Everything seems to have “interactive” appended to it nowadays, is it another one of those buzzwords?
There are plenty of stats out there that show how effective it is in communications (just have a look at these, check these stats out in one of our recent blogs).
Stats aside we have worked with interactive content for years now and can see first hand how it can transform conversations with buyers and turn them into customers.
But, when it comes to actually developing an interactive experience for sales enablement, you may be wondering how to go about creating content that delivers on the promise.
There are lots of things to consider when thinking about different types of interactive content and how they’re going to fit with your buyer’s strategy. So, where do you start when pinpointing the kind of experience you want to create?
Well, as a creative technology business, we specialise in creating interactive customer experiences that are built around your customer and focus on telling a story around the value and opportunities you create.
Design with your customer in mind
This is probably the single most important thing to consider when creating any kind of interactive content.
But, it’s worrying how many companies seem to completely miss this point!
After all, your audience are the ones who are going to be interacting with your content so if it’s not for and about them, then who is it for?
And we don’t just mean a generic customer, your content must be specific and personal and relate directly to that individual customer.
So, carefully consider who you will be talking to and the kind of experience that will work for them. What messages are relevant to them, what will draw them in and have the desired effect of moving them along their buying process? What are their objectives, how do they like to interact with technology, and what will cause a reaction in them?
And on that subject, let’s move onto your own business objectives. Do you want to inform? Educate? Mine for valuable information? Explore possibilities, establish thought leadership? Raise awareness of your brand? Maybe your main aim is to win new business or capture vital new leads that you can then nurture.
These objectives have to line up with those of your customer. If you start to map this out methodically you’ll start to get a picture of your customers and the content that needs to be pulled in to support those conversations.
Look at your existing content
Often you’ll already have the relevant content for sales enablement but maybe not in the right format and probably hidden amongst other less relevant content, but you won’t know until you look.
Performing an audit on your existing content should help you see any gaps, and then map out what you still need to create. As a rule of thumb, try to pinpoint content that answers the biggest questions your customers have at different points of the buyers’ journey. Your sales reps can help with this!
In fact, speak to anyone who interacts with your customers to get their input – think customer support, front line staff, almost anybody that regularly talks to your customers. Their input may pull up all sorts of useful insights, such as disconnects between your products/solutions and your customers.
Listen to your sales team
We really need to drive this point home, because no-one will have a better idea of your buyers’ process than your sales team. After all, they should know what works – and, perhaps even more importantly, what doesn’t.
Don’t just ask your sales team what kind of content they wish they had on-hand; actually, involve them in the creation process for your interactive content, they are the ones who are going to have to use it so their buy-in is crucial.
For sales enablement to work effectively, your marketing and sales teams should be in perfect alignment. This means working together to create effective, customer-centric interactive content that fosters meaningful sales conversations.
Find the best way to tell your story
One of the best ways to create effective content – interactive or otherwise – is to tell a story. It should be authentic, emotive and something that your customers can identify with – all of this will help them connect with your brand and messages and more importantly understand exactly what you can do for them.
Storytelling is another one of those buzzwords with plenty of supporting stats. But, people get scared off by the term ‘storytelling’ as it covers such a wide breadth of ideas. Storytelling in B2B is important and there are subtle ways of incorporating it into your communications without it looking like a Disney cartoon.
Perhaps you want to put your customers front and centre in your story, such as a ‘day in the life’ scenario; an effective way to show how your solutions can impact on their everyday life, whilst showing you understand their world.
Map out your content with a content map and storyboard
A content map and storyboard are perfect tools to help you map out your content and review everything you’ll be adding to your interactive sales tool. It’ll also help you determine any gaps in the experience, or in the story itself.
This is something you can then review with your sales team to ensure you’ve got absolutely everything covered. It’s also something an interactive agency should be able to create for you – that is, if you aren’t creating your interactive sales enablement content in-house.
This map will also start to give you a picture of how the interaction needs to work and be built into your final tools. Interaction is what lets the sales team seamlessly move between content depending on the flow of a conversation with a customer.
TIP: Learn more about content maps and storyboards, and why they’re so important, in our blog about the subject.
One last thing…
I’m going to say it again, it’s all about your customer and what they need and how you create a two-way dialogue that gives you and the customer the outcome you both want. All your efforts should be focused around this key point and interaction is there to do just that.
Curious about what’s possible when creating persuasive interactive sales content? Then, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you, and we read and reply to every message we receive.