By Tom Bishop published August 9, 2012

4 Ways to Take Action via Your Content

The following video post has been transcribed below for your convenience. 

Hello, I’m Tom Bishop, and I’m all about action. If you’re watching this video because of a link on a social network, that’s an action. I took an action to post this video to that site, and you took an action to view it. It might not be the kind of action that wins medals or loses weight, but it does accomplish something.

Or at least you hope so, right?

There’s something in this video that you can learn from, and I can direct you to more resources like an eBook or a blog. Let’s get down to brass tacks. I want you to know more about our company, KnowledgeVision — not gonna lie. But I also want you to learn something from me, and make it a positive experience that you will associate with us.

So I oughta get to the point. This is about active content and how it drives social media activity.

What is active content?

Active content is any online material that demands interaction from you. You’re not just a passive viewer; you’re expected to click around. Here are the things that drive you to click shared items on social platforms:

1. Video

Maybe a video is embedded on a site that offers all sorts of other helpful items. Did you know that the time you spend on a website increases 90 percent when videos are on every page? True story. And the videos aren’t alone. There may be surveys, PDF downloads, trial software, banner ads, forms, and stuff like that. You don’t have to click them, but they’ll help you learn more about whatever the topic is. And someone will be standing here, just like me, begging you to click.

This is opposed to television, or music videos on YouTube, where you sit and watch. You’re really not expected to interact (except maybe with the ads), but they’ll try. “Please please please visit our website,” they’ll say. Because they know what active content is for.

2. Transcripts

Active content is meant to appeal to a lot of different people in their own ways. Not everybody likes to watch video or look at pictures. That’s why articles and blogs still show up as text. Even here. (And look, there’s a transcript down there that you might prefer to read.)

Why? Maybe you’re in a busy office, or riding a noisy commuter train. The coffee shop’s Wi-Fi is too slow (though you like their coffee). Transcripts drive search, include links, and make it easier to understand what’s going on.

3. Gamification

Or maybe you’d prefer to play a game instead of just watching. That’s what game designers are trying to do — appeal to you in a way that is more interactive. But it’s not all fun and games. Gamification is the thing for business, isn’t it?

You don’t just go to the store anymore, you check in. You earn points. You win deals. And you share it with your friends, raising your game score even more. When you’re king of a business, you get an extra ice cream scoop. It’s good to be king.

4. Mobile sites & apps

Another big discussion is, “Do you prefer a mobile site or an app?”.

Well, you probably use a lot of mobile sites, where you can easily click around within the browser. Sometimes you’re stuck with an app, but the experience is streamlined. Web developers go nuts trying to replicate the full site experience within a little smartphone window. The app developers tear their hair out deciding how they will optimize for all those browser versions and mobile operating systems.

As the end user, it’s all about you, and how you prefer to interact with the businesses that serve you. And the ones that serve you best, you share, right?

BISHOP-SITE-IMAGE1-F-600x296

In the example above, note that users can select the chapters of the video they are interested in viewing, and the corresponding slide deck and footnotes appear as well.

The big picture

Now I’m going to turn this around, because you’re not only an end user, you’re also a creator of content yourself.

You’re the one responsible for creating websites, videos, blog articles, transcripts, press releases, white papers, infographics, webinars, data sheets, Flash animations, slideshows, case studies, trade show booths, course guides, brochures, landing pages, social updates, design guides, mobile sites, surveys, demos, wireframes, images, skins, forms, games, charts, apps, and eBooks.

If people can’t find what they’re looking for in all that, it’s your fault. That’s where action makes your work come alive.

  • A case study with charts and graphs? No, it’s an interview with a large client talking about how much they’ve grown by using your product.
  • A data sheet? Nope, it’s a video about your new product feature with a link to an animation about how it’s used.
  • A boring press release? No, it’s a music video made by your development team rapping about their newest release.
  • A trade show with your PowerPoint slides where you give out pens? Ha. Invite your visitors to download your specialized mobile app right at the show. Who needs a pen?

You can do just about anything today with active content, and it will always appeal to someone. The key is to ask for action, create opportunities for sharing, and drive mindshare for your business.

Want more content marketing inspiration? Download our ultimate eBook with 100 content marketing examples.

Author: Tom Bishop

Tom Bishop is Director of Marketing and Communications at KnowledgeVision Systems in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He is an experienced Marketing Professional focused on brand strategy, content marketing, social media, campaign management, market segmentation, research and data analysis, and business development. He brings a great deal of experience in start up companies that are positioned for rapid growth. He received his MBA from Boston University in 2002. Follow Tom on Twitter @MyLeftOne.

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