Want to Differentiate Your Content? Aim for Interaction
As you well know, the internet is incredibly oversaturated with low quality content. It seems like every business in the world is pumping out an endless stream of noisy content, which makes it more difficult for your brand to stand out. The good news is there’s at least one reliable strategy for standing out in today’s market.
Content Shock and What it Means to You
Have you heard of the term “content shock?” For years, people in the content marketing industry have used this term to describe the overabundance of content on the web.
Marketing expert Randy Milanovic puts it like this: “…since more and more businesses and individuals are trying to attract traffic to their websites, web content is being produced at an exponential rate. That, in turn, overloads searchers and marketers alike, leading to an overload where content is essentially meaningless and things like search traffic or social media shares become random.”
Milanovic is not alone in his sentiments. Thousands of other renowned marketing experts agree that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to earn a healthy return on organic content marketing.
Want to see the proof in numbers? Consider that BuzzSumo analyzed the most highly respected content sites on the entire internet – including MOZ, Copyblogger, and Buffer – and found that social sharing has plummeted. After analyzing the shares and links of one million posts, researchers discovered the following:
- 50 percent of randomly selected posts received just eight shares or less
- 75 percent of these posts received 39 or fewer shares
- 75 percent of these posts received zero referring domain links.
If that’s not proof that content shock is a very real thing, then it’s going to be difficult to convince marketers that something needs to change.
You are paying people to read your content.
Mark Schaefer, BusinessGrow.com
Interactive Content: The Answer to Content Shock?
While there are plenty of strategies for making content more engaging and shareworthy, one of the best approaches in 2016 is to invest in interactive content.
What exactly is interactive content? There are dozens of definitions, but it’s generally characterized by the user’s ability to personalize and participate in the content that’s being presented.
Here are a few examples of common types of interactive content:
- Calculators. This is one of the most popular formats for interactive content this year. Cost or value calculators – such as this one from XMedius – are great because they help users understand exactly what they’re getting from a company. They help reduce friction and establish comfort.
- Quizzes. If you’re looking to gain social media traction, quizzes are a favorite when it comes to interactive content. Quizzes and surveys – like this one from BuzzFeed – are popular among millennial users. There’s nothing incredibly sophisticated about quizzes, but they are great for gaining traction and developing a reputation as engaging and progressive.
- Interactive infographics. For brands looking to strike a balance between informative and engaging, interactive infographics are ideal. Check out examples like this one from Simply Business, and you’ll see just how immersive they really are. As a result, they’re also highly shareable and sticky.
Interactive content works because it directly engages the user. In an era where billions of static articles and blog posts are circulating through search engines and social networking platforms, interactive content does more than exist – it creates ripples. Interactivity gives people a reason to consume, engage, share, and come back for more. It’s the key to standing out and conjuring up loyalty in consumers.
Make Interaction a Priority
Content shock is a very real thing. It doesn’t mean the content marketing industry is going to suddenly evaporate, but it does signal the need for change. As a marketer looking out for the best interests of your brand, interaction needs to be the priority moving forward.