Your potential audience is online to consume and learn. But in the world of 8-second human attention spans, passive online content will not win people’s interest or drive eCommerce conversions. You have a very limited amount of time to hook a user (2 seconds or less according to many experts), so your content needs to pop. So how do you grab their attention, hold it, and encourage them to act the way you want them to? With interactive content. In this article, We’ll look at each phase of the content experience, but first, what is interactive content?
Harshal Shah, lead UX/UI designer at DotcomWeavers defines interactive content as, “Content that requires the participants’ active engagement, rather than reading or watching. For their interest, users receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about.”
Interactive content should also be easy to interact with and digest. This means breaking the content down into manageable chunks. Make liberal use of frequent text breaks or condensed infographics. Content consumption should be a seamless experience and feel more like fun than work. If you think of interactive content as a friendly conversation with visitors, rather than a hard-sell or information dump, your chances of creating conversions will rise. Have faith. People want your content. They just don’t want it all at once!
There’s endless competition on the Internet, so your best chance is to make your content engaging and relevant to your audience. After your SEO and marketing have brought people to your website, it’s time for content to take over. Because users decide within a second or two if the content is relevant, you have one shot to make them say, “oh, what’s this?” and click. If the stakes sound high, don’t worry, that single click can lead to another conversion.
Remember, it’s about the hook. Even if your product is the best, or your latest article is a masterpiece, users must still decide to engage. Create compelling headlines or post intriguing images that will pique customer interest and invite them to explore.
You’ve done the heavy lifting by getting users to explore your content. Now you must keep them engaged. The more time a user spends immersed in your content, the more they will trust your brand. More trust means more conversions, so make sure users stay engaged! To do this, take a broad view of your content. First, think about the goal(s) of your content. Do you want users to behave a certain way? If so, design the content flow to lead the users there. Second, consider the users’ goals for interacting with your content. Users expect to entertainment and/or to learn about product benefits. Interactive content must be a total experience, with a purpose for you and a purpose for users.
We mentioned it in the introduction, but it bears repeating: interactive content should be intuitive and easy to engage with. Attention spans are limited and tolerance for the difficulty is zero, so in most cases, keep your content direct, simple, and easy to follow. The more a user can ‘do’ – click on a carousel arrow, dig into tabbed content, or jump to the next text block – the longer they’ll remain engaged.
People go online to do something. They don’t always know what it is, exactly, but their expectations are the same: find engaging content. Your job, in turn, is to focus and direct their energy toward a conversion, whether it’s signing up for your newsletter or buying. This doesn’t mean your content needs to be a hard sell, but you should make the option to convert part of it. After all, if you’ve done the work to hook users and keep them engaged, you’re well on your way to a conversion. Don’t miss the chance to help them take the final step! To make the most of your interactive content, check out this article for a look at how to boost website performance. If you’re ready to get started, here are 7 examples of engaging interactive content that users love to consume.
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