When you hear the term “interactive content,” what comes to mind? Maybe its a short video on your Instagram feed, a personality test you took on BuzzFeed, or a scrollable infographic. And any one of those answers would makes sense, because those types of content do require a level of interaction that isn’t present when you read a static blog post, for example.

But for B2B marketers, interactive content is taking on a very different meaning these days. We’re no longer thinking about it as a way to entertain our audience or create buzz on social media but how to generate leads instead. Those activities are great for building brand awareness, but at the end of the day, our job as marketers is to find sales-ready leads.

Here’s an example. Pretend you own a frozen yogurt company that’s trying to improve sales, so you blast out a, “What ice cream topping are you?” quiz on Twitter. Despite getting 200 responses, sales doesn’t know much about those people, other than the fact that their answers mapped to rainbow sprinkles. But if sales knew how often a respondent eats ice cream, how much they are willing to spend, or if they have any dietary restrictions, they could continue to engage with them post-quiz, and show them why your frozen yogurt brand is the best based on their preferences.

Traditional Interactive Content vs. Question-Based Interaction

Don’t get me wrong. Interactive content has been a staple of demand generation programs for many years, and data proves its impact: 93 percent of marketers believe that interactive content is effective in educating its buyers. But with increasing expectations and growing KPIs, marketers today aren’t seeing the ROI they need from those activities, and they’re definitely not generating the leads that sales wants. So what’s the solution?

Question-based interaction is a new spin on interactive content, but it allows marketers to gather key insights about their leads, uncover their intent to buy, and ensure they fit sales’ criteria for a quality lead—something that your ice cream quiz can’t accomplish. The practice is driven by lead-qualifying questions that are determined by your sales team, using the criteria they use to score leads. Marketers can layer those questions into the marketing activities they’re already running—like blog posts, webinar registration pages, or PDFs—to learn more about their leads.

Unlike other types of interactive marketing, question-based interaction takes entertainment out of the equation, and instead, creates a two-way value exchange between sales and your audience that offers something tangible for both parties. Sales gets those key insights to use in their follow up, so they can offer personalized resources that will inform their buyer journey.

Question-based interaction isn’t an editable PDF, a “What ice cream topping are you?” quiz, or a YouTube video. It’s not a one-and-done—it works because it actively engages your reader in a conversation while they consume your content, which captures insights that qualify prospects by intent. Asking the right questions helps marketers get the leads that sales wants—the ones that drive revenue and grow your business.

Using Lead-Qualifying Questions in Your Campaigns

One of the reasons we love lead-qualifying questions is because they can be added to the marketing activities and campaigns you’re already running. Unlike old school interactive content, it doesn’t require creating new assets, using complex design tools, or recruiting a team of web developers to make it happen.

Have a webinar coming up? Send a follow up survey to attendees asking what topics they want to learn about next. Ready to hit publish on a new white paper? Layer in lead-qualifying questions that test your readers’ proficiency in that subject area. Asking the right questions can transform all of your marketing activities into lead generating powerhouses that sales will love. Here are a few examples:

Events

A badge scan is not a quality lead–it’s just a badge scan. Lead-qualifying questions helps marketers separate the right leads from swag seekers so that only the best prospects go to sales, and everyone else goes to nurture.

Webinars

Showing up for a webinar can mean a hand raise, but that’s not always the case. Lead-qualifying questions help marketers channel webinar interest into a conversation that uncovers buying intent and filters important signals for sales.

Blogs

Your blog is a goldmine of content and engagement that can be leveraged to help you reach your demand generation goals. All it takes is interaction that builds engagement with your readers.

Website/Landing Pages

Question-based interaction transforms your web pages into a lead qualification engine that engages visitors in a conversation that yields meaningful insights for your sales team to use when they follow up.

Final Thoughts On How to Generate Leads

Instead of leaning on quirky quizzes to build engagement with your audience, try adding questions to the demand generation programs you’re already running. To get started, sit down with your sales team, listen to their criteria for a great lead, create a list of lead-qualifying questions together, and identify which campaigns are the best candidate for question-based interaction (spoiler alert: it’s almost all of them). Make sure you’re communicating regularly with sales to get their feedback on the leads you’re sending, and to stay up-to-date about new qualifying questions or changes in their scoring criteria.

Lead-qualifying questions are a powerful tool that bridges the gap between sales and marketing, and generates quality leads that are likely to become customers. It’s a simple and effective way to build stronger relationships with your prospects, accelerate the sales cycle, and make sales love marketing again.

Elizabeth Rivelli

About Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is the Content Marketing Specialist at SnapApp , where she oversees the company blog and social media strategy. When she's not buried in her next blog post, she's most likely watching The Office, eating pizza with ranch dressing, or complaining about New England weather.