The average American sees up to 10,000 ads and brand messages every day. Sounds a little overwhelming, doesn't it? That's because it is.
After seeing so many ads every day, viewers just stop noticing – which means they don't bother with them. This means you miss out on sales opportunities.
You need to go further to reach your target audience and convert them by personalizing the whole marketing experience through interactive marketing tools. Here's what you need to know:
What are interactive tools in marketing?
Imagine for a moment that you are looking for a new hair color. It's difficult because you're not sure which colors will suit you and you could use some personalized help.
Finally, a website will stand out as it has an interactive tool that allows you to choose a hair color. All you have to do is fill in some simple details like skin tone and eye color and you will see a list of compatible hair dyes.
The result? You are buying a hair dye. In other words, you've just gone from a prospect lead to a paying customer, all thanks to this interactive website tool.
This is exactly how interactive tools for marketing are supposed to work. And that particular example is not imaginary – you can check Boots to see what I mean:
If you go through the sequence, you will find a list of compatible colors. If you then click on a color, a link will appear that will take you directly to the correct product:
How's that for the convenience?
With just a few minutes of interaction, users get helpful, meaningful results – and you can make a sale.
Examples of interactive tools
This is just one example of interactive sales tools. However, you can create many interactive tools and discover at least as many ways that you can use them in your marketing strategy.
Here are five common types of interactive marketing tools that we can use in different ways.
Virtual trials for interactive marketing
This is similar to what we just went through, but it's not exactly the same – we take it a step further.
Embedded "quizzes" like the one we just looked at are based on customers clicking on certain answers. The algorithm then presents people with solutions that match their answers.
Conversely, virtual try-ons use augmented reality or simple image capture so that people with selfies can “try on” everything, from make-up to glasses.
The advantage? Customers know whether the product suits them or not, so they are more likely to buy. In short, this is how they work:
- Someone is visiting your product page.
- You tap the "Try it on" link, which activates the user's phone camera.
- With augmented reality, the user places the product on their face to see what it looks like.
- When they are happy with the appearance, the potential customer puts the product in their shopping cart and goes to checkout.
It's not just limited to beauty products or accessories. For example, platforms like Amazon allow their users to "place" furniture in the room to see if it looks good in their home. The same technology applies.
Interactive measuring tools
Customers sometimes find it difficult to buy products such as shoes online because it is difficult to determine the size.
This is where measuring instruments come into play. Let's break down Nike's digital foot measurement tool as an example.
- Customers shop through the Nike app.
- You decide which shoes you want and try them on.
- The camera scan is the person's foot to get measurements rather than using augmented reality.
- Once the scan is complete, the app will tell the person what size to choose.
It's easy to see how this can translate into more sales and, thankfully, less returns.
Calculators are useful interactive tools for your website and can be used in a number of different ways than one might think, including:
- Nutrition calculator
- Price calculators that help potential customers create bespoke product packages
- Financial calculators to help people choose the right financial product for their circumstances
No matter what sector you're in, there's a good chance you can use an interactive calculator to personalize the user experience.
For example, let's say you run a kitchen supply website and you want people to buy your recipe books. You asked questions about how healthy the recipes are.
A nutrition calculator can help them and encourage people to spend more time on your website and possibly more trust in your brand.
7 reasons you should use interactive tools to increase sales
We looked at what interactive marketing tools are and how they work. One more fundamental question remains: Can these tools increase your sales?
The answer is yes! Here are my top seven reasons why interactive tools in your marketing strategy can increase sales:
1. Interactive tools increase engagement
Loyalty is important, but it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. Here are two reasons why:
- The average person spends almost two and a half hours a day scrolling through social media. During this time they are exposed to countless marketing messages, from banner ads to PPC.
- We are "conditioned" to ignore banners (a phenomenon known as "banner blindness").
Don't worry though. Interactive tools can shine during this time. 66% of marketers report an increase in engagement after adding interactive content to their marketing plans.
Ultimately, increased customer loyalty is a pretty effective way to generate more sales in the long run. It is therefore worthwhile to use interactive tools in your content.
