Interactive Video: The New Content Marketing Must-Have

As brands compete for attention in a crowded digital (and increasingly mobile) marketplace, they need to use any tool that can give them an edge, and today that edge = video.

As brands compete for attention in a crowded digital (and increasingly mobile) marketplace, they need to use any tool that can give them an edge, and today that edge = video.

We already know video is more effective than text, but here are some noteworthy reminders via 17 Production:

  • 60 percent of people prefer video over reading text
  • Video keeps visitors on your website longer
  • Video is more memorable than written content

In short, video advertising is the single most effective and scalable brand awareness tool on offer nowadays, except for two little drawbacks – it’s expensive, and worse, it’s hard to clearly quantify ROI.

Enter interactive video – a new twist that’s a marketer’s dream.

Click, swipe, engage

Interactive video is just as it sounds like – an opportunity for viewers to not just watch, but to click, swipe and otherwise engage via call-to-action overlays, or a series of overlay elements. Need to see it in action? Check out Coldplay’s interactive video for the song “Ink,” which won the 2015 Webby Award for Best Use of Interactive Video.

Pretty cool, right? The best part about interactive video though, is whether you’re using a simple website click-through, lead-capture forms, or even mini-games, you can measure results in a way that standard video doesn’t allow.

How big is your imagination?

Imagination is the only limit when it comes to these handy bits of visual hypnosis – well, the right interactive video technology partner is key too – and there are endless ways brands can use them.

eCommerce brands already attract lots of traffic, because online shopping is so easy, but we’re talking about standing out, right? So what if you’re an apparel company, for instance, and you feature videos of models wearing your clothes while walking a runway? That’s what ASOS does, putting a “view catwalk” button on their product detail pages. And this is definitely a step up from simply viewing images of their clothing.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 2.47.02 PM

But with interactive video you can take it a step further. In ASOS’ case, making the catwalk videos interactive could set them apart from everyone else in fashion retail, allowing them to not only give shoppers a more engaging experience, but having it end with a simple click on the video to purchase. And this is exactly what consumers want.

What’s in it for brands?

Well, interactive videos are that much more memorable – because “doing” is active, versus just watching, which is passive, and we remember actions more readily. Even when it’s a simple click.

Interaction rates can even – quite impressively – outperform basic banner ads. Here’s what matters for successful interactive video performance:

  • Audience target/content type – we already know video is most engaging, so take it up a notch
  • Ad content and brand goals – you get to decide how consumers interact, and being creative gives you an advantage
  • Degree of difficulty of the “ask” – the easier the better, right?

Consider the way YouTube Annotations have set the stage for interactive videos, because users can interact by clicking to watch suggested videos effortlessly. Tags, descriptions and titles might offer quick SEO value, but it’s annotations that are leading viewers to additional content.

And the longer users are on your website, watching your videos, the better chance your messaging is really getting through.

Setting a new standard for services

So interactive video sounds great, but who has time for yet another thing on an already-too-long marketing “to do” list? The great thing about interactive video is that service providers are as forward thinking as their technology and have the details locked up. Could this be the new normal? Everything effortless and at our fingertips? VIDAPTIV, for instance, take cares of the details while brands benefit from:

  • Strong customized interactive video CTAs
  • Interactive features designed around the campaign KPIs they want most
  • Actionable reports on user interactions and media

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 2.36.22 PMAll brands want to make a lasting impression and magnify awareness while giving consumers an experience worth sharing. And interactive video is helping them do just that, with an added twist – it sets out to even make the brand managers’ lives easier.

Wonder what the next wave of technology will bring, and how much effort it will require from us to make it work? Maybe none.

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.