The concept of “getting interactive” with your content isn’t new; nor is it losing traction as an effective way to capture customer attention.
Compared to even a year ago, interactive content has taken on almost a whole new identity as next-gen tools and technology have made more diverse types of user engagement possible.
More traditional types of interactive content include calculators, quizzes, animated infographics or live chats–to name a few. But marketers are expanding their interactive content marketing playbook to include gamified video, augmented reality, 360-degree video experiences, audio content on smart speakers, and live streaming on different apps.
It’s an exciting time for interactive content to be sure, and brands are looking to add a whole repertoire of interactivity to their content strategies to help them stand out amongst their competition and capture the attention of prospective customers. But, as with any content, it’s not enough to just create it, put it out there, and call it a day.
Interactive Content and the Buyer Journey
Earlier this year, we wrote about how as tools and technology for content strategy have become more automated, our relationships with customers largely have, too. We need to be careful not to forget that our customers are people–not just idealized personas in a buyer funnel. Marketers run the risk falling into the trap of throwing the “next big thing” at prospects and expecting it to magically capture their attention and turn them into paying customers.
Interactive content has been one of those “next big things”–and while it undoubtedly helps brands stand out and get users’ attention, simply making content interactive doesn’t automatically make it better. You can make a quiz, but if it doesn’t carry the right message or experience for your audience, the uniqueness of the experience will be lost.
When done right, interactive content has far-reaching benefits for your brand’s relationship with your customers–at every stage of their journey.
Marketing and Sales? Meet Your Customer.
Marketers want to deeply understand their target audience. Sales teams want to know as much about their prospects as possible so they can have an effective conversation. Interactive content allows both teams to gain better insight into their customers to support those conversations.
50% of marketers use interactive content to increase conversions, while 33% use it for sales and sales enablement.
(Content Marketing Institute)
Assessments and quizzes, for example, are a great way for marketing teams to collect valuable information about potential customers and pass quality leads on to sales. Simply asking prospects a short series of questions, and providing an enticing supplemental piece of interactive content as the hook (such as an E-book), uncovers data about their pain points, readiness to buy and barriers to purchase that can vastly improve their experience with your brand at the most critical touchpoints.
First, They Know You. Then, They Love You.
An ideal customer experience is one that results in evangelism for your brand. Interactive content has thrown the doors wide open for this type of brand-consumer relationship as it allows users to take some kind of real action–answering questions, experiencing scenarios, and choosing their own path through the information you have to offer. It’s the difference between reading a summary of an event or watching it unfold in real time.
77% of marketers agree that interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.
(Content Marketing Institute)
And when your customers take an active role in your brand rather than a passive one, they will come back for more and, ideally, share the experience with others.
So THAT’S What They Did!
What we love about interactive content–and especially content marketing platforms like Uberflip that make it easy to use–is how measurable it is. You might put out a piece of static content, like a white paper, but once the user downloads that content, you only know it’s been downloaded. You don’t know if they read it, what they found most interesting, how much they engaged with it, etc.
93% of marketers find interactive content is effective in educating their buyers.
Interactive content allows you to fully track a user’s consumption of your content. What parts of the infographic did they click on? What topics in your white paper did they find most interesting? Did they make it through your entire quiz? Why did they stop? This type of data is invaluable for learning more about your prospects and how they consume your content.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Because interactive content is so measurable, it provides insight not just into your audience’s consumption behavior, but into the overall effectiveness of your content. If you consistently see users drop out of your quiz or assessment after 5-7 questions, it’s a good indication you need to make it shorter.
51% of marketers agree that interactive content was helpful when tackling business challenges.
(Demand Gen Report)
Content platforms like Uberflip make it simple to not only gain and manage these insights, but quickly and easily make the necessary adjustments to your content without having to create or re-upload new files. You can also A/B test headlines, or select different audiences to view your content. When you know what works best, your content strategy pretty much writes itself.
The ROI of Interactive Content Marketing
A recent Demand Gen Report found that 45% of buyers surveyed said interactive content is one of their top three preferred content types.
Creating interactive content doesn’t have to carry a sense of tedium, either. Uberflip and other content marketing platforms have made it easy to create and manage interactive content, and the deeper insights and actionable data you can gain from this type of content will streamline your entire content marketing effort.
If you’re looking to invest in interactive content in 2019, we suggest you experiment at a level of time and budget commitment that you can manage; once you’ve seen the data and insights, consider increasing the effort.
Interactive content falls far more in line with what consumers expect out of a content experience today. New tools and technology will continue pushing the envelope of content strategy, and if you use them to better connect with your audience, it will pay dividends in the form of high-quality lead gen and marketing ROI.
Want help integrating interactive content into your company’s content strategy? Contact us today!
When I last wrote about the Salesforce Winter ‘19 Release, I covered 8 new features across all cloud products. This time around I’m taking a slightly different approach. This post will review the Sales Cloud and Pardot highlights, but with a deeper analysis. With plenty of useful updates across both Salesforce products, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a lot to get excited about for your 2019 marketing strategies.
