Data & Interactive Content—A Match Made In Marketing Heaven

There is probably no community more aware of the value of data than content marketers.

Content marketers know the reason a business may ask us to complete a form and that whatever information we give them will be added to a nurture campaign. We also are aware that any time we complete a form on a webpage, we will likely be called by a rep from that company.

We, essentially, are data. Users, clickers, shoppers, prospects. Sometimes we have a name but often we are simply measured by interaction. What did we click on? What did we like? How much of something did we read? And of course, how quickly did we leave a web page?

“Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.”- Suhail Doshi, CEO, Mixpanel

Every single interaction that we have with an experience is data. Sweet, beautiful, honest data. And the reason that we are so educated about what a business’ intent is when asking us to complete a form is because we too are obsessed with data.

People Tell Stories. Data is Honest.

Admittedly, I am a horrible sales person. I couldn’t sell water in a desert. When I have been on a call with someone, trying to convince them to purchase something, I take whatever excuse they throw my way and use it to end the conversation. Most of us do not want someone to be sold something, even if we know that we need it. And when we feel that someone is trying to sell us something, it is not uncommon to tell stories to get us out of the situation. We lie about our budgets, lie about being a decision maker, exaggerate about how busy we are to take the call, or we go M.I.A. and leave the sales rep wondering what happened.

But data does not lie. Our engagement data tells a true story of our actions and interest when we are on a web page. Interactive content is measurable and provides us with so much more data that traditional static content would.

Let’s back up a bit and talk about the journey of a user who has downloaded our static white paper.

  • A web user sits down at their computer and types into the search engine a few keywords and they see an ad appear. It’s our ad. They click it and land on our landing page.
  • The landing page is simple. It has an image, a description about a white paper, and a small form.
  • They are interested in the white paper but skeptical about completing the form because they have no idea who we are, what services we offer, or what will happen with their information. They abandon the page.

What did we learn? We know that our paid search campaign is kicking ass because people are clicking on it. But, something is happening on our landing page. Somewhere on our landing page users are losing interest and are abandoning the page before completing the form. And since nothing on our landing page encourages engagement, we have no idea where the user lost interest.

Let’s tell the exact same story but with interactivity added to our page.

  • A web user sits down at their computer and types into the search engine a few keywords and they see an ad appear. It’s our ad. They click it and land on our landing page.
  • A rotator is present in the hero, encouraging users to click to see testimonials. They click it and learn that we have several customers who believe that our product is among the best.
  • Below the form are reveal tiles that showcase our features. The user clicks to see what is behind the flip.
  • A quiz question is also located on the page, asking users to test their knowledge on the topic. The user engages with it and learns that they selected the wrong answer.
  • Below the quiz question, animations draw the user’s eye to logos from some of our partners. The user clicks a button on the bottom of the page to download the white paper. A lightbox opens with a form. The user completes it and immediately gains access to a static white paper.

What did we learn here? The user was interested in our testimonials because they clicked through them. The topics on the reveal caught their attention and the user may need more information about the topic because they selected the wrong choice in the question. We also learned that our content was engaging because the user clicked the CTA at the bottom of the page.

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO

Interactive content provides data that we only dreamed could be possible. Learning what content our users are engaged with prior to completing a form or abandoning our page tells us what is working and what we can remove.

What do you want to learn from your content?