If you’re responsible for creating exciting content for your brand, then you already know how challenging it is to consistently come up with fresh and engaging ideas. Technology is evolving. And fast. And with it, so are the new possibilities for digital content. With the constant influx of new innovations and ideas, it’s tough to keep up with all the latest and best tools to create engaging digital content.

In order to succeed, you need your audiences to believe in your business. In fact, this is imperative: 59% of Britons say they’ll stop using a brand they don’t believe in. But we live in a time of accelerated change, in which marketers have to work extra hard to cut through the noise to reach their audiences – audiences who expect more from businesses now more than ever.

Before you embark on any interactive project, consider these four things:

  • Technology: does it have a role in the experience you create and if so, what is it?
  • Brand: do these experiences bring anything to your brand values and if so, what?
  • Comms planning: how will you drive awareness to and communicate the interactivity of your initiative?
  • User experience: how are you putting the user at the very centre of your project?

By carefully considering these four key elements, you will be able to determine if interactive technology is the best conduit for your project objectives.

Embarking on an interactive content journey

So you’ve determined that interactive technology is the way to go – great! But now, how do you determine which type is the right one? Here is how to get the most out of interactive content from start to finish:

Interactive film

Use it to enable your audience – from stakeholders to customers – to actively control and affect their narrative, changing the experience from linear to non-linear. Want to increase dwell time on your film and level of interactivity with viewers? This is a great way to do it.

By handing the power to your audience and letting them make decisions, you’re keeping crucial engagement going.

How to get it right:

  • Map out and agree the experience end-to-end: Plan content from a user perspective, detailing each interface, decision and interaction
  • Assemble the right skillsets from the start: Involve user experience, business technology, film production and communications planning before jumping in
  • Don’t forget, it’s a technology project: Take time to understand any technical constraints, like platform and channels, security system, browser or hosting requirements.

Immersive experiences

These allow businesses to demonstrate something abstract and to heighten or enhance people’s understanding of a concept. Perhaps it’s an ‘access all areas’ showcase for key clients to see a factory or site they’re aware of or something that viewers need to try, and experience, before committing to buying.

How to get it right:

  • Start with the user: Map out every stage in the experience and environment
  • Spend time on fidelity to create a multi-sensory world: Sound, space and interaction must all work together as one
  • Develop a proof of concept first: Start iterating as early as possible.

Data visualisation

Audiences are more data-savvy than ever. Visualisations are perfect if you want to tell a data-driven story, or increase the volume of organisational data. Allow your data in all its glory to uncover insights to inform and inspire, and understand what a complex issue means to your audience.

How to get it right:

  • You don’t have to go ‘bespoke’: Pattern libraries like D3 can do the basics
  • Cleanse and structure the data: Make sure it is clean. The output of data will only be as good as the data you put in
  • Find the right data to tell your story: Obtain it, prepare it, and analyse it before presenting it

Conversational interfaces

On-demand customer service. Ongoing customer engagement. Standardising daily tasks at work. Personalising the employee experience. Conversational interfaces can solve common problems such as these to take your business, and day-to-day efficiency to the next level.

How to get it right:

  • Be very clear about the purpose of the tool: Put the user at the heart of it
  • Map out the conversation architecture: Be clear on what it can and can’t do
  • Embrace the iterative approach: Make sure testing is baked in and focus effort on post-deployment to enhance the service.

Technology is undeniably evolving at a rapid rate. Interactive film achieves an immense 11% conversion rate to Google ads’ 1%. According to Gartner, “68% of service leaders indicate that bots and VCAs will be more important in the next two years”. But interactive content doesn’t need to be intimidating. By taking these facets on board when creating your content strategy, you’ll be able to cut through to audiences, convince stakeholders of the value of interactive content and create belief in your business, propelling it into 2020 and beyond.

This article originally appeared in The Drum. To read it in full, click here.

 

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