The State Of Interactive Content Metrics [Research and Tips]

How To Improve Your Interactive Content Marketing Results

State of interactive content marketing metricsInteractive content marketing is white hot.


Because when the average reader spends 37 seconds per article (NewsCred) Tweet This
your content needs all the help it can muster. 

Interactive content appeals to mobile-savvy users who actively seek digital, app and gaming experiences. No surprise, it’s essentially a light-weight app.

Like a construction worker with a red flag redirecting traffic to another route, interactive content guides potential readers into your content experience.

Don’t take my word for it.

Check the interactive content marketing numbers:

  • 46% of marketers use interactive content marketing and 79% of those marketers plan to increase their interactive content spend in 2017 (CMI 2017). Note: Interactive content usage is higher for larger organizations.

    Interactive Content Marketing Use in 2017

    Interactive Content Use 2017 [Chart]

    Marketers Plan To Increase Interactive Content Use

  • 41% of B2B marketers prefer interactive content “I can access on demand”. (B2B DemandGen Report 2017). Further, 52% prefer mobile optimized content accessible via mobile devices.

Savvy Content Marketing World attendees seeking must-know content marketing tactics, specifically requested interactive content marketing sessions be added in 2017. (BTW—I’m teaching a pre-conference interactive content marketing workshop. Please join me!)

To ensure your interactive marketing supports your content strategy, we’ll analyze the current state of interactive content marketing metrics and show you how to improve your results.

Interactive content not only makes your information standout in your readers’ stream, but also captures her attention.

In theory this should yield better results.

Yet it doesn’t always.  

2017 Interactive Content Research conducted by Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive found that:

  • Interactive content helped 44% of respondents achieve their content marketing objectives.
  • BUT 43% of respondents weren’t sure if interactive content did anything with regard to their objectives. Translation: Interactive content is new and we want to be on the cutting edge so that we can improve our results.
Interactive Content Marketing Effectiveness

Interactive Content Doesn’t Always Achieve Content Marketing Goals

 State of interactive content marketing metrics


The State of  Interactive Content Marketing Metrics [Research]

Being a relatively new content marketing format, it’s not surprising that marketers have challenges measuring interactive content results.

Top interactive content metrics marketers use:

  • 53% of respondents track traffic from interactive content. What’s surprising is that this number isn’t higher. With the use of dedicated landing pages, this tracking is easy-to-accomplish.
  • 48% track social media shares from interactive content. This is an easy-to-count, vanity metric. It provides social proof. But based on research (see below) marketers may not be using the best social media options including email and printing or saving the document.
  • 41% capture data from interactive content. This is a useful metric. But the challenge is what information are they requesting, how much of it is used, and what quality is the data. (See data below.)
  • 41% track conversion rates from interactive content. This is also useful information. But the question is: Conversion to email, SQL or sale.
  • 41% track time on site associated with interactive content. This is another easy-to-assess metric. Like traffic, this percentage should be higher. The challenge: Where do visitors go from your interactive content? Do they leave; continue to gather more information; or contact you?
  • 38% track sales lead quality from interactive content. This is an important metric since poor quality leads waste your sales team’s time and can yield problem sales later.
  • 31% track sales from interactive content. This is a strong indicator.
  • 30% track sales lead quantity from interactive content. This makes sense since marketers must balance lead quality versus quantity. If your screening eliminates too many prospects, you won’t be able to hit your budget expectations.

I’m not surprised – only 2% don’t measure anything since in other CMI research, even worst-in-class respondents believe they’re tracking content metrics (Obviously, they’re not the best indicators!)

Surprise interactive content marketing metric:

  • 7% of respondents track cost savings from interactive content. Since interactive content often requires an interactive team creative approach involving diverse resources, it should cost more. As a result, marketers may create it first rather than repurpose existing content.
Interactive Content Marketing Metrics

Interactive Content Marketing Metrics Used By Marketers

Customers’ Perspective On Information Sharing

Before gating your content marketing, consider your core prospects’ willingness to share their personal information.

According to DemandGen’s 2017 Content Preferences Survey:

  • 95% of B2B marketers will share their name, company and email address. (Almost everyone!)
  • 33% of B2B marketers will share their phone number. (1 in 3 respondents!)
  • 18% of B2B marketers will share buying decision related information. (Less than 1 in 5 respondents!)

B2B customer

B2B customers’ willingness to share personal information [Chart]

Think hard about how you’re going to use requested data before asking for it! Don’t just ask for prospect information because your sales department wants it. Asking for too much information will reduce the number of prospects before you have a chance to screen them.


How B2B Marketers Share Content On Social Media

Creating interactive content by itself isn’t enough. You must be able to distribute it to your target audience. This extends to all of the people involved in the purchase decision and their ability to share it with their peers.

To this end, it’s your responsibility to make it easy for them to share your content.

Spotlight the social media communications B2B marketers are most likely to use.

  • 94% of B2B marketers use email to share business-related content.
  • 84% use LinkedIn to share business-related content.
  • 64% use Twitter to share business-related content.
  • 37% Facebook to share business-related content. (Translation: Don’t overlook this digital giant because you think that it’s just for consumers!)
  • 31% use Slideshare to share business-related content. (Note: Consider this LinkedIn product. It’s used by about a third of B2B marketers.)
  • 18% use Google+ to share business-related content. (Note: It’s interesting that almost 1 in 5 B2B marketers use Google+ even though Google’s not funding it!)

Social media sharing sites as used by B2B customers – Research Chart

From a marketing perspective, you should also consider approaches that allow readers to save your content to Pocket or their devices for future use. This is particularly important if your content is long.


How To Improve Your Interactive Content Marketing Metrics

Your interactive content must anticipate your readers’ actions and intentions.

While marketers assume buyers take one linear path to purchase, the reality is each one jumps from one piece of content to another in a jumbled order.

Therefore don’t assume there’s only one path your audience takes to gather pre-purchase information but also plan for the variations your readers often use and give them ways to find out more without requiring in-depth data capture.

Keep visitors on your site and involved. 

Actionable Interactive Content Marketing Metrics Tips To Improve Results

  • Eliminate interactive content dead-ends. Offer readers an escape route. Make it easy for them to complete your content even if none of the answers or routes you’ve suggested apply to them. Simply add a “None of the above” category and link it to the next step.
  • Direct readers to interconnected content. Readers may not be ready to contact you yet. It’s about the information they need. Continue to help them. This is particularly important if they don’t follow the path you assumed they would.
  • Qualify email registrants to send tailored welcome series and relevant information. Since these prospects don’t like to share more detailed information upfront, use your responder emails to capture information in a second step. Smart Passive Income’s Pat Flynn does this with his first email.
  • Provide easy-to-access chat or messaging. The great part of this type of functionality is that it makes even static content appear interactive and personal. When Drift removed their content gating, they retained their email capture and messaging product. As a result, they increased acquisition rates.
  • Give people who interact with your content the option to buy. Provide sales meeting or purchase options where appropriate.


Interactive Content Marketing Metrics Conclusion

To truly increase your conversions, you must keep your reader engaged by delivering on your content promise through the use of interactive content.

Therefore, you must not only create more sexy stop sign information but also, provide your visitors with the ability to keep consuming your content until they’re satisfied and ready to buy.

For content marketers, this means creating content that supports your prospects through the entire purchase journey no matter what route they happen to choose.

Even if you think that they’re going out of order when it comes to consuming your content.

Who’s to say you shouldn’t read your dessert content first?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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


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