This list of updates is not an exhaustive; if you want to read more about the entire release, you can reference the Spring ‘19 Release Notes or take the Spring ‘19 Release Highlights Module in Trailhead, which is broken into units specific to Salesforce products.
Salesforce has capitalized on the Lightning Sales Console, integrating some awesome new functionality with proven existing tools like Lightning Dialer and Einstein Lead Scoring. Everything your inside reps need to effectively nurture their leads is provided in a clean, tab-based workspace.
Sales cadences help in situations where you anticipate a lot of demand, or to better streamline your sales methodology. Using a flow builder similar to Pardot’s Engagement Studio, you can build an automated campaign to work leads, which feeds directly into reps’ daily work queues. Reps will get a prioritized list based off various cadences, so they will know exactly how to spend their time. If I were a sales manager, this feature is where I’d look to collaborate with my marketing counterparts to develop successful cadences.
The prioritized list of outreach items including emails, calls and tasks, can be found in the new Work Queue window. These activities are defined by the Sales Cadences referenced in the previous paragraph. Additionally, reps can create their own list of activities in the “My List” tab.
Late last year, Pardot announced a new Release Schedule, which will offer new updates and features six times annually. These bi-monthly updates will coincide with the three Salesforce seasonal releases (Spring, Summer and Winter), plus three additional Pardot releases. As a certified Pardot Nerd™ this new schedule got my glasses all fogged up.
That said, there are lots of useful Pardot updates coming in the pipeline. They focus on simplifying the Pardot implementation process and record syncing, expanded marketing campaign tracking in Salesforce with connected campaigns, and perhaps the most exciting update, Einstein Behavior Scoring.
I’ve completed a handful of implementations and consider myself well-versed in the process. With the new Pardot Setup Assistant though, implementers’ jobs got a whole lot easier. Now you can provision and complete the initial configuration tasks for Pardot accounts, like mapping fields, mapping users, and updating page layouts, right from Salesforce.
If you have Pardot Advanced edition, you can create multiple Pardot business units for a Salesforce account without contacting support. This feature is helpful if your enterprise has marketing goals based on geography or product lines, helping each division focus on their own custom marketing objectives. Additionally, business units give you added control over which prospects and assets your users have access to. This way, divisions can work independently, but still have a global view with B2B Marketing Analytics, which you can now set up more easily than ever.
Additionally, the Salesforce-Pardot connector page has been redesigned with you in mind, so you can now configure connected campaigns, Salesforce user sync and marketing data sharing.
I recently watched the Pardot Product Roadmap Webinar and Einstein Behavior Scoring was one of the most exciting new features reviewed. Using artificial intelligence, Einstein is able to take advantage of users’ engagement information, such as recent website visits, email opens, link clicks and completed forms, to provide a more accurate score of prospects’ buying intent. It also clearly identifies the reasons behind that score so your reps understand what makes prospects more likely to convert and eventually close.
I think Einstein is yet another advancement by Salesforce and Pardot that helps to close the gap between sales and marketing. I’m really excited for this feature, which says a lot coming from someone who understands the sales and marketing gap is a huge area for improvement in a lot of organizations.
Just to clarify, this feature is separate from Einstein Lead Scoring, which uses a predictive model that factors in prospect information like industry, interests, job, and engagement history. For Pardot users who are familiar with the difference between Grading and Scoring, this feature is like a supercharged combination of the two.
Even though I’ve only worked with a couple of clients who use Salesforce Engage, they all asked for a folder hierarchy to help organize their assets. Before this release, all we could recommend is strategically naming each email template to structure them in a specific order or grouping. Now, while composing an email, users can browse the Pardot folder hierarchy and search for a template by folder, as long as they have permission and the email is marked for 1:1.
Earlier this year Salesforce Essentials was released. At $25/month and ready to use out of the box, it’s release provided a whole lot more access to the world’s #1 CRM. There were a ton of updates that are apart of this update as well.
Sales and Service Essentials are now combined under one product, providing an even better value than before. Updates were made to the user management system, so administrators will be able to make adjustments to licenses on the fly and manage team information and permissions on the redesigned users page in Setup.
The most useful feature release in Essentials is the ability to customize sales stages. Now you can tailor lead statuses and opportunity stages based on your unique business needs. For the users with Professional, Enterprise or Unlimited, this functionality isn’t breaking news; but for those businesses just starting out, it’s a game changer.
Out of the box, you’ll see a setup wizard. It will suggest pre-configured sales processes for different types of organizations, taking some of the guesswork out for users. In the next window, you’ll be able to add/edit pre-populated lead statuses and opportunity stages. Pretty easy, right?
I get requests all the time from clients about the ability to log emails on lead and contact records, access Salesforce data, create new records and much more–all from within Gmail. These requests are far easier to fulfill today with the recent investments Salesforce has made into integrating one of the world’s top email clients.
