Imagine that you really love ice cream.

And you’re in an ice cream store that has all the flavors.

Not just your usual vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and pistachios. But literally all of them. Every flavor and every combination you could think of.

That’s how your customers feel online. Actually, scratch that – that’s how everybody feels online!

At any point in time, your customers have access to infinite opportunities to educate or entertain themselves. Often both!

How do you stand out and get their attention?

One incredibly effective, cutting-edge way to do that is by using interactive video marketing. And in today’s post, we want to talk about what it is, and the possibilities it offers: to engage potential customers, boost your sales, increase lifetime customer value, and more!

So, let’s start with the main question: what exactly is interactive video, and why should you care?

What exactly is interactive video?

You have probably seen interactive videos before. As the name would suggest, it’s a piece of video content that you can interact with using inputs:

– Mouse clicks

– Gestures

– Voice

– Touch

And more.

This is done with a variety of technologies, the most popular being Flash and HTML5. As mobile traffic continues to grow, HTML5 interactive video becomes more ubiquitous, because it works on all mobile devices (unlike Flash).

If you want to experience this medium for yourself, check out this interactive short film about a zombie looking for love (no, really). You will get a first-hand demonstration and hear an adorable story – win-win!

But the most interesting thing about interactive video is not how it’s done, but what it can do to grow your business. Let’s talk a little bit about that…

The many uses of interactive video

This should be a standalone article (and we will publish one – next week), but let’s go over some of the most exciting things a business like yours could accomplish with interactive video:

  1. Sales (especially for ecommerce). Imagine watching a video, seeing an item you like, clicking on it… and adding it straight to your shopping cart. Talk about impulse buying! With interactive video, you can bake low-key calls to action into video tutorials and other content, to capture and convert the most motivated buyers as they are watching.
  2. Education. Your employees, your customers – everyone would benefit from a little education (or better yet, edutainment!) that helps them solve a problem or satisfy a need. Regular video does a passable job of it, but its ability to grab attention and engage is limited – and the viewers don’t retain what they’ve learned for long. Interactive video can solve this problem.
  3. Entertainment. Everyone and their hamster want to “go viral” and reach as many potential customers as possible. There’s nothing wrong with that – but sadly, most brands drastically overestimate the appeal of their industry, or their chosen topic. Interactive video gives content marketers a massive advantage, because it makes it easy to create a compelling, entertaining experience – more like a game than “yet another marketing video.”

These are the top three uses you could find for interactive video in your business. We’ll cover all of these and more in our upcoming blog post next week. But right now you’re probably wondering…

…is it worth it?

In other words: does interactive video actually make enough of a difference that you should seriously consider trying it in your marketing?

 

Just because a video is interactive, or simply engaging, doesn’t mean it will convert. And if it doesn’t convert, it won’t help you grow your business – and we can’t have that! Learn the 10 essential elements your marketing video must have to be high-converting:

Grab our free checklist: “10 Things Every Marketing Video Must Have to Convert”

“Is interactive video better than regular video?”

It depends.

Not the answer you wanted to hear, is it?

As much as we would love to wave our arms in the air ferociously and scream at the top of our lungs, “It’s amazing! Your marketing and business will change forever, you have to use interactive video for everything! It’sagamechangerwhatchawaitingfor… *unintelligible*…” – we can’t.

And not just because it would freak out everyone within 500 feet.

The truth is, for most things, regular video will do just fine. Sending regular video updates to your customers. Attracting new leads who won’t become buyers for a while. Creating content for third-party platforms that might not support interactive video.

That being said, if you:

  • Are trying to get attention from potential customers in a hypercompetitive market…
  • Want to maximize engagement and conversions for a high-value campaign…
  • Are targeting a super-specific customer persona and want to identify them right away…
  • Just want to knock people’s socks off and create an unforgettable first impression…

Then interactive video could be your one-way ticket to marketing heaven. Because interactive video can give your campaigns some genuinely unheard-of ROI… For example:

  • 90% of people who watch an interactive video stick around for the very end.
  • Clickthrough rates for interactive video are 5-12%, compared to 1-2% industry average.
  • 25-35% of marketers using interactive video see a lift in conversions and sales.

Now, the question is:

If interactive video engages and converts customers so unbelievably well, why wouldn’t you use it for everything? What’s the catch?

OK… is there a downside?

Despite all the advantages of interactive video, there are good reasons it’s not become a mainstay in marketing yet. And we would be remiss if we didn’t address these.

According to this survey of 500+ businesses, the most common objections are:

“It’s too expensive”

It costs about 3 times as much to create an interactive marketing video compared to a regular one. This increased investment is the #1 reason brands don’t use this format more often.

That said, among the businesses who consistently promote their products and services with interactive video, the cost of production is only the 10th most important concern – because they know that the increase in revenue and ROI justifies the investment.

“It’s hard to create”

Technical challenges and specialized expertise are the second biggest reason most brands are hesitant to “dip their toes” into this new medium. And that’s totally understandable – trying a new marketing strategy is inherently risky, even if high risk promises a potential high reward.

There are ways around this obstacle, however. Building an efficient production cycle is one of them. Another one would be to outsource it to an experienced content creation company (like The Draw Shop… just saying!).

“I don’t know what I’d use it for”

According to the survey, that’s not the primary concern – but it’s probably the scariest! Imagine investing all this time and money in a piece of interactive video content… only to end up with something that you won’t use. Or use just once, and then shelve it. That would be awful.

Well, on average, brands that market with interactive video use it in four or more ways. And if you’re not sure what those ways could be, just you wait until next week. Because we’ll show you 7 specific, actionable ways you could implement interactive video in your marketing strategy.

So stay tuned!

Want to see if interactive video is right for you? Let’s talk!

Now that you’ve read all the way to the end, you must have a pretty good idea if interactive video is something you could use to market your business.

Sure, it poses unique challenges to business owners. It can also boost your conversion rates, bring more paying customers to your door, and help you retain them for much longer… while they keep buying.

If you think that interactive video is something you would like to implement in your business, let’s talk about it. We’ll happily discuss your ideas, and help you strategize and refine the topic for your awesome marketing video!

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