Easy question for you: What’s the most effective kind of marketing?

Answer: Word of mouth marketing.

Part of why word of mouth marketing works so well is that it usually involves a recommendation from someone you know during the course of a conversation, whether online or in person.

This kind of interactivity makes for a much more powerful marketing experience. People are tired of getting one-way direct mailers, banner ads, and commercials from faceless brands who have no personality. Consumers want to interact with brands, not just be passive purchasers of products and services.

To date, marketers have focused on using content and social marketing to make their brands seem more “human” and engage with fans. I firmly believe the next evolution in brand communication will be a shift toward interactive marketing—and I think we’re starting to see this shift already.

What exactly do I mean by interactive marketing? And what does it mean for your brand’s marketing initiatives? Let’s explore these questions together and get a glimpse of the future of marketing while we’re at it.

Dynamic Storytelling

Dynamic Storytelling: Interactive Marketing Source: NewsCred

When we talk about content marketing, we’re usually referring to traditional editorial assets like articles, whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies. The next generation of content will reinvent what content marketing means by taking a dynamic approach to storytelling. This means:

  • RIP, PDFs. Content will be built using responsive HTML5 and other code so that it renders nicely everywhere, on any device.
  • Content will be animated and richly designed.
  • Stories will come in the form of text, videos, sound, GIFs, and images all working together.

Personalized Content

Personalized Content - Interactive Marketing Source: HubSpot

In the real world, when you interact with someone, you usually take into account who they are, what they’re interested in, who they hang out with, and what their background is. Interactive marketing works the same way. You can use key information about a viewer to pull in demographic data, geographic data, lifecycle data, and company data to provide a personalized, relevant, meaningful experience for the end user.

Layered Information

Layered Content Interactive Marketing Source: Contently

Traditional content marketing guides the reader down the path of a linear, one-dimensional narrative with a clear start, middle, and end. With interactive marketing, your narrative can become much more flexible and dynamic. You can tell your brand stories using a layered approach that provides a snackable, bite-sized surface layer with more meaty, detailed content to educate audience members who really want to dig into a topic.

Two-Way Interaction

Interactive Marketing - Sinatra Quiz Source: 10Ten Media

Most marketing seems to be talking “at” the audience. With interactive marketing, the audience gets to talk back. This can happen with interactive tools like:

  • Quizzes.
  • Assessments.
  • Calculators.
  • Branching Content.
  • Games.
  • Interactive Videos.

Instead of passively consuming content, invite your viewers to actively participate in telling a story with you. A two-way interaction is a much more powerful experience, for both your brand and your audience.

The Bottom Line

Interactive marketing is the future of marketing. In a virtual web filled with content that’s fake and voices that are disingenuous, people are longing to make real connections. Interactivity will empower you to make those real connections with customers, prospects, followers, and fans.

Brand Storytelling eBook

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