from the company. They might need a phone call with a representative or they might wait for a major sale to make a purchase. Some take advantage of free trials before deciding if they want to buy.
The company’s approach to each potential customer can become even more personalized. Imagine that a person takes the quiz you created for your business and subscribes to your email list. If you created a personality quiz, your results are essentially personality types that are relevant to your business. You can then use content that these personality types respond to. Your result page might include a GIF that’s relevant to the result. Or you might make video content with tips for something this personality type struggles with.
The more personalized your marketing efforts, the more successful they’ll be in reaching your target audience.
It’s adaptable and adaptive
Another benefit of interactive marketing is that it can be adapted. This is helpful in two ways: You can set up your marketing strategy to work best for your business and audience. Your marketing efforts can then continue to adapt to your potential customers, their actions, and your goals.
As a business owner, you can adapt your interactive marketing campaign to suit your business. Want to set up a product recommendation quiz for your e-commerce website? Done. Create a quiz to launch your next course? No problem. Use a quiz to validate leads for your next coaching session? That works, too.
No matter what your niche or goal, you can adapt forms of interactive marketing to meet your needs and grow your business.
This marketing approach will continue to expand as the interactions with potential customers happen. Through cookies that track website visits and link triggers in your email marketing platform, you’ll learn more about potential customers and their preferences. This information allows you to better reach your customers AND more effectively meet their needs.
I will add a caveat: Not all of your customers will understand digital marketing and its tools, so adapting could be scary for them. Be sensitive to the fact that they might not be comfortable with your company talking about how much you know about them. They appreciate the personalized recommendations, for example, but they might not want to know that they’re getting those recommendations because they browsed specific products.
When interacting with potential customers, be interactive—not creepy!
Now let’s consider examples of interactive marketing that might work for your business.
Types of interactive marketing
There are several tools that you can use for interactive marketing campaigns. While many of these tools work for multiple industries, you need to pick the right one for your business. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, some of my favorite tools are polls/surveys, contests, calculators, product recommendation engines, and quizzes.
Polls and surveys
Many businesses use polls and surveys to learn more about their customers’ and potential customers’ thoughts and opinions. These are two types of data collection methods that people are quite familiar with and companies use often. They provide a relatively easy way to encourage interaction between a person and a brand.
While some people use the terms polls and surveys interchangeably, they’re actually different. A poll is usually very quick and asks a single question with multiple answer choices, while a survey can ask many different types of questions and requires more time and effort to complete.
Which of these is better for your business can depend on where your potential customers are in your sales funnel. If it’s early in a funnel or on a social media platform, a poll can be a better choice. If they’re more familiar with your company, they will be more likely to commit time and effort to complete a longer survey.
It’s important to note that just offering a poll or survey to individuals does not constitute interactive marketing. What comes afterward brings real power to this type of marketing. If it’s a poll on Twitter, you might share the results of the poll and promote a product that fits with the poll question. For example, a skincare line might run a poll that asks, “Are you an early bird or a night owl?” After the poll, they’d share the results that show there were more early birds and promote their Energizing Morning Cream.
If you choose to use a survey, you might ask survey-takers for their email address. You could then send an email following up on the survey. You can segment survey-takers according to their responses and offer a discount code as a thank you for completing the survey. You can also use their survey responses to further detail your messaging.
Stuck on what to ask in your survey? Check out 10 Types of Survey Questions You Should Use for Business.
Contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are incredibly effective in interactive marketing, particularly with social media. You can probably think of an influencer or two who have grown their number of social media followers exponentially through contests and giveaways. People love to participate because they like the thought they might win something. There’s the potential for a significant reward with minimal risk.
Cratejoy points out, “A contest or giveaway allows your follower base to feel included and engaged…It’s an invaluable opportunity to build brand awareness and bring in leads.”
When a business shares a contest or giveaway, they’re interacting with their potential customers and inspiring them to take action (participate). The business then responds by identifying the winner.
Even if they don’t win, people are more likely to feel connected to a company when they’ve participated in a contest or giveaway. They might decide to follow the company on social media so they don’t miss future contests or visit the website to browse other products. People might even choose to buy whatever product was given away if they want it enough!
Contests and giveaways are also an excellent way to develop user-generated content (UGC) for your business. For example, you could ask people to create social media posts with a specific hashtag relating to your business, and then randomly select a winner. The extra interactive element here is that their followers will see their post and hashtag relating to your business, and then they might participate in the contest, and so on.
But the interactivity doesn’t have to end there. Continue engagement by commenting on the contest participants’ posts and then repost their content on your company’s social media accounts (with permission, of course!).
