Seth Godin's blog post, "What Makes an Idea Viral?", gets down to the basics of why some ideas spread and why some do not.
He says: "For an idea to spread, it needs to be sent and received.
No one "sends" an idea unless:
a. they understand it
b. they want it to spread
c. they believe that spreading it will enhance their power (reputation, income, friendships) or their peace of mind
d. the effort necessary to send the idea is less than the benefits
No one "gets" an idea unless:
a. the first impression demands further investigation
b. they already understand the foundation ideas necessary to get the new idea
c. they trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time"
I like the way he gets to the meat of the matter. But he also says, "Notice that ideas never spread because they are important to the originator." This is a key to why marketing content needs to be interactive. You may think your content is the best prose to ever be unleashed into the ether, but if you're only pushing it out to people, you may be perpetuating an illusion that is costing your company sales.
If you are willing to take the plunge and post content that invites a response or propels an action, you'll get a much better read on what's working and what's not. For example, if you post a webinar with the ability for users to register...and attendance is low, is it because no one knows about it? Or is it because the description is boring and seems shallow? Kind of reminds me of that renowned Wendy's commercial with the old gal yelling "Where's the beef?"
One way to get a read would be to look at your web analytics. Another might be to create a distinct URL for passalongs, so you can see if users are trying to get their peers/friends to sign up. And if those folks are using the link to come back and register for the event.
Every bit of marketing content should be designed to get a response or drive an action. Vet it with the types of people who will be reading it and see if they easily grasp the concepts. Does it propel them to seek further information? It might be interesting to put together a survey that asks for feedback.
Great, you think, BUT who's going to take it? Well, that's a quandry, but for starters, your sales reps. Secondarily, your partners' sales reps. These are the guys who should be able to provide the best feedback. The only better feedback would be if you can generate a customer focus group that's willing to participate. Have both sales reps and customers take it and take a look at how their responses vary. It's a way of establishing a measuring stick.
Now, you may be groaning, but you should be able to create an online survey quickly, assign users and email them invitations to the link. Give them a requested complete date in the invite and you should be on your way to evaluate the compelling ideas in your marketing content within days, maybe even hours.
There are many ways you can make corporate content interactive. What are some of the ways you're doing it and getting results?