We like our pretty interactive content, don’t we? The way it distracts us from the workday with its punchy visuals and compelling words. The way it teaches us a little something about ourselves – like how hipster our bookshelves are and which 90s accessories we are.
But that’s all fun and games stuff. We know why we truly, madly, deeply love our interactive content (and it’s got nothing to do with ourselves – and everything to do with our customers).
Due to the addictive nature of BuzzFeed quizzes, interactive content (with quizzes as the star performers) has been dazzling marketers since it burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. Naturally, we started integrating them into our strategic repertoire to drive awareness and leads.
Interactive Quizzes Deliver the Goods
When done well, interactive content can be a big hit with prospects and give companies a lot of bang for their buck.
It educates buyers…
It increases conversions…
It increases brand awareness…
…and all of those are very, very good things, indeed.
One of the other big benefits of an interactive quiz? Unbeatable intelligence. But to turn interactive content into a powerful weapon for your sales team, you need to get sales more involved.
Static Content Provides Less Intelligence
Besides the likelihood of lower engagement, one of the blaring problems with static content is that you can’t see how leads are interacting with your content when they are interested, making the intelligence extremely limited across the board.
On the marketing front, you know how many downloaded that eBook – but you don’t know if they read all of it, part of it, or none of it. You have no clue whether they thought the content was valuable or if they chucked it.
On the sales front, you know some of the basic information about the prospect, including a few demographics, from the form they submitted. And you know they care enough about the topic to download the eBook, so that’s behavioral data. But you don’t know specifics, like their role in a purchase decision or specific pain points.
Both marketing and sales, two classically different characters in the business world, are blind about the results of the same eBook – because static content can only go so far.
Unknowns Make Proving Content ROI Impossible
Content marketing is already expensive, because it takes time and resources to pull it off. Marketers of today are up against proving the ROI of content, demonstrating the worthiness of the expense to generate revenue.
In a land of tight marketing budgets, the unknowns really don’t help our case. In fact, they make proving content ROI pretty impossible. And in these days, when CMOs are tasked with proving marketing to be not a cost center but a revenue-generator, that’s just not good enough.
Interactive content certainly isn’t cheap, but it offers revenue-driving benefits that support the cost. While engagement and brand awareness are fine and dandy, where an interactive quiz really shines for sales teams is in the information that’s captured.
A well-executed quiz gets away with probing questions, because the user is engaged with the content. They’re having a good time and learning something about themselves in the process.
If a salesperson picked up the phone and started asking a random lead the same questions, they chance an awkward conversation, or also very likely … getting hung up on.
Which is why, more than ever before, it’s smart to focus on team collaboration. Instead of marketing and sales running off to their different corners, they need to sit at the same table and work it out.
The No-Nonsense Approach for Content Collaboration
Sales is probably going to say they don’t have time to help, so explain to them that you want to work smarter by collaborating on a primary asset that will be the focus of your lead generation efforts. You’re not going to work side by side on every little blog post.
When it comes time to invest in interactive content, the brainpower should come from both sides of the spectrum. Having both perspectives engaged in the conversation helps keep everybody in line – the overarching goal should be nailing the puzzle you are trying to solve together.
An SLA (Service Level Agreement) is still a good idea as you’re using interactive content to create sales and marketing alignment. Once you’ve agreed upon a definition of an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead), ensure that a follow-up strategy is set in place early on, with clear definitions about roles and responsibilities that will serve as the backbone of the process as you strive to turn your lead into a potential buyer.(Download your free SLA template here.)
If you think interactive content is going to be a tough sell with your sales team, go with a quiz. Let them know the answers from this quiz will provide the most glorious intelligence they’ve ever seen. Ask them to think about the follow-up possibilities, and…
You had them at follow-up possibilities.
Sales Has Great Content Ideas Too
Once you have sales excited about the stellar intelligence benefit of interactive quizzes, don’t go running off with creative abandon to start building the content in your marketing cubicle. Invite sales to be a part of the content ideation. Because guess what? Salespeople have great content ideas too.
First, make sure both teams agree upon who you are trying to reach. Remember, you’re investing good money for a sterling piece of interactive content. Don’t throw it all away by building an asset that doesn’t make sense.
So first, come to an agreement on the persona and/or vertical you’re going to reach. The content should also align with the stage of the buying cycle the prospect is in.
- If you’re trying to reach a buyer in the top “Awareness” stage, focus on getting attention for an issue and showing your expertise.
- If you’re trying to reach a buyer in the middle “Consideration” stage, you should ask more in-depth questions that will help them solve a problem, and eventually move them forward to making a purchase decision.
- At the bottom of the sales funnel, you could try something like an interactive cost analysis or ROI calculator.
When you’re creating content for a quiz, sales will be able to provide ideas for stage-appropriate questions that will support the intelligence they crave. And the resulting more-robust profile will help sales understand the potential readiness and fit of a lead.
Marketing isn’t as well equipped here, because they aren’t in the field. So this is the perfect opportunity to listen to sales’ needs and incorporate them right into an engaging piece of content that will directly support their efforts.
Enabling Your Sales Team with Interactive Content
Sales doesn’t have time to mess around. Nobody does – but they definitely can’t afford to waste time when it can be better spent on pursuing ideal prospects. Sales enablement has become a popular topic for a reason. To keep your sales teams happy and proactive, they need the content to be a driver in the sales cycle too.
By being involved with the interactive quiz from its inception, sales helped steer the strategic direction already. And if the content performs well, the intelligence will be unbeatable.
From follow-up emails to phone calls, sales will be able to select informational nuggets to fuel the conversation. This gives them more confidence to bring to the table, as they can customize the features or services talking points based on the buyer’s pain points and aspirations the quiz helped them identify beforehand. At the end of the day, sales is happy because they have a much higher potential for closing.
“Market like the year you are in.” Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media gave us marketers some words to live by when he said this.
Marketing is always evolving and we have to evolve with it. When the next big thing comes along, it’s an opportunity to do what works to reach our objectives. The sales and marketing alignment movement is getting lost out there. We keep talking about it, but we’re not doing it.
If marketing and sales work together instead of separately from the get-go with the creation of a focal lead generation asset, think about the difference that would make. What would that look like? Probably a whole lot different than the way you’ve been working.
If we take an innovative tactic like interactive content and combine it with a necessary practice like sales and marketing alignment, we’ll be taking purposeful strides to achieve content marketing greatness.
Ready to see some interactive content in action? Take a look at Act-On’s interactive infographic, Account-Based Marketing by the Numbers, and learn some quick and powerful facts about this much buzzed-about topic and how, for B2B marketers, it might be worth a deeper dive.