Capturing and maintaining an audiences attention is a challenge most businesses face on a daily basis. As our lives become busier and our attention spans decrease, engaging consumers and employees is more crucial than ever. But it can be an uphill battle trying to stand out in such a saturated market. Brands are increasingly leveraging technology to create an immersive experience, often adding video into their strategy to improve search engine optimization, build brand recognition and increase team productivity. Whilst this is an important start, simply slapping a video on your website, social channel or in your training sessions, won’t magically drive engagement and should’t be seen as a one size fits all. It takes thought and planning to relay your messaging so that it captures your audience’s attention and delivers a brand message, product or service in a more memorable way.
Enter interactive videos. They’re a creative way to surprise your audience, engage them with your brand and delight them with a fun and meaningful experience. Despite the time and cost associated with producing them, interactive video is a technology that businesses can no longer afford to pass up. When you allow your viewers to explore an interactive story, they learn more about your brand, all while having fun. It shows that you’re innovative, forward thinking and most importantly prioritise audience choice because you are allowing them to take control of the narrative.
While still relatively new, top brands are already jumping on the interactive video hype to engage consumers and reach their digital marketing goals. The technique moves away from limited functions such as play, pause, skip or restart and gives the viewer the ability to interact with the video content through a variety of tools. You can interact very much like you would with web content by dragging, scrolling, hovering, and gestures. You may have started to see these functions without even realising. Take YouTube and the clickable area that takes you to a webpage, also known as a hotspot. 360 views of a location on Google Maps. Or ‘branches’ which allow you to take different paths to control and customise an outcome.
Despite its rapid growth in popularity, interactive video can be complex, and for this reason sourcing the right talent is essential. You don’t want to release anything that doesn’t resonate with your audience and negatively impacts their impressions. That’s not to say it isn’t worth investing the time and budget into, especially because it isn’t all about appeasing customers. Having interactive video in your arsenal can also help with people management and learning and development. When your staff have such busy schedules, training isn’t always their number one priority, often seen as a distraction from their work. This is where companies can get creative to ensure their team isn’t overloaded with data. In the same manner, interactive videos can be used to recruit and onboard new employees, as they showcase your unique and vibrant corporate culture. You can give a behind the scenes look like never before and attract employees that best fit the dynamic of your business, all before they’ve even set foot in your building.
When a user is watching a linear video, it can be easy to get distracted. Interactive video makes viewing active because it requires their participation. The best marketing strategies incorporate media that consumers want to interface with and creating a game-like experience is a clever way to grab and keep a user’s attention. Interactive video also allows you to track and therefore improve your marketing outputs. Previously, you could only track a video’s success through view rates, but with powerful video metrics tracking, you can now calculate the true value between video activity and conversions. Clicks can now be tracked while viewing a video, different paths can be identified with branching, and form fields can be used to collect data. This way, you can determine whether your video resonates with your audience and add or remove features to improve engagement.
It’s no secret that customers are saturated with too many marketing messages so when putting out content it needs to be well-thought out, strategic and best reflect your brand messaging. Think of TV show/film Black Mirror, which set the tone for immersive experiences with it’s breakout film Bandersnatch. It not only generated a tonne of conversation it went viral for being Netflix’s first interactive film, especially because it was done well and fit the narrative. It highlights the reasoning to utilise interactive video because if everyone else is doing the same thing it’s hard to differentiate yourself. Instead interactive video gives brands the opportunity to cut through the noise, think outside the box and experiment with new ideas.
So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to engage with your audience, embracing cutting edge interactive video is a game-changer! It will not only put you at the forefront of consumers minds but also within your industry.