You may not know much about interactive content, but it’s changing the way marketers are engaging with prospects across industries and channels. With lead form completion rates in the 40% range, interactive content provides marketers with the ability to improve lead quality and to speed MQL creation.
You may already have some great ideas for weaving interactive content into your marketing campaigns and are ready to get started. Your next challenge is figuring out how you are going to create that content, which means you’re evaluating interactive content creation platform and tool options.
But how do you choose which solution is right for you? The questions that follow will help you select the right interactive content creation platform for your company and your priorities so you can hit the ground running.
Starting with a clear definition of what you hope to accomplish is an obvious step. Most likely it’s a bit of an iterative process: the more you dig in, the more ideas you will have for using interactive content in your marketing mix.
Clarifying your goals will help you articulate the functionality you should look for and separate out the “must haves” from the “nice to haves.”
The answers to these questions have important implications when it comes to determining which solution will meet your objectives.
Specifically, you should ask yourself:
Before you’ve created any interactive content, it can be hard to know what you need to know and what you don’t yet know to ask. Spend some time considering how your interest in interactive content is likely to evolve and plan for the long term.
For some marketers, a simple, consistent look-and-feel template and functionality is exactly what they’re looking for. Others might need greater flexibility and customized branding, as well as flexibility to design unique content by distribution channel.
If you’re planning to create a wide range of different types of interactive content on a regular basis, you’ll want to choose a platform that offers a wide range of content types. In addition, if maintaining your brand’s look and feel is important, you need a platform that allows you full design control allowing you to choose colors, fonts, and images consistent with your brand (and devoid of another company’s logos).
With any new technology investment, there will be a learning curve and, naturally, the more creative control you have and content types you can create, the more complex the platform. However, you still want to make sure the platform you choose will be intuitive enough that with a little training, you can hit the ground running.
Along the same lines of ease-of-use, you don’t want to get into your brand new platform and find yourself stuck with an unanswerable question. Many platforms provide extensive onboarding and training, others provide 24/7 support, others have extensive resource libraries, etc. Take a careful look at what kind of support you think you’ll need and make sure it matches up with what’s being offered.
One last note on training and support – make sure you understand how much you can truly do on your own once you’re trained, versus requiring help—either from an agency, a programmer, a creative designer, in-house integration teams, etc.
It’s all about the ROI. And that is where interactive content really shines: you can achieve more, higher quality leads, at a lower price point than many other content options.
Be sure to understand what metrics you can track so you can measure how effective your content is and prove it! Some of the data you might want to access includes:
Creating engaging content rests on testing and finding out what works for your audience. Knowing what does and doesn’t work depends on collecting and crunching the data around content performance.
If you’re using interactive content to generate new leads or nurture existing ones, you’ll probably want that data flowed into your marketing automation system. Of course, you want this to be as seamless as possible to avoid any prospects or customer data falling through the cracks, and naturally, the more content you plan to produce, the more important it becomes to be able to “set it and forget it.”
Partner integration is one of the most common differentiators in the interactive content platform space. Simple, inexpensive solutions may require manual data transfer; others may transfer only some of the interaction data. Identifying where you’re willing to compromise on data transfer is another way to narrow down your selection.
Interactive content solutions range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousand of dollars based on a range of factors including functionality, integration and services requirements.
When you ask about price, make sure you really understand the numbers.
Ultimately, you’ll want to understand the fully loaded costs of the solutions you are considering so that you don’t end up with unanticipated expenses.
In addition to looking at the dollars spent on purchasing and maintain the platform, make sure you are thinking about it in terms of ROI.
If you are feeling good about all of the questions above, here are a few advanced considerations that can help you refine your selection.
Selecting an interactive content creation platform doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The best way to select a platform is to align on very clear goals from the outset, and make decisions that are consistent with those goals. The questions outlined here, from ease of use to martech integration, should be a helpful jumping-off point as you narrow down the field and select the perfect platform.
What do you think is important? See how your thoughts compare to your peers.
Author bio: Julie Wingerter works in strategic partnerships at SnapApp, an interactive content creation platform that enables marketers to boost results across all of their existing marketing programs.
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