In Part 1 of this blog series, we talked about interactive content playing the role of salesperson on your team. That’s not a role to take lightly. Many of us still feel there’s no substitute for personal interaction (including me, despite having just silently ordered lunch through an app). And we’re right; there’s no substitute for personal interaction when personal interaction is preferable. But sometimes it’s not preferable. Or necessary. Or even effective.
My point is, there’s a substitute for personal interaction. But there’s no substitute for interaction. If your prospective customers crave self-guided discovery, value the process of self-educating, and desire to feel in control of their purchase decisions, you simply create content that helps them find their way, learn enough to make informed decisions, and choose you (your brand, your product, your service offering) in the end.
I know I said the word “simply,” and interactive content marketing seems anything but. But you’ll be surprised to learn how simple it is once you clarify your customers’ needs at every stage of the funnel. Then it really is simply a matter of aligning the function of your interactive content with those needs.
Needs vary from customer to customer, but not as much as you might think. The big difference has less to do with age, gender, tenure or geography and more with their stage in your funnel. Those are the needs you need to understand and address.
Let’s start at the top.
Upper-funnel interactive content: Help prospective customers explore
Buyers begin their journeys in an exploration phase. They may know they have a problem to solve in their industry or business. But they may not know what that problem is, specifically. In other words, a car dealer might know he’s not making enough money on his used car inventory. But he might not know that his stocking strategy is the problem. And if he doesn’t know that, he doesn’t know he needs new stocking software. Even if and when he comes to that realization, he might not know who the best providers are. But since he knows his revenue is down, and it’s causing him pain, he’s going to do some exploring.
If you’re a provider of stocking software, wouldn’t it be nice if he encountered your helpful interactive content right about now?
Upper-funnel prospects benefit from interactive content that:
- Communicates authentic understanding of their problem
- Provides detail on the cause(s) they may or may not be aware of
- Acknowledges their need for a solution
So how do you sneak into the exploration phase without compromising their need for alone time?
Online assessments are perfect for upper-funnel folks. Getting back to our interactive-content-as-salesperson analogy, assessments have a special ability to measure buyer interest and gain relevant data you’ll need later. Assessments are a very popular type of interactive content, and for good reason: 54% of marketers using interactive content are using assessments. Matter of fact, we’re using one, if you’re interested in trying one out!
If you want to learn more and see real-life examples of assessments and other interactive content marketing programs that engage the upper funnel, check out our new ebook: Interactive Content Across the Funnel.
And please check out Part 3 of this blog series to learn which interactive content tools best engage middle- and lower-funnel customers.