Pump up ROI with interactive video

Your boss does not look happy. His boss looks even less happy. You’d be looking for an excuse to escape if your boss’s boss’s boss wasn’t sitting at the head of the table, smack in front of the only door. You can’t tell if she’s even breathing, but you are absolutely sure she is not happy either.

Your company laid out quite a chunk of change for your new marketing campaign, and the results are less than stellar. Unless you redefine “stellar” to include black holes, which relentlessly suck things in without mercy. Things like planets, stars. And in this case, money. As well as your career, or at the least the part of it where the people in charge trust you with their money.

It doesn’t have to end this way. There’s a solution to getting the best ROI possible, a way to turn those C-suite frowns into smiles.

Video, you say? Well of course video. Why else would you be reading this blog? But not just any old video. Interactive video.

Interactive video can increase customer engagement on your website

Interactive video can increase customer engagement on your website

There are times when people want to be passive and just have you give them the information they need through your video. But there are other times when they want to have a say in their online video experience, and that’s the appeal of interactive video. It lets your customers and potential customers tailor their experience to their needs and desires. It’s engaging, so much so that some companies that develop interactive video software report a 90% completion rate…. meaning 90% of the time, people stay through the entire video. That’s a great ROI. Best of all, it helps strengthen the connection between you and your target audience. A sense of connection is key if you want people to trust you and give you their business.

The first step in creating a compelling interactive video is to have a clear and precisely defined end goal. Will the video be informative, giving the viewer a chance to see your products and services? Will it be entertaining? Does it include an opportunity for the viewer to get to know you and your team (remember that trust factor)? Once this is established, then you can bring some ideas to the table during your first meeting with the production company.

This is when you’re going to need particular emphasis on the storyboarding process. Suppose you have a video that establishes a base scenario, then allows viewers to choose one of three paths to go down. That will determine how the rest of the video plays out; each choice will have the video ending in a different way. It may be that in each ending, your product will be featured as the solution to a problem, but each version will highlight a different benefit of your product. This is the point when you can let your imagination have some breathing room. What will happen in each scenario that will engage the viewer most? Collaborating with an experienced production team is important, because they can not only provide suggestions you may not have considered but can also give you an objective view of how the end product will be perceived.

In the example above, you are basically making three videos rather than just one. To avoid repetition and confusion about what’s going on in each version, your production company may opt for a single storyboard that highlights the standard beginning, then branches out into three separate paths with the details of each scenario clearly highlighted. These detailed storyboards will ensure you cover every base, from actors who may be in one version of the video but not the other two, to graphics you may need to make that are specific for each scenario, or various locations you may need for each version.

When the production phase begins it will really be like any other video shoot, with the exception of being a little longer because you’ll need more elements for the end product. The post-production phase also can take longer.

Now comes the fun part: making the video interactive. If this concept still seems hazy to you, here’s an easy way to envision it. Let’s say you go to a website that has a menu. You use the menu to go to the section with the information you want, such as product descriptions, pricing, or tutorial videos. An interactive video works on the same principle, except that instead of clicking on a website menu, you’re clicking on different options that are directly tied to the video.

At this point you’ll need a qualified web developer top help you with the process. Full-service content generation companies like Hencar can help you find the right developer for your project if you don’t already have one. The most important thing to remember with any video campaign, interactive or otherwise, is to make it as engaging as possible so that your web site visitors have an unforgettable experience. Impact is everything, and now that more people are jumping on the video bandwagon, you need to make sure you keep your campaign edgy, and your business at the head of the pack.