Not coincidentally, research shows that brands that invite their audience to take part in their story receive an overwhelming 78% approval rating, as compared to those that continue to rely on more passive tactics. But achieving this can be tricky.
Thanks to a constantly evolving slate of technologies and content platforms, and unfettered access to customer data, advertisers are left with a seemingly infinite number of ways to customize ad experiences. The goal is to use these strategies to your advantage, by offering consumers experiences they can control and outcomes based on their individual behaviors.
Here are three basic rules for creating video strategies with a “me”-centric audience in mind:
1. Don’t lead them on a wild goose chase. Just because people are hopping from device to device doesn’t mean they want advertising to mimic their frenetic behavior. Sure, you need to optimize your video content for multiple channels, but also assume that the place where you get someone’s attention is where they’re going to want to stay. They are not interested in being swooped away to a microsite or other such place.
Advanced (or interactive) video is quickly emerging as a go-to platform for “me”-centric efforts simply because it allows brands to create an experience within an experience. So you can extend the experience within the video itself using interactive elements. This not only increases the chances that viewers will continue on beyond your initial spot and engage with a longer story, it also gives you the potential to offer them a seamless, engaging experience depending on your creative approach.
2. Give them a reason to stay, not an excuse to leave. Let’s assume that your video is engaging and has caught consumers’ attention, but they’re still not completing the entire experience you’re created for them. Perhaps they’re seeking more information on another channel. But more likely, they may just be ditching your brand for one that provides a more interactive experience. So, why not just give them what they need so they don’t have to go anywhere else?
One way brands are using advanced video is to integrate the most-commonly sought content directly within the ad: things like social media feeds, store locators, additional video content, product try-ons, etc. This keeps viewers increasingly engaged right then and there. Bringing the experience to consumers, and not the reverse, puts them firmly in the driver’s seat.
3. Use their data to benefit them. It’s no secret that companies are collecting audience data and that Millennials (more than most!) are totally OK with this -- as long as they reap the rewards. Non-interactive video is capable of putting data to use by serving audiences content based on their unique attributes, but there’s not much left for users to do once they’ve been found by the brand.
Interactive video helps brands achieve the best of both worlds: targeted content followed by engaging experiences tailored specifically for individual users. For example, if an ad recognizes that consumers have previously researched a product, it can dynamically populate a call-to-action for an offer, a store locator map, or other means of moving them from awareness to actual purchase.
Twenty years ago, brands had to work a lot harder to amass brand fans and get them to speak up. Today’s Millennials are primed and ready to do that, as long as advertisers give them the tools to join the story. By combining the power of television with the interactivity of the Web, you’ll be on your way toward transforming a passive audience base into an active audience full of brand advocates.