Interactive marketing: definition, best practices and cases
At Qualifio, we truly believe in the power of interactive marketing and its ability to engage and push consumers down the conversion funnel.
From the beginning, we wanted to enable brands and media groups to build relationships that go beyond more than just connections. We wanted every brand to find its community.
And today, Qualifio does just that: we enable brands and media groups to successfully establish customer engagement and loyalty thanks to interactive marketing.
In this article, we will be drawing on our over ten years of experience in interactive marketing to:
1️⃣ Explain what is meant by interactive marketing and what the benefits are
2️⃣ Show you the different types of interactive marketing
3️⃣ Show how brands use interactive marketing to engage, reward and collect data from their audiences
4️⃣ Inspire you with great examples of interactive marketing
Ready to become an expert in interactive marketing? Here’s everything you need to know, let’s dive in!
Interactive marketing definition
We are not teaching you anything new when we say that capturing the consumer’s attention has become the hobby horse of marketing professionals.
And even more so when you know that today’s consumers are seeing around 3,000 commercial messages a day, whether written, video or audio, and are remembering an average of only 4 of them.
Therefore, grabbing their attention is a complicated matter. To attract these overwhelmed consumers who spend more time online than ever, brands need to think outside the box.
And this is where interactive marketing comes in.
💡 Interactive marketing is a marketing tactic that has been used for more than a decade and requires the audience to engage with, interact with or take part in your content to make the most of the full brand experience.
Interactive marketing relies on a two-way dialogue between your brand and your followers, prospects or consumers. It easily integrates into your inbound marketing strategy because it is a piece of content that conveys a message, just as a blog post, social media post and email can.
The different types of interactive marketing
It is one thing to understand the definition of interactive marketing but how can your brand put this into practice? We have listed here a few different types of interactive marketing you can implement in your strategy.
Who doesn’t like contests promoting attractive offers and giveaways? This is an excellent way to engage your audience and go viral. In addition, by launching a contest from time to time, you give your audience an incentive to stay connected and engaged with your brand to have the chance to win other cool stuff.
2. Quizzes and tests
Quizzes are a simple and efficient way to get your audience to interact with your brand! Thousands of combinations are possible based on pictures, videos, audio or text. And quizzes enable you to collect a lot of information about your audience, giving you a better insight into your customers’ needs.
Over 50 interactive formats to choose from for your marketing campaigns!
3. Polls and surveys
The best way to engage with someone is to ask a question: “How are you?”, “How is it going?”, “What do you think?”. No matter your business, polls and surveys are great ways to get to know your audience’s opinions and preferences and gather valuable customer data. Once you’ve got your customers’ feedback, you can fully get the most out of it for your next marketing actions and improve your customer experience.
4. User-generated content
Have you noticed how pictures and videos shared by users get more likes, shares, and comments than branded content? User-generated content (UGC) is more trustworthy and authentic than any other content, so it’s not surprising if it leads to higher engagement.
UGC is defined as any content related to a brand that unpaid contributors have created. It can be pictures, videos, testimonials, and everything in between. The main benefit of UGC is that it’s the fans who are promoting your business. When you know that 92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source, UGC is something you should absolutely consider.
5. Interactive videos
Unlike a traditional video that allows the viewer to start, pause or rewind the content, an interactive video enables the viewer to interact with the video the same way they would interact with web content. For example, they can click areas within the video, drag the screen to see in all directions (360° views), scroll, hover and perform other digital actions. These options create a more fun and engaging experience for the viewer.
6. Personalised content
Show your audience how unique, heard and understood they are. This can mean addressing them by name in an email or by creating specific ads targeted to their needs. In this case, quizzes, tests and polls will help collect the data you need to deliver targeted ads.
Using games to convey a message can give you a competitive advantage and help you rise above the noise. Puzzles, memory, rebus, “spot the difference” or “guess who” games are innovative and interactive formats you should consider to differentiate your content.
