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Interactive Video: A Smart Marketing Tool

As Mashable referenced on Friday, The Fine Brothers created a fun, throw-back video experience revisiting the popularity of the sitcom, “Saved by the Bell.”

Hopefully you’re familiar enough with the history of the show and the main characters to appreciate the artistic nature of the video, but even if you’re not, this interactive video should shed light on the need for your company to explore all the benefits of YouTube.

Two of the hottest trends in marketing right now are the growth of online video consumption, and “engagement.” When you combine the two, you’ve got the potential for a modern-day marketing masterpiece.

So the question remains, how can something “catchy” and interactive like this video demonstrate a practical use for my marketing strategy?

I think there are two primary benefits to YouTube’s easy-to-use Annotations capabilities.

Engagement

Everybody is talking about engagement. Why? It’s nothing new, really. Generally speaking, which do you consider more valuable — an impression or a click? A customer walking into your store and asking you questions about your products or a customer walking in and walking out? A newsletter database member receiving an email or one that is opening them?

You get the point. No matter where or how you’re marketing, getting a consumer to engage with you, your brand, or your marketing message should be a major consideration of how you structure the message and help you create ways to make your marketing more impactful, valuable, and effective. In most cases, engagement raises the likelihood of a conversion, a sale, or any other meaningful business transaction.

So with video, if you have an opportunity for the end-user to not only view the content, but engage with it, you’re opportunity to convert that consumer is more likely than if they watched and left. It’s not to say the level of engagement a video completely determines its “success value.” There are other things to consider, and countless other benefits to video content. A video’s purpose isn’t solely to get one to click, but if you want to maximize the return on the time a consumer spends with your marketing message, you should take the time to see how much further you can take the interaction and much more valuable you can make it.

Time and Quality

Would you agree that it’s increasingly difficult to capture and keep consumers’ attention? There are only so many hours in a day, and as accessibility to more options, more content, on more devices continues to grow, it means your marketing message is less consumable. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your radio commercials are being heard by less people (unless you’re running more commercials for the same cost), your TV ads are being seen by less people (unless the same is true), less eyeballs are scanning over your print advertising…

If there’s one thing Marketers need to ask themselves, it has to be:
“How do I shorten my message, make it more meaningful, and easier to engage with?”

So how can Interactive Video help with this? Imagine you’re in the board room and the decision has been made that your company wants to create a video overview of our company and put it on your website. Video is growing, it’s more exciting than pages of text, and we can include our President or most personable employee to keep it engaging. What’s left to discuss?

Well the fact of the matter is that most companies end up posting 5-minute videos that cover a little bit of everything. It’s hardly relevant, and it’s certainly not in the essence of brevity.

Interactive video gives the user the ability and the CHOICE to qualify the information they want. So taking the concept of the President of your company welcoming the consumer to your website, imagine a quick 30-second intro, followed by the CHOICE to select what information the user is interested in learning more about? That choice can transition to a highly relevant continuation of the video diving deeper into what they’re looking for, bypassing your commercial products, or existing customer resources, or whatever else it is that your company does, and probably does well, but isn’t yet relevant to this visitor.

By empowering the user to save time and qualify the information they’re seeking, you’re gaining trust and favorability. Whether you’re simply adding “chapters” to a video to help the viewer navigate the content more easily or you’re allowing the user to navigate a fun, recreation of their favorite, childhood sitcom, interactive video presents an opportunity for your business to market to your consumers more intelligently.