Interactive videos are fast becoming the go-to trend for marketing professionals who want to make a real impact on the world. Big brands are already falling in line with their own versions of interactive video in order to create and enhance marketing campaigns for their products, services or overall brands.
Marketing has always been a dynamic landscape, with fast-moving trends and ever-changing consumer behaviour, as well as the constant introduction of new technologies. Interactive videos are one of those so called ‘trends’ that might just be around to stay, at least until the next big thing comes along in a generation or two.
Everyone knows, or should already know, that video is the content king. Video is more likely to gain you traction with marketing efforts because humans are proven to take in moving images a lot faster than we do written text.
It’s been known for a few years now, and almost half of the brands are using video in some form or another as part of their content strategy. However, if you really want to stand out from the crowd and get on-trend before everyone else in your industry is already doing the same thing, you need to jump on the interactive video bandwagon and enjoy its many benefits.
Why is Interactive Video Better?
Interactive video is generally considered more engaging than linear video. Linear videos can be boring, people can stop paying attention to them and they often don’t quite hit the mark when it comes to emotional relatability. Interactive videos not only allow users to become a part of the narrative by giving them some semblance of control, they also require higher concentration rates and make videos, products, and brands more memorable because of it.
How are Interactive Videos Different From Linear Videos?
Interactive videos are different because of the interact elements they have. The technical difference between the two is that a linear video is just watched, whereas an interactive video allows for some input or action from the person or persons who are viewing it.
There’s somewhat of a misconception surrounded exactly what an interactive video is and what it should do. Basically, an interactive video doesn’t have to be a complicated branching storyline or give multi camera views or do any of these things. Some of the earliest interactive videos are YouTube videos that simply allow viewers to click on links at the end of the video.
Modern-day interactive videos can do this as well. It’s a simple, low-cost way to get involved by dipping a toe in the water of this up and coming marketing trend, and it may the best direction for your brand. Simply adding clickable links within your video or directing them to other content or products can still garner you some impressive responses.
Interactive videos have long been performing well for a number of brands, offering benefits such as higher conversion rates, higher click through rates, a higher ROI, longer watch times and even a more accurate way to gather data from consumers. But, how exactly is it doing this, and why should you be using it?
The 5 Reasons You Should be Using Interactive Videos in Your Marketing Campaigns.
1. It’s More Engaging
Engagement is the key to marketing success, you can’t really achieve anything unless you engage with your customers, viewers or consumers who you’re trying to reach. Obviously, reach is important, as you need to be able to have an acquisition of people before they can engage with you, but the acquisition is completely useless if the content you’re putting out doesn’t encourage engagement.
Most marketing campaigns that are considered low performing are those that have a low acquisition to engagement ratios, or that have a low click through rates and high abandonment. With interactive videos, you can help to ensure that viewers engage with your content.
The very nature of interactive video makes it engaging. Viewers have to interact with it in order for things to happen. Branching interactive videos, that give viewers choices to choose between, require this input in order to progress the story along.
Not only is this an engagement action, it also makes people feel as though they are part of the story itself. That they have some sense of control over what’s happening rather than the traditional feeling of feeling as though the brand is fully in control of the narrative. Put reductively, it lessens the feeling that many younger consumers have of being manipulated by marketing efforts.
Marketing is, in essence, a way to get people to do or think something that you want them to, and the younger generations are more sensitive to shutting down if they feel as though they’re being manipulated and much more numbed to traditional marketing avenues.
The interactive video puts viewers in the middle of the action. It can make them feel involved, listened to and the tone and essence of the video style and content is much more likely to resonate with them and cause them to take actions, such as clicking on links, visiting websites or buying products.
2. It Encourages Mobile Visitors and Can Increase Acquisition
One of the hurdles for marketers to get over is the ever-changing way that people are consuming content. Years ago, print media was king before it was overtaken by digital advertising, social media advertising and complex content strategies that spanned multiple platform.
One thing that we do know is that more and more people, especially within the younger age demographics, are consuming more content via their mobile devices. Dynamic content that can easily be consumed on a smartphone or tablet is becoming the bread and butter of marketing.
Trying to entice more people to your brand can be tricky, especially when they’re using a device that you don’t have the best kind of content for. Interactive videos can be easily consumed via mobile devices as long as the style of interactive video is ‘tappable’ and doesn’t require keyboard input.
