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There’s a buzzword called “interactive marketing” (yes I get that “interactive marketing” is two words, but it’s still a buzzword). From where I sit as the world’s foremost expert on quiz marketing, which is one of the leading forms of interactive marketing, I often see the term misused by companies and agencies who are just using it to sound fancy and charge higher prices for products and services.

My goal with this piece is to debunk any of those myths about what exactly interactive marketing is, and provide a simple description of what it means and how to use it in your efforts. Let’s get started:

Definition of Interactive Marketing:

First off, let’s define what exactly interactive marketing is. Here’s the simple definition.

Interactive Marketing is any kind of marketing that involves a customer and a company communicating through the medium of whatever marketing campaign is being run.

To put it in even simpler terms, it’s any kind of marketing that lets you talk with your customers or potential customers online, and ideally at scale, meaning with hundreds or thousands of them at a time.

Why You Would Use Interactive Marketing:

Good question. There are two big reasons to use interactive marketing that have to do with the nature of people and the content itself.

#1: The top reason to use it is because interactive pieces let people talk, and people like to talk, especially about themselves. In an interactive piece where by definition there is a conversation happening, that naturally means that the customer gets to talk at least part of the time. It turns out that when we talk about ourselves our brain really likes it, and we feel good the same way we do when we take drugs (I am not advocating taking drugs, just making a point).

#2: The second reason interactive content works is because in many forms it lets people learn about themselves. If you think about it, there is an entire industry built around learning about yourself (the self-help industry is based on the idea that if you understand yourself better you can improve your own life).

Types of Interactive Marketing:

This part is important, because there is a lot of shenanigans that people will try to sell you when they talk about interactive content, most of which are just things they made up and are totally meaningless. The reality is that interactive marketing is actually much simpler than you’d think, and typically boils down to just one of the simple applications listed below.

Quizzes: By far the most popular form of interactive marketing, these are the quizzes just like the ones you see all over Facebook, like “Which Disney Princess are You?” except they are used for marketing by a company. So a coffee company would do “Which Coffee Drink are You?” a fashion brand would do “What’s Your Fashion Style?” and so on.

quiz

Polls: Simple questions placed into content that people can respond to and then see how others voted on the same question. Polls are great for engagement and very simple to put together. They can take a static article and turn it into a conversation by letting people voice their opinions.

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 2.44.25 PM

Calculators: “See how much you could save on car insurance” “Calculate when you’ll get married” that kind of thing. These are widgets that let you change the inputs based on your personal preferences and then see an output that applies to you personally. They can be very effective when used in conjunction with other offers.

calculator

Contests: Photo contests, caption contests, meme contests – anything that involves someone creating a piece of art of writing and entering to win based on votes. These are super powerful especially if you incentivize sharing so that more people see the contest.

photo contest

How to Get Started With Interactive Marketing:

The best way to begin with interactive marketing is to start small. Pick one of the content types mentioned above and launch something to your audience. You’ll be able to quickly see how your customers respond to interactivity and if it appears to be something that can work for you in the long-run.

Interact provides tools for creating quizzes and giveaways, you can build something completely free to test and see where interactive content can take you.


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