It’s no secret that public trust in online platforms like Facebook is waning. So how are you supposed to garner goodwill and trust with your audience if you’re reaching them through a platform they find suspect?

To meaningfully connect, you’ll need to do more than simply add to all the noise your audience is trying to filter out every day. Trust is a two-way street. If you want to gain trust, you’ll need to invite your viewers and readers to interact with your content and add their voice to your platform.

Interactive content, such as embedded polls or quizzes, makes users feel as though brands are listening to them. As a result, they begin to feel as though the source of the content is more trustworthy.

The research backs it up. Interactive content sees a massive 2:15 average dwell time as compared to the infamous :08 industry average for digital content. According to research by Nielsen, brands that used interactive content (as compared to passive content, such as a blog article) saw a 282% brand lift – 16 times Nielsen’s norm.

A great case study is UnitedHealthcare’s We Dare You campaign.

The healthcare benefits provider encouraged participants to make one small change in their daily routine in order to live a healthier life. The company created the hashtag #WeDareYou and offered prizes to select contest winners, additional monthly challenges and quizzes to promote audience interaction.

More than 3,000 photos were shared via social media during each month of the award-winning campaign. People from all over the country shared their pictures, posts and experiences of making healthier lifestyle changes on social media.

Asking people to share their experience not only builds a bond of trust, but provides content and insight.

A music video produced by EVR for the New Hampshire Community Colleges and its ongoing Collegeinthe603.com campaign featured user-generated footage garnered from a social media contest.

The results? An impressive click through rate (CTR) of 1.33% and engagement rate of 4.66%. The video was also awarded a gold medal from the Educational Advertising Awards.

Adding interactive polls to your online content also gives you insights into the minds of your audience. Twitter polls have existed for a while, but other sites like Facebook and Instagram have also added polling options more recently. By taking advantage of the polling features built into social media sites, brands can quickly gain insight into consumer preferences while simultaneously promoting audience engagement.

A meaningful connection and market research all in one? [YES]/[YES]