This month, Demand Metric released a Brightcove-sponsored report on interactive video, with participation from our interactive video partners and customers. This report offers a high-level overview of the current definitions, adoption, applications, and effectiveness of interactive video. The following blog post from one of the participating partners shares deeper insight into topics discussed in the report.
The recent research from Brightcove and Demand Metric on interactive video shouts one clear message from the rooftops: interactive video is engaging.
The top benefit of interactive video is “more engagement,” according to 66% of the 500+ marketers surveyed. Those marketers also ranked interactive video as more effective than webinars, email newsletters, case studies, in-person events and more. Clearly, this is a valuable format.
Increasingly, engagement seems to be a Holy Grail for marketers – how do we get our audience’s attention? How do we keep it? How do we know if they’re really paying attention? Many marketers have gravitated to measuring “engagement” to provide part of the answer.
But what are we really looking for when we measure “engagement”? Marketers can get a little murky when it comes to producing a hard definition. As far as I can tell, engagement is most valuable when it serves as a proxy for another business metric we care about. We’re interested in engagement because we think it tells us something about the prospect’s level of interest, which we could use to help them continue through their buying journey.
However, I think selling interactive video as just “more engaging” is actually selling the format short. It’s not just more engaging, it answers the questions marketers are really asking, with metrics that go far beyond “engagement.”
In the case of interactive video, strong engagement might be an indicator of more easily-defined business metrics: better conversion and more sales. The study dug into how “light interactive video use” marketers ranked the benefits of the format, compared with marketers making significant use of interactive video. What they found was intriguing: marketers using interactive video extensively ranked “better conversion” and “more sales” as benefits much more often than light users of interactive video.
Those marketers making extensive use of the format might have a few other things right that are contributing to an uptick in conversion and sales. They might be using interactive video to ask their prospects questions that help with persona identification or contribute to lead scoring. Or they might be creating interactive product overview videos that guide users to select the product that fits their specific needs.
Those marketers have 2 core principles in mind when they use interactive video: they make their videos relevant and focus on the value exchange.
Looking to join the ranks of the most effective interactive video users? Focus your efforts in these two areas:
1. Focus on Relevance
Tailoring your content to your prospect – making it relevant to who they are and where they are in their buying journey – is paramount to success today. With dozens of options for content to consume, they’ll choose the one that most closely matches their specific needs and interests – and if it doesn’t resonate, they’ll abandon it instantly.
One of the core strengths of interactive video is that it enables hyper-relevance. Take a webinar recording. On its own, that video could be super engaging to a prospect– the subject matter is interesting, the speaker is funny and personable, and they’re learning something valuable. But add in a “Test Your Knowledge” sidebar with topical questions distributed throughout the video, and suddenly, this experience is helping them find out how much they really know about the topic – and giving them a personalized outcome. What’s more, now the marketer can follow up with even more relevant material. If the prospect answered a trigger question, they might be placed into a specific nurture stream or drip campaign, tailored to people like them.
Relevance, and the advanced segmentation it enables, is powerful – Econsultancy found 96% of B2B marketers report segmentation to be the most valuable method for improving conversion rates. Let your video content increase relevance, support segmentation, and improve conversion by adding interactivity.
2. Consider the Value Exchange
While you’re creating content that’s uniquely relevant and compelling for your audience, you can also gather valuable insights for your marketing programs.
That value exchange is an important part of interactive video – it’s about creating reciprocal value in which interacting with content simultaneously enriches the user (through insight) and the content provider (through viewer data).
With interactive video, and interactive content generally, marketers aren’t just converting more leads – they’re gathering better data about their viewers’ needs with every conversion. That means they’re scoring more accurately and more often; providing targeted nurture content; and arming their sales team with the kinds of specialized data that will help them have a better conversation with their prospect.
With any piece of marketing content, think about both the value your prospect will see from the piece and the value you’ll get back as a marketer. Interactive video – in which users answer questions posed by a marketer while they experience the video content – makes identifying and executing on this value exchange much easier.
If you’re thinking about trying interactive video, but you’re not sure how to optimize for success, consider drilling down to relevance and value exchange. Is the content you’re creating truly relevant to your buyer? Could it be more relevant? What’s the value to the viewer and what value will you see as a marketer?
Nailing down the answers to these questions, before you begin, will put you well on your way to success. Don’t settle for mere engagement – create content that delivers results, for you and for your audience.