It’s true. Adding interactivity to your marketing video will make it more engaging.

But it’s not enough.

Sure, it will give your viewers a reason to stick around longer. They will play around with the video, possibly even finish it.

Your marketing person will pop the champagne and brag about an uptick in viewing time, or some other metric that sounds great… but doesn’t do much for your bottom line.

This is not the kind of engagement you really want. And not the kind we’ll talk about today.

Instead, we’ll discuss specific things you can do to create deep engagement with your interactive video marketing. We’re talking things like:

  • Multiple viewings, because it’s just that good…
  • Sharing the experience with others through word-of-mouth, because it’s so compelling they forget it’s branded content…
  • And most importantly, taking action. Because otherwise, what’s the point?

In this week’s article, we’ll give you a simple 3-step process for strategic, knock-their-socks-off interactive video design that will help you achieve all of these and more.

Sound good? Then let’s do it!

Here’s what you want to start with…

Step 1. Define the experience that will hook people in

Before you get down to plotting your interactive video, you will want to answer three foundational questions:

  • What’s the topic of the video?
  • How do you want your viewers to feel?
  • What’s the desired action you are pursuing?

These are the questions we ask when we begin any new video marketing project, whether it’s about interactive video design or not. And as much as we’d love to whip out a crystal ball and predict exactly how you should answer them in your unique situation…

…we can’t.

So instead let’s give you some solid guidelines to follow!

What’s the topic of the video?

In one way or another, an interactive video should be about your customers, as opposed to whatever you sell. As an experience, something they can relate to and recognize is going to be much more impactful than a poorly disguised sales pitch.

For example, you could focus on:

  • An interactive experience about their problems and challenges.
  • A positive story that would transport them into an ideal future scenario, or show them a solution to a problem.
  • A video about something they love, not necessarily related to your business at all.
  • An experience that strongly resonates with their closely-held values and beliefs.

For example, let’s say that you sell an education product that helps job-seekers negotiate a higher salary. You could design an interactive video experience that puts them in a simulated job interview, and reveals how their answers and behavior affect what kind of an offer they get. That would be highly relevant to your product and it would resonate with what your prospects want most: a job that pays them what they’re worth!

How do you want your viewers to feel?

This one doesn’t really need a detailed explanation. Think about the kind of emotions you would like to invoke with your interactive video, and design the experience around them.

Let’s say that your #1 goal is to make your interactive content go viral. Then you will want to target so-called “high dominance” feelings like happiness, inspiration, and admiration — at least according to this study on virality.

Alternatively, if your goal is to sell something, you will want to focus on making people feel enthusiastic, reassured — even dissatisfied with their current situation. In combination, this will make them eager to take the next step and progress through your sales funnel.

“Begin with the end in mind” may be a cliche thing to say… but you can’t neglect it in interactive video design!

What’s the desired action you are pursuing?

Like any effective marketing content, your interactive video needs to give people a clear path to follow. Or even several, since there’s no fixed narrative (we’ll discuss it in #2).

That’s why you will want to zero in on the simplest, most straightforward action possible that viewers will complete after going through your interactive experience. Clicking a link, filling out a form, sharing the video on social media, making a call, sending an email — anything that has a net positive effect on your business!

Once these three basic questions have been answered, it’s time for the most entertaining step — planning the video itself!

Step 2. Plan for multiple outcomes to keep the viewers engaged

Do you want people to watch your video more than once?

Do you want it to resonate with more than one type of customer?

Most importantly, do you want the highest conversion rates possible?

Then design your interactive video in a way that allows for multiple choices and outcomes. Think of it as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. There doesn’t need to be one “true” path to follow — your customers should decide how the experience unfolds.

And if they feel like it’s overly restrictive and doesn’t give them what they want, they will abandon your interactive video just as fast as a regular one!

Here are some ideas you could apply to your interactive video design:

  1. Ask your viewers questions about themselves or their business — or both! Any information they volunteer to you about their position, business size, age etc. can prove extremely valuable for lead scoring and segmentation purposes.
  2. If it’s a storytelling experience meant for pure entertainment, give the viewer as much control as possible. You can let them pick a character, make important choices as the narrative develops, and choose how to solve the problems and obstacles that emerge.
  3. If it makes sense, plan at least 2-3 different endings for your interactive video. If you target 3 different customer types, create 3 outcomes tailored to each of them. For example, let’s say that your video targets HR professionals, insurance brokers, and employees — you can go ahead and craft a unique message for each audience.

