Profitable action by consumers is the holy grail of digital marketing and the top brief businesses are likely to give their marketers. Make them buy is the constant refrain that echoes through the halls of many a digital marketing agency. While driving customers to action is the goal of all digital marketing activities, getting there isn't an exact science. However, that's not to say there aren't ways to help the process along.
Interactive marketing is the buzzword in the digital marketing sphere and getting it right is often seen as the prime way to make a brand stick and grow its customer base exponentially. Creating engaging content has always been a challenge, especially with the profundity of competing advertising, content and information that confronts consumers on the internet.
By making that content interactive, the chances of getting a response from consumers is increased dramatically. It's generally accepted that interactive content generates up to five times more page views and can double conversion rates. Considering the cost of just one conversion, the outlay in creating interactive content could be well worth the investment.
The question is, what is interactive marketing? Essentially, interactive marketing makes us of dynamic content to stimulate a two-way interaction with the customer. Interactive marketing is best understood as a means of setting up a reciprocal relationship between the customer and the business, starting with the first impression and moving through to conversion and retention.
Interactive marketing is dynamic, flexible and intelligent, meeting individual customers where they are with content they find appealing, can relate to and will want to engage with. Creating just the right type of marketing to effectively reach a range of consumers is challenging and relies heavily on gathering consumer data and applying it dynamically in a range of situations.
Many platforms, particular social media platforms, have a significant amount of data on consumers that they are willing to allow advertisers to use without infringing on privacy laws. These platforms allow for hyper-targeting audiences that the marketer already knows have a likelihood of responding positively. This precision relevance is the first and most important element of interactive marketing.
Precision relevance need not only be the preserve of social media advertising. It is possible to gather enough data from your own CRM systems to target new customers effectively and remarket with a higher probability of conversion. Hosting interactive content on your own site allows you to continuously build your database of relevant customer interactions, boosting future relevancy.
Once you've achieved relevance, the next step is achieving responsiveness. Good interactive marketing is inherently responsive. That is, it gives instant feedback that has a high degree of relevance to the consumer and increases their level of engagement with the brand. Quizzes, polls, calculators and contests are all ways to gather data and use it effectively to increase engagement.
First prize in interactive marketing is producing content that goes viral. The budget you would need to achieve the same exposure through paid advertising channels is unreachable for most, and in any event, would be less effective than content voluntarily shared by consumers who find it engaging and relevant enough to want to show it to their friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers.
Unfortunately, there is no formula for producing viral content and it's still largely a hit-and-miss affair. However, the key elements can easily be identified. Viral content is most often surprising, fun, inspiring, unusual and humanising. It creates a sense of commonality at the same time as it presents something quite unique. Often, it offers instant feedback and inspires reactions from others.
Interactive marketing may seem like the preserve of big-budget business, but the technology to create it is more readily available than ever, making it accessible to a wider range of budgets. The opportunity to harness the power of interactive marketing is there, and if you don't take hold of it, you can be sure your competitors will.
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