Your audience is reading your content on a device that is capable of wonders. Whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it can do much more than display text. What’s more, they’re connected to the internet, with limitless potential for communication and conversation.
In this context, interactive content makes a whole lot of sense. Why serve up nothing but plain text if, with just a little more effort, you can offer engaging experiences?
Interactive content might seem gimmicky, especially to B2B marketers. And I’ll be the first to admit: It is gimmicky. It’s absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. Interactivity isn’t a substitute for quality, just a supplement.
Here are a few of my favorite tools for creating interactive content. Some are dead simple web-based tools you can use to whip up a poll or quiz in seconds, while some are companies that will work with you to create stunning original content.
7 Interactive Content Tools to Delight Your Audience
Adding an interactive element doesn’t get simpler than this stripped-down poll creator. Create a login, enter your question, add some options, choose a color and you’re good to go. The poll you create can be embedded in one of your pages, or you can link to the poll’s own custom home page.
Easypolls is free to use, but your poll’s home page will display a banner ad at the bottom. For .99 cents a poll, you can ditch the ad and add some tracking functionality, too.
I can’t stop recommending Qzzr. This is at least the third time I’ve recommended them on the blog. It’s just so easy to make quizzes, and make them look great, on Qzzr. You can add your own background images and images for each option. You can make three different types of quizzes: The “Which Spice Girl Are You” type, the “How Minnesotan Are You” type, and the “How Much Do You Know about Tacos” type.
With a free account you’ll be able to create and embed quizzes and see how many people started and completed the quiz, how long they spent on the quiz, and more. There are premium options available, too. It’s nifty.
March Madness is just around the corner, and you know what that means: March Madness themed content. It seems like everyone starts drawing up brackets this time of year. I’m not knocking the trend, either. There’s something inherently satisfying about reducing 32 or 64 contestants down to one ultimate winner, whether you’re ranking vacuum cleaners or paint colors or My Little Ponies.
Brackify makes it easy to create and administer your own tournaments. Create your brackets, set time limits on voting for each stage, and the software will handle the input and determine the winners. With the ability to set themes and add images, you can make something truly unique for March Madness or any time.
You know what’s very important to making a purchase decision, that most customers hate doing? Math. With Calculoid, you can create a custom calculator page that can process multiple points of input to generate a result. You could, say, show your customer how much money they would save switching to LED lighting based on number of fixtures, monthly power bill, and hours they keep the lights on. In other words, you can create a custom page that demonstrates your value proposition with real numbers straight from your potential customer.
Calculoid is more robust than the first three tools in this list, but it’s also pricier—expect to drop $99 a year or more on your calculator page. If the calculator helps make it clear why people should use your solution, though, that’s a small price to pay.
Data visualization can be a useful way to get across a lot of information at a glance. And it can be beautiful, too. With Infogr.am, you can use your own data sources to create interactive charts, graphs, and maps. With a huge library of designs to choose from, and the ability to add animation and tweak colors, there are endless ways for you to bring your data to life.
Infogr.am has a free membership level with a generous helping of features to play around with. Their premium memberships offer more functionality starting at $19 a month.
If you’re ready to invest some time and resources into creating truly original interactive content, Ceros is a great way to get started. It’s a software platform that simplifies the process of creating HTML5 content. You can drag and drop your own visual assets into the platform, add interactions and animations, and review it with your whole team before you publish.
Ceros has a steeper learning curve than the earlier entries on this list, but it offers a lot more opportunity to create something extraordinary.
SnapApp is another Swiss Army knife of a platform. You can use it to create everything from quizzes to interactive video to lead forms that really pop. As with Ceros, SnapApp is a platform and a service—in addition to the DIY software, their team can help you with design, integration, and analytics.
Interactive Content Tools (Doo Dah, Doo Dah)
The internet is an inherently interactive place. Why make your content a one-way conversation? Interactive content can bring more value to your audience and to your content strategy. You can use it to start a dialog, gaining audience insight while entertaining and informing.
Have you experimented with interactive content? Let me know in the comments.