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Stacey Simon June 12, 2024 5 min read

Made You Look (and Act!): How Interactive Content Boosts Engagement with Benefits Communications and HR Content

If you’re like most people reading this blog post, it’s likely that you chose to work in benefits and HR because you are a people person. You communicate daily about your organization’s benefits so your people will engage with them. On some days it’s a snap, but on others, it’s a challenge that may make you feel anything but human. 

As someone who communicates about your organization’s benefits, what household appliance do you most identify with? 

There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is that your communications engage your people in their benefits, which speaks to the heart of what this blog post is all about—how to get the benefits engagement you’re seeking. If your messaging isn’t resonating and resulting in the actions you’re asking people to take, then it’s time to consider why and what to do next. 

All Content Isn’t Created Equal(ly) 

Ever notice how you tend to tune out ads you’ve heard over and over again? At some point, they became background noise. When you stopped actively listening to them, they ceased to achieve the objective of the people who paid for them.  

The same is true of anything people hear over and over, including your benefits messages.  

Let’s say that you’re following all the rules in the benefits playbook to ensure that your people can engage with their benefits whenever they need to, wherever they are. 

  • You communicate year-round.  
  • You regularly promote the organization’s public-facing benefits website, the source for all benefits details.  
  • Your people and their family members can access benefits information easily on their mobile devices. 
  • You solicit meaningful feedback from your people.

When you’re doing all the right things and still not getting the engagement you need, consider this: That playbook we mentioned above isn’t static. It’s dynamic and needs to keep up with employee expectations that are influenced by technology, consumer marketing, AI, and other trends. 

Static Versus Dynamic Content: It’s Not Either/Or—It’s Both

You’re likely no stranger to interactive content. It’s the mainstay of consumer marketing. Whereas static content requires only passive consumption (think: reading text), interactive—or dynamic—content invites active engagement. Online, it can take a variety of forms, including calculators, checklists, quizzes, videos, microcontent, and animated infographics. Offline, it could be interactive or immersive environmental displays. And it can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. 

Static content has a lot going for it, so it’s not going to disappear. It’s rich with details and information, and it’s at the core of every communications strategy. Adding interactive elements to static content elevates the experience for readers by making it more engaging and memorable.

Interactive content has ratcheted up people’s expectations.

This is largely because a key byproduct of engaging in dynamic quizzes and using interactive tools results in content that’s customized and more relevant for the user. 

Right now, what’s hitting your people’s devices is a slew of dynamic, interactive content they can’t help but engage in. Take this grocery budget calculator, for example. People are always looking for ways to save. When consumers use the tool, they’re rewarded with personalized content that’s tailored for them. As a result of interactive content like this, expectations have shifted. Now, your people are expecting that same easy access to information and personalized content from everyone, including you!

Interactive content is more effective than static content in capturing people’s attention.  

The numbers back this up. In a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of respondents said that interactive content is more effective than static content in capturing consumers’ attention. In fact, it results in two times more engagement than static content. And even better, 79% of marketers say that combining interactive content with other marketing tactics increases message retention

What You Can Do with Interactive Content 

Even if you don’t have anything new to say, your people will sit up and take notice when you deliver your content interactively. With dynamic content, you can: 

  • Repurpose and freshen static, passive content 
  • Spark renewed interest in not-so-new topics 
  • Make it easier for people to understand complex subjects 
  • Enable readers to test their knowledge of a subject 
  • Replace PowerPoint presentations and PDFs with engaging experiences 
  • Increase the amount of relevant and targeted content based on people’s interests
  • Create more personal experiences for your people 

What’s in It for You? 

You would deploy interactive content for the same reasons you’ve always communicated about benefits (but you can expect better engagement), namely to: 

Moreover, at least two full generations in today’s workforce expect to engage with interactive content. Having grown up with the Internet—the mother of interactivity—Millennial and Gen Z employees are more likely to be unimpressed and potentially unmoved by static content they can’t engage with than they are to question how to use a decision-support quiz or interactive infographic. 

As we embrace these evolving expectations of a tech-savvy workforce, interactive content emerges as a pivotal strategy for fostering deeper connections, driving meaningful engagement, making complex subjects understandable and relatable, and ensuring that your messages reach and resonate with your audience—all of which lead to informed decisions and improved outcomes.

Best of all, you remain relevant when communicating to an evolving workforce. By the way, you don’t need a dedicated website to deploy interactive content (it helps, but it’s not mandatory). We build fully branded, standalone tools (e.g., what to do on a leave of absence, medical plan decision tools, FAQ) for our clients, and, by merely inserting a hyperlink, you can embed the tool in an email or post it on your intranet.

Ready to experience what interactive content can do for your communications?

Peter Turgeon, Vice President of Communications Technology and Innovation, was instrumental in developing the content of this show-and-tell blog post.

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Stacey Simon

Stacey Simon, Senior Writer, is the creative force behind many of our most successful campaigns for our corporate, public sector, and multiemployer organizations.