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7 min read Interactive Content: The Key to Engagement in a Distracted World

Interactive Content: The Key to Engagement in a Distracted World

Key Takeaways

  • Interactive content has higher conversion rates than other marketing efforts and is more likely to be shared on social media.
  • Businesses can create a wide range of interactive content such as maps, infographics, videos, polls, calculators, and more.
  • Interactive content can be resource-intensive and slow loading, making technical checks crucial.

Our distracted world

In today’s hyper-con­nect­ed dig­i­tal era, con­sumers across the globe are inun­dat­ed with online con­tent. The relent­less bom­bard­ment of ads, social media posts, emails, and oth­er dig­i­tal con­tent fills peo­ple’s lives, grab­bing their atten­tion at every turn.

As a result, indi­vid­u­als are find­ing it increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to focus on and engage with any sin­gle stream of infor­ma­tion for pro­longed peri­ods. In oth­er words, atten­tion has become a scarce commodity.

This sat­u­ra­tion of the dig­i­tal world pos­es a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge for busi­ness­es: the fight for con­sumer atten­tion. As tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing meth­ods become less effec­tive in this crowd­ed space, com­pa­nies must come up with new ways to cap­ture and main­tain the inter­est of their tar­get customers.

Rather than striv­ing for expo­sure, busi­ness­es are turn­ing towards strate­gies that pri­ori­tise engage­ment and rela­tion­ship-build­ing. One such strat­e­gy is cre­at­ing inter­ac­tive con­tent because it offers excit­ing engage­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for users.

This arti­cle will explore the ben­e­fits and types of inter­ac­tive con­tent, as well as give you prac­ti­cal tips for cre­at­ing your new strat­e­gy. Read on to learn how you can attract new leads and keep pre-exist­ing cus­tomers engaged with inter­ac­tive content.

Can interactive content help?

The key to cap­tur­ing a con­sumer’s atten­tion lies in a busi­ness’s abil­i­ty to enter­tain, edu­cate, and engage its audi­ence. Inter­ac­tive con­tent is one mar­ket­ing tool that does all three of these.

The neu­ro­trans­mit­ter, dopamine, plays a fun­da­men­tal role in the effi­ca­cy of inter­ac­tive con­tent. If inter­ac­tive con­tent con­nects with our reward path­ways, it can keep us engaged for

longer. By its very nature, inter­ac­tive con­tent is more engag­ing than sta­t­ic con­tent; so, users are more like­ly to spend time with it, share it, and return to it.

Inter­ac­tive con­tent can make learn­ing more enjoy­able, cater to dif­fer­ent learn­ing styles (visu­al, audi­to­ry, etc.), and offer mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences. Infor­ma­tion is also bet­ter retained when learn­ing requires active par­tic­i­pa­tion, so inter­ac­tive con­tent is an ide­al option for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es.

Inter­ac­tive con­tent also offers valu­able oppor­tu­ni­ties for data col­lec­tion, insights, and per­son­al­i­sa­tion. This means busi­ness­es can gain infor­ma­tion for future strate­gies, con­tent cre­ation, and the cre­ation of per­son­alised user experiences.

Not only is inter­ac­tive con­tent more like­ly to be shared on social media, but it can also reduce bounce rates and increase time spent on a page – things that are great for SEO. Since it can be more per­sua­sive and mem­o­rable than tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing mate­r­i­al, inter­ac­tive con­tent often has high­er con­ver­sion rates.

By offer­ing unique expe­ri­ences with inter­ac­tive con­tent, you can dif­fer­en­ti­ate your brand from com­peti­tors. Plus, you can save mon­ey as inter­ac­tive con­tent typ­i­cal­ly has a longer shelf life than oth­er types of content.

The many ben­e­fits of inter­ac­tive con­tent show how it can be high­ly effec­tive for enhanc­ing user expe­ri­ences and the over­all per­for­mance of a busi­ness’s mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Keep read­ing to learn how you can begin to cre­ate it.

Types of interactive content

There are count­less ways you can get cre­ative with inter­ac­tive con­tent. Here are a few of the main types to inspire your new strategy:

Quizzes and surveys

If you want to engage cus­tomers, one great way is by invit­ing them to answer ques­tions for quizzes or sur­veys. They could be play­ful triv­ia quizzes that users can share with their friends after­wards, or more seri­ous edu­ca­tion­al quizzes.

Sur­veys can also be made more engag­ing through colour, mov­ing parts, and respon­sive ele­ments (e.g., burst­ing fire­works when users click through the sur­vey form). You can get real­ly cre­ative with this!

Sur­veys are a great source of qual­i­ta­tive data, but they’re often too bor­ing for cus­tomers to fill out. To gath­er more cus­tomer feed­back and ben­e­fit future strate­gies, you might try mak­ing your sur­veys more fun or enjoy­able to use.

Interactive infographics

Info­graph­ics are great for pre­sent­ing infor­ma­tion in an under­stand­able way. Plus, they’re often saved, shared, or linked to by users which can be great for SEO and per­for­mance in general.