8. Interactive storytelling
The format of your content means a lot. Integrate interactive infographics, pictures, gifs, video, graphics and other engaging visuals to keep readers engaged and make your content easier to read and to give it more value.
If we were to give you a piece of advice:
1️⃣ Vary your content types
2️⃣ Track what works with your audience
3️⃣ Then gear your interactive marketing campaign accordingly
Because not every format will see the same rate of response across every audience, which will also help you diversify your traffic.
Why interactive marketing is important?
Why choose interactive content over static content? Well, the numbers say that interactive content is 81% more effective at grabbing people’s attention than static content, so interactive marketing has several advantages, including:
1. Improving brand awareness
Creating fun and original interactive content gives your reputation a positive, unique and modern aura. As a result, customers and prospects are more likely to keep an eye on your brand and be more attentive to your future commercial solicitations. According to Ion Interactive, interactive content will increase the retention of your messaging by 79% compared to static content.
2. Boosting audience engagement
All the different types of interactive marketing listed above (quizzes, games, personalised content, interactive videos, etc.) give your audience a unique experience. If you offer your audience fun via interactive content, you give them a reason to return to your channels and interact with your brand.
3. Building audience loyalty
Interactive marketing enables you to build solid and long-lasting relationships with your audience. All the data collected will allow you to interact with your audience more personally and develop their loyalty. Use this data wisely to offer the most suitable offer for your customers’ needs and attract them according to their preferences.
4. Converting prospects into customers
Ion Interactive states in its research that interactive content could increase your submission rate to 80%. By making it more engaging and rewarding for the user, interactive content is more likely to collect more data than any other type of content. It’s up to you then to analyse the data collected and turn your prospects into customers.
In almost ten years, interactive tools and levers have evolved. From quizzes and contests to more entertaining and interactive formats, interactive marketing is your ally to support your sales efforts at all stages of your customer’s journey, from data collection to audience engagement and customer retention.
How does interactive marketing contribute to a digital data collection strategy?
For many brands, the transition to a cookieless world (cf. Google announcing the phasing out of third-party cookies by the second half of 2024) means rethinking their data collection strategy in order to rely more on first-party data and zero-party data. The way they are targeting and segmenting audiences for digital advertising will change. They will need to connect or reconnect with customers in new and innovative ways.
First- and zero-party data is the data that is intentionally and proactively shared directly by consumers. Therefore, the collection of such data gives consumers greater control over precisely what information is being collected. At the same time, it gives brands access to valuable insights, enabling them to effectively target customers with personalised offers.
And guess what marketing tactic is seen by many as one of the most promising to collect first-party and zero-party data? You’ve guessed it: interactive marketing!
Why? As explained previously in this article, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to engage consumers and, by doing so, have them share information about themselves in return. As a result, you need to be offering consumers useful, valuable, entertaining and relevant content if you want them to share more details about themselves. And interactive marketing presents numerous opportunities to make all this possible.
Interactive marketing in practice: examples of major brands
Now that you know everything there is to know about the theory behind interactive marketing, let’s take a look at how you can incorporate interactive marketing into your strategy with concrete interactive marketing examples from major brands.
No matter what sector you’re working in (sports, entertainment, politics, automotive, etc.), interactive marketing will help you to differentiate your content, capture more attention, and get a higher return on your marketing efforts.
1. Decathlon’s shopping guides
Decathlon started using interactive marketing to get closer to their customers and create a real feeling of closeness, and in doing so have nurtured a community of passionate sportsmen and women with whom to play, exchange, connect, learn and keep moving.
One of their first interactive marketing actions was to create different shopping guides to generate personalised product recommendations instead of using a pure acquisition campaign to approach prospects.
Each guide is dedicated to a particular sport (football, hockey, basketball, dance, etc.) and includes the essential must-have items. Consumers are asked to check the sports items they don’t yet have and based on their answers, Decathlon displays a link directing consumers to the right page on their e-commerce website to have the opportunity to make their purchases.
