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4 Tips for Creating Interactive Videos That Really Engage

Summer Felix
Summer Felix

Right now we have access to more content than at any point in human history. And every day, more and more is created. For example, with video alone, just on YouTube, 300 hours of new content is uploaded every minute.

This ever-increasing flood of content poses some unique challenges to your business. Every day, you have to fight for your customers’ attention and not just with your direct competitors.

No, you’re up against companies that produce addictive content for a living: Netflix, Buzzfeed, Facebook, and hundreds of others. Companies that have the entire process down to an exact science.

How do you compete with that and get through to your target audience all the while staying ahead of your competition, who are just as eager to leave you behind in the dust?

Related Article: 5 Ways Video Can Make Your Content Marketing Strategy More Effective

Is Video Still Enough? Not if You Want to Stay Competitive

For many brands, the answer is obvious: start with video. Most marketers know that it performs better than other forms of content to begin with. In a recent study, Syndacast notes that 74 percent of all Internet traffic will be video by 2017.

When you think about these trends, it makes sense:

  • People retain 65 percent of information if it’s visual, as opposed to just 10 percent if they hear it or read it.
  • 51.9 percent of marketers worldwide say that video gives the best ROI out of any other type of content.
  • Shoppers who watch product videos are almost twice as likely to make a purchase compared to those who don’t.
  • 65 percent of viewers watch more than 3/4 of a video.

But video by itself isn’t going to give you the competitive edge you are looking for. Yes, it’s more engaging than text or audio, but it doesn’t solve the main problem: how can you outperform other brands that use video especially if they boast bigger budgets and higher production values?

Fortunately, thanks to rapid technological advancement, there is one powerful strategy that can help you differentiate your brand and keep your target customers engaged. We are talking about interactivity.

Your Secret Weapon in the Future of Content Marketing

You see, most people in your target audience aren’t far enough in the customer lifecycle to want to buy from you quite yet. While watching your content, those people want one thing to not be bored. They want to play. They want to be entertained. That’s why interactivity, or the customer’s ability to change the content with their own input, is such a game-changer.

When people can navigate to different segments of the video, or influence what happens in the advertisement, they stop treating it like an ad. It becomes an entertaining, worthwhile piece of content. Statistics back this up, too. Completion rates for interactive videos are around 90 percent, which means that viewers will watch longer if they can interact with the content. This, in turn, dramatically increases your conversions.

Today, creating interactive videos is easier than ever. Marketers have a variety of tools at their disposal to craft powerful, customized experiences to convert potential customers. What does this mean for you? First and foremost, it’s an immense tactical and strategic advantage. If your video content is interactive, you are way ahead of the curve. Why?

  • You can easily qualify leads to determine which ones are worth your time.
  • You can segment and track each viewer based on their actions.
  • You can craft a viewing experience that drives conversions much better than a static video.

And all this within a single interaction. There is power in choice. Giving viewers more choices to influence their experience isn’t just a consumer-friendly practice it makes sound business sense, for the following reasons:

Tips for Implementing a Video Strategy

1. Remember that Meaningful Engagement Drives Conversions

To create engaging, high-converting content, it’s not enough to give people information and present them with a call-to-action at the end. Of course, you could, but the results would be underwhelming (to put it mildly).

High engagement doesn’t result from passively consuming information. It emerges as you connect with your target customers on an emotional level by:

  • Capturing their imagination with a vivid description of something they want but don’t possess;
  • Correctly identifying and providing solutions to their red-hot burning pain, what keeps them up at night and makes their life miserable;
  • Stroking their curiosity and giving them a question, an unfinished tidbit of insight, or even a mental puzzle to figure out.

Our brains are wired to respond to emotion and to devour good stories. Storytelling lies at the heart of all brilliant marketing campaigns; interactive videos are the marketing equivalent of choose-your-own-adventure books only better. With high enough engagement, conversions become a done deal. If you think something is interesting and meaningful, saying yes becomes much easier than saying no. When was the last time you willingly refused to watch another episode of your favorite TV show, for example?