Unlike tra­di­tion­al info­graph­ics, inter­ac­tive ones allow users to click on cer­tain ele­ments for more infor­ma­tion or manip­u­late how the infor­ma­tion is pre­sent­ed. These fea­tures can make the info­graph­ics much more enjoy­able to use and improve infor­ma­tion retention.

As a result, when info­graph­ics are made inter­ac­tive, web­site own­ers see greater engage­ment and improved user experiences.

Polls and voting

Votes and polls might be used to gauge cus­tomer opin­ions or pref­er­ences for research pur­pos­es, or they can be a fun way of engag­ing fol­low­ers on social media. Since polls take just a sec­ond to engage with, they can receive a high vol­ume of interaction.

Some influ­encers will use polls to ask fol­low­ers what kind of con­tent they want to see next, but you could take sil­ly opin­ion polls as mar­ket­ing stunts. For exam­ple, a food brand may ask its fol­low­ers to choose between two flavours of crisps ahead of a new release.

Eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into social media posts, polls are great for real-time engage­ment, rais­ing aware­ness, express­ing per­son­al­i­ty, and gath­er­ing use­ful feedback.


Online cal­cu­la­tors can come in handy for inter­net users. At some point in their lives, every­one needs to cal­cu­late one of the following:

  • Tax
  • Pro rata wages
  • Sav­ings goals
  • ROI
  • Health and fit­ness metrics
  • Cur­ren­cy conversions

These inter­ac­tive tools pro­vide users with accu­rate answers to high­ly spe­cif­ic queries, cre­at­ing a great sense of use­ful­ness and satisfaction.

Exam­ple: If a brand sell­ing skin­care prod­ucts pro­vid­ed a cal­cu­la­tor for how often cus­tomers will need to repur­chase their favourite prod­ucts, it may encour­age more pur­chas­es and offer an enjoy­able per­son­alised experience.

In some cas­es, cal­cu­la­tors are sim­ply a fun tool – we found an online cal­cu­la­tor for work­ing out your dog’s age!


Maps are anoth­er use­ful resource for inter­net users. Allow­ing them to zoom in, scroll, and click on spe­cif­ic points for more infor­ma­tion, inter­ac­tive maps can be a great way to present infor­ma­tion and engage the reader.

They’re ide­al for real estate web­sites, tourist attrac­tions, or any busi­ness with a phys­i­cal loca­tion. In addi­tion, a brand like Airbnb uses inter­ac­tive maps to dis­play dif­fer­ent hol­i­day rentals around the world.

What­ev­er pur­pose they’re used for, inter­ac­tive maps can enhance the user’s expe­ri­ence on your site – one that is infor­ma­tive and unique.


Chat­bots are a very com­mon exam­ple of inter­ac­tive con­tent, requir­ing the user to engage with it to ful­fil its pur­pose. Chat­bots that sim­u­late human con­ver­sa­tion for the pur­pos­es of cus­tomer ser­vice vary in qual­i­ty but always aim to give users instant answers.

The smarter your chat­bot is, the bet­ter expe­ri­ence cus­tomers are like­ly to have – so you may want to invest in mak­ing it high-quality.

Immersive experiences

Immer­sive con­tent includes 360-degree videos and expe­ri­ences made with aug­ment­ed real­i­ty (AR) and vir­tu­al real­i­ty (VR). 360-degree videos offer a spher­i­cal view that users can con­trol, mak­ing them great for vir­tu­al tours.

In con­trast, AR expe­ri­ences over­lay dig­i­tal infor­ma­tion onto the real world, mak­ing them ide­al for vir­tu­al try-ons or tuto­ri­als. Tak­ing things fur­ther, VR expe­ri­ences are total­ly immer­sive and allow users to inter­act with a 3D envi­ron­ment. This is great for prod­uct demos, vir­tu­al tours, or edu­ca­tion­al content.

Evi­dent­ly, these kinds of immer­sive expe­ri­ences are a lev­el above oth­er types of inter­ac­tive con­tent. When exe­cut­ed cor­rect­ly, they can be immense­ly use­ful, infor­ma­tive, and fun.

Gamified content

Gam­i­fi­ca­tion “involves apply­ing game design ele­ments in non-gam­ing con­texts,” such as employ­ee train­ing, cus­tomer reward pro­grams, fit­ness chal­lenges, and feed­back forms.

Inte­grat­ing game mechan­ics into non-game envi­ron­ments can improve peo­ple’s expe­ri­ences because they’re made more fun. As a result, par­tic­i­pa­tion can increase, and inter­ac­tions can be more memorable.

It may be that you cre­ate chal­lenges, award points, or sim­ply add game-like UX ele­ments to your web design.

Branching scenarios

Branch­ing sce­nar­ios are main­ly used in e‑learning, such as employ­ee train­ing. How­ev­er, busi­ness­es may also use branch­ing sce­nar­ios as part of recruit­ment processes.

