Educators and corporate trainers have been using “interactive” video for decades — at least, since the dawn of “Educational TV” — but it’s just now making its way into online sales engagement and content marketing. YouTube, Wistia, Hapyak, and Viewbix are among the services offering annotations and analytics. Learning management systems can be extended to marketing. And there are cost-effective specialized solutions, like Share-vid, for narrated PowerPoint presentations. Here’s why you should consider interactive marketing videos.
Beyond marketing: engagement
After clicking on a typical marketing video, the only action a viewer can take is to choose whether or not to pay attention to a barrage of marketing messages. That’s a weak form of engagement compared to actively choosing what to view, answering quiz questions, or providing feedback — the kinds of things an interactive video does.
Reinforcing the message with interactive marketing videos
Even the most rudimentary interactivity, such the chapterization possible with YouTube annotations, forces the viewer to make choices. And if those choices are How feature “A” delivers benefit “X” vs. How feature “B” delivers benefit “Y”, then both messages get some attention and reinforcement.
Respecting the prospect
Have you ever abandoned a marketing video or webinar that promised great content — after impatiently waiting for something interesting to happen? Most people don’t watch all of a video — even a short one.
Enabling the prospect to skip to the parts he or she is really interested in shows that you respect their time and want to make sure they get something of value by engaging with you. Giving them more fine-grained control over how they spend their time is nice, too.
A teaching pitch vs a sales pitch.
Most people today are familiar with online video as a learning tool — from schoolwork, YouTube How-to’s, learning management systems, and all manner of tutorials. Making your marketing video interactive changes the context, by turning a sales pitch into a teaching pitch. Several of our technology clients believe that teaching, not relationship-building, is the key to successful sales.
Mind the gaps
Interactive videos generate clicks and gather user information. Analyzing this data tells you a lot. Our colleague Randy Tinfow, developer of Share-vid, has been collecting data on corporate video viewing habits since 1999. Analysis of a recent all-day financial video presentation split into 200+ chapters found that 40% of viewers choose to view one particular chapter — clear indication of an audience hot button, which, it turned out, was a revelation for the client!
As with educational video, interactive marketing videos can tell you about what people are learning — and the gaps in their learning. You can address these gaps by reinforcing the message or changing it. Or you may find that you’re trying to sell something people don’t much care about.
Varieties of interactive marketing videos
There are many kinds of interactivity possible within marketing videos:
- Full chapterization with a navigable table of contents
- Call-to-action where the viewer fills out a form or interrupts the video to do something else — access a white paper or another video, for example
- Branching where the viewer clicks on different choices that pop up from time to time to determine the path through the presentation (“Choose your own adventure”)
- Branching where information entered into forms determines the path
- Quizzes that branch according to answers
- Surveys, up-or-down voting, and other “social” activities
It won’t be long before interactive video displaces the passive video we’ve become accustomed to.