Participatory Content Helps You Rise Above the Clutter

By Michael McEnaneyAugust 18, 2015

The Internet is a busy place. How busy? Well, here are a few numbers taken from a recent white paper done by the International Journal of Communication that clearly indicate traffic is only increasing on the information superhighway. The report claims there are over 700,000 Google searches every 60 seconds, 5.3 trillion ads shown every year and the average consumer processes over 100,000 words online every day.

So then, with all that clutter and all that content, how best to cut through it all and truly leave an impression? In a recent Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) report on Internet trends, the research firm claims successful marketers are re-imagining their online content efforts and using a more interactive approach to stand out amid all the noise.

The report details how most content marketing currently goes the passive route of blog posts, infographics, e-books, white papers, reports and webinars. The KPCB report claims that by adding more functional capabilities into their content mix, marketers can gain new dimensions of creative freedom in how they present their material.

This interactivity, the report stresses, is not simply about producing even more content — it is about producing content with participatory elements in unique and compelling ways. The reports suggest that marketers ask questions, give choices and let consumers experiment with several different scenarios within the content they produce.

Among the advantages interactive content typically brings are:

  • It is a more effective way to educate consumers as experiential learning is far more engaging.
  • Interactive content has a longer shelf life as it isn’t anchored to a publish date, allowing it to become a more evergreen asset.
  • People rarely consume the same piece of passive content twice while interactive content has far more likely repeat value — it is viewed as reusable.

And perhaps of greatest importance, the KPCB study claims the type of data collected through interactive content goes beyond the typical information of whether the content was either requested or not, instead allowing the marketer to gain insight about prospects based on the way they interacted with these app-like, interactive experiences.

Depending on how the interactivity and participatory elements were structured, marketers might glean useful information on how the visitor assessed themselves, gaining insights based on how well they scored on a particular subject matter quiz. Interesting information can also be revealed by the kind of scenarios they explored with a calculator or configurator.

Simply stated, to best rise above the clutter it is truly time to re-imagine what you want your content marketing campaign to accomplish and begin actively engaging your audience.

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