The interactive nature of contests and giveaways can have a significant impact on your business growth.
My family recently bought a house, which was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. There’s a lot of research that goes into buying a home, particularly on the financial side.
People usually have to get a mortgage to purchase a home. They need to make sure they can afford the house and that the mortgage terms are acceptable.
That’s when calculators become invaluable!
With a mortgage calculator, you’ll key in your numbers and then see your estimated monthly payment. Then, after entering your email address and phone number, you’ll receive a list of mortgage vendors through which you can check rates. This allows companies to continue the interaction with potential customers by email and phone.
This form of interactive marketing works well for any niche that involves numbers. Financial institutions, mortgage lenders, car finance companies, debt consolidation services, and even sites like Nerdwallet often use calculators to attract potential customers to their sites. Calculators can also work for other businesses, like weight-loss centers.
Product recommendation engines
Product recommendation engines are highly effective for e-commerce companies. Think about the last time you added something to your cart on Amazon or a similar site. Somewhere on the page, you’ll see recommended products. These might be compatible or comparable products to the one you’re considering.
These recommendations are made by a product recommendation engine, and they work.
When potential customers visit an e-commerce site and browse items or add them to their cart, they’re expressing interest in those items. The engine takes that interest and uses AI to identify other items that they might also want. It’s like an advanced filter for the products. And the more you use it, the better its predictions will be for you.
It’s estimated that as much as 35% of Amazon’s consumer purchases are from their product recommendations. What e-commerce company wouldn’t want to increase their profits by one-third?!
Other interactive content
Digital media has made it significantly easier for businesses to create specific interactive content for their industries. The creativity that this content shows is incredible. Some businesses create interactive infographics where individuals can explore data. Others prefer image sliders that display classic before-and-after transformations, while some prefer live-streams or other interactive video content.
Since I love email marketing, it’s no wonder that interactive email also makes my list of important interactive content. With a quality email platform, you can add buttons, videos, GIFs, and surveys to your emails. For e-commerce businesses, many email marketing platforms integrate with carts so people can shop in their emails 😲.
While not every inbox your email is delivered to has the capabilities to make all interactive email elements work correctly, there will be a higher chance of success if you start with an advanced email marketing platform.
I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that we’re fans of using quizzes for interactive marketing here at Interact. Our customers successfully use quizzes for everything from lead generation to product recommendations to course sales. The results are staggering—thousands of subscribers in a week, six figures in deodorant sales, and $100K revenue from selling courses, for example.
But why do quizzes work so well for so many different niches?
They’re highly appealing to potential customers because they offer individuals insight into themselves. People often want to learn more about who they are and how they can become better. The number of self-improvement books on the market reflects the interest that’s out there.
Quizzes can also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. By developing your customer personas and using them in your quiz, your quiz-takers will recognize that you know them, you get them, and you can help them. Through insightful questions and quality quiz results, you’re providing value to inspire potential customers to become actual customers.
Finally, quizzes highly personalize interactive marketing strategies. Particularly with personality quizzes, you dedicate significant time to understanding your customers and grouping them into relevant categories for your quiz results. You then create follow-up email sequences that speak directly to those categories. This more personalized approach is exactly why interactive marketing works.
Now let’s focus on how you can create quizzes with Interact.
How you can use Interact for interactive marketing
Since Interact is a quiz-building platform, it’s easy to see how you can use it to make quizzes. But you’re not limited to creating personality quizzes. There’s so much more you can do!
You can create a poll or survey to share with your social media followers. You can add a quiz link in an email you send out and set up link triggers to further segment your audience, or add a pop-up to your website with a product recommendation quiz that suggests specific products to your visitors. You can promote your quiz with a Facebook ad to widen your audience.
No matter what you choose to create or what you choose to do with your creation, you’ll follow the same general steps:
- Choose a quiz type
- Make a cover
- Create results
- Add questions and answers
- Style your quiz
- Develop your follow-up
I’ll briefly walk through these steps and provide links to additional resources.
Choose a quiz type
Can you create three types of quizzes with Interact: personality, scored, and assessment.
If you’re sorting your customer personas into categories, you’ll create a personality quiz. If you want potential customers to identify their knowledge or experience level, create a scored quiz. If your goal is to assess their knowledge and provide feedback on the correct answer, an assessment quiz works well.
Inside the Interact dashboard, choose from the pre-made templates or make a quiz from scratch. There are additional quiz templates in various categories that you can easily change to best fit your needs.
Make a cover
When creating your quiz, poll, survey, etc., create a cover that interests your potential customers and motivates them to complete it. If your cover isn’t interesting, people won’t take the quiz. The cover should include the title, an image, a quiz description, and a start button. You want these elements to work together to attract and engage your audience.
