7 Examples of Eye-Catching Interactive Content that Make Your Business Memorable
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
Instead of reading about what you do, interactive content is a powerful way to get potential customers excited about your business. If you think it sounds overwhelming to create engaging, interactive content, think again! These 7 tools will help you break up with words, and give you a new perspective on how to explain your product’s top features.
Are you squeezing and smashing every description word you can think about your business into every corner of your website? While beefy word walls might be your default explanation style, it’s important to think about how even the greatest wordsmiths had to learn how to contend with the influx of multimedia into the storytelling space. Media analyst, Matthew Ingram, described it as such: “...your competition is not the product or service that is better than you...it’s the one that is good enough for your readers or users...if it provides information that is useful or valuable to them, that is all that matters, not whether it fits the objective definition of something called ‘journalism.’”
In other words, how great your product or offering is meaningless if you’re not able to explain it in a way that appeals to your target customers. While you may understand the nitty-gritty, ins-and-outs of what you sell, it’s extremely risky to assume your customer has the same level of understanding. Being seen, heard, and understood comes down to how effectively you can show people the benefits of your offering.
They might have told you to “use your words,” but these 7 interactive tools require customers to engage with your content which brings your marketing new life in exciting and memorable ways.
Before & After Sliders
The phrase “Before and After” might immediately bring back the chords of a 90s Jenny Craig commercial from the depths of your buried memories. (I know you’re singing it now, so feel free to pause and enjoy a nostalgic dose of 1-800-94JENNY.)
We might remember them mostly for weight loss demonstrations, but Before & Afters have a lot of great possibilities for telling your product story. You can show just how many more stars can be seen with your telescope vs. a popular competitor, how much cleaner your facilities are than the option across town, or how something was left by a previous business before you took over the project.
Although comparison images are nothing new, the act of physically dragging a slider creates a more powerful connection between the user and the final result. A potential customer moving the slider at their own pace puts them at the center of the action and more invested in the process.
One of my favorites lets you see how a famous movie scene looked on camera prior to being sent off for special effects.
Try making one for yourself! https://juxtapose.knightlab.com
“From left to right: Raw Material Addition and Agitation, Hydraulic Lift, Short Recirculation…” There are only so many ways to point out complicated moving parts in a static image. ThingLink is a cool tool that lets you create a totally immersive experience within a static image, regular video, or even a 360° video. You can set hotspots that, when clicked, pop-up with videos, audio, image close-ups, links, and more. It’s been used to point out sounds you’d hear in a lush jungle, show what celebrities were spotted at a tennis match, or provide videos on how a certain feature in a product image works.
Olovi uses it to give interactive 360° walkthroughs of their clients’ production facilities. You can click different sections of factory equipment to get a close-up animation of how that piece works.
Make your own!: https://www.thinglink.com
Offer an Interactive Product Preview
Hubspot’s Website Grader is a brilliant example of how you can provide a preview to how you can help your customer. Instead of blindly prompting you to sign-up for a free consultation, they give you a “taste” of how they can improve your website.
Why would you think to request a consultation if you didn’t know your website was in dire need of assistance? With this tool, Hubspot gives you a glimpse into the problems your unique website is experiencing. With well-timed e-mail follow-ups, they simply let you know that they are here to help fix the newly discovered errors.
They could easily provide a list of common errors in a big, anonymous chart. Instead, the personalized report is something that only applies to your specific problems and is more likely to be something you would take action on.
Two numbers can be compared in dozens of ways, but it’s important to talk about them in ways that your customer can easily visualize. For most people, even the idea of decoding an array of numbers sends their brain into fight or flight mode. Luckily, as they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
For example, if the 257-minute drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas suddenly took 30-minutes, you could say that the drive is now 88% faster. Other than sounding like ‘a hell of a lot faster,’ it lacks an illustrative visual connecting the theory of time saved to how it actually feels to not waste time in traffic.
Hyperloop One does a great job illustrating just how much time it takes to get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. They use a cool interactive tool on their website that highlights the average travel times of a variety of vehicles compared to hurtling through the desert via vacuum tube. If that wasn’t enough for you, they even convert the whooshing pod’s speed into how many years of waiting in traffic, yanking your hair out are saved per million miles of its use.
Interactive Product Guides
Do you have dozens (or maybe hundreds!) of products, or a handful of tiers with a massive list of differing features? The all-popular comparison chart is how most businesses demonstrate the differences between various product offerings. Where have you not seen this beast in action? On Dropbox, this chart helps you visually compare features of different product models.
With a comparison chart, it’s hard to provide much (if any) detail behind each product feature. The user is expected to understand enough about each to really determine their own set of pros and cons. Moreso, you run the risk of overwhelming your customer by forcing them to review options that have no impact on their unique set of circumstances.
Enter the interactive product guide. Interactive product guides are great for paring down massive product lines. With these guides, you pose very specific questions to users while an algorithm in the background adds and subtracts various options. The result is a unique, curated list of only the product options that are best for the user’s distinct set of needs.
With a product guide, you can ask specific, contextual questions that start an engaging conversation with your customer, while comparison charts risk burying the feature that is the most important to a unique customer in a sea of silent check marks. Consider the impact of “How often does your household use video chat or make internet phone calls?” vs. a little blue check-mark beside Video and Internet Phone Calls.
Cool tool for making your own: https://zoovu.com
Quizzes are another style of product guide that is an excellent way to deliver a personalized experience on your website. They’re not only effective at telling us which of Kim Kardashian's kids we are based on the trendy foods we pick (looking at you, Buzzfeed), but they can help businesses capture customer leads based on key interests. From a business perspective, a good quiz typically ends with filling out your email address in order to receive your results.
While you might use a product guide to curate a longer list of products, a quiz typically has a shorter list of potential outcomes. For example, using a quiz, an entrepreneur coach could identify whether I am just starting out in a new business, have been open for awhile and are looking to scale, or am an older business looking to identify new growth opportunities. My quiz answers are passed over and I can be sent targeted content based on my responses.
A specialized calculator is one of the easiest, most underused, interactive tool on the web. Instead of walking your customer through a set of wordy diagrams and mathematical equations, you can provide them with an easy-to-use calculator. With a few button clicks, customers can quickly find out how many buckets of paint are needed to paint their living room, whether they should buy or rent, or how many lumens are preferred to light up their front walkway.
Cool tool for making your own: https://www.convertcalculator.co
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then one effective piece of Interactive content speaks more powerfully than 10,000 bricks in a word wall. Learning to illustrate your product’s benefits in interactive and immersive ways is far more convincing than stuffing words onto your website to simply collect dust in your digital basement. What interactive tools do you use to tell your product’s story?
Next Steps: A lot of these content tools can be thought of as complex data wearing a lovely dress. As someone that's constantly pushing people to rethink how they explain numbers, one of my favorite reads is Envisioning Information. Learn about beautiful examples of how they would create visuals to teach people complicated dance steps before video was invented (gasp!) and tabulate times multiple train lines would arrive from far-off cities into easy-to-read brochures. In learning to vibrantly visualize data, you can communicate any information in new, bold, and brilliant ways.