5 Interactive Content Formats for Greater Engagement

By Vee Tardrew - June 19, 2014

I fell in love in the summer of 2007. With HubSpot. And it all started with an eBook.

At the time I was working as a one-woman marketing team for a South African company and the term ‘online marketing’ had only reached a few marketers on our shores. While I inherently knew that I could deliver better return on investment using the Internet as a primary marketing channel, I struggled to get the buy-in from my executive team I needed in order to effect change.

HubSpot won me over with their ample (free) eBooks that helped me learn more about inbound marketing methodology and provided the ammunition information I needed to present a case for a shift in our business.

Fast forward 7 years and I think I have read enough eBooks, blog posts, online articles, white papers and case studies to fill a small bookshop. And I doubt I am the only one! These are the go-to content formats for most digital marketers today.

And yet a recent Demand Metrics study has revealed that these marketers are facing ongoing challenges using these passive content formats.

  • 25% of respondents perceive passive content as poor quality
  • 64% said that passive content doesn’t create enough opportunities for interaction and engagement
  • 34% believed these formats are boring and uninspiring
  • 37% revealed that these formats don’t draw much attention or generate the interest expected / needed

On the other hand, interactive content performs considerably better on all these fronts and generates conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time. So is it time we start considering alternative content formats to boost our onversions and ramp up our engagement? I think so.

What Interactive Content Formats Can You Use In Your Content Marketing

Helpful Applications or Tools

Any content offering that helps your prospect, lead or customer do something easier, better, quicker is a good call here. One of my personal favourite examples of this is Portent’s Content Idea Generator. (Warning: Comes with high addiction rating and peculiar grammar at times.) I use this app when I’m having a slow brain day and I need some content creation inspiration.

Informative Assessments

HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a prime example of an online assessment tool that gives you an indication of the marketing performance of your website against best practice methods and mechanisms. Simply enter your website URL and email address and HubSpot will send you a detailed report with recommendations for improvement. 

Interactive Calculators

Interactive online calculators are extremely handy for anyone needing to ascertain certain values without the knowledge of the formulas to apply. These work particularly well in the financial sector. Most banks or lending houses offer online calculators to determine affordability of mortgage loans, vehicle instalments or other lines of credit. Other examples include income tax calculators, retirement requirements calculator or even carbon footprint calculators. 

Ready-Made Templates or Kits

Back to our 'helping' theme! Creating templates or kits that your audience is able to 'pick and up run with' is another great way to help them accomplish an otherwise tedious task in a simpler way. Why not check out our Content Marketing Template pack as an example?

In it we offer:

  • A content audit template to document all your existing content
  • A content mapping template to help you map your content to your various buyer personas
  • An editorial calendar with both a week and year view that let's you plan your content distribution in advance

These ready made documents will help you keep your content marketing strategy, creation and publishing on track.


Do you know that quizzes were most shared content in the last year? In fact, when BuzzSumo and OkDork.com collaborated to analyse the 100 million most shared content pieces, they found that 8 of the top 10 were quizzes with Buzzfeed's "What Career Should You Actually Have" coming out tops.

People like quizzes as they satisfy their need for self-awareness. When we share our quiz results others learn more about who we are, what we value, and our tastes and that fuels our identity and ego. Yes, we're a narcasstic bunch!

With more and more pressure to ‘stand out’ from the crowd and create extraordinary content you need to think out of the passive content box and explore alternative content formats better geared to convert leads.



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