Earlier this year, we discussed how to approach your video marketing initiatives in a way that provides value to your audience and helps reach your business goals. We talked about formats, how to use video to nurture prospects, and how you can best engage the modern consumer through interactive and personalized clips.
Need a refresher, click here.
More from PostFunnel on video marketing:
“Go Online Now, Every Other Thing You’ll See is a Video”
Hitting Play on Video Marketing
Winning the Video War: Strategy for Success and Conversion
In this article, we’ll discuss why interactivity and personalization are so effective and provide examples of modern brands successfully employing these tactics.
Let’s dive in.
Interactivity in Video Content Marketing
When we asked an audience of marketing specialists what the future holds for video content, the response was almost unanimous:
The future is all about interactivity. But this isn’t a surprise. As Content Marketing Institute found in its 2016 report on interactive content:
- 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs audience attention more effectively than static content
- 79% say interactive content enhances customer retention
- 66% say engagement levels of their audiences have increased due to their use of interactive content
As coordinator of marketing and branding at thumbprint, Morgan Lathaen, explains, “The benefits of interactive video are that it turns passive viewers into active viewers and [allows you to] easily track the decisions each viewer makes.”
Interactivity has two parts:
- Interacting with the brand through the content
- Interacting with the content itself
There’s no shortage of brands using the first of these approaches. Grazia UK, for example, took to Facebook Live to host a Brexit-focused debate in which the on-camera team addressed questions from their online audience.
Watch our #GraziaxFB Brexit Debate with Stella Creasy, Yvette Cooper MP, Penny Mordaunt, Theresa Villiers and chaired by Anushka Asthana.
Posted by Grazia UK on Wednesday, 15 June 2016
360° video and VR technology allow viewers to engage with their favorite brands on a deeper level. As CEO of Anabolic Bodies Eddie Johnson explains, such technology allows viewers to “completely immerse themselves in the world of the video blogger” in a way that has only recently become possible.
Taking a more direct approach, fashion brand Ted Baker uses video to showcase trending products and allow viewers to navigate directly to specific product pages from the video:
As Lathaen mentioned, brands are also using video content to collect feedback from their audience, both proactively and reactively.
Regarding proactivity, many brands use channel-specific features to include polls, surveys, and questionnaires within their video content. This prompts users to actively engage with the brand while also providing valuable information regarding their needs and expectations.
Getting your audience to interact with the video content is where you’ll have a chance to reactively analyze and assess your audience’s needs. Think about it: the more interaction opportunities you provide, the more information you’ll stand to gain based on how they do so.
Take a recent interactive episode of Black Mirror, for example.
For those not familiar with the premise, it’s essentially a “choose-your-own-adventure” story: At certain points throughout the video, the viewer is asked to make a decision; the story then unfolds based on the choices the viewer makes.
Such an innovative approach is bound to generate some major exposure, no matter how it’s used. In Black Mirror’s case, despite the episode earning mediocre reviews, the virality of the premise more than made up for its shortcomings in storytelling.
Take this premise and apply it to your own video marketing campaigns. Customers tend to enjoy a highly engaging experience. On your end, you’re collecting data on each viewer’s preferences as they choose different paths while navigating the content.
You can take a similar approach when presenting other types of interactive video content, such as 360° video. Based on how your audience engages, you can get a better idea of what part of the video they’re focusing on, where they’re most engaged, and where engagement starts to drop off.
This is no different than assessing the completion rate of your videos, the average time your audience spends reading blog posts, and other such metrics. The more interactivity you provide, the more information you stand to glean regarding how your audience engages with your content.
The fundamentals of video content marketing haven’t changed. The goal has always been to spur viewers to action.
With interactive video content, you aren’t just inspiring viewers to take a single action at the end of the video, you’re encouraging them to do so throughout their experience — which will make them more likely to take the ‘big step’ at the end.
Personalization and Individualization in Video Marketing
If you follow PostFunnel, you know how highly we regard personalized marketing.
And why wouldn’t we?
- 72% of today’s consumers say they only engage with marketing messages that have been personalized based on their preferences and engagement history
- 70% of Millennial consumers grow frustrated with brands that send out irrelevant content and offers
- Brand loyalty among Millennials increases by 28% when they’re presented with personalized content and offers
When we talk about ‘personalized video content,’ we’re not talking about those videos that merely plug in the recipient’s name and photos in the appropriate spots:
This technique may have been innovative and novel back in 2014… but at best, it’s par for the course by today’s standards. Polly Kay, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at English Blinds, echoes this sentiment, explaining that “personalization alone is no longer enough to gain an edge over the competition when it comes to video marketing; consumers today simply expect no less.”
If you’re going to implement this type of automated personalization in your video content, you need to go deeper than using superficial information about your audience members.
For example, Nike+ sent out the following video to over 100,000 recipients:
Each video provided data regarding the individual viewer’s usage of their Nike+ products, such as the number of steps they took and distance they traveled throughout the year. While the overall ‘wrapping’ of the video is the same for all recipients, the data included within each is unique to that individual.
But again, this approach adds just a touch of personalization to content created for a mass audience. The future of personalization in video marketing is true personalization.
Optimizing your video marketing campaigns to individual customers means you only need to send certain content to certain people at certain times.
The team at Nextiva creates videos thanking individual customers who have given positive feedback or otherwise provided social proof of the company’s value:
CMO of Nextiva, Yaniv Masjedi, explains:
“We’ve had a lot of success garnering customer engagement by posting video shout-outs. In these 1-2 minute clips, we’d call out a customer by name – always within the first 10 seconds –and then make sure we tag them in a Twitter post. This managed to build out a campaign that netted mini-viral posts on a weekly basis.”
These videos don’t need to be created in a studio with expensive cameras and equipment. All you need is a smartphone and access to the channels your individual customers use most.
Creating personalized videos for your individual customers on a case-by-case basis should feel as routine as replying to an email in a personal manner.
Say that one of your Instagram followers reaches out to you with a question about a product. In response, you can do one of the following:
- Write back with a templated response that points them to an explainer video on your website
- Write back with an individualized response addressing their specific issue, along with a link to the explainer video
- Write back with an individualized response addressing their specific issue and a video created just for them explaining the written instructions a bit further
Which do you think they’ll appreciate most? Which will provide the most value to them? Which will best prove your team’s dedication to their success?
Again, you don’t need to do this all the time. In fact, you shouldn’t feel the need to use video merely for its own sake. But take advantage of the opportunity when you can use video to:
a) Best communicate specific information
b) Enhance your individual customer’s experience through video content created just for them
As we move into 2020 and beyond, we’ll likely see innovations that allow for even more interactivity and personalization in video content.
Masjedi suggests that we’ll start seeing “personalized AR video ad experiences for prospects and customers, triggered by a certain location, action, or a tripwire/checkpoint in their customer journey.”
The potential that AI, AR, and VR tech hold is pretty darn exciting. But as is the nature of technology, what’s innovative and new today will become stale soon enough. Still, it’s unlikely that consumers will soon get bored of ultra-personalized video content that allows them to engage with their favorite brands in unique ways.
Continue looking ahead to the ‘next big thing’ in video marketing technology as time goes on; just keep in mind that it’s not the technology that allows for interactivity and personalization, it’s how your team uses it. This is what will determine how your customers engage with your video content now and in the future.