The Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel Guide

Drive Results With Interactive Content: The Foodie Approach

Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel Guide-Foodie EditionInteractive content is like food delivered by world-class chefs who are always looking for ways to be at the forefront of the latest food trends.

Like interactive content, the food top chefs create eye catching, talkworthy and fulfilling food. They satisfy different needs like your content purchase funnel.

Take a page from how these food masters focus on the customer experience to keep customers coming back for more of their premium priced food.

This was particularly notable on our recent trip to Portugal where a basic meal at a local tavern is hearty and reasonably priced. Yet if you’re in search of world-renowned masters to prepare your food, expect to pay a premium.

Hearty main course at Taverna Saint Antonio in Porto – Heidi Cohen

Let’s examine what you can learn from world-class chefs to create high value interactive content to fill your purchase funnel

Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel Guide-Foodie Edition


3 Ways Chefs Appeal To Different Audiences Applied To Interactive Content And The Purchase Funnel

To reach broader audiences with eye candy and nutrition, chefs offer 3 types of food.

  • Snacks: Tend to be small sweet indulgences that satisfy your sweet tooth and are light on your pocketbook. They can be eaten any time. Examples: Pastries and gelato.

    Portuguese pastries are snack food – Heidi Cohen photo

  • Tapas: Are small dishes originally from Spain often accompanied by drinks. While more pocketbook-friendly than a full meal, a number of them are needed to fulfill a real hunger. Examples: Cheeses, seafood, and cured meats.

    Pate Fois Gras Tapas At Dux in Coimbra Portugal – Heidi Cohen

  • Full meals: Provide an array of food eaten together possibly accompanied by wine or beer. Full meals are priced a la carte or prix fixe. Examples: Include starter, main and dessert.

    Main course offering of full meal food- Heidi Cohen

Like haute cuisine, interactive content attracts visitors to your website, blog, content, social media or other offering. It makes your content offering look mouthwatering good. Consequently you can cut into your audience’s never-ending social media feeds, always-on apps, and time consuming games.

81% of marketers agree: interactive content is more effective at attracting attention than static content. (@Hubspot)  Tweet This

Here’s how these 3 food categories apply to the interactive content marketing purchase funnel:

  • Snacks: Attract attention. Yields increased traffic, time-on-site. Also improved branding and shares.
  • Tapas: Prime visitors to look at your content and products further. Yields email addresses and possibly leads. (Also supports post-purchase content needs.)
  • Full meal: Engage prospects further leading them towards purchase. Yields warm leads and sales.

Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel – HeidiCohen [Chart]

Instead of cash, your visitors pay you with their focused attention. They give you their one truly scarce resource: time.


Because content interactivity pulls your audience out of their current information path.

Your audience’s attention must be earned. (@HeidiCohen) #contentmarketing #interactivecontent  Tweet This

This snacks, tapas and full meal approach to interactive content marketing better explains the essence of what makes interactive content effective.


How 3 Food Offerings Apply To The Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel

Chefs offer different types of food to draw you into the eating experience. Dining isn’t just about getting nutrition to keep going. It’s an experiential journey where every element has a key role to play.

Content marketers who use interactive content to pull their audience into their purchase process can learn from these chefs. They prime their diners. Anyone who has eaten at a top restaurant has started with a special treat from the chef known to get you into the mood.

Similarly your interactive content uses these 3 food types to pull visitors you’re your purchase funnel content.

  1. Snacks satisfy cravings quickly. They’re small, highly engaging, eye catching, must have now content. This interactive content focuses on the top of the funnel although it can also provide stop gap hunger in the middle of the funnel.
  2. Tapas provide more focused information in an easy-to-consume manner. You’re competing against the clock to get your information consumed. It should answer your prospects’ questions Marcus Sheridan style. It’s middle of the funnel content that can also be consumed at the top or bottom of the funnel.
  3. Full meals offer content that helps close sales. By this point, visitors are ready to spend time talking to sales or engaging with your content to select the product or service they want. This is bottom of the funnel content that visitors may seek at the middle or even top of the funnel.

While most people eat 3 meals a day, morning, noon and night, when it comes to special food offerings, they don’t necessarily choose their food intake in a give order. This is also true for interactive content.


The Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel

Like regular meals, it’s easy to think of the purchase funnel in linear terms.

