Imagine that you get into a taxi.

The driver promises that they’ll take you exactly where you want to go, so you sit back and wait until you arrive at your destination.

But you start to notice something weird… You’re going the wrong way!

“What’s happening?” you ask.

The driver wouldn’t explain what’s going on. They reassure you that they will take you where you want to go, and carry on.

Frustrated, you get out of the car and try to hail another cab, hoping that they would be able to drive you to your destination.

In case you’re wondering, there is a point to this analogy. This is how your potential customers often feel about their experience with your brand.

In your brand-customer relationship, they want to call the shots, so you need to connect with your audience by meeting their needs.

Your customers know what they want. They know what their goals are, and they want you to help them achieve those goals with the right content. But the problem is, it takes a while for your marketing to catch on!

You give them content designed to appeal to the majority of your target market… and so it inevitably falls flat with many of them.

You inundate them with surveys – and because of design flaws, or operational inefficiencies, the data you collect is of limited use… or it gathers virtual dust on your hard drive.

You trust in marketing automation technology to cleverly segment your prospects based on what they do, and customize your messaging accordingly – but it’s not as precise as you (or your customers) would like.

What if your customers told you what they wanted… in real time?

Thanks to the power of interactivity, marketing automation is about to become a lot more powerful and exciting than ever before. That’s right – who knew it could ever be exciting?

You can turn your marketing into the kind of “choose-your-own-adventure” experience that will segment your customers, personalize your sales messages, and engage your target market much more effectively – sometimes 10 to 15 times more!

All this is possible with interactive video creation. The question is, how do you actually use this insane potential in a way that helps you learn the most about your target audience in order to grow your business?

We’re glad you asked – let’s look at five strategies for automating and customizing your interactive video marketing.

5 ways to use interactive video for marketing automation (with examples)

Let’s look at a few strategies for implementing interactive video in your marketing funnel, along with some examples of what it might look like.

Full disclosure: The examples you will see in this post all come from one company, Rapt Media. We’ve partnered with them, and we think they are the best company in this brand-new industry. To illustrate the strategies in this post, we’re linking to their case studies. Rest assured that none of the links contain a sales pitch. We just wanted to be 100% upfront and transparent with you, because we have a duty to you as the reader of this blog.

Now that we took care of that, let’s dive in!


1. Call out your target market

If you serve more than one type of customer with your products or services, you will need this one. Let’s say you sell invoicing software, and most of your ideal prospects fall into three categories:

  • Wedding photographers.
  • Independent accountants.
  • Business consultants.

All three groups of customers need one thing: invoicing software that doesn’t cost a lot, looks professional, and doesn’t require a Computer Science major to use.

But their requirements are ever so slightly different…

Maybe photographers care about ease of use most of all, business consultants need everything to look professional, and accountants don’t want to overpay.

With interactive video, you can address the concerns of each group without mixing your messaging. Just let them raise their hand and identify themselves, and offer up a customized message based on this input – and you’ll easily communicate the benefits they care about the most!

Example: This recruitment video from Havas People. Although it’s not meant for customers, it illustrates Strategy #1 really. Havas People needed to focus only on the most valuable candidates for the job – and the video helped them do that far more effectively than a conventional process would. As a result, they attracted the talent they wanted, and saved multiple six figures.

2. Let your customers share their goals and challenges

Remember our long-winded taxi metaphor?

When your customers interact with your brand, they are hoping you will help them tackle a specific challenge, or achieve an outcome they care about. Just like you have a specific destination in mind when you get into a cab, they imagine a specific benefit or result.

If you get it wrong, or don’t make them feel confident that you can deliver what they want… they won’t come back.

Interactive video technology lets people convey their goals, desires, or challenges to you without interrupting the interaction with your brand. Moreover, they get instant gratification, because the moment they make a choice, the video changes and delivers them exactly the kind of content, and the kind of promise, they want.

Example: This video from Gaiam TV. If you were to re-create this campaign with conventional marketing tools, you would have to build 4 different landing pages, or create a much less engaging survey to determine what the prospect wants. With an interactive video, it’s a seamless, low-pressure experience that feels enjoyable.

3. Warm people up with highly engaging content

Part of the reason marketers fail so often is, they rush towards the sale. They make too big of an ask, too quickly. Sometimes they hear their prospects say, “I just want you to get to the point, so I know if I need this or not and move on” – and make the mistake of believing them!

Don’t believe everything your customers tell you.

They want to be entertained, teased, and made to feel things – emotion, curiosity, surprise, you name it!

The engagement and entertainment value of creating an interactive video is an order of magnitude bigger than that of conventional video content. It’s like watching something in 4K versus black-and-white – or better yet, looking at a picture of Niagara Falls versus standing on the lookout point and observing its roaring immensity up close.

In short, if you want to build a relationship with your customers and become a “familiar face”, interactive video will help users get comfortable with the message you are trying to send.

Example: This interactive short movie by Aardman (creators of “Wallace and Gromit”). It’s not marketing content (or is it?), but it’s incredibly engaging. Even we couldn’t come back to writing this post until we had tried all the possible story choices!

Note: Of course, making purely engagement-focused content using interactive video isn’t cheap – so if you’re a small brand, you probably shouldn’t do this.

4. Create customized points of conversion

If you offer a wide range of products and services, you want to make sure you sell the right stuff, to the right people, at the right time.

Not long ago, it used to be maddeningly hard to pull off. Entrepreneurs had to resort to all sorts of clever tactics: waiting lists, segmentation, sophisticated launches, urgency and scarcity tactics…

No more!

Interactive video lets you build up interest in one particular product based on your customer’s preferences, direct them to the product page and close the sale – all in one fell swoop. It’s a great way to drive conversions, especially if your niche is ecommerce.

Example: Maybelline used Strategy #4 brilliantly in this interactive makeup tutorial. It’s a very simple premise: if customers are interested in particular “looks”, what would happen if they had the option to browse and buy the products used in the tutorial? The answer is: clickthroughs at 14 times the industry average – that’s what happens!

5. Attract the right people and repel the wrong ones

Finally, sometimes you want to disqualify as many people who aren’t your ideal prospects as possible – and attract the ones who will make the best fit.

You can achieve this in multiple ways:

  • By crafting your copy to only appeal to the right people – and make the “wrong” customers cringe and leave…
  • By creating multiple “hoops” for people to jump through – so only the most motivated make it to the end…
  • By changing your offer so it appears most desirable to the right people – and gets completely ignored by everyone else…

…or you can build an interactive video that qualifies your ideal prospects in seconds, and scares away the customers you wouldn’t want in a million years!

Example: This is another recruitment video, this time from an independent charity. However, it illustrates Strategy #5 perfectly. When you’re a charity, you can’t afford to play guessing games with your prospects – you have to know exactly who is worth your time, and who should be ignored. Your entire existence depends on getting just the right people. This video achieves the goal brilliantly (just for fun, answer “No” to the first question).

Interactive video can take your marketing automation to a whole new level – and now you know about 5 great strategies to make the most of this potential video experience, if you so choose.

Of course, there are ways to achieve the same outcomes in a different way: using simple surveys, creating quizzes, refining your messaging, etc…

The problem is, none of them have the sheer ability to fascinate your prospects and powerfully engage them in the interaction with your brand. That’s where interactive video is very hard, if not impossible, to beat!

We hope you’ve found today’s post, and the case studies we’ve hand-picked for you, helpful and entertaining (if it was one or the other, we’ll take it!). We’re actually working on something truly special in partnership with Rapt Media…

…but we can’t talk about it just yet – once it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know. For now, let’s keep it between us. Enjoy the post, and stay tuned for next week’s article!