FAQ Friday: Inbound Marketing & Interactivity

faq-friday-inbound-marketing-and-interactivity_1000x576The rise of rich media and interactive video are really upping the ante when it comes to putting more power at your customers' fingertips.

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These newer forms of marketing are going way, way beyond direct marketing; they are becoming more accommodating to consumers who want marketing to be more of an ongoing back-and-forth style of communication.

This "back and forth" lets customers engage with your company (interactive marketing) rather than experience a one-way barrage of advertising jargon (direct marketing).

By embracing interactive marketing and more interactivity in your inbound marketing strategy, you allow customers to choose the experience that's most right for them, and you collect more valuable user data in the process. It's definitely a win-win scenario. With that said, let's get started with this week's FAQ Friday.

How does interactive marketing interact with (and enrich) inbound marketing?

Interactive video, which we'll get to in a moment, is informed by many of the principles that have catapulted interactive marketing to a top-of-the-pile priority for B2B and B2C marketers. Also known as event or trigger-based marketing, interactive marketing reacts to changes that consumers make in order to deliver more relevant content.

To really get results, interactive marketing needs to identify the right triggers, then deliver a calibrated response that entices your customers to move closer to a sale. Identifying these triggers, though, can be challenging even with tons of customer data, feedback, and a CMS at your disposal. It's also important to choose a response to that trigger that has a track record of moving customers along in the buying cycle. Not necessarily an easy feat.

When done right, interactive marketing can spruce up your inbound marketing by making, for instance, your email marketing campaign's messages more calibrated and responsive to your customer's previous actions—e.g., clicking through from a certain email might be a trigger that tells you to deliver more content along the same lines. It doesn't stop there. Now, you can make everything from your social media and video marketing to your whitepapers and infographics more interactive for your customers.

What is interactive content and how can interactive videos help my company?

Interactive content marketing isn't so much reinventing the genre of content marketing as teaching an old dog new tricks. That's because what's known as interactive content marketing takes what's clearly working with content marketing—blogs, content hubs, and whitepapers—and gives it wings by adding an element of interactivity.

One of the many benefits of interactive content is that it engages customers as they're learning more about your brand and getting more comfortable interacting with your company. Another advantage: Because interactive content can be applied in a diverse, yet fun range of contexts—branded games and interactive videos—your customers are far more likely to share your interactive content across social media.

Interactive content is any feature or content piece on your digital property that requires the visitor or user to participate actively beyond simply viewing a video or reading an article or website copy. It allows your customers (and prospects) the chance to explore further those aspects of white papers and infographics that truly excite them. The new kid on the block, so to speak, is interactive video that allows customers to research at their own pace and create a more individualized, dynamic buying experience for themselves. Just like a video game, your customers can select the "level" or product they want to learn more about all because you’ve introduced your company and product lineup through a video.

This takes a lot of the guesswork out of determining your customers' triggers (remember back to trigger-based marketing) and saves you time otherwise spent on data mining your customers' preferences. With interactive video, you can say what you need to say and then let customers pick what they want to explore next. This could be anything from another product to another facet of your company.

When they click the video, it might even indicate that it's time to check out your blog or receive a free demo of one of your products. The point is that interactive video lets your customers optimize their buying experience, and allows you to make more informed responses in real-time to your customers' dynamic preferences.

How does interactive inbound marketing increasingly engage mobile consumers?

Three statistics make interactive video that much more enticing for marketers: First, the majority of customers (60%) prefer video over text; second, incorporating videos on webpages has been shown to keep visitors hanging around longer; and, third, video content is more memorable for consumers than text content.

The translation: people prefer video content; they remember it (and your company) longer, and they're also more willing to check out more of your website when they're engaged.

You just need to remember that your customers are also smartphone-savvy and on social media in droves: about half of smartphone users regularly watch product videos. Moreover, whenever videos are interactive, engaging and dynamic, these same customers are more likely to share your content like wildfire on social media. Find out how to get started here.

Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open—don’t know the answer—ASK. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.

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To see examples of interactive video and to read more about how it can help you, explore here or watch a replay of our live streaming event about interactive video by clicking the banner below.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Interactivity, Video Marketing

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