The result? An average conversion rate of 2.7% for the pages with the shopping guides compared to 1.22% for standard landing pages. In addition, the shopping guides are used at certain key times of the year and on specific pages, allowing Decathlon to have more conversions.
2. Algemeen Dagblad’s user generated content
Let’s discuss the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad who generated a lot of views thanks to user-generated content. The newspaper wanted to raise awareness and educate readers about the Dutch famine during WW2.
As a first step, AD asked the survivors to share their stories via letters and emails. Then, they published some of them in the print and online versions of the newspaper.
In a second step, due to the high number of stories received, AD decided to transcribe all the letters into an interactive gallery integrated into an article available on their website’s premium and paid section. People could navigate the gallery and click on each testimony to have more details.
With this interactive marketing campaign, the newspaper gained new subscribers to its premium content and drove more than 30,000 views in a couple of days.
3. Nescafé’s personality test
This example shows that even if you’re targeting B2B companies, you can still use interactive marketing!
Nescafé, the coffee brand owned by Nestlé, decided to use interactive marketing and, more precisely, a personality test, “What is the right coffee for your organisation?” to attract new partners in a different and original way.
With this test, companies were invited to discover the coffee that suits them the best and try to win a tasting of the coffee in question for all their employees. To see the corresponding coffee and validate their participation, participants had to fill out a form with their contact details. They were also asked if they agreed to be contacted by a Nestlé professional.
The perfect interactive marketing campaign to generate leads while providing prospects with a moment of fun.
4. betevé’s interactive quiz
The Spanish media betevé decided to use a different format to talk about the entrance exam for the municipal police force of Barcelona, in which 88% of candidates failed. Instead of writing an article to relay the news, the media decided to challenge their community and test their knowledge with an online test gathering the 50 exam questions.
Within an hour, the media created the test and published it online by embedding it in an article. The following day, the test went viral, and everyone was talking about it on Twitter. In addition, people shared their scores on social media and challenged their friends to do better!
Thanks to their quick reaction and the original format, betevé got an unexpectedly high participation rate. In 48 hours, the test went viral and brought more than 30,000 participants. They also got an average session duration of 5 minutes, compared to 1:30. An increase of 233%!
5. YSL’s candy crush game
L’Oréal’s brand Yves Saint Laurent wanted to create a custom game tailored to their marketing needs for the launch of their fragrance “BLACK OPIUM”. Their goal was to promote their fragrance while interacting with their consumers and offering them free samples. To do so, they worked with the agency TAKEOFF to create a tailor-made game and with Qualifio for collecting first-party data and zero-party data.
To play, participants had to swap an object to make a row or a column of at least three identical objects, like in the game Candy Crush. A campaign that enabled YSL to entertain their prospects and turn them into consumers!
If you want to know more about how L’Oréal EMEA implemented an efficient data collection strategy thanks to interactive marketing, it’s over here.
6. LolaLiza’s “where’s Wally?” game
How do you stand out from the competition in an ultra-competitive sector like fashion? By focusing on the customer experience and on continuous and interactive communication.
To achieve this, LolaLiza have set an ambitious goal: to deliver a different game every month, with rewards tailored to their target audience, to stay connected with their consumers and reach a younger audience.
The brand launched an interactive marketing campaign based on the famous “Where’s Wally?” game, with a trip to New York up for grabs! To play, participants had to find the brand’s four fashionistas as quickly as possible on a map representing New York. In 3 weeks, 6,020 participants played the LolaLiza campaign. A successful campaign in terms of recruitment as 4,288 of them were new users. With this campaign, LolaLiza also obtained an opt-in rate for its newsletter of 67%.
As you can see from all the above interactive marketing examples, whatever your sector, you can integrate interactive marketing into your strategy. However, to maximise the benefits of this type of marketing campaign, don’t forget to set measurable objectives beforehand so that you can continuously improve your actions.