2. Improved UX using interactive tools can convert customers
Marketing is all about conversion, and interactive tools can help you with that. Let me show you how it works at JINS, a prescription eyewear company.
As a forward-thinking company, JINS wanted a new, innovative way to increase conversion rates and improve the customer experience. Their solution came through virtual fitting for glasses.
All someone has to do is turn on their camera and upload a selfie to the platform. Once that's done, the user selects which frames they are interested in and drops them on the selfie.
This is what it looks like in action. On the left we have the selfie and on the right the actual frames after the customer made the purchase:
Potential customers can now quickly and accurately assess which glasses they want to buy! According to JINS, conversion rates have improved dramatically since adding this interactive tool.
3. Interactive tools allow customers to feel confident about making large purchases
As I said earlier, this is not just about trying on hair colors or trying out fashion accessories. This technology is also about big purchases.
Take Target, for example. Users upload a picture of their room and place a true-to-life copy of a piece of furniture in the room. You can also download the Target app and try the augmented reality version instead. This is a little more appealing because you can move the product around the room. Amazon also does this with many of its products in its app.
This feature allows users to check that the furniture or other large items will fit their space before purchasing. This means they are more likely to click "Buy" and less likely to come back.
4. Personalized user experience through interactive tools can increase conversions
Do you see a pattern of personalization? With interactive tools we can personalize marketing like never before. Here's why it's important from a sales perspective:
These statistics tell us two things:
First, customers crave personalization. You want to feel valued by companies.
Second, if your marketing efforts are personal, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
This is a no-brainer for building brand loyalty and increasing the chance of future sales.
5. Interactive tools increase lead generation
I've touched on this before, but it's worth highlighting how effective a lead generation strategy with interactive tools can be from a sales perspective.
First, there is an SEO aspect. If you can get more social media shares and inbound links, you should be generating more traffic. If people spend more time on your website and the bounce rate is lower, your search engine ranking can improve. Social shares can also increase your SEO ranking by over 20%. (You can use my free backlink checker to check who is linking to you again.)
The result of interactive tools that grab people's attention is that there could be more organic traffic and better quality leads as the people you are attracting are already looking for your product or service.
Let's look at this from a different angle as well. Using the data you collect from prospects using your tools, you may be able to find out what your customers want so that you can improve your products and services.
As a result, you can generate more quality leads in the long run without requiring a lot of additional effort from a marketing point of view.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
6. Automate your marketing with interactive tools
Yes, interactive tools can help you automate your marketing efforts, and the tools do a lot of the work for you. The algorithms recognize what the customer wants, make recommendations or offer solutions based on this information.
This can help you increase sales and make changes if necessary because you:
- Check your metrics to make sure the tools are working the way you want them to
- Make changes to the UX based on what you see
- Compare the performance of different interactive tools and invest time, energy, and resources in the ones that work most effectively
7. Interactive tools can drive traffic to your website
Without traffic getting to your website, there is little chance you will make sales. Here, too, interactive tools can help you. Here's why.
First, 47% of users are now using ad blockers. Hence, the chances are that some potential customers won't even see your marketing if you focus on them. Interactive tools will help you avoid this problem.
Second, 79% of successful marketers say interactive tools and content encourage people to return to their websites. It's not just about creating new content either – you can use the same content over and over again if you have interactive tools.
Think about it. If a customer loves the glasses they bought from you the first time, they are more likely to come back to your online store. There, they use the same virtual try-on tool that they used to check out different couples earlier. They didn't have to try to impress them with new interactive tools, promotional emails, or other marketing strategies – they liked what they used the first time and looked at it again.
How's that for an inexpensive way to cement a lasting relationship with your customer base?
Why should you create interactive tools to increase your sales? As we can see, they are not only a reliable way to generate leads and improve conversion rates, but they are also inexpensive.
Deployment isn't particularly difficult either. It's easy enough to find interactive tools that you can customize and embed on your website. If you need more help introducing interactive tools into your marketing strategy, check out my consulting services.
Have you tried interactive marketing tools?