Choose a quiz title that your ideal customer might have already asked themselves, like “Am I ready to quit my day job?”. Or if you’re creating a themed quiz, something like “What is your productivity superpower?” or you could use a command, like “Find your kitchen passion.” These examples immediately identify what the topic of the quiz is and hint at what the quiz-taker will learn.
The cover image should fit with your quiz topic and tone, as well as your brand personality. Inside the quiz builder, you can choose images from Unsplash or GIPHY, or you can add your own. Make sure your images are clear and that you follow copyright laws when choosing them.
The quiz description digs a little deeper into what the quiz is about. For example, the description for “Am I ready to quit my day job?” might be “Find out if you have everything in place to take your side hustle full time!”
You might include clarifying questions that hint at what the quiz results might be, such as “Is baking or cooking your true love?” Or you can choose to include information about what type of help the quiz results offer, like “Find out your productivity superpower and how you can use that power for good not evil!”
Finally, your start button should very clearly lay out the call to action. “Take the quiz!” works well, but you can make it whatever you want it to be.
- 50 Quiz Ideas and Titles for Every Industry
- 20 Free Stock Images Sites for Your Quiz
- Using GIFs in Quizzes
Your quiz results are why people take the quiz. Make sure to provide value in those results. It’s a good idea to provide three to five results that match the quiz type. For a personality quiz, include categories that match your customer personas. For example, results might be “creative genius,” “data guru,” and “planning mastermind.” For a scored quiz, your levels might be beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Label the results so they make sense with the quiz and with the information on the results page.
After you’ve named the results, write a description that tells your quiz-taker more about the result. A few sentences is a great introduction to their quiz results. You can include additional information to help them with their result type, an introduction to who you are, extra resources or fun elements, and a call to action that fits.
If you really want to go above and beyond, check out How to Create Quiz Result Landing Pages That Dazzle Your Audience!
Add questions and answers
You can make your quiz as long or short as you want. If it’s a poll, you only need one question. We usually recommend seven to ten quiz questions for most lead generation quizzes. For a survey, you might need more questions, but it’s important to be respectful of your audience. You don’t want them to be overwhelmed with questions that you don’t need them to answer.
For each question, add the question at the top, an image (optional), and answer choices (text or images). While image answer choices are very popular, I like to mix in a few text answer choices to keep the audience engaged.
When you’re adding your questions, connect the answers to your quiz results. For personality quizzes, edit result correlations. For my productivity superpower quiz example, the correlations are:
- A = Brainstorming
- B = Planning
- C = Details
- D = Untapped superpower
For scored quizzes, identify the value of each answer. As you add points to your quiz, the scoring ranges automatically update. To adjust those, you’ll go to each result and change the point range.
For assessment quizzes, set the correct answer for each question. You can add an explanation for your answer and choose to display it immediately after the question or at the end. You can also have the quiz-taker select multiple answer choices in your quiz.
For additional help with your questions, check out:
- How to Ask Better Questions
- 50 Quiz Questions You Should Be Using
- Exactly How to Write Quiz Questions and Answers from Scratch
Style your quiz
Your quiz is a part of your business message, so make sure that it fits with your branding. Your images should reflect your brand tone and the word choices should resemble the voice of your brand. For example, if your brand is more formal, stick to professional images and avoid slang and explicit language in your text. If your brand voice is more casual, your images and copy should reflect that.
You can easily adjust the design elements of your quiz inside the quiz builder. Choose a font and colors that match your brand and add your logo to your quiz. Make it yours!
Need help with your quiz design? Check out Your Complete Guide to Quiz Design!
Develop your follow-up
The real power of interactive marketing and your quiz is what you do after. Your potential clients have taken some sort of action, and it’s time for you to take the next step.
Enter the email sequence.
The sequence is put in place to nurture the relationship. It’s your opportunity to show your new subscriber who you are and what you have to offer them. You’re helping them see the value in opening, reading, and clicking in your emails. The emails help move your potential customer to the next step in their journey. They’re powerful tools that can convince someone to buy from you.
So you want to do it right. How to Write the Perfect Follow-Up Email Sequence for Your Quiz is great for learning exactly how to do just that.
Now it’s time to share your quiz. I’m sure it’s amazing!
Summing it up
You now know everything you need to successfully use interactive marketing for your business. Whether you choose to make a quiz, a calculator, or interactive emails, you’re fully covered.
To review, we discussed:
- What interactive marketing is
- Why interactive marketing works
- Types of interactive marketing
- How to use Interact for interactive marketing