In our planning sessions, we knew that whatever design direction we came up with had to have a strong visual concept, to ensure what we presented made for a cohesive experience. But it wasn’t just about visuals. Again, going back to the analogy with video games, you are building and designing a world. You are, in effect, worldmaking. As such, your concept, in addition to what it will look like, ought to withstand scrutiny and abide by its own internal logic. Make sure you don’t have any cracks. Flesh out that world, flesh out those characters, and map out the meanings you want associated with them.
The focus of our messaging at the time that we were strategizing around interactive content was on marketers owning the buyer journey. So we wanted to play that up. We zeroed in on the journey itself, and travel, and who those travelers might be. We named our campaign "Own the Journey," which touched on a few meanings:
The personal journey - The marketer’s personal journey throughout their career
The marketing journey - The marketer’s professional journey in relation to their peers
The buyer journey - The journey every marketer aspires to own at every stage
Naturally, within this framework, we refined the characteristics of a composite marketer based on our best customers who deploy exceptional content experiences. Here’s an early draft table from our brainstorm (note: the adventurer terminology would eventually evolve to becoming The Marketing Explorer).
Researching the Early Adopters
We did our research after we knew interactive was the right route for us. Ideally, you would do your research before you get to the ideation stage, but by happenstance, this is what we did.
It’s an exciting time for interactive content because we’re still in a phase of early adopters. The reality is that it’s not as widely adopted a medium as you would think. Fortunately, with a bit of googling, it’s easy to see what’s out there and what’s been done. Do your due diligence. Set aside time for research as a major component of creating your own interactive content.
Generally speaking, the most popular types of interactive content are:
- Polls / Surveys
- Trivia / Quizzes
With these different types of interactive content, examine which of these options align best with your team’s resources and goals. Once you’ve selected your preferred type, dig deep into the research. Identify some examples and deconstruct how that content was put together. Scrutinize what you would discard or do differently. Flatter your frenemies by highlighting what you want to steal or imitate. And, perhaps most importantly, create your own distinctive take on the medium, that expresses your company’s brand and message.
As known by now, our team landed on creating an interactive assessment. We thought our concept was strong and made the time to see what was out there, both good and bad. And we didn’t hesitate to develop our own vision based off of some excellent ground work done by the early adopters who paved the path for us.
Pitching Interactive to Your Team
So you’ve committed to doing interactive content. You’ve done your research. You have your master concept. Now you’re off to the races! Whoa there. Slow down. This is marketing for B2B. You are going to have to pitch this internally to your team. Realize that this endeavour is something new and that the medium and practice of interactive are new. But this is not a trend, nor is it any more risky than investments in other types of content.
If you’ve read up to this point, you now know that based on what I’ve outlined as our initial legwork, taking on interactive content experience is no joke. If you’re going to invest in it, do so with the intent of doing it well. It has the potential to take up a substantial allotment of resources. So pitch the project appropriately. Make it worth everybody’s while. Have the long-term in mind for your marketing team, with the intention of iteration. You will have a new tool in your marketing toolbox to leverage.
So give your colleagues the heads-up. Your interactive project will involve:
- Questionnaire logic and flows
- Scoring systems and profiles
- Testing and quality assurance
- Distribution and demand generation marketing
This list isn’t complete, but you can see that pretty much your entire marketing function will touch some aspect of interactive content. Interactive content is still content. To perform, it needs eyeballs and the involvement of users who are compelled to engage. It takes a team effort to plan, build, and execute.
The details that go into building an interactive assessment is a story for another day, and, to be exact, a webinar you won’t want to miss.