Whenever you start talking about content-based marketing strategies, static content, dynamic content and interactive content always seems to come up. Digital marketing relies on quality content that is personalized and keeps your audience coming back for more. It’s challenging. But understanding the differences between these three types of content, and knowing the pros and cons of using them can help.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
Examples: social media profiles (not feeds), eBooks, whitepapers, emails, landing pages, PPC and social media ads, banner ads, one-way webinars.
Static content never changes. Standard HTML pages are static webpages. Once a static resource is uploaded to a web server, it won’t change until you replace it with another static file. The other criterion that defines static content is authorship. If a piece of content is created and promoted by a brand or single author, it has no way to evolve or grow over time through engagement with outsiders.
Static eBooks (like the one pictured above) more closely resemble a traditional book. They’re composed of a series of pages, commonly PDFs, users can scroll or flip through.
- Relatively low time commitment: Create once and publish to multiple channels. It can be repurposed and republished, but most static content sits and waits for people to find and consume it.
- Easy to control: People can read it or view it, but they can’t change anything. In most cases, they can share or comment, but not interact (see below). Good for highly regulated industries in which all content must be carefully reviewed and approved.
- Easy to promote and convert: Creates a single, focused opportunity for lead conversion with calls to action, emails, landing pages and ads of all kinds. Tell people what it is and why it’s good for them, and they may be inclined to download or view your content.
- Easy to print and share: If you’re looking for a quick reference or talking points to share with an executive, it often helps to have something they can print and keep on their desk.
- One-time deal: Good for first-time visitors, but bad for repeat visitors. Why should I come back to your website if your content is always the same?
- Boring: The internet is saturated with static content; it’s hard for yours to stand out.
- One-way communication: There is rarely any two-way dialogue with the exception of blog comments or product reviews, and even those can be tightly controlled and edited.
- Not usually mobile friendly: It’s difficult to view PDFs on a small screen.
Examples: Blogs, RSS feeds, social media feeds, syndicated sites, A/B-tested landing pages and emails, smart website content (post-conversion content personalized for a lead), smart email (post-conversion email personalized for a lead), smart forms (post-conversion, progressive profiling), smart CTAs (post-conversion, lead nurturing offers), native advertising, personalized advertising.
Dynamic content refers to web content that changes based on the behavior, preferences and interests of the user. It provides a better user experience because it adapts to the user based on data. It’s more authentic.
This is an area where you can really have an impact. A recent survey found a disconnect between consumer and marketing perspectives on content in the digital age. The survey found 92 percent of marketers believe most or all of the content they create resonates as authentic with consumers. But on the flip side, only 51 percent of consumers agree.
A dynamic website uses computer languages to assemble web pages “on the fly” whenever they are requested by a user. In the website homepage pictured above, the most recent blog articles are displayed. If a new blog is written, it is automatically featured on the homepage.
- Higher conversion rates: Things like relevant product recommendations can increase conversions by 150 percent, according to BigCommercePersonalized. Relevant content converts at much higher rates than static content and landing pages.
- Increased loyalty: Personalized content that changes with time and circumstance is far more likely to produce repeat visits and subscribers than static content. The survey mentioned above also found 67 percent of consumers say it’s important for brands to provide them with personalized experiences.
- Improved search visibility: Google and other search engines respond positively to fresh, dynamic content, especially content that is shared and subscription-based.
- Relatively expensive: It takes time and effort to produce high-quality blog posts on a regular basis or to develop content strategies for multiple personas and buyer journeys. Finding and hiring brand journalists or content marketing agencies can add significantly to your marketing budget.
- Requires change: In most cases, moving to a dynamic content strategy involves changing from a product-centric broadcast approach to an inbound, customer-centric approach.
- Requires analysis: It doesn’t do you any good to simply publish dynamic content. You need marketing automation technology and experts to monitor the different channels, optimize for conversion rates and report results to managers looking for budget justification and planning.
Examples: Blog comments, social media sharing and liking buttons, social media follow buttons, social media updates and shares (likes, retweets, comments), customer reviews, online surveys and quizzes, web apps (for example, financial calculators), online games, mobile apps, two-way webinars and courses.
Here’s a great example of how interactive content helped move one of our clients beyond their competition: we developed a content strategy that included persona-specific blog posts,, email campaigns, and an interactive infographic.
- Provides social proof: Interactive content can make your brand stand out and make an impression. If your people and brand engage regularly and promote high-quality content, they can generate substantial numbers of followers and even brand advocates in social media.
- Increases brand loyalty and reputation: Companies that engage with potential buyers and customers when they ask questions or share comments enjoy substantial competitive advantages over companies that ignore these channels.
- SEO: Search engines are scoring websites based on time spent on page, engagement, and how much value users find in the experience.
- Informative and Effective: Not only is interactive content informative, it’s proven to be effective. Some experience a 30% click-through rate, 85% completion rate, and 45% lead conversion rate.
- Potentially risky: With interactive media, there is always a risk that your brand can suffer from negative comments from both inside and outside the company walls.
- Not cheap: You need to monitor the channels at all times to make sure you respond to both positive and negative comments and keep your followers engaged with fresh, relevant content. This requires manpower, training and talent to do it well.
- Time-consuming: Most companies struggle with finding the time to create social and other interactive media.
- Doesn’t always mix with mobile: Interactive content that is not done correctly can be difficult to view on mobile.
Finding the Right Mix
There’s a lot to think about when you plan your content strategy. Too much of any of these types of content can be a turn-off to visitors or even downright damaging to your brand. Successful companies create an effective mix of static, dynamic and interactive content that helps to find, engage and support both potential buyers and loyal customers. Budget also plays a large role in deciding how and when to roll out updates to your content strategy.
Ideally, you want to evolve your web presence into all of these channels and build teams to support them with great content on a regular basis.
If you’d like to learn more about developing a successful marketing strategy our guide can help. You’ll learn everything from the basics of creating a strategy to the importance of continual optimization.