Using Interactive Content in Social Media : 10 Case Studies
For many marketing teams, much of their time is devoted to content development. They focus on creating blog posts, interactive videos, quizzes–all of these different online experiences to give their target audience what they’re looking for at every stage of the journey.
But sometimes when it comes to the promotion phase for those assets, they run out of steam. The follow-through is lacking, and as a result, only a small portion of the potential audience for this stellar content is reached.
This can easily be remedied, however. With a social media promotion strategy for interactive content, these pieces of content can reach the interested audience you’ve already built – plus there’s endless opportunity for reaching new people with the organic sharing possibilities on most social platforms.
To get inspired, let’s look at some examples from brands that do a nice job of integrating interactive content with social media.
The New York Times
The New York Times has been experimenting with interactive content on social media for several years now. In fact, back in 2013, of all the pieces they shared over the course of the year, the most-clicked story was an interactive assessment on country-wide dialects.
Since then, interactive quizzes and assessments have become an integral part of the publication’s content strategy–and they regularly share them on different social channels like Facebook and Twitter. For example: Take a look at the romantic relationships quiz that was recently posted on NYT’s Facebook page below.
What’s effective about this approach is that it drives engagement with the audience, which is evidenced by the reactions, comments, and shares on this specific post. But what’s more: It also drives social media click-throughs, getting readers from the Facebook page to the company website. Once the user is there, he or she can complete the quiz, and is presented additional relevant content that keeps them on the company site (which increases value and interest).
Marketers behind the scenes at Boston Content know that contests have the highest conversion rate of all content types–so when it comes to event promotion, they create interactive experiences with contests. Leading up to the Annual Bash event, they launched a voting contest for “Boston Content Marketer to Watch” to drive engagement and awareness around the upcoming event.
They also made another smart move with this campaign: By including photos with the names of nominees, they made the contest feel more personal and memorable. According to Buffer data, images with faces are more memorable than images without them.
BuzzFeed has almost become synonymous with the online quiz. We see their pop-culture quizzes circulating Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis…and they’re just, well, kind of irresistible.
But their approach with interactive quizzes shared on social media is founded in reason: Data shows they get more than 75% of traffic via social media. In fact, one of their quizzes has been viewed more than 22 million times.
When we see these pieces of interactive content on Twitter (like in the example above) the something very strategic is happening: They’re leveraging a curiosity gap and the promise of greater self-understanding. This drives social media from point A (social platforms) to point B (the company website.) Once the user is on the website, there’s a greater opportunity for lead conversion, data-gathering, etc.
Adventure-loving brand Alabama Outdoors uses interactive content on social media to foster an engaged digital community. Featuring the best parks and gear reviews, they’ve become a go-to source of information for those who love being outdoors.
They kicked up their social media engagement efforts with an interactive contest promoted on Twitter. 10 True Grit pullovers were offered up as prizes for those who shared where they’d wear the cozy sweater.
The benefit of this for the brand was that it helped them learn about the preferences and habits of their Twitter followers while also sparking a conversation about products available through their site. It also drove some nice lead gen efforts, too–which grew their consumer database.
Freshbooks, a cloud-based accounting software, promotes interactive content on social media with a slightly different approach.
In the example below that was posted on Facebook, you can see how they’ve integrated a blog post with an interactive assessment that helps both the customer and the brand better understand pain points and available solutions.
Once the user clicks through on the Facebook post and gets to the blog post, they can complete the assessment that helps them identify the right FreshBooks plan based on their needs.
This educates the reader and provides lead gen data on the back end to Freshbooks, which can help them better understand their audience demographic, common needs, etc.
TrackMaven is a brand focused on data for optimization. They help marketers quantify their most successful material (and that of their competitors) to ensure their efforts are as successful as possible.
To reach that audience, they use interactive content paired with social media to interact with potential leads. In one instance (seen below), they created a quiz to source leads. It worked, too: The quiz had a 5% share rate and reinvigorated their sales funnel.
What’s great about this particular example? They customized the quiz and graphics to perfectly reflect their branding–and they paired it with a short form at the end that allowed for additional follow-up.
Language software Rosetta Stone took the interactive contest element a step further when they partnered with Refinery29 and SheFinds. By adding collaborators to this effort, they were able to reach new, but still highly relevant, audiences.
In this post from Instagram, we can see that those interested in entering simply had to go to the link and enter their contact details to be entered to win.
This helped all three companies gain new lead information while offering up an incredible prize opportunity to participants: A trip for two to Budapest. Their strategy for social media promotion was simple here: By promoting it on Instagram, they were able to reach the wanderlust crowd who were searching for the hashtags #RosettaStone and #Budapest.
Paycor combined utility with curiosity in the interactive calculator they promoted on various social media channels, as seen in the example below from Twitter.
By regularly sharing this interactive tool on different channels, they were able to raise awareness around an audience-relevant issue at the time (FLSA changes) and drive lead gen efforts at the same time.
For Paycor, this interactive calculator was part of a multi-pronged approach over a set period of time, and it ultimately drove 25x ROI after 9 months. Not bad, right?
Publisher Boston Globe isn’t missing out on the engagement opportunities presented by interactive content, either. On the company Facebook page, they regularly share quizzes related to their stories that test readers’ knowledge and present an irresistible challenge for the news-savvy.
To entice readers a bit more, they use a preview image of the actual assessment within the post (rather than a stock image.) This helps eliminate some of the uncertainty that could keep a reader from clicking through by showing him/her exactly what’s on the other side of the link.
With expert status in all things interactive content, SnapApp regularly experiments with different tools like calculators, quizzes, assessments, and more. In the example below, you’ll see one quiz that was shared on LinkedIn that helps users plan a seasonal marketing campaign when they answer four simple questions.
Once users clicks through, they’re directed to a landing page with four simple questions and clickable answers that help determine the best plan of action for a seasonal marketing campaign.
What’s great about this: The tool helps marketers formulate a plan, but it also helps SnapApp better understand its audience and collect key data about the pain points and objective of its core audience.
On Twitter, ServiceNow promoted an interactive quiz around their business offering–IT security. Not only did users participate, but they also retweeted the quiz–meaning their reach organically expanded with just a few quick clicks.
Including interactive content in their mix of regular posts and updates creates more opportunities for them to have real conversations with their audience members. Which is what social media is about, after all.
Target knows that style is a core concern for its shoppers. So when they tweeted out a college style quiz, they were able to help promote dorm products, educate shoppers, and stir up excitement around a key shopping period: pre-college move-in day.
As you can see from the social shares–the quiz took off, and garnered social shares and commentary from their following. So while it promoted products and drove sales to a specific buyer persona, it also helped them reach new audiences, too.
Interactive Content + Social Media: A Match Made in Heaven
As you can see from the examples we explored, brands of all sizes and industries are already realizing the power of pairing social media with interactive content. It makes sense: If you’re investing resources into creating quizzes — it’s only logical to distribute them through your social channels so they reach as many people as possible.