According to Forrester Research, 90% of today’s B2B buyers begin their purchases with search, and 74% of buyers conduct half of their research online before making an offline purchase. In other words, most B2B buyers are 90% of the way through the buyer journey before they engage in speaking with sales. So? This means there is a huge opportunity for involvement from marketing throughout the buying journey.
Some interactive content can deliver a personalized custom result for your buyer depending on the answers they are giving. Another important usage of interactive content applies in the storytelling of more complex products/solutions your company may offer. If you have a complicated product, consider creating an interactive guide or demo to provide a better, easier experience for your prospects.
B2B Interactive Content vs. B2C Interactive Content
B2B companies are starting to enter the realm of interactive content, which B2C companies have been utilizing already for some time. For instance, most car vendors have an interactive custom model builder that allows prospects to choose the details of their car such as the color, interior design, features, etc.
IKEA provides buyers with a custom closet builder as a form of interactive content. Buyers are able to see exactly what their closet can look like eliminating any sense of unwanted surprises.
Apple provides an interactive demo that allows prospects to see exactly how the apple watch works, what apps it has, and how it is navigated.
Personal stylist services such as the Trunk Club or Stitch Fix are using questionnaires to provide different styles to each consumer. They learn what their prospects are interested in, like sizes and styles, so that their own “personal stylist” can send highly desired apparel.
It has been easy for B2C companies to use interactive content, so why has it taken so long for B2B companies to get on board? Sometimes creating interactive content can seem like an intimidating task to take on, so we’ve laid out some ideas to take away the initial nerves and show you how we as inbound marketers can do this.
How to Get Started
Use an interactive content vendor like SnapApp orCeros, for example. They have all types of customization and animation functionality built in so you don’t have to create a custom app.
Search for existing content you have that might work well to make interactive, such as an infographic that can be animated, a product demo that could be made interactive, or maybe a simple survey to gather some industry data which can be turned into a state-of-the-art report (like this example we did with one of our clients). There is no need to create something from scratch. A lot of the content on your website can be re-used and made interactive.
If you do build something from scratch, choose a vendor that has pre-built templates that can be used for your needs so there is less design work to be done and you can stay focused on generating the right message.
Start small and work your way up. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a super complex product builder or ROI calculator. Start with something simple like a quiz, survey or animated infographic. Once you get the hang of it you won’t want to stop.
Who to Target
One of the most important aspects of interactive content is picking the right content for your audience. Who do you want to target? Think about content in terms of your buyer's journey and where someone falls within that framework. Oracle, for example, teamed up with SnapApp to fully embrace creating specific content for each stage of the buyer's journey.
Initially, a buyer enters the Awareness Stage. Prospects in this stage are in research mode. They are aware that they have a problem or a need but may not know how to address it. Help them define the problem with interactive content such as polls and surveys, assessments and infographics.
Now that the buyer has named their problem or need, they want to explore and understand all options and methods available to them. The evaluation stage, also commonly referred to as the Consideration Stage, is a prime time to present content such as interactive white papers, benchmark reports, and interactive product demos. Building space for dialogue in this stage of the journey with interactive content encourages prospects to give answers to your questions and share information to progress their journey to the Decision Stage.
In this final stage of the journey, the buyer has defined their approach. Prospects look to interactive content such as ROI calculators, survey results, and product pickers to make their final decision in their journey. Each stage of the journey is different than the last and requires different interactive content to allow the journey to continue.
Once you have picked the content you want to get started with, evaluate the vendor options that fit your requirements. At Scholes Marketing, we have found success in using SnapApp as a vendor. If you are interested in seeing it in action, contact us today.