3 ways brands are using Interactive Video to engage with customers


This article was originally published on Adotas.com on December 5, 2013.

Video is no longer just a lean-back experience. With the touch-heavy world of mobile devices, video is becoming more of a lean-forward, interactive experience. Digital video can support user interaction through gestures, voice, touch and clicks, and brands in the know are implementing Interactive Video (IV) projects into their marketing campaigns.

These brands are seeing remarkable results in terms of engagement with customers and brand awareness, and their viewers become more informed buyers likely to make a purchase.

But some brands aren’t. According to the recent Forrester report “Move Beyond Awareness with Interactive Video,” most brands’ video campaigns just aim to inform as many potential customers as possible about a product. Most companies think of online video advertising as just an extension of TV advertising, simply posting their made-for-TV ad on YouTube.

Here’s the difference: As it is now, the industry standard click-through rate (CTR) for video advertising, which tells us how successful an ad is at generating interest, lingers at only one to two percent. Not great.

Brands using IV, however, are not only engaging and informing customers, but they’re seeing CTRs between five and 12 percent.

These impressive outcomes have to do with the call-to-action (CTA). A CTA is usually a line of text – or in the case of most online videos, a hyperlink that pops up within the video – that urges the viewer to do something.

With static videos, marketers can insert CTAs, but they tend to break up the user experience by ending the video or sending the user to another page. With IV, marketers can choose where in the video to put CTAs, effectively offering the viewer the option to click on a product or topic that interests them. The key is that they’re clicking on something instead of entirely dropping off the page out of impatience or lack of interest.

Maybelline’s “Big Eye Beauty Adventure” IV campaign is a great example of how offering smartly placed CTAs can lead to successful CTRs. Maybelline was looking to educate consumers about beauty products and trends in application, engage those consumers for sustained periods, and convert that engagement into product sales.

Rapt Media teamed up with Maybelline to launch #TheGlamorEye, an interactive beauty adventure where viewers have the unique ability to click the video to choose which signature makeup looks they want to learn about and then buy the featured products after. The IV experience encompassed multiple product and commerce CTAs and averaged a five percent CTR – more than what non-interactive video projects see.

According to Forrester, the compound annual growth rate for total ad spend within the next five years is 4.49 percent. For video, it’s a whopping 22.39 percent. Companies are investing more into video but, marketers are squandering these resources by producing linear videos. The budget spent to produce a 15- or 30-second video is equal to what you’d spend on an Interactive Video, though the consumer is much more likely to spend more time with an IV.

Generally, non-Interactive Video suffers from high drop-off rates. However, in our studies, we’ve seen IV completion rates of 90 percent and above. Viewers like to explore all the branches in an IV, so we’re seeing multiple views per unique visitor and repeat views for the same video, resulting in viewing times exceeding four minutes.

In Philips’ “Designed to Play” IV campaign, the average viewer interacted three to four times with the video. Philips wanted a way to introduce a new generation of young European men to the style possibilities the Philips Click & Style electric razor could provide them by immersing them in an entertaining, playful, interactive brand experience that they could play on mobile devices without downloading an app.

“Engaging and interacting with consumers is paramount when it comes to video, and a big component of this interactivity is meeting the demands of an increasingly mobile consumer,” said Willem Schungel, Global Digital Manager of Philips Consumer Lifestyle.

Philips saw 65 percent of its viewers watch the video on iPhone or Android devices with an average mobile viewing time of more than four minutes.

Gaiam TV saw similar results from its IV campaign. To bring a more informed consumer through the checkout process while also increasing conversions, Gaiam TV needed a new, more engaging way to not only communicate with its customers and key audiences, but also build a relationship with them.

Gaiam TV was struggling with its landing page – people were visiting, but that wasn’t leading to an increase in subscriptions. Together with our consulting team, Gaiam TV devised a head-to-head competition between a standard landing page and an interactive landing page. By monitoring the analytics of the interactive landing page, Gaiam TV was able to make incremental changes to the video based on user navigation.

In less than a month, Gaiam TV improved ROI, doubled the total amount of subscriptions, increased average viewing time by 35 percent and decreased clicks per purchase, meaning customers subscribed in fewer clicks.

“The conversion results from our Interactive Video activation with Rapt Media certainly exceeded our expectations and resulted in a very noticeable increase in subscriptions,” said Gaiam TV Director of Marketing Andrea Scott.

IV is not only helping brands engage customers, it’s also communicating the desired message in a powerful way, resulting in a more informed and engaged buyer. After clicking through an IV, the viewer is no longer just a viewer, but a more qualified lead. Interactive Video is redefining what is possible with the medium and giving consumers a reason to lean into content.

This article was originally published on Adotas.com on December 5, 2013.

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