Interactive tools like assessments and calculators are engaging and entertaining: who doesn’t like content that responds to input and provides a personalized answer? But if you are an SMB-focused marketer, you’re most interested in how these tools move SMBs along the path to purchase.
Interactive tools work at the top of the funnel to attract SMBs, encourage them to share your content, and generate leads. Mid-funnel they help SMBs understand why they need what you sell, by helping them calculate the cost or time savings of your solution. At the bottom of the funnel, they help SMBs determine exactly which of your offerings fits them best.
And, SMBs like them. Bredin’s research found that SMBs prefer interactive tools to any other content when meeting with a salesperson.
Sound good? This payoff is only within reach if you create narrowly focused tools that are on message. Consider the following questions before building a tool:
Does this tool fit with our brand?
Many SMBs love interactive business planning tools because they benefit from having a personalized roadmap. However, they aren’t a fit for every marketers’ content plan. If your brand and offering are related to a company’s finances or growth, go for it. Otherwise, consider a narrowly focused tool that differentiates you, such as a tool that helps SMBs identify ways to sell more to each customer, assess their customer service, or determine how to improve their recruiting efforts.
Does this tool move users along the path to purchase?
Tools are uniquely powerful at helping SMBs see the value of your offering. For example, a tool that asks a series of questions about a particular task and then calculates the business owner’s total current effort and expense can justify the cost of what you offer. Likewise, a tool that identifies an opportunity for improvement in their current practices can highlight why they need what you offer. Carefully focus your tools to be sure they are helping you gather leads and move prospects forward toward consideration of what you have to sell.
Is this something they’ll share with their colleagues and clients?
If you’re investing in interactive content, your ROI grows as more people read and utilize it. Allow people to share results of quizzes or assessments, and make the experience worth sharing. According to Bredin research, SMB principals share marketing content with colleagues and clients when it’s relevant to their industry and research-based. Fifty-five percent share content to strengthen relationships, and 46 percent do it to build their own reputation. That means they’re likely to share what’s professional, polished, and reflects well on them.
In the end, interactive content needs to be held to the same standards as any other. Many of the interactive tools we see are too complicated, or have murky payback. They need to be focused, easy to use, and well designed in order to work.
Thinking of getting started with interactive tools? The SMB content authorities at Bredin can help you develop tools that are on brand and focused on meeting your goals.