 

Interactive or not, your marketing video needs 10 essential elements to be high-converting. We have developed a neat checklist you can use to fail-proof all your video content before you release them to the world. Click the link right below to grab it:

Download the free checklist: “10 Things Every Marketing Video Must Have to Convert”

 

Extra credit: you might want to design a “wrong” outcome for your interactive video, so people can fail the entire experience. There are two main reasons why it can be a useful tactic:

  1. You want to weed out people who aren’t your ideal customers very early on. Interactive video design isn’t just about engaging the right viewers, but discouraging the wrong ones. Here’s an example: just for fun, answer “No” to the first question in this video.
  2. It’s a paradox, but raising the stakes and making it more difficult to complete the experience can actually boost engagement. The trick is to make it challenging… without causing your viewers needless frustration. So give them an option to retry after failing!

So, now that you’ve defined an experience and shaped it by creating multiple paths and outcomes, it’s time to talk about the most important element of interactive video design.

Ironically… it has nothing to do with the video itself.

You’ll see what we mean — because that’s what we’ll talk about next.

Step 3. In your interactive video design… Consider the context

Even an amazing interactive video can fail to convert at the level you expect. Not because the video is bad… but because everything else drags it down!

Nine times out of ten, the reason for inexplicably low conversion rates is not the content — it’s the context. There are literally dozens of factors that could be causing your viewers to disengage from the video without converting. Here’s a detailed, but by no means complete, list of possible culprits:

  • The landing page hosting your interactive video loads very slowly, and people give up. Loading speeds are one of the biggest unseen factors that can affect conversion rates. Invest some time and effort to optimize your landing page for quick loading.
  • The video itself isn’t loading, or the playback is frustratingly slow and laggy. If your interactive video runs on Flash instead of HTML5, viewers might experience a lot of these issues.
  • Distractions abound — like unrelated calls to action, navigation elements, and other “shiny objects.” Anything people can see next to your interactive video should work together and enhance said video.
  • Your interactive video technology doesn’t have native mobile support, so half your viewers can’t watch it or interact with it. Make sure that you rely on HTML5 in your interactive video design, especially if 20 or more percent of your traffic is mobile.
  • Your call to action is unclear and unspecific — or you’re making too big of an ask. For example, you ask viewers to request your software demo, but the demo button is below the fold and really small. Or there’s a 20-question form to fill out.
  • The viewers aren’t ready for the kind of offer you’re making in your interactive video. Maybe you have designed a sales-focused interactive video, but you’re showing it to customers who don’t need your product or service yet.
  • You’re not attracting the right viewership to the video. For example, if a huge tech magazine were to share your interactive experience, you’d get tons of traffic… but it won’t help if your audience is female retirees who love gardening.

Context and environment are critical for successful interactive video design. You can’t engage your viewers fully without considering who they are, when they initiate the experience, what their state of mind is, and how easy or difficult it is for them to enjoy it.

If you want to learn more about how to fix this conversion-killing mistake, check out this post: The Surprising Reason Your Brilliant Marketing Video Isn’t Converting.”

We created it for regular marketing videos, but it can also make sure your interactive video experience isn’t being sabotaged by something stupid like a slow-loading web page!

Need help with interactive whiteboard video design?

“Who you gonna call?” (The Draw Shop!)

OK, sorry. We won’t do that anymore.

Jokes aside, if you want to design a high-converting interactive whiteboard video for your business, we should talk!

With 2,000+ successful video projects under our belt — and a stellar client list that includes Google, Twitter, Uber, and others — The Draw Shop can create an interactive video experience for whichever goal you have in mind:

  • Recruiting new team members
  • Generating high-quality leads
  • Reducing customer churn
  • Employee training
  • Selling your product or service

You name it!

Let’s put our formidable skills at interactive whiteboard video design in service of what really matters — growing your business!

Contact us today to book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your interactive video animation. You can do that by clicking here — or just fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch with you post-haste!