Using interactive content — as opposed to “static” content — to engage clients and prospects can differentiate you from your competition.

While static content, in print or digital form, remains useful, interactive content takes your marketing efforts to a whole new level, says Subhas Fagu, partner with Toronto-based web design and development firm Techlicity Ventures Corp.

“Interactive content,” Fagu says, “is browser-based, digital content that allows users to interact with it rather than just reading or looking at it, providing a higher level of engagement.”

“Interactive content is solutions-driven,” says Caroline Grimont, vice president of marketing with Excel Funds Management Inc. in Mississauga, Ont. She says clients and prospects can interact with the content and use navigational tools to find exactly what they are looking for. They can participate in educational quizzes or games or get instant answers to their questions.

This interactivity keeps your clients and prospects engaged and enhances their experience. For example, Grimont says, investors who want answers about historical market or fund performance can find what they are looking for without leaving the page.

“Rather than providing them with your own information, which can raise issues of trust,” Grimont says, “you can direct them to a credible third-party source.”

Advises Fagu: “All they have to do is hover over the specific point of interest to get more information.”

Implementing interactive content requires technical expertise, including programmers and designers, and in some cases compliance approval, making it a more costly initiative. But the benefits may far outweigh the costs.

Here are three benefits of using interactive content:

1. Brand differentiation
“Everyone provides content in one form or another,” Fagu says. “But it is mostly content that you read or videos that you watch.”

Interactive content is an emerging form of content that will not only differentiate you from your competition but is also more interesting and user-friendly, he says.

2. Measurability
When clients and prospects interact with your content, you can track and analyze their activities and preferences accurately, Grimont says.

This feature, she says, provides valuable feedback that you can use to enhance marketing and sales efforts and better target prospects.

Adds Fagu: “You can also use intuitive tools to gauge visitors’ interests in particular products and topics and send them more information, providing you have their permission.”

When prospects use your interactive content, they provide a trackable trail of information, Fagu says, which can be extremely useful for follow-up.

3. Higher conversion rates
Interactive content is relatively new and if presented tastefully, Fagu says, it can lead to more leads and higher conversion rates.

“People naturally gravitate to websites that provide a great experience,” he says. “[They also prefer finding] comprehensive and relevant information without having to look elsewhere.”

Part one of a two-part series on interactive conent.

Next: Five ways to use interactive content