In this research, 53% of the survey respondents said their organization uses some interactive content in its marketing efforts. Not surprisingly, large enterprises - those with 1,000+ employees - are more likely to use interactive content than smaller firms, but the differences are not as large as many might think. Sixty-five percent of large enterprise respondents said they are using interactive content, but about half of the respondents from mid-size and small companies also reported the use of interactive content.
The CMI survey also indicates that the use of interactive content is growing. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they anticipate their use of interactive content will increase in 2016 compared to 2015. And about one-third (32%) of non-users said they are likely to begin using interactive content in the next 12 months.
For this survey, CMI defined interactive content as "content that engages participants in a two-way dialogue or exchange, often providing utility and usefulness . . ." Some of the more popular types of interactive content include assessments, calculators, contests, quizzes, and interactive infographics, e-books, and white papers.
Benefits of Interactive Content
The majority of interactive content users in the CMI survey said that it provides several significant benefits. The following table shows the percentage of user respondents who agreed or strongly agreed with six benefits statements:
The findings of the CMI research reinforce the results of earlier research by other firms. For example:
- In the 2016 Content Preferences Survey by DemandGen Report, when participants were asked about several possible changes in their B2B content consumption habits, 84% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with this statement: "I prefer more interactive/visual content accessible on demand."
- A 2014 survey by Demand Metric found that interactive content outperforms static or passive content at three critical marketing functions - producing prospect conversions, educating the buyer, and creating differentiation from competitors.
Interactive Content Works . . . If It's Useful to Buyers
The evidence described above clearly shows that interactive content can be a powerful marketing tool. But B2B marketers should remember that interactive content will only produce above-average results if it is useful and valuable to potential buyers.
As more and more companies use interactive content, the "novelty factor" for buyers will begin to wane. So, the real key to success with interactive content is to use interactivity to make your content even more useful and valuable for your potential buyers.