The Evolution of Interactive Video Marketing
By: Asad Zulfahri, SEO Consultant @ Spott
It’s no secret that videos are necessary and powerful marketing tools. They grab people’s attention, they’re quick and easy to digest, and they’re easy to share and spread.
However, do we stop at videos?
There has to be something more that we can do to improve engagement. Especially when millions of videos are online, something has to set us apart.
The good news is there is more to videos — interactivity.
An interactive video is the next step to marketing campaigns. Dive in to learn what it is and why it’s the next evolution in video marketing.
1. What Is an Interactive Video
The type of video we’re most used to is a linear video, in which you press play and wait for the whole thing to pan out. Nothing changes, neither the ending nor the middle, no matter what you do – unless you watch a different video. Although, you do have the option to pause, fast forward, rewind, and such.
An interactive video is a form of media that requires the participation of viewers. It can be any form of participation, such as clicking, dragging, hovering, and more.
It’s the next form of videos, and companies are now making the right approach to make it effective. In the recent past, marketers put interactive elements after creating a video.
Today, companies now build videos with interactivity in mind. They base the production of the video on the interactive elements.
As a result, we now have interactive videos that are much more effective.
2. Examples of Interactive Videos
It has a lot of applications in marketing, although TV shows are experimenting with it, too.
What comes to mind is Netflix’s Bandersnatch. It’s a “choose-your-adventure” type of story that presents you with options at key points. The decisions lead to certain outcomes, so you get to watch it unfold according to your choices.
And so, the ending that the viewers get can be different from each other.
This is only one example, and an interactive video doesn’t have to be as elaborate and complicated as this.
Hotspots are areas in the video you can click. They can reveal more content within the video or they can take the user to another webpage.
Videos can also have a field where the user can input information. It may ask for the user’s name, age, etc. for any given purpose.
They prompt the viewers to actively engage with the brand. At the same time, they give valuable data to marketers.
360-degree videos are those taken with a 360-degree video technology rig. When uploaded, it looks like a normal video, but you can drag, click, or scroll to see more of the video. You should be able to see in all directions.
This allows for a fully immersive experience. Users can experience the scenes as if they were there, transporting themselves into another world with a single click.
Branches are different paths within videos. Users can choose which path to take to customize their experience. Bandersnatch is an example of this.
3. Why Use Interactive Videos
Interactive marketing has a slew of benefits for both the viewers and brands. See below the important benefits.
The primary reason for using interactive videos is to drive user engagement. A video on its own is fine for this purpose, but an interactive one can further boost engagement levels.
This is an important consideration when you’re competing against millions of content. Capturing the attention of the audience is only one part of the battle, though. You still have to keep their attention, which is about as hard to win.
It helps that a user not only has to watch the entire thing through, but they have to participate, too. Passive viewers become active viewers. They won’t get distracted so their attention stays on the content.
Having something to click or do keeps their attention. It’s entertaining in most cases, and it makes them feel like they’ve invested something into the content.
And because they’re already invested in the video, they’re more likely to see it through the end.
The best thing about interactive videos is that they prioritize the user experience. They give control to the audience, creating relevance to the viewer.
As you should know, skipping ahead to certain points in the video isn’t a foreign action to viewers. They do this to get to the part that’s relevant to them, ignoring all the other parts.
Giving them control creates a whole experience that suits their needs. The whole content becomes relevant. As such, you can better send a message that you’re sure the audience will get via an interactive video.
An interactive video can be both entertaining and educational. Like we said above, we love finding fun things to do. This urge is much stronger than looking for educational stuff.
With an interactive video, however, you can do both. The interactive features can keep things fun while the user learns about your brand.
Building a Relationship
Interactive content is a form of two-way communication. It’s like having a conversation with the audience, given that they have to participate.
This helps you build a relationship with your audience and customers. They don’t only interact with the content, but they interact with your brand through the content, as well.
The results of video marketing are somewhat trackable, but they have limitations. For one, a marketer can only track the number of views as a measure of success.
They can also track people dropping off mid-video or those clicking at the CTA button, but there’s not enough data to correlate view rates with conversions. As such, it might be hard to prove the impact of videos in your marketing strategy.
Interactive videos offer more data and better metric tracking. You can track the number of clicks on hotspots, for example, or analyze the different paths taken.
The more interactive points the video has, the more data you can get. Each interaction provides information about the user’s preferences and intentions.
