The success of video content is well-documented and indisputable: 60 percent of users prefer video over text. Video also keeps users on a site for more than five minutes longer than text and images alone. Furthermore, the presence of a video drops a site’s bounce rate by 28 percent. With these numbers, there’s no denying that consumers prefer video over text, but how can you then convert these consumers into customers?
Video advertising is one of the most effective and scalable brand awareness tools; however, it is expensive, and it can be hard to clearly articulate the ROI it brings. The answer to these speed bumps is interactive video.
If you have yet to encounter interactive video, it is exactly what it sounds like. Interactive video allows viewers to engage with the video (by clicking or swiping) instead of just watching or disengaging altogether.
Interactive videos are made by overlaying call-to-action buttons or other interactive features on the screen, opening up a world of possibilities for engagement. Examples include simple website click-through, games, lead-capture forms and much more (see Deloitte’s example). The creative possibilities are endless, as are the opportunities to impact your bottom line.
The key, well two keys, to the success of interactive video lie in its memorability and measurability. The first affects the way your customers engage with interactive video and your brand as a whole, while the second affects your business and your team.
Watching is less memorable than doing; that much is obvious. The former is passive while the latter is active, allowing for more opportunity to stick around in consumers’ heads. Just one simple click can make a video and the associated brand significantly more memorable.
Consider Hulu’s ads. When I’m watching a video on Hulu, the last thing I care about is whatever ad comes on before my favorite TV show. I’ll check my phone. I’ll feed my dog. I’ll warm up lunch or dinner or even call my mother-in-law. There is nothing to keep me engaged with the advertisement on the screen, so I disengage. I ignore the video until it’s over, allowing me to watch what I actually want to watch.
But this lack of engagement flips once I am invited to participate, in a way that is non-obvious of course. By increasing interaction rates through the use of interactive video, you can improve your numbers and get more information about your customers. Gaiam TV, for example, launched an interactive video landing page and doubled its subscription revenue in less than four weeks, increased page viewing time by 35 percent, and reduced shopping cart abandonment by three times.
Additionally, interactive videos give you the opportunity to collect data on your viewers—the kind of data you can use to change your video or entire content marketing strategy in real time. By tracking where users click in your video, you can see which exact sales pitch or feature is resonating with your viewers. You can even break this information down by audience segment, and then easily adjust your call-to-action based on this feedback.
By this point, you’re probably ready to try this whole interactive video thing, but it can be hard to know where to begin. If you have a video team in place, all you’ll need to do is add in a skilled HTML5 developer or Flash developer, but not everyone is that lucky.
If an entirely new team isn’t in the cards for your company, or you’re just not sold enough on interactive video yet to make that plunge, consider hiring a freelance developer to begin your experimentation with interactive video.
The numbers don’t lie. Interactive video can work wonders when it comes to engaging your audience and turning consumers into customers while making a huge impact on your brand perception and feeding you relevant data.
As MTV’s director of digital marketing, Matt McDonough, told Variety:
If you make something interactive, people will watch it longer—and they’ll rewatch it.
And that is every content marketer’s dream.