What is an interactive calculator, its types, advantages, and best practices
There are several ways to attract and retain the attention of your audience. Achieving this goal, however, is an increasingly challenging mission, due to the enormous volume of information on the Internet and how easy it is for the audience to access it.
Today, to develop an effective digital marketing strategy, it is necessary to create truly engaging content. And one of these options is to create an interactive calculator.
This means putting aside the production of static content and investing in interactive content, which provides a much more complete experience for the consumer.
To accomplish this, you can choose from many formats such as quizzes, infographics, whitepapers, maps, and, our focus in today’s post, calculators.
Throughout the text, we’ll delve deeper into the current relevance of interactive marketing and introduce the interactive calculator.
We will discuss the following topics in this text:
- What is an interactive calculator?
- Why does your company need to produce interactive content?
- What are the advantages of producing an interactive calculator?
- What are the main types of interactive calculators?
- What are the best practical examples of interactive calculators?
What is an interactive calculator?
An interactive calculator is an interactive tool that can be applied throughout a consumer’s journey and direct them towards the bottom of the sales funnel. The tool makes calculations based on data provided by the consumer, generating a fully customized experience.
In this way, the interactive calculator generates enormous value for the lead, who can get answers to their specific problems. This fact alone makes the public look at the brand as an expert in the subject, which motivates them to know more about the solutions offered and become a business client.
To be effective, it is essential that the interactive calculator dialogue appropriately with the audience, exploring their pain and presenting valuable information. So, imagine that your customer is in doubt about whether or not they should hire your service. In this case, a calculator showing potential ROI can be an essential convincing factor, right?
Here, it’s worth mentioning that this kind of content should have a light and responsive design, since any indication of complexity can scare the consumer away. Therefore, the process must be conducted strategically, using the most appropriate tools for creating interactive content.
If used well, the interactive calculator can catalyze the results of your strategy, as we’ll show in the next topic.
Why does your company need to produce interactive content?
The big challenge of a digital marketing strategy is to nurture the consumer with the right content to keep them moving forward in the sales funnel. If you perform this task with excellence, you will not only attract leads, but also qualify them, which is essential for a healthy conversion rate.
Throughout this process, working with interactive content is critical to generate a genuinely engaging experience. The element of interactivity will motivate the lead to consume the material, which, in addition to boosting engagement, will give you valuable insights into the consumer.
Think, for example, of the benefits of using an interactive quiz. For the visitor, this is a much more attractive resource than mere questionnaires, as quizzes provide a fun experience and “reward” them with results. For the brand, it is an opportunity to collect data about the customer’s pain, the state of the funnel they are in, and much more.
The digital marketing market is already looking at this type of strategy. A study conducted by Ion, in partnership with Demand Metrics, revealed that 90% of marketing professionals believe that interactive content is useful in the customer education process. 96% believe that such resources directly influence consumer purchasing decisions.
Thus, a strategy focused on producing interactive content can benefit all phases of the customer lifecycle journey, from attraction to establishing a lasting relationship.
Naturally, the formats used must vary. One of the most important is the interactive calculator. We’ll dedicate the rest of the text to addressing this tool. Keep reading!
What are the advantages of producing an interactive calculator?
First of all, it’s important to emphasize that the interactive calculator does not generate results if it is not accompanied by a structured content strategy, starting with the understanding of the persona and their motivations. After all, this is the only way to ensure that the most appropriate audience will make use of the resource.
That said, an interactive calculator is a tool that can optimize several fronts of your marketing and sales department. To begin with, because it’s interactive, it collects information left by users, which creates valuable insights for you to understand your audience and know the best ways to communicate with them.
Imagine, for example, that you own a travel company and create a calculator so that your customers can presume the costs of a roundtrip. Naturally, they’ll need to give you details related to the budget they have to spend and their consumption preferences. This information can be stored and used to create even more personalized experiences.
Another advantage is that the interactive calculator is a low-cost tool with high viral potential, increasing the organic traffic of your site. Because it is a content of value to a specific audience, the chances of your domain being cited by other websites grow, which has a direct and positive impact on your SEO.
Moreover, offering this resource is a real advantage for your sales department, which will deal with more educated and therefore qualified leads. This is because by better understanding the problem itself and calculating something related to the solution, customers will be more open to being approached by sales reps.
It can help you close deals
Finally, the use of an interactive calculator can be the last push to close a deal. That’s right; it’s also very useful when applied to the bottom of the funnel. Again, let’s take an example.
Consider that you own a company that sells content marketing solutions to businesses looking to expand lead generation. In this scenario, it is likely that the customer already knows he needs a solution, but still has insecurity about the need to invest in your service.