This allows you to get a better insight into the behavior of your audience.
What you do with the data is up to you. But, there’s no doubt it will help you create more effective marketing funnels, ads, content, and more. After all, having a deeper understanding of your audience is the key to providing their needs.
Higher Conversion Rates
Conversion is the goal of most marketing strategies. It should be great to know that interactive videos help with conversion.
That’s a huge difference, and it may be because of the reasons above. The participation and investment encourage the audience to not only watch the video. But, they also get encouraged to see through the whole process, as well.
An interactive video inspires them to take small multiple actions as opposed to a traditional video that inspires them to take one big action at the end. The first one primes the audience, making them more likely to take one last step in the end.
The relationship you have built helps, too. Even if they don’t convert right away, you would already have their trust and loyalty. It’s only a matter of time before they go back and convert.
Humans love fun new things to do, and if your interactive video satisfies that urge, they’ll likely share it with their friends and family. The mentality behind this is simple. Whenever we have a good experience, we want others to experience it, as well.
They can share it via social media, where you’ll reach hundreds of more users with every share. It may even go viral, allowing you to reach hundreds of thousands of audiences.
Fun and relevant make the content much more memorable than the rest. It’s easy to forget about a video that entertained us for a while, especially since we consume a lot of videos in a day. On YouTube alone, viewers watch over 1 billion hours of content per day.
When it’s both fun and relevant, a video becomes more memorable. In turn, the brand itself becomes memorable, too.
It gives you an edge over your competitors, leading to more leads and faster sales cycles.
4. How to Make a Great Interactive Video
Not all interactive videos serve their purpose, however. Sometimes, interactivity doesn’t improve the experience. Rather, it takes away from the point of your video.
What makes a great interactive video? Keep on reading to see how you can get it right and wrong.
Thoughtful Interaction Points
Interaction points serve a purpose for both you and the end-user. They’re not there to be only entertaining or for showing off.
They should be well-thought-out with a clear purpose from the start. Interactivity enhances the user experience, not distract it.
Like we said earlier, marketers now keep interactivity in mind when creating a video. However, that doesn’t mean you should tailor your video around the interactive points.
It’s one thing to have an idea about what kind of interactivity you want to achieve. It’s another to focus on it rather than the video.
Each interactive point should matter in the whole scheme. The audience must view it as an experience rather than a marketing tactic. It still must provide value; otherwise, it will remain a waste of time.
Engaging and Entertaining
Make sure not to rely on the interactivity element to make your video engaging. The video itself should be entertaining; otherwise, you won’t get the results you’re expecting.
Honda’s The Other Side campaign does this quite well. It features two different stories about the same guy in the same car (albeit in different colors).
The first guy uses his white Honda Civic to pick up his two daughters from school. That’s normal enough.
When users press R on their keyboard, however, the scene changes. He becomes an undercover agent picking up two robbers in his red Honda Civic.
The scenes are identical to each other with a few elements changed (like the daughters and robbers). The first scenario is a lighthearted story. Meanwhile, the second scenario is much more intense and dangerous.
The interactivity makes it fun to watch, but the stories themselves are engaging, too. The storylines plus the interactivity create a whole experience for the user.
Together, they show that Honda Civic can handle any situation, making it a successful interactive video.
5. How You Can Use Interactive Video Marketing
That said, in what applications can you use interactive videos? Aside from entertainment, you can see more examples below.
Learning through a static video isn’t the best. That’s why physical classrooms are still necessary for this digital age.
Interactive features can keep a user engaged. For this reason, they help them learn and understand the material better.
Videos aren’t always about products and brands. Sometimes, it’s to get a message across.
Awareness videos are an example, but how do you get the viewers to pay attention? The simple answer is interactivity.
The brand’s image doesn’t only depend on the product and services they offer. It also depends on how they appear to consumers.
Using interactive videos, brands can seem more connected to their audience. They also make the brand seem more fun and forward-thinking.
In Honda’s The Other Side campaign, users feel more connected to the product. As such, they’re most likely to buy into the ad.
Use Interactive Videos in Your Campaign
Interactive video technology is not necessarily hard to achieve. Still, it requires some serious effort to create an interactive video that achieves your goals.
You don’t need to worry about that, though, with our easy-to-use services. Check out our free trial today and allow us to provide expertly-made interactive video marketing materials for you.