Marketers will barely raise an eyebrow to learn that 82% of online consumer traffic will come from video in 2021, according to an annual report from Cisco. Video is probably the most powerful and persuasive of all mediums for marketers, as it tells a richer story – faster. While more than 81% of all companies use video as a focal point in their marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean that their content is actually performing.
To be successful, your video needs to be interactive, innovative and compelling enough to get users to complete a goal. According to Mordy Rapp, CEO of video production house Video Sparks “every marketer on earth at this point is utilizing video in their funnel simply because video is more engaging than text. But once you are in the world of engagement, how do we make those videos even more engaging? Interactive videos. This isn’t a new concept: for the past 6 years companies have been making platforms for interactive video but now interactive video is moving from a niche product to an expected one.”
What Is Interactive Video?
“Interactive video is allowing brands to connect with their customers in a much deeper level than ever before. Until now, in order to reap the benefits of face-to-face communication, companies had to get their leads and customers on the phone. But not everyone could do that. Interactive video is democratizing client-facing communication, and allowing all brands to compete.”
Dov Kaufman, CEO, Tolstoy (Interactive Video Platform)
For the uninitiated, interactive video (IV) is the fusing of interaction and linear video. IV not only grabs user attention but guides, educates and qualifies potential customers. According to Nimrod Popper, CTO of Tolstoy, interactive video allows businesses to truly personalize every interaction they have with their customers, and collect critical data that they miss with traditional video”. Kind of like a chatbot on steroids, IV prioritizes users wants and needs by including clickable button options to take users on a customer journey based on their needs. Check out this example created by Tolstoy for their client, eCommerce marketing platform (and Israel success story) Yotpo:
The (not so very big) Hurdles of Interactive Video
For smaller organizations, the biggest challenge to interactive video is creating the video content itself. The beauty of leveraging an interactive video platform though, is that you can take a few short videos on your iPhone (the business owner or company employee can play the part of the narrator), and simply upload the content to the platform. Interactive video builders like Tolstoy have an easy 5 step process to follow and they provide guides to help you walk through their solution.
For larger companies who may be looking for a more complex customer funnel it will require more strategic thinking and planning. However, says Mordy Rapp “when done right you can achieve amazing results. Think about a video as a funnel in and of itself. The prospect watches a 10 second intro and from that intro they can choose two directions storyline A or storyline B. This kind of flow can give you amazing data on what kind of content/product/service your ideal clients are really interested in and engage your audience on a personal level.”
Why Companies Should Be Using Interactive Video Now
While interactive video has been available for a while, it always proved to be a big investment and production. Now it’s accessible to startups and sophisticated enough for enterprise companies through interactive video builders like Tolstoy. Furthermore, It’s cost-effective, technically easy to deploy and can be embedded in your website, landing pages, emails or used in social media. You can collect analytics data through a dashboard and create segmentation based on your viewers’ responses. Finally, you can get notified whenever someone engages with your video, so you can reach out immediately.