You can solve this uncertainty by offering an interactive calculator to prospect the number of leads that can be acquired with the investment, leading the customer to conversion.
Because they are versatile and generate customized responses, there are countless possibilities to use the calculator at every stage of a sales funnel, delivering varied content. It is up to the marketing manager, therefore, to define the ideal moment to offer the resource to the consumer.
The best type of calculator to be used directly depends on the stage of the funnel involved and the specific characteristics of the persona.
As we have already mentioned, the bottom of the funnel is ideal for using calculators that indicate the benefits that can be achieved by a solution. However, if the persona is still at the top or middle of the funnel, you need to approach the issue more subtly. In this case, a calculator focused on customer education is the most appropriate.
Besides educating and converting your consumer, interactive content can also enhance your link building efforts. If it is high quality and offers value to the audience, other sites will indicate the resource, increasing not only your organic reach, but also your brand’s image.
An interactive calculator is also an essential sales enablement tool. By providing your sales reps with this type of resource, you give them powerful ammunition in the process of lead nutrition and conversion. To illustrate all we’ve talked about so far, let’s list the main types and examples of calculators.
What are the main types of interactive calculators?
Knowing the significant types of interactive calculators is critical to defining which is right for your business.
Of course, what’s listed here isn’t a definitive list, as you can merge features and customize the calculator to the needs of your target audience. Still, meeting the most famous kinds is an excellent way to get started. Keep up!
The ROI calculator is one of the most common formats on the market, much because of the critical role return on investment plays in the consumer’s purchasing decision. It can be related to a product or service and is an excellent option to present the company’s value proposition.
As you can see in this example, the user only needs to enter some information, such as monthly spending and conversion rate, to calculate the ROI quickly. Another example is this calculator that, in three steps, estimates how much the lead can save when investing in a certain service.
A discount calculator is great for one-off campaigns that seek to awaken a sense of urgency in the consumer. If your store is on sale, for example, offering this sort of content helps the persona to estimate how much they can save by purchasing during the sales season.
As complex as the idea may seem, producing a discount calculator is extremely simple if you use the right tools. The Ion platform offers simple and customizable solutions for creating such content. In this example, you can access a tool that calculates embedded savings.
The quantity calculators are excellent for you to plan strategically and include the client in the process. If your company creates budgets according to customer demand, for example, this feature can facilitate service pricing.
Financial Planning Calculators
It is a type of interactive calculator that can bring excellent leads for those who work with products involving the future, such as insurance, financing, and loans. It is also relevant to deal with dreams, such as wedding parties, graduations, and travel.
Helping the consumer plan for such occasions is a way to generate credibility for your brand and to establish it as an expert in the subject.
Health or wellness calculator
A calculator focused on health or well-being can be an excellent way to improve the experience of gym clients, for example. The tool can indicate the number of calories ingested over a period, the kilograms lost with specific exercises, or the user’s body mass index.
Measurement conversion calculators
This is a very common interactive calculator format, especially in e-commerces and stores that work with imported goods. You can design it to convert measurements, such as product lengths, or even currencies, which can be helpful in international travel.
What are the best practical examples of interactive calculators?
Finally, let’s look at the primary examples of calculators that are already effectively being used in strategies of different companies. All content that will be mentioned was created on the Ion platform and can serve as an inspiration for you to optimize your interactive strategy.
This interactive Lansinoh calculator is a perfect example of how to use this resource for lead education purposes. Lansinoh is a pharmaceutical company focused on mothers who are breastfeeding. To generate value to the client, the calculator helps them estimate the savings generated by keeping breastfeeding.
Cengage’s calculator takes a more direct approach, focusing on converting the lead into a premium service subscriber. To convince the audience, the tool, placed on a landing page, allows users to calculate how much they can save by subscribing to Cengage Unlimited. In the end, a call to action offers direct contact with sales reps.
Symantec is a service specialized in digital security and, to prove the relevance of its solutions, has produced this ROI calculator. By accessing it, the lead can quickly calculate how much they can save by acquiring the service.
Another calculator that seeks to alert the customer to the benefits of a service is the one produced for iContact; a company focused on email marketing solutions. The visitor only needs to indicate the number of contacts in their email list and that’s it: the tool will reveal how much they can save by using iContact.
Counting on a Sale Calculator may be what you need to increase your sales team’s success rate. In addition to facilitating lead qualification, this type of content has everything to highlight the benefits offered by your company, serving as a persuasive force for converting customers.
Are you still in doubt about the superiority of interactive content over static content? Take a look at this infographic that breaks down and compares the two strategies!