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Interactive marketing is a customer-oriented approach to marketing that engages the user and requires their participation. The most popular forms of interactive marketing content are polls, surveys, quizzes and games. This type of content can help you drive awareness, engage your audience, generate high-converting leads, convert to sales, or nurture brand loyalty.

Related: Generating leads with content marketing—4 things most brands get wrong

In a recent Content Marketing Institute survey, marketers compared interactive and static content. Around 80% of them agreed that interactive content was more effective at capturing attention, converting site visitors and ensuring brand message retention. In particular, let's take a look at 4 types of interactive content that are most likely to bring you results.

Polls & surveys

Polls and surveys are probably the simplest and oldest form of interactive marketing. They're a great way to get in touch with your audience, but despite their simplicity, you can use them in several different ways to help you build a genuine connection with your followers.

The easiest and most straightforward way to use polls and surveys is to ask your audience or customers for opinions about your product, service or content.

Interactive content examples
Source: Twitter

For example, many content creators run regular polls to inform their content creation strategy.

Interactive content examples
Source: Twitter

While many marketers use polls as part of their content creation process, it doesn't have to be the only way to engage with your audience or customers.

You can use polls to obtain relevant statistics from your industry and later turn them into a valuable source of unique content that will boost your authority in the business field.

Interactive content examples
Source: Twitter

Of course, polls don't have to be all work and no play—if your brand relies on aligning with your customer's lifestyle, values and interests, you can always use relaxing or entertaining content to nurture friendly, close relationships with them.

Interactive content examples
Source: Twitter

Finally, you can also use current local (or global) events & news to start a conversation with your audience in a way that feels relevant to your product or brand.

Interactive content examples
Source: Twitter

If you have any doubts on whether polls draw engagement, I kept the number of likes and retweets visible in the last screenshot. As you can see, despite drawing only two engagements typical for static posts (one like and one reply), the poll itself attracted 89 people to vote.

Incorporating polls in your content marketing strategy is pretty much a breeze—polls are a regular feature on both Facebook and Twitter, and it only takes a few clicks to create them.

Contests

Another well-known marketing strategy that still delivers amazing results is the gamification of various contests and challenges.

Gamification can bring an up-to-150% increase in engagement, so naturally, almost 87% of retailers plan to use it within the next five years. In terms of content marketing, challenges and photo/video contests are a great way to gather user-generated content that can later be used or repurposed for brand development.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the famous ALS "Ice Bucket" challenge that managed to raise awareness about a rare neuron disease, engage 17 million participants, and collect $115 million in donations that led to a breakthrough in determining the cause of ALS.

Interactive content examples
Actors Henry Cavill & Amy Adams do the ALS challenge. Source: YouTube

The ALS awareness campaign challenged people to dump a bucket of ice over their head (or have another person do it to them). Then, participants nominated the next participant—the only way to opt-out of getting showered with ice was to donate money to the ALS Association.

Similarly, you can challenge your audience to a little photo or video contest with a unique hashtag on social media in exchange for a fitting reward. Of course, whatever the topic of the contest is, it has to align with your brand values and product. There's not much point in organizing a photo challenge depicting the wonders of nature if you're selling used car parts—but there are plenty of other challenges that would fit splendidly.

Interactive content examples
Source: National Geographic

In the end, your contest should neither be too easy nor too difficult. You want people to put some time into connecting with you in exchange for a prize or benefit that seems attainable and worthy of the work it requires. You don't want to frustrate people or make them feel cheated.

A good challenge will bring out people's natural curiosity and competitive spirit. The better you are at that, the greater your chances of going viral. If your contest is engaging, people will be eager to share it. [Click to tweet Tweet this]

Quizzes

You've probably procrastinated a project by doing dozens of absurd quizzes with titles like "Tell us your favorite One Direction member and we'll tell you which garlic bread you are." Apart from being addictive and fun, quizzes can also be a great way to boost your content marketing and sell more. How?

Quizzes have a 78% completion rate and an 82% click-to-conversion rate. They satisfy our need for introspection, self-confirmation, recognition and belonging—making them super clickable, convincing and shareable (qualities you definitely want in your marketing content).

For example, you can capture people's attention by running a quiz on your website or social media, promising they'll discover something about themselves (ideally, something relevant to your brand). The results they get can direct them towards a landing page or collect their email address in exchange.

But, don't think that quizzes are only good for retailers and entertainment websites. This type of interactive content is also a great way to reach out to business clients. By identifying the unique challenges of your B2B buyers, you can create quizzes that offer them practical, customized solutions in the form of quiz results.

Interactive websites

Interactive websites engage and inspire your potential customers to explore content in a way regular blog posts don't. Take, for example, this piece of sponsored content in The Washington Post.

Interactive content examples
Source: The Washington Post

The National Association of Realtors published an article with the goal of reaching their target market of first-time homebuyers. As the younger generation is more cautious and skeptical about purchasing real estate, realtor marketers knew they had to step up their game.

Interactive content examples
Source: The Washington Post

And the article itself does feel like a game, constantly requiring the reader's attention and interaction. (For example, there's an interactive infographic.) Content sections are intertwined with relevant survey questions about personal experiences, opinions and expectations.

Interactive content examples
Source: The Washington Post

Apart from reaching a skeptical audience with content that responds to their common complaints and questions, the survey was also a way to help realtors gather data about their ideal customer.

Interactive content examples
Source: The Washington Post

While interactive websites require extra work and time in development, that investment pays off. Try it on yourself—even if you're not a first-time home buyer, did you feel compelled to check out the article anyway? Exactly. A great interactive website encourages visitors to explore, click and read (!) your content.

Key takeaway

As the digital sphere grows more personalized, interactive content is slowly becoming the norm. Software developers are keeping up, providing marketers with tools that turn interactive content creation from a daunting task into a 10-minute routine.

However, even if you decide to dedicate more time and resources to this type of content marketing, keep in mind the reward. Interactive content generates 4-5x more pageviews and 2x more conversions than static content. Why not give it a try?

Extra credit: See how Lucidpress can streamline your brand's content marketing and keep your team on the same page.

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Author Bio

Jeremy Ellens is the co-founder of LeadQuizzes, which has helped 10k+ users like Neil Patel and Lewis Howes generate over 4,000,000 leads for their businesses using quizzes. He has been a contributor for Entrepreneur and HubSpot. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter: @jeremyellens