When using these prod­ucts, learn­ers can take dif­fer­ent routes (or ‘branch­es’) to lead them along the learn­ing path. The con­tent will like­ly have mul­ti­ple choice ques­tions lead­ing to dif­fer­ent sto­ry out­comes that demon­strate right and wrong answers.

As a result, branch­ing sce­nar­ios can be high­ly effec­tive edu­ca­tion­al tools that leave learn­ers with mem­o­rable experiences.

8 top tips for creating interactive content

If you decide to embark on the game-chang­er that is an inter­ac­tive con­tent strat­e­gy, there are a few best prac­tices you need to know.

Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing before get­ting started:

1. Design for interactivity from the start

One com­mon mis­take in inter­ac­tive con­tent strate­gies is when mar­keters or busi­ness own­ers retro­fit inter­ac­tiv­i­ty into pre-exist­ing content.

Instead, you should begin with an inter­ac­tive ele­ment in mind and go from there. This way, the final result will feel much more nat­ur­al and inte­grat­ing the inter­ac­tive ele­ment will be much more seamless.

2. Simplify user decisions

User deci­sions are cen­tral to the func­tion and use of inter­ac­tive con­tent – so they should be con­sid­ered dur­ing the cre­ation stage.

Ide­al­ly, the deci­sions posed by the con­tent should be sim­ple and obvi­ous. This will pre­vent deci­sion fatigue and make using your con­tent super straight­for­ward. As a result, engage­ment rates will be higher.

3. Incorporate visual cues for interactivity

As well as being sim­ple, oppor­tu­ni­ties for inter­ac­tiv­i­ty should be obvious.

You should invite inter­ac­tiv­i­ty with clear design ele­ments such as but­tons that change when hov­ered over. When tabs, but­tons, and oth­er ele­ments sig­ni­fy they’re there to be inter­act­ed with, users will have a more pleas­ant and easy expe­ri­ence with your content.

4. Use responsive design techniques

When you design your con­tent, you need to make sure that all its inter­ac­tive ele­ments are func­tion­ing cor­rect­ly. This means test­ing their func­tion across all plat­forms and devices.

Not only does this mean your reach increas­es (with users expe­ri­enc­ing your con­tent from desk­top to mobile) but it will reduce bounce rate. Users can become frus­trat­ed when con­tent isn’t respon­sive, so it’s cru­cial you mit­i­gate against this.

5. Gamify wisely

Gam­i­fi­ca­tion can go wrong when it’s used exces­sive­ly or unnec­es­sar­i­ly. So, make sure you inte­grate game mechan­ics in a way that aligns with your brand. Whether it’s scor­ing, chal­lenges, or rewards, gam­i­fied ele­ments should res­onate with your audi­ence’s moti­va­tions and needs.

When the inter­ac­tive ele­ments are rel­e­vant to your brand and audi­ence, the con­tent will be more engag­ing and sus­tain­able. They should add real val­ue and not be there as gimmicks.

6. Encourage social sharing

Ask­ing users to share your con­tent can some­times feel a bit forced. As a result, mar­keters can some­times shy away from encour­ag­ing social shar­ing for fear of being too pushy. How­ev­er, this can real­ly increase the reach of your content.

There are ways to encour­age social shar­ing in slick and gen­tle ways. Plus, inter­net users are used to it by now! If you make it real­ly easy for users to share your inter­ac­tive con­tent on social media, it will go a lot fur­ther in terms of reach and engagement.

7. Avoid overloading with information

There’s a temp­ta­tion with inter­ac­tive info­graph­ics, maps, and time­lines to add as much val­ue as pos­si­ble. How­ev­er, this can often take the form of a flood of information.

Suc­cess­ful inter­ac­tive con­tent is typ­i­cal­ly sim­ple and straight­for­ward. These info­graph­ics, maps, and time­lines are there to give the main take­aways. Plus, say­ing less can encour­age users to vis­it your web­site for more information.

While it’s great to pro­vide val­ue, users may feel over­whelmed by lots of infor­ma­tion. So, keep the con­tent con­cise and focused for opti­mum performance.

8. Optimise load times and other technical elements

One pit­fall of inter­ac­tive con­tent is that it can be resource-inten­sive. As a result, it may suf­fer from slow load­ing times and a high­er bounce rate.

To mit­i­gate against this, you need to pri­ori­tise load­ing speed when design­ing your con­tent. Before you pub­lish it, make sure it’s func­tion­ing optimally.

In addi­tion, you’ll want to test all the inter­ac­tive ele­ments thor­ough­ly before launch­ing. This means test­ing for bug issues, as well as its func­tion on dif­fer­ent device types, screen sizes, and platforms.

Final thoughts

Inter­ac­tive con­tent has a wide range of fun and cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties, as well as offer­ing a seri­ous set of ben­e­fits for your busi­ness. By fol­low­ing these rec­om­men­da­tions, your strat­e­gy will engage cus­tomers, share valu­able infor­ma­tion, and enhance your mar­ket­ing efforts as a whole.

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