Now, let’s face it your customers probably won’t love your videos in the same way they love “Game of Thrones”. That said, introducing interactivity will change their perception of your content from something “salesy” to something innovative, curious, and most importantly, fun.

2. Creating a Personalized Approach that Promotes Retention

If you can offer your customers highly personalized experiences every time, they will treat any content you put out as relevant and interesting. And when customers perceive you as relevant, they remain with your brand longer. Higher retention translates into a higher lifetime value of each customer, which in turn means bigger profits for you.

However, truly personalized content is challenging to create. An email subject line or a call-to-action with your customer’s name isn’t as impressive as it used to be. In fact, sometimes those tactics provoke the opposite reaction, lowering engagement and conversions. Interactive videos offer an easy solution by allowing customers to personalize your content as they consume it. As a result, they will be less likely to ignore your videos or quit watching halfway through.

And make no mistake as technology moves forward, people will expect more personalization from all forms of content, even ones that used to be completely static.

For example, television shows have never been interactive before and yet, TV networks are experimenting with them right now. In the future, it will be possible to tailor the viewing experience to the needs of different people. For example, viewers who enjoy action scenes but dislike romantic subplots would be watching different content but the same TV show than those who like a healthy mix of both, or just want the romance without the violence.

Now that the technology is there, many of our everyday experiences will become interactive, by consumer demand! And your content will have to keep up.

3. Do your Research. Knowing More About Your Audience Simplifies... Well, Everything

Do you know your audience? Do you know their likes, their fears and their pain? Do you know the exact words they are using to communicate their hopes, dreams, and fears? If so, you’re on the right track. If not, what are you doing to learn more? Do you have a game plan to put that knowledge into action?

Thanks to interactivity becoming a feature of video content, brands like yours can take customer analytics to a whole new level. People’s viewing behavior, actions they take while watching the video, and how they convert, tells you a lot about their preferences. You can use the data you collect to dramatically improve all aspects of your business: from the obvious, like content creation, to more sophisticated, like developing new products and services your target customers will love.

4. Utilize Interactive Calls-to-Action to Maximize Revenue-per-Customer

Making the right offer, to the right person, at the right time, is the key to closing the sale. Get any of these wrong, and your conversion rates will plummet. For instance, cold calls to random consumers convert exceptionally poorly they are focused on the offer, but not the customer, and certainly not the timing.

Now, compare them to carefully crafted inbound marketing campaigns, delivered to engaged “warmed up” prospects the latter will produce much better results precisely because they account for all the variables. Interactive videos make it easy to deliver the perfect message, to the right customer, at the perfect time. By simplifying all aspects of customer research, segmentation, engagement, and the sales process, they remove all the guesswork and uncertainty from the equation.

And when people are offered something they need, when they need it, they will buy with little to no resistance because instead of thrusting your product or service upon them, you’re helping them out.

Related Article: 5 Types of Videos Brands Can Use To Power Their Marketing Campaigns

Is Your Business Future-Proof?

It’s a brave new world for marketing, content, and media in general. As technology moves forward and offers us mind-blowing developments like virtual reality, for example, content will change and adapt with it.

Passive consumption is about to become a thing of the past. We are racing towards interactivity at a breakneck pace, and video is no exception. If you want to stay competitive, for your marketing to remain effective, for your messages to engage your target market and compel them to take action, interactive videos will be your secret weapon, especially if you keep these tips in mind.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Summer Felix
Summer Felix Member
Summer Felix has spent over fifteen years as an inbound marketer, and writer of everything from content, magazine features, infomericals and sales copy, to novels and screenplays. She is the co-founder of The Draw Shop, the leading company that creates unique and high-converting whiteboard animation videos and interactive videos for brands like Twitter, Bloomberg and Uber. Summer’s 15 plus years of experience in writing and marketing, include infomercial and commercial script writing, sales letters, manuscripts, marketing copy, being a newly published fiction author herself and more.