Using the updated Chrome extension, sales professionals can now leverage customer contact and account information and Einstein AI in real time. If users want to stay in the same interface, they can use the Salesforce panel to access whatever record or object they need. Additionally, you can use productivity tools to add an email template, availability calendar, tracking and scheduling.
Einstein Activity Capture connects any email to related Salesforce records, which includes accounts, opportunities, and custom objects. Einstein can even create new records if you want.
What was your favorite Spring ‘19 Release update?
I’m not a fan of disorder–I could have coined the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place.” While it bugs my husband whenever he can’t find something in the same place he left it, my almost obsessive need to organize really comes in handy in my job as a content strategist.
I’m talking about the strategy before the content strategy. The content audit.
If your business is anything like most, you have a disorganized vault of content that likely includes blog posts, videos, whitepapers, how-to guides, one-pagers, service briefs, advertising, data sheets and more.
When you have a lot of disparate content, there are a few things that are probably true:
If any of those statements ring true for you, you need a content audit to kick off an effective, productive content strategy and help you get on the right track.
Ever since digital marketing began turning everyone’s attention to the importance of search engine optimization and lead nurturing through the buyer’s journey, businesses everywhere have been told to focus on content, content, content.
While focusing on content production is great, it can be problematic if one (or all) of these scenarios occur:
In each of these scenarios, the biggest issue is that your content strategy isn’t starting at the beginning; rather, somewhere in the middle. Each step should flow logically into the next, leading you to an informed content strategy.
For the sake of this post, we’re going to assume you have a clear understanding of your audience personas–who they are, where they are, their pain points, and where they get their information (to name a few criteria)–and focus on step 2: auditing content you have already produced. (This is also where a love of organization is an asset).
We know a content audit helps drive your content strategy–but how? Here are two reasons why a content audit so important:
Combing through what could be years worth of content is daunting. The enormity of this task is why content begins gathering dust in the first place. That’s why I’m offering up some simple tips to help make the process less traumatizing and tedious, and more impactful in the end.
Once you’ve completed your content audit, you now have a comprehensive record of every piece of content.
Knowing what you have allows you to easily execute several key steps toward building a successful content strategy:
The goal of an audit is to organize your content and help your content strategy be as successful as possible. When you can see what you have, it’s much easier to see what you need. And your audience will notice when their needs are being met by content that is more targeted to their pain points and finds them at the right stage of their journey toward becoming a customer.
As a Pardot consultant, I work with a wide-array of clients who all have different levels of experience using the platform. With that varied experience comes a varied understanding of form configurations and how prospects come in through forms, especially during the testing process. Increasingly, I’ve found that there is a gap in knowledge surrounding this process, which in part prompted me to write this post. As the hired help, it’s my job to articulate specific functionality and expected outcomes.
As a preface, make sure that “Show Filtered Activities” is on while testing forms. Here’s where you enable:
If this is turned off, then your test activities could potentially be hidden. Once this is enabled, you’ll notice a new column in the prospect activity table labeled “Filtered”.
Here are the most common questions I receive related to testing Pardot forms:
I get this question often. Typically, someone from the marketing team will attempt to test a form multiple times in short succession. However, unless the form is in kiosk mode or set to always display after submission, and you return to a form within 10 minutes of submitting, either the thank you content will display or the user will get redirected to the thank you page. In the scenario where you don’t want to enable kiosk mode or set to always display after submission, here’s the work around: clear your cookies! You can also view the form in a different web browser.
By default, if you submit a form repeatedly in a short time, Pardot throttles autoresponder emails to prevent prospects from receiving duplicate emails. Either wait 30 minutes, clear your cookies, or use a different browser and test again. Another option, although it would require a re-configuration of the actual form, would be to send the autoresponder via a repeatable completion action that is set to fire in real time.
Unless the form is in kiosk mode or set to always display after submission, Pardot only records duplicate prospect activities on a record once every 30 minutes. Both submissions are accepted, and completion actions will fire for each, but only one will show in the prospect activities. If you want to confirm the subsequent submission was tracked, check the prospect’s audit page to confirm the form is working as expected:
In order to test a form more than once, you either need to clear your browser’s cookies or use a new browser AND use a different email address. Otherwise, Pardot will credit the second submission to the initial prospect.
I see this question a lot, and rightfully so. If a client is expecting a lead to route directly into Salesforce on a submission and it doesn’t happen, then this is good reason to sound the alarm. Keep in mind that the answer depends on the lead routing configuration that is set up in the specific account.
Usually though, this configuration happens because the email being used to test the form was tied to a Salesforce record that was deleted. You can tell if the prospect field “CRM Lead ID” or “CRM Contact ID” has the value [[crm_deleted]]:
If your Salesforce record has been deleted, submitting a Pardot form will not un-delete it, thus causing the record to not show up in Salesforce. You can do any of the following to make the prospect eligible for syncing: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=pardot_crm_deleted.htm&type=0.
Additionally, I wrote an article on creating, editing, merging or deleting prospects in Pardot that is helpful to understand if you’re having issues here.
Hopefully all of that was helpful!