Are you looking for more inspiration to incorporate interactive marketing into your strategy? We have listed here 40 interactive marketing campaign ideas that are easy to launch and that your audience will love.
Interactive marketing examples based on the calendar
Did you know that the whole year is full of key dates and events around which you can use interactive marketing to launch actions, engage with your target audience and achieve your marketing objectives? (We even have a calendar gathering more than 311 events! 😉)
We have listed some year events around which your brand can use interactive marketing.
1. Interactive marketing content around football events
Football competitions are perfect events to capitalise on, given the millions of people who watch them! Due to the global focus of this kind of sporting event, many brands and media groups will attempt to capture the attention of those following. Let’s see how you could use football competitions to create highly engaging interactive marketing content:
- Photo contest: the supporter of the week
- Quiz: how much do you know about the World Cup?
- Poll: who’s the man of the match?
- Prediction: what will be the final score of the game?
- Ranking: the best football coaches
- Survey: which country are you supporting?
2. Interactive marketing content around the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes is the film festival that receives the most media coverage worldwide. As with any significant media event, anybody can use it to generate engagement and collect customer data, not just in the film and entertainment industries! Here are a few interactive marketing content ideas to launch for the Cannes Film Festival:
- Top/flop: outfits from the ceremony
- Prediction: win the official car of the Cannes Festival
- Chrono quiz: answer the recap quiz of the Festival
- Instant win: a Flexnit subscription!
- Personality test: what kind of festival-goer are you?
- Sudden death: history of the Festival
- Guess the word: find the film’s title
- Personality test: which cocktail best fits you?
- Memory game: stars then and now
- Vote: based on trailers, who will win the Palme d’Or?
3. Interactive marketing content around the elections
After sports and entertainment, let’s take a look at how you can create interactive marketing content around politics and, more precisely, around elections. We have gathered in this blog post creative examples of interactive campaigns to run before, during or after an election.
Before an election
- Memory game: match each political candidate with their party
- Team selector: compose your ideal government
- Poll: who do you plan on voting for?
- Personality test: find the party closest to your political views
During an election
- Guess the word: recognise the political candidate
- Quiz: who’s who?
- Sudden death quiz: Test your knowledge of our political system and institutions.
- Quiz: who said what?
- Ranking: the best president of all times
- Battle: which candidates?
After an election
- Checklist: the topics you think the new president should give priority to
- Writing contest: write an open letter to the newly elected political figure
- Video contest: record video messages to your favourite personality
- Photo contest: turn yourself into a president
4. Interactive marketing content around motor shows
Whether you are a journalist looking for an original idea to boost your article or an automotive brand looking to attract more visitors to your stand, you can use one of the ideas below to create interactive content around motor shows:
- Photo contest: the funniest moments in your car
- Unique code contest: thanks for trusting us
- Personality test: what car are you?
- Battle: make your car choice
- Quiz: test your motor shows knowledge
And we have more! Visit our blog to discover all the interactive marketing campaign ideas you can launch for other types of events like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or even Mother’s Day.
We have also created the interactive marketing ideas generator to inspire you and help you during the ideas phase of your marketing campaign.
That’s all folks! We’ve shown you everything you need to know about interactive marketing.
From this article and all the examples we have showcased, it is clear that producing compelling and original interactive content is key to keep people playing, clicking, sharing information and engaging with your brand. It is also an excellent way to create a strong brand and occupy the minds of consumers, so they remember you quickly when it counts.
And guess what? You can achieve all of this with Qualifio.
Get ready to boost your audience engagement by using a tool that allows you to create interactive marketing campaigns (quizzes, tests, UGC, games, etc.) in minutes that are easy to publish and activate on all your digital marketing channels without the need for any IT skills.
Are you interested in having a demo of our interactive marketing and data collection module? Request your free and personalised demo now!