When most marketers think of interactive content, they think of it as being primarily on digital platforms — and they’re right.
However, there’s often a misconception that interactive content is only used for (or should only be used by) eCommerce websites and other online entities. While most types of interactive content are produced and distributed by online entities, there are many opportunities where brick and mortar stores can use interactive content to their advantage, too.
Although heavily dependent on what the content actually is (a game, a survey, an evaluator), it can almost always help drive in-store traffic and convert more consumers. Here are three ways interactive content can help brick and mortar stores:
In most cases, getting a consumer to play your game or take your survey requires providing some sort of incentive. Sometimes it’s a tangible offer (like a valued trade-in voucher) and sometimes it’s a little more abstract (such as when the consumer gets the satisfaction of being the person with the highest score). Regardless of what’s being offered, the consumer receives something as a result of completing a requested task — and that’s something that can be beneficial to brick and mortar stores.
As an example, consumers might take a quiz and then receive a coupon or special offer after completion. The only stipulation, of course, is that they have to visit the store to claim the prize or redeem their discount. Not only is this helpful for getting consumers into your store, but it also helps your business collect useful information on the consumer. The additional information can, in turn, help you forge better relationships with consumers visiting your store.
In my last article, I discussed how consumers found “planning ahead” to be extremely important for things that could possibly impact several aspects of their life such as finances, health, time management and more. Indeed, many consumers hold a very special place in their heart for things like meal builders, day planners, computer designers and mortgage calculators. While this isn’t the case for everyone, most online planners allow consumers to prepare for their visit to a retailer, restaurant or banking institution with the hope of getting exactly what they want in an affordable, timely fashion.
As such, planners can be an outstanding way for brick and mortar retailers to encourage consumers to visit their store. This type of interactive content gives consumers a small taste of what they have to offer so that it peaks their curiosity enough for them to visit the store for even more personalized service.
One brand that does an excellent job of this is Apple. On their website, consumers can customize computers to their own specs and get an idea of what it would cost to produce. Consumers can even look to see if the model they’ve chosen (non-customized) is at their closest Apple store.
It’s a very simple tool that allows consumers to skip the waiting part and pick up their device immediately when they visit the store. And like everyone that enters the Apple store with a curious mind, they look at other products and forge relationships with the Geniuses there.
Although developing interactive content to be a resource is ideal, it doesn’t have to have utility to still be effective; that is, if your goal is purely brand awareness. Instead of developing a tool that assists with prospective in-store visits, you have the option of creating something that simply promotes your brand. If you’re going the brand awareness route, consider creating content that leaves consumers filled with excitement or a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
The point of non-tool, non-resource based interactive content is to instill positive feelings that can be directly linked to that brand down the line. One great example of this type of branded interactive content is the Peanutize Me! app from Blue Sky Studios, which allows fun-loving movie-goers of all ages to create their own Peanuts avatar. In addition to familiarizing app users with the upcoming film, users also have the option of sharing their creation on social channels like Facebook and Twitter.
If you go the brand awareness route, be sure that the branding on your interactive content remains cohesive with your other marketing and advertising materials. In other words, each content piece should have the same logos, messaging, fonts and imagery for consistency across channels.
A lot of people argue that brick and mortar stores are “going away,” but I just don’t believe that’s the case. Yes, there’s a substantial rise in subscription-based delivery services—but many consumers still enjoy talking to someone in person. Remember that nowadays, consumers often need a little extra convincing to go into a store to make a purchase because almost anything can be purchased with the click of a mouse. Going forward, interactive content can be an excellent tool for getting more in-store traffic—you just have to be sure of how you’re going to leverage it.