Interactive videos that feature hotspots to tap on to get more information, branching ‘choose your own adventure’ style interactive videos that allow you to tap on a response or choice and even multi-view videos that give you 360-degree perspectives of something and allow you to move the camera to change your point of view. These are all fantastic examples of mobile-friendly interactive videos that can help your brand to appeal more to the demographics who are more inclined to consume content and make decisions based on their mobile devices.
3. It Hold Viewers Attention
One of the best things about interactive video is that people pay more attention to it. Linear video and other forms of content are inherently passive forms of media. This basically just means that you don’t take any action.
With the attention spans of generations decreasing thanks to the onset of digitalisation and the ‘I want it now’ culture, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your audience is actually paying attention to the content you produce.
Most YouTube videos are only watched for the first few seconds before they’re abandoned, which goes to prove how easy it is for an audience to lose focus and how difficult it is to hold someone’s attention.
With interactive videos, not only does it require the viewer to pay attention so they can pick up any cues and interact with hotspots, etc., it also adds a sense of anticipation, making it more likely that a viewer will stick around to see what happens.
Linear videos can be fun and exciting, but they’re just watched. They’re done to death and there are millions upon millions of linear video content available online for consumers to watch, so you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and then the rest of the video to hold it.
Interactive video adds a new layer. It adds anticipation of what’s to come. It adds that element of the unknown on top of the element of engagement and interaction; of feeling like they’re a part of the narrative. It gives them something to DO, rather than to watch, meaning that it’s much more likely to alleviate boredom.
4. People Watch for Longer
Following on from our previous point, another big plus for interactive videos is that not only do people pay more attention to it, they’re willing to pay attention for longer. We’ve already mentioned the dwindling attention spans and sea of content that’s already out there to be consumed. Everything’s already been done with linear videos, and it’s mostly been done to death.
Interactive videos are a layered experience of something that’s just that little bit new. Something that little bit exciting, refreshing and can genuinely immerse a viewer so they can take their mind off their daily lives.
It’s all of these things and more mean that interactive videos often get much longer watch times than linear videos. The watch times for linear videos can average at just a few seconds, depending on the industry and type of content, but interactive videos? Just like How to make a coffee, who’s incredible perspective-change alternate reality interactive video entitled, it saw average viewing times of over four minutes, which is much higher than the average for the industry.
A lot of consumers are turning to online media providers to consume their content, and a lot of that is because of ease-of-use and availability, but it’s also because of the advertisements. Television adverts aren’t something that younger generations deal with, as they rarely seem to consume TV content away from on-demand players, so they get minimal advertisements. Using interactive video in place of linear video makes it more likely that these people, who aren’t accustomed to and don’t like linear advertisements, will engage with your brand and actually take action.
5. It Can Improve Click Through Rates
Anyone in marketing known how important click through rates are. The more people who click through to your website, product or wherever else you’ve tried to send them, the more likely it is that you’ll get a better return on investment. Without those clicks, you have no monetary income from your content, right?
Right, so how do interactive videos fit into all this? Well, as we’ve laid out in our previous points, interactive videos are much more engaging forms of content. Engaging, fun and interactive all add up to an increase in clicks.
A higher click through rate can increase the conversion rate, meaning more sales, more revenue and a more successful campaign. The engaging nature of content, mixed with the fact that links can be placed directly within interactive videos that allow users to go to websites and product pages without having to put in any effort or remember to do so, means that the click through rates increase.
The increase in attention that people pay to interactive videos directly effects their likeliness to take actions such as clicking links. Because they’re interacting with and resonating with the content they’re being provided, their interest is piqued, and they often want to find out more. Clickable links, hotspots and shoppable content all allow them to do it with very little effort and reduce the amount of time it takes for them to complete the sales funnel, or to go from one end of the funnel to the other, all amounting to a huge increase in both clicks and conversions.
In conclusion, marketing efforts can be greatly enhanced through the use of interactive videos. With the whole of the marketing industry constantly trying to find more ways to better engagement, retention and conversion, interactive video could be the king of all three. It’s already surpassed linear video, print and static content in terms of time investment, order value and click through rates, so it’s only a matter of time before it goes fully mainstream in the marketing world.