Today’s workforce requires an emotional connection and a sense of purpose that traditional corporate communications and trainings haven't been able to achieve. We know meeting this need within your budget and using the resources at hand is not always easy, and it certainly requires new thinking and new technology.
Many organizations are looking to video as a powerful tool to address this challenge, but video alone is not enough to move the needle—you must rethink your video strategy. Our VP of Product, Caleb Hanson, addressed this very issue in two recent webinars.
According to Hanson, "Control + ALT + Delete" isn't just the PC shortcut to reboot, it’s also a good mnemonic device for three important points about user-centric interactive video. Below, we'll explain how you can use the concept of "Control + Alt + Delete" to reboot your video strategy with interactive content.
Making good video is not enough
We're sure you've heard endless strategies and techniques for how to make a "good video," but even the best videos with the highest production values can sometimes miss the mark with your audience.
To use video well, you have to speak to your audience in a way that resonates and provide content that's relevant to them. "Your audience will only listen if you're telling them something they care about," says Hanson. "And it's even better if you can find a solution for getting your message across in a way that appeals to your audience."
But what if your audience is diverse? You may be trying to communicate to managers, interns, remote salespeople, and executives, for example. What's relevant to one person might be wildly irrelevant to another. When people have to sit through videos waiting for the part that applies to them, they lose interest—and some even drop off altogether.
What's relevant to one person might be wildly irrelevant to another
Thanks to technology, however, you can break up your content and target users with relevant information. This is the fundamental idea driving micro-learning: create many small pieces of content. Allow users to ignore the parts that are irrelevant to them and engage with only the applicable information.
So how do you apply this thinking to your video creation efforts? User-centric interactive video is a shift in thinking that Hanson says will help content creators be more effective with what they're already doing—both for the small, shoestring jobs as well as the big, full-production ones. And that's where the concept of "Control + Alt + Delete" comes in.
From what we watch on Netflix to what we listen to on Spotify to what games we play to pass the time on our phones, we spend all our free time immersed in worlds where we have control. We expect to be in control at all times—even in real life where we have the option to check out if we're not interested. How many meetings have you been in where you lose interest and take a peek at your email or Facebook? According to the International Business Times, 71 percent of workers surveyed said they would happily check social media during a meeting. If you don't give users control within your communications content, they're likely going to check out.
Returning to the concept of micro-learning, when you cut up a larger video experience into many small videos, you give the user the ability to skip content that isn't meaningful to them. As a result, users actually explore more of the less relevant content because relevant content frames it. Also, by creating a single experience, you generate stickiness, and the user spends more time with the content.
Frame less relevant content with relevant content to generate 'stickiness'
Embrace ALT methods
The powerful mechanics of interactivity and control light up people's brains. Those mechanics, however, traditionally involve a lot of hard technical work across a variety of disciplines.
If you’re a geek, or you’ve got a geek on your team, great! Pretty much everything has an API now, and an API is how you get disparate pieces of software to talk to each other. You can build more faster by combining building blocks like LMS + interactive video + SMS gateway, for example. If you’re not a geek, find that geek on your team and get them plugging stuff together. Engage your geeks early and dig into the APIs to make sure they can play together.
If you don't have access to a geek, there are plenty of options for rapid development tools that will handle the tech, allowing you to spend all your energy on creating engaging content. In the case of Rapt Media, you just drop in video segments and link them together in a visual UI to create an interactive video. Our tech does all the hard stuff, and our nerds in the background make sure it works when things like new browsers come out or standards change.
Your communications content shouldn't be about you; it's about your audience. Hanson recommends "deleting yourself" when creating content. Get out of your head and into the head of your audience. To do that, Hanson suggests simply asking your audience what information is important to them.
By deleting yourself, your audience becomes the center of it all
To test out this strategy, Hanson asked a representative sample of our employees (new hires to seasoned employees, low-level to executives, salespeople to engineers) to describe Rapt Media's culture, our product, and our company. We all shared our thoughts, grouped similar ones together, and came up with the “5 most important things about Rapt Media.” These five things aren't what management wants to tell you, but what employees need to know.
Editor's Note: We took this information and made it into an interactive onboarding video for new Rapt Media employees.
By putting control inside the video, embracing alternate methods for creating an experience, and by deleting yourself, your audience becomes the center of it all. When you let go of control, and you put the user in the middle of it and let them consume at will, they’re no longer just receiving a message; they're the main character in an experience that’s about them.