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2016: The Year Interactive Video Officially Becomes “A Thing”

2016: The Year Interactive Video Officially Becomes “A Thing”

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.

Video is arguably the most effective and engaging storytelling medium. The combination of sight, sound, and motion over time works incredibly well at drawing viewers in, and keeping them there. When video meets interactivity, it produces yet another dimension: action.

Action is the currency of audience engagement - the most coveted metric for brands. Case in point is the report from Demand Metric and Brightcove, where two-thirds of respondents cited “engagement” as the top benefit of interactive video.

The study is a must-read for any brand or company even peripherally tied to the video industry - particularly given the urgency of finding alternatives to digital advertising in the age of ad blockers and waning attention spans. Moreover, it’s an honest barometer of where marketers and stakeholders sit on a variety of positions.

But here’s the deal: we collectively have some work to do.

Among respondents not yet using interactive video, 28% indicated “zero awareness” or “some awareness but no understanding” of this highly effective engagement format. This signals a need for additional market education before interactive video is broadly adopted as “a thing.”

So how do we, as an industry, move interactive video into the mainstream marketing consciousness? A good place to start is by correcting misperceptions revealed in the top-10 reasons cited for not yet using interactive video.

Let’s unpack these one by one:  

1. Don’t have the budget (33%)
The reality is that pricing is variable by vendor, depending on the volume of videos and views, customization requirements, and so many other factors. Pricing concerns may be a holdover from a time when video itself was expensive to produce - now offset by smartphones that have put a high-definition video camera in everyone’s pocket. Moreover, for marketers actively using interactive video, budget takes a back seat because the results are 
that good. In fact, the average projected twelve-month spend falls in the range of $30-$40k.

2. Don’t have the skills/expertise to use (30%)
The assumption that it’s hard to create interactive video follows the trajectory of any new technology adoption. Not long ago, photo editing was the exclusive domain of graphic designers, and website creation was only for highly technical developers. That’s all changed, and so have interactive video platforms.
In fact, some interactive advertising platforms use friendly UI conventions such as drag-and-drop interfaces that smooth the learning curve.

3. Don’t understand how it works (30%)
It’s time to demystify interactive video as the dominion of big-budget brands and single-use launch campaigns. The onus is on us to guide marketers and agencies through the process of why, how, where, and when to use interactive video to hit their KPIs. A big part of understanding how it works starts with a compelling reason to use it in the first place.

4. Don’t know the benefits (25%)
Communicating a clear and tangible ROI from interactive video is the key to driving adoption. The ability to A/B test and optimize individual interactive elements in video alone opens up an entirely new world for marketers. In aggregate across our customers’ lead-generation videos, we generally see more than five percent of viewers submit their email address. Those numbers shoot north of 20 percent when an incentive is attached. Like any data-driven marketing platform, what’s essential is to have a clear and actionable picture of success metrics.

5. Not a high priority  (24%)
Among respondents actively using interactive video, a full 70 percent indicated that it performs “well” to “very well”. With video consumption growing on mobile devices that now capture 
51 percent of the average adult’s digital media screen time, adoption of a mobile-ready interactive video platform should quickly move out of the “nice-to-have” bucket in 2016.

6. Don’t have the technology  (19%)
On one hand, this response might signal a tipping point in awareness about interactive video solutions on the market today. On the other, marketers may see it as a toolset lacking in their marketing stack. Either way, technology itself is not viewed as a blocker to getting the job done.

7. Takes too much time to implement (13%)
It’s true that creating interactive video can be time-consuming. However, brands that adopt a more strategic approach can apply interactivity across their entire library of video content by creating reusable elements that act as engagement “blueprints”. Not only does this speed the production process, it pays off by working equally well across owned, earned and paid video assets.

8. Can’t get management support (6%)
Management support can make or break new technology adoption. It’s a positive sign that management is green-lighting interactive video deployment - or at least not standing in the way.

9. Don’t need it (3%)
The numbers tell this story. There’s a clear understanding that interactive video is important today. Now it’s a matter of unlocking its potential, and defining a timeframe for deployment.

10. Other reasons (10% undefined)
Other reasons might include thinking about interactive video as one-time versus ongoing effort, or requiring specific video production techniques. Quite the opposite: it’s scalable and applicable even to pre-existing video assets.

Interactive video is on the cusp of going mainstream. As brands see competitors successfully roll out interactive videos, it will serve to drive adoption. But the brands that set out first? They’ll be setting the benchmark.

Read the interactive video report!