By Jen Darrouzet, Director, Product Marketing & Sales Enablement, uStudio
In today’s digital world, there’s hardly a moment people aren’t connected to some sort of mobile device. Whether on the bus, at the park or in the office, they’re texting, checking email, snapping and posting, plus recording and watching videos. This is both a goldmine and a cautionary tale for marketers. Even at work, people want to be entertained while they’re being informed. If marketing campaigns aren’t compelling, the audience (external or internal) will go elsewhere.
It’s clear by now that audiences respond to video at higher rates than plain old text and imagery. Video shows instead of telling. It can capture what happens over time, both cause and effect, encompassing all vantage points. Audio and video work together to communicate a message fully, while still quickly. And once your target audience has “seen it with their own eyes,” they’re more likely to remember, making any type of business communication so much more efficient and effective. Can’t get to that training presentation? Here’s the recording. Customer missed the new product launch announcement? Share the on-demand demo 24/7/365.
But video also has its challenges as a more passive, lean-back-and-watch content medium. Viewers can play, pause or stop the action, but it’s hard to glean much more information about their interests, questions or concerns.
Incorporating interactive features within videos encourages audiences to lean in and engage with content in ways they never could before. And that helps marketers and HR professionals learn more about audiences’ likes and dislikes, and how to target messages more effectively.
Here are five ways interactive video can be used to energize audience engagement and build loyalty across marketing, internal communications, training, sales, support and service operations:
- Webify your videos – With interactive players, video has become the new web page. Call to action links embedded within videos encourage viewers to “join now” or “discover more” with just a single click. Want to register for a conference hotel? Purchase a concert ticket? Connect with others via social media? All of this is possible without ever leaving the video player.
- Empower customer self-service – Research from Nuance shows that 67% of customers prefer to problem-solve themselves rather than speak to a support person. Customers can self-serve by searching a knowledge base or how-to video library for guidance, and even order refills, parts and schedule services from directly within a support video. Interactive video can offer downloadable diagrams, related videos or link to a glossary. And if equipment isn’t behaving as designed, the customer can even drop a pin within a clip of the malfunctioning part, annotating how their device deviates from the rest of the video. All this information can be fed back into customer support systems for ongoing tracking and analysis.
- Deliver just-in-time training – Training videos that are integrated with CRM systems can be delivered anytime, to any device just when employees need them the most, like when a sales rep is pitching a new product. Imagine a training video where viewers could ask or answer questions mid-play, be directed to another related video, or download supporting materials directly from the player. Interactive video provides the tools to embed exams, surveys and simulations into training videos for real-time course assessment – and to see results immediately.
- Convert prospects into customers – Sales reps can use interactive video to capture a prospect’s attention and track and measure their interest. Offers to “download” a datasheet or “schedule a demo” directly in the video can help to move a prospect through the pipeline and determine next steps in nurturing a lead. Sales analytics include the ability to get notified the moment videos are watched and correlate video metrics with buyer behavior. All of this data can be fed back into CRM systems for ongoing tracking and follow-up.
- Talk WITH employees, not AT them – Employees can use interactive video to participate in company meetings or town hall sessions from anywhere in the world. Features such as live polling or questions for speakers, downloadable Q&As and follow-up videos turn one-way broadcasts into lively conversations where employees feel truly engaged and These features can also carry over when you convert live video to video-on-demand. Passing video consumption and interaction data back into existing business systems helps to connect the dots between learning and business outcomes like increased revenue, productivity and market share – as well as decreased errors, costs, customer churn and risk.
Video has moved beyond the “play” button and counting views. It has become a vital component of 21st century marketing and communication strategies. So how will your organization adapt? Interactive videos can delight and excite audiences while delivering powerful business outcomes. Your audience is out there and you can prompt far more audience participation with interactivity. Reach out and engage them and you may be surprised what you find out.