Interactive Content: How Quizzes, Games, and Polls Make for Engaging Results

Interactive Content: How Quizzes, Games, and Polls Make for Engaging Results

A perplexing irony exists in content marketing.

Though most content is static, interactive content usually delivers better results.

Interactive content saw 52.6% more engagement than static content, according to an analysis of content engagement data by Mediafly. It also found that buyers, on average, spent 53% more time on interactive content (13 minutes) than static content (8.5 minutes).

And still, only 14% of marketers surveyed by HubSpot said they want to try interactive polls and games in 2024.

Maybe they (and you?) just need a little push — some inspiration to deliver those quizzes, polls, games, and more.

Creative agencies delivering interactive content for their clients offer examples, tools, and suggestions on how to do it well.

Give your audience a calculator or a game

Banish Media designed an interactive mortgage calculator that lets potential homebuyers estimate their monthly payments based on different scenarios. Quiz takers provided their email addresses to receive personalized reports and generate leads for real estate firms.

The agency’s Banish Angural says they used Outgrow to build the calculator for a real estate client.

Here’s an example of how it worked. (Client confidentiality prevents Banish Media from sharing the actual calculator.) Users answer several questions, including gross monthly income, amount paid in taxes, and cost of medical and insurance payments every month, and the dot moves to the appropriate place in the dollar range. In the column on the right, users can see the money available for total monthly income, expenses, and money available for savings.

Users can also submit their information if they want someone from the real estate company to contact them. Plus, they can share the results with someone else by email.

Users answer several questions, including gross monthly income, amount paid in taxes, and cost of medical and insurance payments every month, and the dot moves to the appropriate place in the dollar range. In the column on the right, users can see the money available for total monthly income, expenses, and money available for savings.

For a client in the wellness industry, Banish Media used Typeform to create a quiz. Visitors provided their preferences, health goals, and contact information in exchange for personalized recommendations.

Games also work well when they align with clients’ retail marketing strategies. Banish recently used Gamify to create a mix-and-match game where players could earn product discounts. Brands benefit from increased user engagement, time on site, lead generation, and sales.

“Incorporating these tools into a content strategy involves deeply understanding audience’s preferences and behaviors,” Banish says.

Just ask The New York Times, which bought Wordle, and LinkedIn’s recent foray into the power of games to attract and retain users on its site.

Poll your visitors and followers

David LaVine, founder of RocLogic Marketing, uses the WordPress plugin Forminator to create polls on his website to better understand the interests and needs of his potential customers.

In this poll example, he asks respondents what aspect of inbound marketing they need the most help with. He also gives them something in return — a glimpse at how their peers voted. Publicly displaying results can help poll takers see how their thoughts or actions measure up against others in the industry.

In this poll example, respondents are asked what aspect of inbound marketing they need the most help with. Respondents are also given a glimpse at how their peers voted.

David also publishes the poll results in his content and gives his take, as he did in this article about the obstacles in selecting a niche. “It forces me to sharpen my thinking on the topic and allows me to provide my perspective,” he says.

Don’t forget about the embedded polling features on social media, too. Alexis Quintal, CEO of Rosarium PR & Marketing Collective, says the simplicity of LinkedIn’s polls lets users get immediate and actionable data.

Her client, Paul Muchowski, used it as a research tool for future content. The developer of a CBD supplement for sleep asked respondents which aspect of sleep they would like to improve. LinkedIn users could pick sleep quality (56%), sleep duration (17%), ease of falling asleep (17%), and energy upon waking (11%).

Readers could pick sleep quality (56%), sleep duration (17%), ease of falling asleep (17%), and energy upon waking (11%) in this LinkedIn poll.

“These polls not only engage at a higher rate compared to standard text posts, but they also provide a quick and creative way to gather valuable insights from your network,” Alexis says.

Since LinkedIn polling lets the creator see how each person voted, you can look more closely at the voters’ profiles and better understand who engaged with your content.

