How to Take your Existing Static Content and Turn it Interactive

Each day, there are millions of pieces of content added to the internet. Blog articles, infographics, white papers, and ebooks are published consistently over a wide range of platforms and mediums. With all of this content being created, it’s surprising that any brand would believe they need to make new content to launch an interactive experience.

A lot of ion customers feel that they have to write new content for every experience they make — even if the topic was recently covered in an article, blog, or white paper. Content creation is a time-consuming task — writing, conceptualizing, proofing, approvals, all of this takes time and time is money. Stop wasting both and start repurposing and reimagining your static content.

Fresh Eyes — Fresh Vision

We get it! Your static content looks great, it performed well, and you subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke…” mentality. Well, we had to be the bearer of bad news but, it is broke. We aren’t saying that the content itself is bad, but your measurement and success metrics for that static piece are most definitely broke.

It’s hard to step outside of ourselves and see our content with fresh eyes. I look at our content often, and it’s hard for me to reimagine it as anything else because I am so invested in that original vision. But, if I want to get the most impact and longevity from each piece of content I create, I need to put new glasses on and see it for more than what it originally set out to be.

You Know Your Content Is Valuable But Does Your Audience Think So?

Every time you write a blog post (like this one) or design a beautiful PDF for download, you are investing in the idea that your users are not only going to download it but they will also consume it, love it, and return to it as a resource over and over again. But, if that static PDF lives on their desktop or printed and tacked to their cubicle wall, you have no idea how important it was to them. Or unimportant for that matter.

When you look at your static piece of content, what do you see that could be interactive? Do you ask the user questions about their product or services?


When I am scanning a customers content piece, I look for questions that aim to get the user thinking. In the above .gif which was created from our Interactive Content Toolkit, we are asking the user to think about their current content marketing tactics. These questions can easily be turned into a quiz or assessment which could provide the user with valuable results that are more tailored to their business.


I also spend time scanning content to find high value stats or factoids that could be used in an interactive experience such as an infographic. Additionally, stats can be turned into a quiz question that tests users knowledge. We did that with the recent CMI Report which is available here.

One of our most popular content experiences is interactive infographics that showcase high level stats and factoids from a robust experience like a white paper or ebook.


One of my favorite customer examples of this type of strategy was an experience we created in partnership with Uberflip. Their ebook which you can see above was full of really beautiful design treatment that was intended to capture your eye and encourage you to learn more about content creation. We took that same content and created an infographic teaser that encouraged the user to download the ebook.


This infographic above pulled the most impactful stats from the static ebook and turned it into an engaging teaser that encourages users to complete the form. Uberflip was able to gain insights into what stats were most impactful in the experience, and they could, in turn, take that data and leverage it in a future experience.

Do you know what else is awesome? We used templates to create these experience.

Yes, templates.

Templates Make the World of Interactive Content Go ‘Round

Do not be turned off by the word “template.” Template may sound like you’re going to get a cookie cutter experience but trust me, that is not the case. Templates, such as the ones our site which we refer to as Quick Starts, should be used as a base for an experience, not an exact road map.


In the above gif, there is an infographic that was created for FPL on the left side and the Quick Start used on the right. You can see that though the structure and functionality are similar, the design elements tell a unique story.

The use of a Quick Start means that the development and backend work was already done for you, making your time to launch quicker and easier.

When we use a Quick Start as a reference for what content will live in an interactive experience, we look at the static and Quick Start experiences side by side to help us pin-point the best content for the interactive experience. 

Reimagine Your Content as Something Else

Just because you wrote a static white paper, does not mean that you should immediately consider creating an interactive version of the same white paper. White papers, ebooks, research report, all of these content types are heavy with copy that can be taken and reimagined as a completely different experience. For example, a white paper probably has several key points within that can be turned into a quiz or calculator. Let’s say that you wrote a white paper on the potential business cost of not having a cyber security system that you want to send to prospects to showcase the value of your services.

If you presented this white paper to me, I would immediately suggest an ROI Calculator that tells your audience about the cost associated with not having a cyber security system that protects their servers and data.


Symantec created something similar and encouraged their prospects to answer questions about their current cyber security systems and offered a white paper as further education about the topics.

This is an impactful approach because prospects are not only engaging with one piece of Symantec’s content, they are now on a content journey that will move them further down the funnel.

Nothing — Not even Content is Set In Stone

Once you create your interactive content experience using content from a static piece, it’s time to start testing. Test everything. Test multiple versions of it. Test the headline, the imagery, the CTA, the CTA placement. Test until your heart can’t imagine testing anymore and then test again. Your content will have the most longevity if you keep it fresh and different and the best way to do that is to iterate and update.


Audrey Ross, ion interactive Director of Customer Engagement and I presented our Back to Basics webinar in July! During our webinar we introduced the fundamentals of interactive content along with tips and tricks for getting your interactive content to market. View the webinar recording here!

You can also watch a previous webinar. that we hosted on this very topic — How to Take the Leap from Static to Interactive Content on our site here.

To see live examples of the experiences I shared above, visit our website here.

You can also review Case Studies, and Quick Starts there as well!