News flash. Americans love online video. In fact, the U.S. watched (or started to watch) 38.2 billion videos in Q2 2014 alone – an increase of 43 percent over last year (Adobe’s “U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report”). And while the number of online video views is on the rise, so is the number of drop-offs. According to Adobe, only about 50 percent of videos watched on desktops are viewed 75 percent of the way through, and that number plummets to 17 percent for mobile devices.
“Started to watch” versus “watched to completion” are two very different things – and a huge part of why most video marketers are still suffering from the same age-old problems: poor engagement and low conversion.
However, a subset of savvy brands and agencies are taking action and using interactive video to create content that solves those pain points. Unlike its linear cousin with deflated completion rates, interactive video sees completion rates of 90 percent and above. And that’s just one of its advantages.
Online video is the single most powerful tool companies have to communicate with customers, so don’t let your online videos fall victim to steep drop-off rates and poor ROI.
Here are 4 reasons why you should start producing interactive video and incorporate it into your online video strategy now.
1. MOBILE-READY INTERACTIVE VIDEO EXTENDS REACH
Think about how many times a day you look at your phone. If you’re like the average user, it’s around 214 – and video is getting its fair share of mobile time: smartphones and tablets account for 26 percent of all online video viewing, and this figure will continue to grow exponentially. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, over two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2018.
And though many video technology companies offer mobile solutions, “mobile compatibility” can mean anything from “It works across every device in the mobile browsers, on social sites, in apps, or in ad units,” to “It only sort of works in a custom app.” Make sure to choose a solution that works natively in the mobile browser so that your viewers can simply click on a link to experience your video.
Now is your opportunity to put fantastic, innovative, mobile-ready ideas in front of your clients – consider running targeted mobile ads; take advantage of the inherent social capabilities of smartphones; and collect and analyze user interactions to provide smart insights on ROI to your clients.
2. INTERACTIVE VIDEO INCREASES ENGAGEMENT AND CONVERSION
By adding interactivity with calls-to-action within promotional videos, marketers can turn online videos into conversion machines. As it is now, according to Forrester’s “Move Beyond Awareness with Interactive Video“ report, the industry standard click-through rate (CTR) for video advertising, which tells us how successful an ad is at generating interest, lingers at only 1 to 2 percent. Not great. Brands using interactive video, however, are not only engaging and informing customers, but they’re seeing CTRs between 5 and 12 percent.
Interactive video also communicates a desired message in a powerful way, resulting in a more educated and engaged buyer likely to make a purchase. Plus, viewers enjoy and feel compelled to explore all the branches in an interactive video, which results in multiple views per unique visitor as well as repeat views for the same video.
3. INTERACTIVE VIDEO IS CAPABLE OF DATA INTEGRATION
A lot of video technologies still behave much like a VCR playing a tape: play, pause, and that’s it. The standard online video player is an isolated, non-communicative black box. It takes up space on a Web page but doesn’t allow the creator to see what kinds of actions the viewer is taking aside from hitting play and how much of the video he or she watches.
Making your video interactive gives you access to valuable insight into your customers and their behavior patterns. Interactive platforms like Rapt Media’s can integrate with your existing data analytics software, such as Google Analytics, Omniture, or CoreMetrics, allowing you to track user traffic through interactive projects. With the ability to register each video choice as a page view, you can see exactly what viewers are clicking on, as well as what is and isn’t working. You can then use that info to iterate on the project and maximize your result.
4. MARKETING AUTOMATION INTEGRATION DRIVES QUALIFIED LEADS
When your sales and marketing teams see what creative is putting together, they’re going to want it reporting to their marketing automation suite (MAS) so they can monitor what actions viewers take throughout the video. Which paths through the experience drive clicks to a call-to-action most frequently? Which parts of the video have the highest drop-off rates?
The metrics and results that agencies can present to brands utilizing a tool like Eloqua, Marketo, or Hubspot are mind-blowing. For example, if you integrate your video initiatives with one of those technologies, you can track viewer behavior down to the individual and assign them a lead value based on what content they consume.
With this type of intel, marketers can also figure out what’s working in the video and what isn’t, and can iterate on the video, making changes that will lead the user to the call-to-action or to the video’s overall desired result.
Fifty-eight percent of top-performing companies (defined as those where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline), have adopted marketing automation, so an agency’s fluency in the marketing automation world is important.
READY TO START BUILDING INTERACTIVE VIDEO?
So you’re sold on the benefits of interactive video and you can’t wait to start creating content that’ll actually drive reach, leads, and conversions. There are a few key pieces you need to take into account before choosing to build or buy your interactive video platform, including:
- Mobile optimization
- Content hosting and delivery
- Editor ease of use
- Analytics (read more about each here).
The good news is that Rapt Media has taken the time to solve these challenges so you don’t have to. Check out how some of our clients, like Philips and Maybelline, used the Rapt Media platform to triple engagement and double conversions.
Ready to create valuable content with interactive video? Click here get started with Rapt Media.