Turn text into videos and games

LinkedIn polling and Typeform-created quizzes work for Michigan Creative. But their custom landing pages with videos work well, too, says agency CEO Brian Town.

In this example, Michigan Creative displays four videos — CHI Aviation brand video, Wieland core values, ICC interview video, and Sanctum House testimonial — of varying lengths.

Then, it asks the viewer for their favorite video, name, and email address.

Michigan Creative displays four videos — CHI Aviation brand video, Wieland core values, ICC interview video, and Sanctum House testimonial — of varying lengths.

Brian says once they submit their preference, Michigan Creative sends an email that starts with, “Great choice! We love that style, too …” and asks the recipient to schedule a meeting with the team.

“This interactive approach not only engaged viewers but also provided us with insights into their preferences and needs, enabling us to tailor our follow-up communications more effectively,” Brian says.

Tom Jauncey, self-proclaimed head nerd at Nautilus Marketing, says the agency finds that interactive videos perform well. Tools like Playbuzz and Wirewax (now part of Vimeo) let viewers make choices that influence the video’s outcome. For example, an educationally driven company could create multiple learning modules and let the viewers’ choices trigger which one is shown.

The augmented reality (AR) tool Zappar helps Nautilus Marketing take its retail clients to a new world. They create interactive experiences that allow virtual try-ons and give additional product information.

The agency also uses the Ceros platform to gamify content. For one client, it created fitness-related mini-games that encouraged users to achieve their daily exercise goals. Tom says that playing prompted a 60% increase in user engagement compared to non-interactive content and a 45% boost in retention over its non-game content.

Align interactive content with your marketing and distribution strategies

Lyn Collanto, marketing specialist at KBA Web, says whatever option you consider, be strategic. “The key is to choose the right tool for the job and ensure that the interactive elements align with the overall strategy and user journey,” she says.

KBA Web created a Typeform quiz for a marketing automation client called “What’s Your Digital Marketing Superpower?” Once marketers took the quiz, they received personalized recommendations for tools and strategies. It increased lead generation by 150% and boosted social media engagement by 30%.

Using Apester, KBA Web developed a series of interactive polls and quizzes that asked about users’ dream destinations, travel preferences, and bucket-list experiences. Embedding the quizzes and polls in its travel industry client’s blog posts and destination guides led to a 35% improvement in time on page and a 200% increase in social shares.

The distribution strategy for interactive content often determines its fate. Lyn explains the channels KBA Web uses:

  • Website and blog integration. Place a quiz within relevant content to provide users with an interactive experience that complements the topic.
  • Email. Promote quizzes through targeted email campaigns. Segment your email list based on relevant criteria, like interests, past behaviors, or stages in the buyer’s journey.
  • Content syndication. Promote the quizzes on other relevant websites and platforms. KBA reaches out to sites where the target audience requests and asks them to feature the quiz or other interactive content on their site.

Don’t forget to add social media channels into your distribution mix, says Rahul Vij, managing director of Webspero Solutions. The agency recently used Google Forms to create a quiz called “Discover Your Perfect Workout in 5 Minutes!” The social posts included a quiz link and an image of someone happily exercising.

Though he can’t share the specific results due to client confidentiality, Rahul says the quiz captured significant leads and provided valuable user data.

Engage in your content

You don’t need to say goodbye to static content in your marketing mix just yet. But you should start brainstorming how to turn visitors into active content participants.

Start simply: Use the embedded features on social media and see how your audience engages. If that goes well, invest in tools to create polls, quizzes, and games you can distribute on your websites, blogs, and social media channels.

Given that only 14% of marketers are thinking about interactive content this year, you will get out in front by actually doing it. Your analytics (and your audience) will thank you.

All tools mentioned in this article were suggested by a contributor to the article. If you’d like to suggest a tool, share the article on social media with a comment.

Bring your team to Content Marketing World this October for inspiration, ideas, and actionable advice on developing and executing a strategy that drives profit for your business. Group rates are available. Register today

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute


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