Why Interactive Content Matters: Part Three

Blog: Why Interactive Content Matters, Part 3It’s a good thing when those enlightened folks in your upper funnel start progressing toward a purchase. If your interactive content did its job, they now know what their problem is and what kind of solution they need. If your interactive content marketing is going to help you close the deal, it has a critical job to do in the mid- and lower-funnel stages, too.

 

Mid-funnel Interactive Content Development: Help Buyers Decide

Just like you need a strong set of sales tools to personally interact with decision-makers, you need a strong set of interactive content tools to shape their decision process online. And remember, these people are done assessing themselves. At this stage, they’re assessing you. They want:

• Services, features and benefits that align with their pain points
• Proof that you can provide what you promise
• Assurance that choosing your solution will deliver quantifiable financial benefits

Interactive Content Examples: Calculators

Let them crunch the numbers. Benefit calculators are excellent interactive content tools for your mid-funnel because they quantify the business benefits your buyers can expect to experience. They have a reputation for being difficult to execute, but I can tell you they’re more doable than ever — and, according to the Content Marketing Institute, more than half of today’s marketers with interactive content programs use calculators. Your buyers have access to much more data, much more easily, so gathering the information they need to input isn’t a problem.

When you create an interactive calculator, make sure the information you’re asking for is likely available to your user, that the output (calculation[s]) aligns with their specific pain points you’ve already helped them assess, and that the results are delivered in a way that’s easy for the user to share with his or her fellow decision-makers.

When they can press a button and calculate the potential benefit of working with you, you’ve helped them significantly in their decision process.

Lower-funnel Interactive Content Development: Help Buyers Convert

Now you’ve got them right on the edge of making a commitment. They just need that final confidence boost — and how you deliver that is critical. You could let your sales team take it from here. But if you have buyers who prefer to navigate their own purchase journeys, why force facetime at the wrong moment?

Interactive Content Examples: e-Commerce

An interactive e-commerce solution can improve your conversion rate. Think about it: This is not the stage in the journey where buyers are willing to tolerate inconvenience. The smoother the road, the more likely they are to finish the journey. If your purchase process can be programmed, there’s no reason you can’t transition into e-commerce.

For e-commerce to be as effective as your best salesperson, it has to provide personalization and trust, so your buyer knows they’re getting something exactly suited for their unique needs, and that they won’t end up stuck with errors or misunderstandings.

Before I go on, let me be clear that interactive content doesn’t replace the role of sales (answering buyer questions, directing first-time or complex sales) in this crucial stage. But we’ve all accepted by now that we only succeed by delivering the experience our buyers expect. Having effective lower-funnel interactive content in addition to an effective sales force just arms you to address more buyers’ needs in more ways.

And while we’re at it, you can put interactive content to work after the sale, too. You can build community and provide ongoing product and service support … all of which help improve affinity and retention.

If you want to learn more and see real-life examples of benefit calculators and other interactive content programs that engage the mid and lower funnel, check out our new ebook: Interactive Content Across the Funnel.

08/03/2017

About Emily Williams

Emily Williams is an associate creative director at The Mx Group, where she works with leading B2B companies to transform ideas into clear, impactful narratives that create bottom-line results. She's an experienced content strategist with a diverse background in writing, editing and social media marketing. She holds dual degrees in creative writing and philosophy from Gettysburg College.

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