Interactive Content in 2020
One advancing change to keep top-of-mind in 2020: “interactive content.” In the online world of today – where people can like, share, follow, and tweet anything and everything on social media and post reviews to Google, Amazon, or any other site – interactive content is in many ways a natural extension of this kind of communication.
Interactive content (also known as “immersive experiences”) is currently the most effective means of introducing a brand to an audience. Yes, traditional advertising is still relevant, but there is an inherent disconnect between the content that’s being marketed from the audience. The advertisement is on one side; the audience is on the other side. The recent introduction of interactive content bridges this gap between advertisement and audience.
Content That Creates Curiosity and Conversions
The cutting-edge technology behind interactive content educates, entertains, and – most importantly – engages the audience who’ve taken the time to find out about what a brand has to offer. Audiences are encouraged to engage with the content that’s shown up in a search. This engagement can take the form of anything from quizzes to step-by-step interactive tutorials. So, the audience learns about a brand’s products or services and are then rewarded by receiving real-time and hyper-relevant results that pertain to their curiosity and how this brand can serve their wants and needs, which may then lead to a purchase.
Many platforms have adopted interactive content to promote brands, with YouTube perhaps being the most well-known site to do so. The leading technology behind interactive content is machine learning and augmented reality (AR), both of which perfectly fit this new form of advertising, thanks to three-dimensional capabilities. In a “Google Marketing Platform” article, Aaron Luber detailed how interactive content was being rolled out into display ads with the introduction of the alpha stage of “AR Beauty Try-On,” where interested users could “try on” makeup as they interacted with YouTube creators to get everything from tips to product reviews, among other perks. Users were able to get realistic, virtual product samples that worked on a full range of skin tones. Futuristic? No, it is happening now.
Additionally, and most importantly, the use of interactive content in advertising and marketing has extended to help enhance the shopping experience. Let’s say a potential customer enjoys interacting with ad content and is interested in finding out more – and may even consider making a purchase. The experience must now extend from displaying an engaging ad to providing an optimum shopping experience, known as “frictionless checkout.”
Frictionless checkout is a collection of technologies and processes used to make online and retail shopping faster and easier for consumers. It may be considered the ultimate goal of both merchant and consumer. Consumers have the power and brands and online stores must be prepared to make the online purchase as smooth as possible, from browsing to check-out.
Appealing to customers and making the “journey to purchase” as easy as possible is not limited to online merchants. Social media is getting into the act as well. Instagram, for example, is making it easier for users to purchase from brands without having to leave the platform. Businesses are able to tag products in posts and stories so a viewer can click and get details on a particular item (including price) and seamlessly make a purchase.
If all of this sounds intimidating, it really isn’t. It is just a change in how audiences are leaning toward receiving content. In short, audiences are participating in the ad experience, not simply observing it. Interactive content and frictionless checkout are the means and methods to accomplish this.
Want to know more? Contact EGC to find out how we can help your brand or business adapt and be ahead of the curve.