Content Marketing is a B$@#h! Here’s How to Ease the Pain.

I’m just going to throw something out there…creating content can be a b@#!h sometimes.

You spend days locked in strategy meetings brainstorming new ideas, hours scouring the internet for new articles and an embarrassingly long time pretending you’re looking for things to post but you’re literally tapped out (not like I’ve ever done that or anything…*cough*), all for your viewers to engage briefly with it (if you’re lucky) and then swipe it offscreen as they become distracted by the latest viral meme sensation.

I get it. The struggle is completely real.

So, what if you could position your content in a way that not only entices the viewer to interact with it, but also encourages them to come back again and again?  Sounds like the Holy Grail of content marketing doesn’t it!

Enter interactive video.

If you haven’t heard of it…listen up!

Video marketing is huge and it’s going to continue to be huge for years to come. But the current state of video marketing is really just the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t even begun to maximize the effectiveness of video yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insinuating visual content has lost its edge, because it hasn’t and it will beat text hands down, anytime. Don’t believe me? Hop on Google and peruse the 50 million (give or take) stats that back me up on this. Yet there’s still so much more we could be doing with our visual content to wow our audience and achieve stellar ROI. And so few marketers out there have started branching out into this new area of digital media making it THE perfect time to get ahead of the curve!

Let’s dive in.

Interactive video requires the viewer’s input to determine the videos’ outcome. Viewers are asked to pick a side, choose a pathway, complete a game, etc., and completing each task in a different way will produce different results, allowing viewers to feel as though they’re creating the story which is unfolding right in front of them.

What interactive video truly achieves is a state of active learning versus passive learning. Passive learning is our default state. Basically it’s our auto-pilot for processing the information we see in things like tv commercials, magazine ads, etc. The level of attention required for passive learning is extremely low, while active learning requires far more engagement and attention, yet is harder for us to sustain.

In his book, Seducing the Subconscious: The Psychology of Emotional Influence in Advertising, Robert Heath offers this diagram summarizing active learning vs. passive learning in the advertising world:

As you can see, Heath reiterates active learning is a more difficult state to achieve and sustain, however, the outcome’s are well worth the effort: greater message interpretation, more positive brand-linked attitudes and beliefs, and an overall behavioural change (read: urge to buy from the brand).

The research gurus over at Forrester did a whole study on the benefits of using interactive video citing numerous examples. For instance, to promote its new Focus Flash phone, Samsung incorporated an interactive pre-roll ad and experienced 3 times the interaction rate than their other non-interactive ads. Of those viewers who engaged with the ad, 16% of them clicked through to the website and 6% chose to learn more.

Pretty impressive, right? And there’s more.

Rapt Media teamed up with Forrester on the same study and cited they typically experience a 90% or higher completion rate for their videos and viewers are far more likely to rewatch the video numerous times as they explore the interactive storylines’ various pathways.

So if you’re hoping your content will achieve:

  • a higher level of engagement;
  • more positive perceptions of your brand;
  • more positive attitudes towards your brand;
  • a greater completion and re-watch rate for your videos;
  • and a bunch more leads in your sales funnel;

…then you need to consider interactive video. And to help you get started we’ve pulled some great examples that should help get those creative juices flowing.

Winner of the 2015 Webby Award for Best Use of Interactive Video – Digital Deadly Sins

Runner up for the 2015 Webby Award for Best Use of Interactive Video – G-Shock

Cornetto Love Stories – Choose a Side

Interactive Video – IKEA

Remember, when it comes to interactive video, the options are endless. Don’t limit yourself to any one technique and instead, play with incorporating puzzles, quizzes, text boxes, multiple storylines, etc. The options truly are endless and the more creative you are, the more engaged your audience will be!

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