It’s official: video marketing is booming, and the savviest marketers are looking to interactive video to differentiate their brands from the crowd.
Rather than a passive experience, interactive video draws your audience out of their shells by starting a conversation. It’s been shown to hold attention for 47 percent more time, and be 32 percent more memorable to audiences.
And by asking viewers questions, offering personalized information, or just making it easy to get in touch, interactive video naturally gathers analytics that can help you fine-tune your overall marketing strategy.
Here’s the how-to
Only 23 percent of video marketers have tried interactive video as a tool, even though 83 percent of those that have report success. We suspect that’s because interactive video sounds difficult to pull off. But with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Today, we’re breaking down the 6 fundamental steps to creating the perfect interactive video.
1) Set measurable goals
Using video on your landing page can increase sales conversion by 80 percent, but that’s not super helpful if you’re trying to build up your LinkedIn followers or add emails to your list. In that case, your approach to video might require a different approach.
Video isn’t a new type of marketing: it’s built to amplify what you’re already doing. And interactive video is the next generation. Deciding how to integrate video means asking: where am I struggling? Building audience? Consideration? Converting browsers to buyers? Your marketing strategy’s weak links and drop-off points are where interactive video can truly make a difference.
Keep both brand objectives and financial goals in mind, but remember that at the end of the day, your objectives have to be measured for success. How you measure that success depends: your key performance indicators will vary depending on your goals.
- Create an interactive video mission statement: This is an easy, one-line rallying point for your team to refer back to when brainstorming sessions get wild. It should include the type of content your brand excels at, your target market (see ingredient #3), and what your audience will take away (a.k.a. your goals). It might sound something like:
We make [entertaining, educational, viral, 1:1] interactive videos
for [HR managers,teenagers, solopreneurs]
so that they [self-qualify as leads, follow us on social, buy our product].
- Make SMART goals, but focus on the M: SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Keep your KPIs top of mind! For instance, if you’re looking to increase awareness, your KPI might be views, or impressions. With interactive video, your KPIs can get even more specific: how many appointments did we book? How many clicks through to our product page?
2) Build out a realistic budget
With technological advances, video is getting more financially accessible every year. But it can still be expensive. And while outsourcing to a production or marketing company might reduce headaches, it will certainly add dollars. Meanwhile, hiring a videographer outright is a major commitment for most businesses.
If you’ve never budgeted for video before it’s tempting to just set aside a dollar amount or budget percentage for video, and hope some is left over by the end of the project, or fiscal year. However, there are better options.
Stay focused: Especially if you’re just starting out, embrace a DIY aesthetic and keep your budget in check by reducing scope (i.e., one talking-head expert vs. three actors) and filming multiple videos in one batch. With the rise of Stories as one of the top video marketing trends of 2019, viewers are already embracing a lo-fi, spontaneous feel.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: You’re probably already budgeting by business outcome (e.g., 100 additional leads in the pipeline/month). Video should be included as a part of that holistic budget for specific goals, not a fancy, unquantifiable accessory.
3) Target a specific audience
Defining your audience is a crucial step that will inform both your creative and analytics.
If you know who you’re talking to from the get-go, you can make better decisions about what your video will offer, and where it will live.
- Create customer personas: These are semi-fictional avatars for each segment of your audience. Create a few different ones so that you know exactly which frustrations and goals you’re addressing for different people.
Take, for example, Greta, an ambitious twenty-something junior account manager who pretty much lives at her dog-friendly office, but is putting herself on a social media diet because she never feels like she’s getting enough done.
Or Barry, who’s been managing a twenty-person HR team effectively for years and has never checked email in anything but Microsoft Outlook, but is nervous because the millennials on his team use their personal phones for everything, including confidential work.
Your personas should fill in most or all of the following blanks:
- Demographic (age, industry, location)
- Job (seniority and decision-making power)
- Existing loyalties (websites they visit and trust, brands they already use)
- Lifestyle (activities, interests)
- Goals & objectives (what do they aspire to at work or in life?)
- Challenges & pain points (what are they struggling with?)
4) Promote on the right channels
In order to optimize your video for maximum conversion, it’s necessary to know which channel each video will live on. Will you post it on your feeds, or email it to your leads?
Creating a series of Instagram Stories, for instance, will require different specs and aesthetics than a one-off landing page video or a YouTube bumper ad.
Keep yourself updated on ideal video specs for each social media platform and make sure your video length suits the channel as well.
- Optimize for mobile: Over half of online video is viewed on mobile. Some channels might be born-mobile like Stories, but in all cases try to format your video to take up maximum screen real estate (like max-width Pinterest ads or 1:1 square video) to prevent black bars or other unsightly vibes.
- Prepare for sound-off: Since most digital video auto-plays with the volume on mute, ensure your message will get across by including captions. (In America this is required by law.) Closed captions and transcripts have the added benefit of making your video more search-friendly, too.
- Promote across channels: One great video asset can be repurposed (with adjusted specs, of course) to play on multiple platforms. Uploading natively to Facebook is crucial to courting the newsfeed algorithm, but YouTube has its own vast audience and can be embedded in blog posts and shared via email. Where you use (and reuse) your video will naturally follow from your marketing goals.
5) Add a sprinkle—or gallon—of emotion
Psychologically, video is effective because the medium is chock full of emotional stimuli. Color, music, and facial expressions all contribute to the effectiveness of the overall storytelling.
According to psychologists, advertising persuades in one of two ways: peripherally or centrally. Central persuasion occurs when viewers are already invested in the messaging, mostly because they need the product and are making logical decisions based on fact.
Peripheral persuasion, however, is when the ad sneaks in sideways and compels them with sensory stimulation to produce an emotion. At that point, the viewer is more likely to make decisions that skim facts or logic.
Arguably, both kinds of persuasion are necessary at different points in any given sales funnel, but if your purpose is to grab attention at the top, peripheral persuasion is your go-to tactic. And that means you’re going for the heartstrings (or endorphins, or goosebumps—you get the idea).
- Tell a story: When you tell people about your daughter do you say “She’s 38 inches tall and 41 pounds” or do you tell people about the time she negotiated for ice cream by pulling off her diaper in the grocery store? Stories evoke emotion in people. Whether you’re going to write a full script or just block out the beats of your pitch, think about the foundations of your story:
- Who is your protagonist?
- What do they want above all else?
- What stands in their way?
- Use sensory detail: Take advantage of the medium and electrify all your audience’s senses with cues that other content can’t offer. Music and sound can lend atmosphere that words or images can’t. (Think: why are ASMR videos so big right now?) Lighting, color and movement are also send subtle signals that influence your viewers.
6) Add an irresistible CTA
Humans remember the first and last parts best, so end with a bang by selecting the best CTA for your video’s goals. Interactive video means that you don’t need to leave viewers to wait for an algorithm to select their next move. There are several options.
For instance, a poll-style CTA can gather intelligence by asking users to self-identify their situation (i.e., what kind of device they’re running; how big their team is; what their budget is), and then give them even more relevant information in return.
Other options include directing traffic by leading users to the next video in an educational series; providing a sign-up form to get access to a white paper; or directly getting in touch.
Regardless, make sure that your CTA is supporting the goal you outlined for the video at the start.
- Always A/B test: You have plenty of options when it comes to wording, colour, images and placement in your video, so take the extra time to make sure that you’ve optimized for maximum clicks.
- Call viewers to action throughout: CTAs aren’t just for the end of the video. Offering more information or direct contact options midway through can add a sense of urgency that will resonate with your busy audience.
Integrating interactive video into your marketing strategy is easier than it looks, with the right tools. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo.