Video has almost become a standard expectation in digital marketing, like sending emails or having a Facebook page. But with so many marketers doing video, it’s getting that much harder to stand out of the crowd.
To combat this, more and more brands are making their videos interactive. The idea is that by allowing consumers to actively feel a part of things rather than just passively consuming, they will be more inclined to remember the experience and the brand in the future.
“Marketers push content at consumers, but why not use that busy time to connect with the new site visitors and tell them your story?” says Erika Trautman, chief executive (CEO) of Rapt Media. “Creating an opportunity for engagement creates connections with the audience and makes them more likely to come back again.”
For example, a recent Dos Equis ad was shot in such a way it’s like the viewer is a guest at the masquerade party. If you watch it on YouTube’s mobile app, the ad becomes 360-degrees.
An accompanying piece of content takes viewers on a Choose Your Own Adventure-style mission to help the Most Interesting Man in the World find his little black book. By selecting different routes in the mansion, you could repeatedly engage with the same video and have a different experience each time.
That’s exactly what Dos Equis had in mind. At the end of the video, the brand’s suave spokesperson tells you that the little black book you gave him isn’t the little black book, so perhaps you should try another route. After having a Dos Equis, of course.
Dos Equis adopts the “engage now, sell later” approach to its video, which is precisely why it works so well. Consumers probably did the experience multiple times – I did, although I am pretending its research – just because it was fun, all the while giving Dos Equis extra brand lift.
“Brands have a unique opportunity to engage consumers in the same way they would in stores, by enabling to ‘choose their own shopping adventure’ through discovery and choice,” says Trautman. “Providing the consumer the power for how they choose to interact with your brand online with video is the best way to personalize their experience, engage them longer and drive a deeper connection.”
According to a recent infographic by MarketingSherpa, the overwhelming majority of consumers – 92 percent – don’t mind seeing ads. They just prefer to choose how they do, be it receiving emails and specified frequencies or visiting brand websites when they want updates.
Interactive video is another way to incorporate that choice into advertising, allowing consumers to dictate the terms. By giving consumers options, brands decrease the likelihood that they’ll fall victim to the rampant ad blocking.
“Being able to understand what someone is interested in or what they care about or what they’ve shown interest in indicates touchpoints about the data brands can use around delivering something in a really tailored way,” adds Adam Weinroth, chief marketing officer (CMO) of OneSpot.
According to Invodo research from last year, 71 percent of consumers said video is the best way to bring product features to life, which could account for the explosion in that other kind of interactive video: DIY and tutorials.
They’re not interactive in the same way as Dos Equis’, but they’re still designed to engage consumers by having them follow along. Those videos engage people not only by showing them how to use products, but giving them other ideas, according to Weinroth.
“You don’t necessarily buy something in a store and use it one particular way. Why not create content to help map different uses?” he says. “For products that have complicated use cases or have techniques that can be applied in a variety of ways, [that kind of] content could be well-suited.”
In one simple example, L’Oreal posted a tutorial last month, teaching consumers unconventional ways to use its products for Halloween costumes.
The cosmetics giant taught consumers how to cover their arms in shimmery mermaid scales. Sure, those aren’t common alternative uses for a fishnet stocking and eyeshadow, but it was still a clever branding move.
Marketers frequently refer to social media chatter as “the conversation.” You can be sure that anyone who implemented L’Oreal’s Halloween hack was asked throughout the night, “How the hell did you do that?!” bringing the brand into the actual conversation.”
If video is a part of you’re marketing strategy, well, you’re just keeping up with the status quo. Video ad spend is projected to reach nearly $15 billion within the next three years, after all.
Interactive video is a good way to take it to the next level, especially as it’s almost time for the tsunami of holiday marketing to take over the Internet. By involving consumers directly in the content, they’re more likely to engage – and for longer time.
This could be a tricky tactic – a ton of work undoubtedly went into Dos Equis’ masquerade mansion campaign – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Remember, a video where you directly address the viewer about how to do something is interactive in its own right.
Homepage image via Shutterstock
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