Relevance is key: each minute people upload 500 minutes worth of video to YouTube. The amount of content is huge and it will only get bigger. Rewind to 2012, when it was ‘just’ 72 hours of video per minute.
Make sure viewers not only start your video, but that the video captivates them. You want viewers to watch until the very end. How? Make sure viewers only watch relevant content. Bye linear video, and welcome to the world of interactive video!
This image might look familiar to you. It would be entirely correct when the right circle would turn. Each customer has their own unique interests.
What does interactive video do?
Simply put: interactive videos are dynamic videos where the viewer is director. On various moments during the video, the viewer can make choices with the help of clickable buttons. The viewer is in charge of what he or she sees. This results in viewers watching the full video.
Where linear videos are mainly about transmitting information, interactive videos are meant to meet objectives. This way you can build a business case around video and prove it's ROI. Let's look at some best practises and examples.
Examples of interactive video
Interaction speaks to the imagination, but it is worth going through the possibilities The most simple form of interactive videos, are clickable elements. However, have you ever considered adding a form to your video? Someone can leave their email address or sign up for a newsletter. Also, what about mouse-over effects?
More advanced forms of interactive video are branched videos. Real innovative interactive videos take it one step further: they are integrated into the website, so you can track how your viewers navigate. This allows you to let the video respond to this behaviour on the website. Maybe someone is only orientating? Then he or she will see video A. Has the visitor already seen multiple product pages? Skip video A and cue video B.
4 main objectives
Whatever interactivity you choose, it always offers you complete insight in your viewers’ behaviour. It gives you a good image of how target audiences respond to your product and services.
Long story short: there are many objectives to choose from. Let me give you an overview of some common objectives:
1. Frequently asked questions
Organisations use video a lot more often to answer frequently asked questions. Viewers answer questions within the video and based on these answers, they are only shown content relevant to their inquiry.
Result: people can answer their own questions 24/7 and in their own time. This results in less calls and, at the same time, more satisfied customers. The information is always relevant, which leads to more views and a higher completion rate.
Put it into practice: Samsung
How do you extend the life span of the battery of your smartphone? This all depends on the type of phone, the installed software and how often you use your phone. Samsung uses interactive videos to guide you through this process step-by-step.
2. Increase the conversion rate
This objective can refer to generating more leads or gain more purchases. One way to generate leads with interactive video, is by adding forms to your video. This way you ask viewers to provide you with data. For example, you can ask viewers to sign up to your newsletter or to download a whitepaper.
A more direct approach to increasing conversion rates, is letting viewers place an order. For example, by adding the possibility to purchase an item directly from a video.
Put it into practice: Only
In 2012 clothing company Only achieved great success with the interactive campaign "Because we can". Viewers could pause the video at any given moment and could then click on the clothing items the models were wearing. With one more click, they could add the items to their shopping basket. The interactivity is no longer functioning, but you can still see the what campaign looks like.
Combining sound and image to transmit information or a message, is nothing new. So there are many organisations that use video to educate people. However, what is new, is that interactive video allows you to choose your own tempo when it comes to education. Some people might want to repeat certain subjects or maybe they want to skip ahead. In interactive video you can alternate short clips with questions, to make sure viewers remain focussed.
Put it into practice: educational publishers
Unfortunately, most educational examples are not publicly available. However, there are more and more schools that include video in their educational programme. Also, corporates and other companies use video to educate their employees. For example, factories that train their new employees about the safety regulations.
You wish to get people to visit your platform and stay a while. There is a reason why storytelling and content marketing have been buzzwords. However, it can still be quite difficult to find the right way to attract the audience you wish to reach.
Video is a suitable way to engage potential clients. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, with the growing amount of video content it is even more important to be relevant. By letting viewers make their own decisions, they remain focussed and captivated. This is why interactive videos get more viewing time and higher completion rates.
Put it into practice: Philips
In 2014, Philips launched “Designed to Play”. The campaign revolves around a young man who is having a rough night. How he ended up having this rough night, is up to you. It is all based on the hairstyle you pick at the beginning of the night. As the night unfolds, the viewer gets even more options. In total, it can lead to 1296 different storylines.
The average viewer makes three to four choices, with a viewing time of 3 minutes and 55 seconds. On mobile devices, these numbers were even higher. The campaign earned Philips a silver Effie Award.
Let's get practical
Are you getting all excited about what interactive video can do? Then let me share some practical tips with you:
1. Measure, measure, measure!
Whether its customer service, conversion or engagement: use statistics to build a strong business case. Find out what makes viewers click and what they think is most interesting about your product. Also, make sure you look at the drop off points. You know what they say: to measure is to know.
2. Make interactivity work on any device
Amongst iPhone users, 78% watches online video at least three times a week. Amongst tablet users, this is a whopping 82%. So, if you get started with interactive video, make sure it works on all devices. Especially iPhone requires special attention when it comes to interactive video. Here, you have to make sure the elements are placed 'over' the video.
3. Make your interactive video scalable
If you wish to change a few things about your video, make sure it is as easy as possible. It helps when you work with a system that makes it easy for you to manage your videos.
Stop broadcasting, start interacting
Whatever your objective may be: make sure you interact with your viewers. Broadcasting information no longer makes the cut. Relevant content is more important and is very specific for every unique viewer. So, offer the right content at the right time and let the viewer decide what is relevant.
This blog also appeared on Frankwatching.
Image thanks to Fotolia.