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Welcome To The New Era Of Communicating With Video Interactivity

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Please find it here.

Ah, the short attention span of today’s average human — the not-so-new, yet ongoing problem many marketers face. Since the dawn of smart devices, target audiences have become less and less interested in content that cannot be consumed easily and quickly. Enter the world of video marketing.

For quite some time, video has been a go-to tactic for improving a brand’s outreach, awareness and lead-generation strategies. According to HubSpot, landing page videos can increase conversion rates by 80%, with up to 90% of customers asserting that videos influence their purchasing decisions. As a result, marketing experts rightly strive to create unique video content that attracts viewers and converts them into hot leads. But as more companies hop on the video bandwagon, the quest to stay competitive and get the most leverage out of your content only gets harder.

As marketers, it is our job to find a solution, and while video is still very much the answer to engaging users, the real competitive edge lies in creating and managing an interactive video-based experience. This is the new era of video marketing.

Engage, Engage, Engage

In today’s saturated streaming media market, your brand requires videos that stand out and facilitate immediate engagement from your viewers. While videos are often considered easier to consume than copy, the fact is that most of them involve a passive user experience.

Think about it: Typical videos are simply a recording of someone else’s experience. We watch them at a later point in time without the ability to interact with the content as it streams. For example, if you distribute an email campaign with an embedded video, a viewer might view the video, but ultimately must scroll past it in order to click on a call-to-action (CTA) button to seek further information.

Now, with recent developments in interactive video technology, you can enable your audience to take concrete actions within your video as they view and process your content, all in real time. Brands should adjust their thinking of videos and understand that they now have the ability to closely resemble a conversation between a salesman and a prospect. Whether you are involved in business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) operations, going interactive can make all the difference in attracting and converting leads.

Finding The Right Solution For Your Business

As marketers, we know that strategy and timing are the foundations of all good tactics. And while game-changing, video interactivity is no different and needs to be used smartly to have the maximum effect. After years of assessing the ideal strategies for developing an interactive video experience, I’ve found the following to be some of the most important capabilities to keep in mind when investing in an interactivity platform.

1. Offer Multiple Creative Features

A good interactive video platform should work similarly to that of an email campaign workflow and allow you to choose from a variety of buttons that can be embedded within your video, depending on the action you want your audience to take. These could include the following:

• Hotspots — Clickable areas that take viewers to your website or allow them to download additional information.

• 360-Degree Views — A functionality that allows viewers to click-and-drag across the screen, empowering them to control what it is they want to view and from which angle.

• Branches — Viewers control the streaming content according to their interests.

• Gamification — Invitations for the viewer to interact with the content in a way that reveals a tailored result.

• Form Inputs — Viewers input information, schedule appointments or, with some platforms, use an on-screen phone pad to talk to a sales team representative in real time.

The options here are vast, and how you put them to use greatly depends on your industry, target audience and overall company goals. One thing is for sure: Interactive video features can be a definite plus for a motivated sales team looking to go that extra mile to generate valuable leads.

2. Breathe New Life Into Older Content

Regardless of how previous videos performed during last quarter’s campaigns, adding a new layer of interactivity can revitalize them, saving your team from spending time and money on generating new content. Because staying fresh is a must for any brand, going interactive is a great way to demonstrate to your competitors and followers that you are cutting-edge and should be top-of-mind when they need the product or service you provide.

3. Leverage The Power Of Your CRM

All marketing tactics should be informed by data and synchronized with the goals and needs of your company’s sales team. Therefore, using a video interactivity platform that integrates customer relationship management (CRM) functionality is ideal, so you can assess key analytics and organize your sales team to follow up on incoming leads.

Several platforms currently on the market integrate with common systems like Marketo, Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Netsuite. With this information, you can link viewer behavior to your CRM contacts to better understand customer behavior and how to properly engage them.

With 2019 already underway, now is the time to consider leveraging new advancements in video technology that improve your lead generation performance and brand development. Although use of interactive video technology is still low, currently hovering around 23% market adoption, according to Wyzowls’ 2019 survey, 83% of users report positive marketing results.

With numbers like this, you could make a significant difference for your brand by being a relatively early adopter and remaining innovative with your efforts. At JSA, we’ve started implementing interactive videos via my husband’s company, Verb, and have noticed very positive results, including an increase in conversion rate by over 325% when sending emails with video interactivity. So, it’s time to get to it! Take charge of your business’ future and give interactivity a try.

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