What’s Trending in Interactive Content Marketing – Q&A Edition

What a webinar! We had a lot of great questions from the audience and we wanted to make sure we got to them all, so we thought we’d do a quick round up here on our interactive content marketing blog.

Our co-founder, Anna Talerico, and ion’s product specialist, Jay Ojea, presented a jam-packed webinar covering, Hot Trends in Interactive Content Marketing. With the heightened pace of content marketing and interaction design, the ion team thought it seemed fit to do a mid-year trends webinar. Blink and something is evolving or changing in our landscape—we gotta all keep up, right!?  Since our last trends webinar in January, there have been some exciting new strategies in content marketing.

Anna and Jay highlighted trends that we see on the rise now and into the next 6 months. In case you couldn’t make the webinar, here are the trends that we covered.

Anna and Jay had so many great questions from the trends webinar that we couldn’t resist creating a blog post to highlight the great conversation that it sparked. 


Q: Anna and Jay, can you define what a micro-interaction is?

A: Micro-interactions is a term unique to digital content and applications, and it focuses on driving engagement through smaller, almost microscopic little user interactions, rather than holding out for one single big interaction like a form fill. Instead, with micro-interactions, you are leveraging elements like clicks, swipes, scrolls, animations and hovers.

Q: The micro-interactions are super interesting and compelling, but I see that as a way to package the content and make it engaging versus the need to create interesting content. Are you going to talk about best practices for creating (or evolving) interesting content from a blank (or bland) slate?

A: We love this question! It’s what we do, helping brands re-create and re-package their content but also create brand new assets from content they have sitting around that is stale or uninspired. There are quite a few tips for understanding how to improve your content from including micro-interactions to some of the more advanced concepts like animations or interactive video. But for content to be interesting, it has to be interesting to your buyer. Know your buyer, know what makes them tick, know what they care about, what their challenges are, what’s on their mind… and interesting content opportunities will reveal themselves. Then, it really is about uniquely packaging them to get and sustain interest.

  1. To learn more, I would love to highlight the value of repurposing your content with this blog post.
  2. For creating new content, you might like this post from Katherine McAdoo, one of our interactive designers.

Q: How does hover work on mobile?

A: It doesn’t really. When creating content experiences, make sure it’s useful for all visitors, regardless of device. That means a hover or reveal on desktop might need to be swapped out (automatically if you have awesome responsive publishing features!) with a similar element to be clicked or tapped or swiped on the mobile device.

Q: Do you find all audiences know intuitively what to do to interact (hover, slide, click, etc.) or that certain audiences need more instruction?

A: There are two great points to this question.

  1. Let’s be honest that certain audience may need the tips. We are all not equally web fluent and different users have different norms and standards they are accustomed to. BUT…
  2. One of the great things about micro-interactions is that they end up being fairly self-evident, very naturally. A simple move of the mouse on the screen and there is a change to the content—users pick up on these things fairly quickly. And there is a rapid adoption once you see one example, you get that there are interaction points. Overall user experience has evolved so rapidly the past 18 months and site visitors are becoming accustomed to exploring and expecting these type of interactions. If you are concerned about it though, you can always run some quick user testing on the experiences to see. Or just look at your real-time reporting to gauge what visitors are doing and what they are interacting with. What matters most is that you are getting the outcomes you want from your content and the user is having a great experience.

Q: What’s a chapter rating?

A: We love chapter ratings to see what people actually think of your content! With ratings, you can see if someone reached the bottom and rated the chapter. Also, it’s a great way to get feedback on if the content was helpful. Likewise, it’s also helpful for sales—if you saw a lead with 5 positive chapter reviews, it might be worth chatting them up.

Lead Generation

Q: Does gating content create a time-hostage feeling for the user?

A: You’ll want to test gates to see what’s most effective for your audience. If you’ve given value in your content, and then you ask your visitor to convert, they will do so at a pretty high percentage. Since audiences can vary so much from vertical to industry, we always suggest a good test strategy to understand these details so that you can adjust accordingly.

Q: Please give parameters as to when gates make sense and when they may not. What is a content provider achieving when they use gating?

A: The main advantage of gating your content is that it allows you the opportunity to turn an anonymous visitor into a known user. By capturing their data, you can feed your inside sales team or marketing automation tool with valuable insights into user behavior.

However when it comes to defining parameters, it really depends on your content and marketing strategy. We suggest adding as much value to the user as possible in order to give you the best chance of succeeding. With that being said, gating your content versus ungating is a great thing to test. Often we see un-gated content will generate far higher leads than not.  

Q: Can I click on “Get the PDF” without filling out the form?

A: This is a strategic question that goes back to your overall goals for a particular campaign. If you’re going all the way to ungate your content and making the gate optional, then you can absolutely have a “Get the PDF” button that automatically downloads the PDFwithout a form fill.

Q: Does there need to be full disclosure provided to the user up front in regard to the data that is being gathered?

A: We always suggest following your local laws, which vary by country and region. Keep in mind though, that behavioral data has always been collected on visitors, and then married to them once they convert on a form, so this isn’t something new.

Q: Do you find the “how others responded” display of data on an assessment results page to have an effect on response time of the page?

A: We have noticed that this has little to no effect on response time since page load is about more than just the call to a lookup table for real-time data. As with any web page, elements such as heavy graphics, complex scripts or even server load in that moment can play a larger role in page speed. Pulling results from a lookup table should not have a significant impact on your experiences.

Interactive Video

Q: Can you define interactive video?

A: It’s pretty simple really, in concept. It’s just video that can change, or collect data from a viewer as they watch. A few common uses cases include branching video, where a question is asked of the viewer that then routes them to a specific video or portion of the video. This branching can be multi-step. Interactive video can also be used to collect data—like testing a viewer’s knowledge as they watch the video, by asking them quiz or assessment questions. Interactive video is still in its infancy, but there is so much you can do with it, and we really see it on the minds of marketers today. Another great example would be an assessment that uses video to walk through a concept before pausing to encourage the user to answer a question.

Q: Does ion currently support video controls like pause, loop and going to timeframes via separate elements on the page?

A: Yes, we do! There is a lot of great support for interactive video at ion interactive.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy the recorded webinar! You can access our webinar here! Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

To learn more about up and coming trends, feel free to subscribe to our blog! Also, stay tuned for our monthly “Hot off the press” post, where we highlight hot trends in interactive content marketing.

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