CRM managers have one of the toughest marketing jobs. Once you have your inbound marketing machine well-oiled and running smoothly, getting people in the door is pretty painless. It’s keeping them engaged with your company that’s the real challenge.
Basically, it’s the difference between making a great impression on a first date versus doing the hard work of nurturing a long-term relationship—and I think we can all agree the latter is much harder than the former.
Just as interpersonal relationships involve a complex ecosystem of factors that contribute to success, so do customer relationships. One of these key factors is the content you share to entertain, educate, upsell, or provide additional value to your audience. The types of content that work best for your program will depend on your industry, products or services, and the users you attract, but across the board, companies have found that interactive content is great for CRM.
There are 4 key reasons that interactive content works so well for relationship building. Let’s explore them together.
1. Interactive Content Increases Engagement
Even the most passionate relationships can fizzle out if one of the people in it becomes disengaged over time. For this reason, one of the primary goals of a CRM manager is to drive increased customer engagement. Orchestrating regular touchpoints with customers is essential, but just as important is the content you share with customers each time you reach out.
Companies using interactive content have seen a positive impact on engagement. In one study, respondents said that interactive content generates conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time compared to just 36% for passive content.
Real-Life Example: The RealReal
Retailer The RealReal was able to drive increased time on site, conversions, and average order values by switching from static to interactive lookbooks on their website.
(Source: The RealReal)
2. Interactive Content Allows for Unique Storytelling
Brand storytelling is reaching a critical impasse when it comes to digital relationship building. More brands are creating more content more rapidly than ever before. It’s no wonder that consumers are starting to feeling overwhelmed—and in many cases, disappointed—by the blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, and case studies businesses are sharing. In fact, one study by Pardot showed that 71% of consumers have been disappointed with brand content at some point—and there’s nothing worse than letting down someone who believes in you.
Interactivity opens the door for new ways of telling the same stories. This novelty factor, plus the added benefit of allowing the viewer to actively explore the narrative following their own pace and pathway, is a seriously powerful weapon for CRM managers to have in their content arsenal.
Real Life Example: NewsCred
NewsCred created an interactive Inspiration Lookbook for content marketers that they distributed at their #ThinkContent summit in 2015. They were able to share inspiring stories from individuals, brands, and organizations their audience could enjoy during and after the event. While they gave every attendee a print version of the lookbook, they had a ton of engagement and shares around interactive version they distributed via email because it allowed them to bring those stories to life in a way they couldn’t do on paper.
3. Interactive Content Is More Effective for Education
Traditional educators have been using interactive content for years to help students learn online. Businesses are now starting to realize that interactive content can be highly effective for educating their audiences as well. In one study, 93% of respondents said that interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating buyers; 88% also said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from competitors.
Real-Life Example: Mundo Real
This product tour for Spanish language learning program Mundo Real is way more exciting than a static SlideShare walkthrough, and engages the end user more than simply watching a demo video.
(Source: Cambridge University Press)
4. Interactive Content Yields Rich Insights into User Behaviors
If you’ve ever tried to communicate with a teenager, you know how difficult it can be to know if your words are having any impact when the response is limited to monosyllables. The same thing happens when you create content for your brand. There’s nothing worse than investing time and resources into creating an eBook that you’re really proud of without knowing if anyone is actually reading it.
Interactive content opens the lines of communication between you and your viewers by providing rich analytics around how people are engaging with your content. Think web analytics, heatmaps, click tracking, and video play stats all rolled into one.
Real-Life Example: Peugeot
Automotive retailer Peugeot distributes e-Motion Magazine, their prospect and customer-facing interactive publication, three times a year via social media, email, and their website. With rich analytics from their interactive content marketing software and CRM programs, they’ve gained deeper insight into:
what devices their audience uses to access their content.
how many people view each page of their magazine.
which links are driving the most clickthroughs to their site.
how people interact with videos, animations, and other content elements.
The Bottom Line
Relationship management is all about creating a series of interactions between you and your customers. Interactive content can help those interactions become more meaningful.