I get it. I did it for years as a professor at New York University. (Hat tip to my marketing students!) Here’s my purchase funnel chart straight out of my class lectures:

Purchase funnel

Purchase Funnel – Visitor Needs and Marketing Goals – [Chart by Heidi Cohen]

But the reality is that most of your potential audience doesn’t always take a linear or same path to your content or through your content. This means you must optimize content for findability and distribution. To support this, provide interconnected content (aka: on-ramps to and off-ramps from your content).

It’s a fundamental disconnect.

Even new iterations of the purchase journey reveal that shoppers don’t take the same path. Here are McKinsey’s and Forrester’s versions.

Iterative Loop of Customer Purchase Journey – McKinsey [Chart]

2015 B2B Buyer Journey

Buyer behavior causes the purchase funnel to get complicated – Forrester [Chart]

These maps illustrate how visitors break out of the linear approach to the purchase funnel. Yet marketers keep using the same linear purchase funnel approach.

This is how the purchase funnel appears when it’s applied to content marketing.

Content Marketing Purchase Funnel Chart

How content marketing is applied to the purchase funnel and customer journey via [Chart]

Here’s a better illustration of how visitors move through your purchase funnel content. (Sorry about the lines–you can blame your visitors!)

Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel

How visitors move through the content marketing [Chart]

To ensure your content, especially higher priced interactive content, reaches the maximum possible audience, it’s key to understand your audience and their information needs. To help you, here’s how to create a marketing persona.

While defining your marketing persona, understand what information your audience needs at each of the 4 marketing moments of truth and other purchase triggers.

The major key to interactive content marketing success is putting yourself in your audience’s shoes.

Focus on visitors’ needs and wants, not your sales pitch. Sorry it’s not about you but about your prospect. To this end, provide all the information they need.


How Interactive Content Marketing Solves Purchase Funnel Challenges

To succeed offer a broad array of information to your audience.

As a result, provide dynamic options. For example, if you’re using a mapping app to go somewhere, it recalculates your route when you make a wrong or unexpected turn.

Best-in-class interactive content provides your prospective audience with a multi-directional approach to your treasure trove of high quality information. Think of it as a mapping app for your content allowing readers to select their own route.

When creating content for your prospects ensure you’re offering a selection of options.

Like a chef allow visitors to consume your content how, when and where they want. 

Offer visitors the content equivalent of take-out and doggie bags.

To this end, avoid content dead ends! Offer visitors options along the interactive content marketing purchase funnel but not too many or you’ll wind up with the paradox of choice!

  • Avoid visitor bounces. Show visitors how far through your content they are.
  • Show visitors the exit by allowing them to leave your content. Include exit intent information capture with tools such as OptinMonster. (affiliate link)
  • Allow for “None of the above” answers. Also offer them further content, contact or purchase.
  • Let them say “All of the above.” Don’t make them think! Then allow them choose what they want next. Include the ability to send it via email.
  • Offer an “Other” option. Don’t assume you know everything. (You don’t!) Let visitors fill it in or contact you.

Then guide your readers to the next step or they’re gone. I realize this isn’t a newsflash but you’d be surprised how many marketers omit this critical item from their content marketing checklist! Among the top options are:

  • Include a contextually relevant call-to-action. Where possible provide limited options. Allow them to contact you or purchase.
  • Use tailored landing pages. Continue your branding and visuals. Also make the page measurable.
  • Provide relevant off-ramps. Guide visitors to relevant content or other information.
  • Allow visitors to contact you. Don’t make them search for your “Contact Us” button, link or phone number. Additionally include an About Us page. Show them someone is home.
  • Give them sharing options. Don’t overwhelm them. Go for the top options but include email at a minimum. (Personally, I use Social Warfare. I’ve just updated my site and it’s great!)


The Interactive Content Marketing Purchase Funnel Guide Conclusion

Like the snacks, tapas and full meals offered by top chefs, your interactive content marketing must address your visitors’ content wants and needs regardless of where they are in the purchase process.

To fulfill the maximum number of information needs before better qualifying leads, ensure that your interactive content is available wherever and whenever your prospect wants it.

Use the interactive content marketing purchase funnel to offer your information hungry visitors the interactive content options they’re seeking and/or prefer.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.


Photo Credit:

Main image: CC Zero

Other photos: Heidi Cohen – Permission is granted to use them if you link back to this post.

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