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There are easy ways to increase customer engagement with videos

Increasing customer engagement with video is not the same as upping the level of charm in the video. It’s getting the customer involved. On the interwebs this generally means clicking something or sharing something. Apple‘s release of iOS 10 means that clickable interactive videos will work on hundreds of millions of devices where they don’t work now.

Up to now, when you click on a video on the mobile web, Apple devices played it in a QuickTime window — and ignored any clickable buttons that were overlaid on the video window.  In iOS 10, they’ll use HTML5 video and play right in the browser. Navigational buttons that branch to different parts of the video (or different videos, or your call-to-action landing page) will work seamlessly. The surrounding context won’t be lost, making for a smoother user experience.

Interactive video baby steps: Chapterization

Probably the easiest way to make a video interactive is to chapterize it. This is unbelievably easy to do. It can be done on video platforms like YouTube, Wistia and Vidyard. It can be done on more specialized platforms like Hapyak. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Making your video interactive with chapters pays off.

  • It engages viewers by getting them to make choices.
  • It allows viewers to skip right to the question that’s top-of-mind instead of leaving them wondering if and when their question will be answered.
  • It shows viewers how many interesting subjects the video contains, which will encourage longer viewing.
  • It generates data that tells you what buyers are most interested in.
  • It generates data on the effectiveness of the video.
  • It provides a better customer experience.

FAQs can increase customer engagement with videos

A similar approach to increasing engagement is to make the key information in your videos easier to find. You can do this by repurposing video content as FAQ content. For example, if people are visiting your website to research a solution, wouldn’t it make sense to have your best people answer the questions they are most likely to ask — and in a user-friendly video format?

Answers to questions that are “Frequently Asked” can be found in tutorials, webinars, online demos, and other traditional video genres.  Extracting and repackaging them is just a matter of imagination and editorial skill.

Skip intro

By the way, whether it’s chapterized or not, try to get the point as soon as you can. Interactive video specialist Randy Tinfow reports  “If we break a 3-1/2 hour video into chapters, and call one of them INTRO, 47% of viewers skip it entirely, assuming it’s boring and useless.” Have you ever attended a live webinar and sat through ten minutes of introductions while staring at the same boring slide? Of course you have. But at least there are real people on the line, and they promised to say something interesting. That’s why you’re watching. And you can’t skip ahead.

That’s not the case with linear video. If viewers don’t see something worthwhile in the first 20 seconds, many will skip out, fearing boredom. Many others will skip ahead. Buyers watch your videos to learn new things. Don’t make them wait.

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Bruce McKenzie

About Bruce McKenzie

Since 2004, Bruce McKenzie, founding partner of Business Information Graphics, New York, and inventor of the 2-Minute Explainer(R), has been developing videos to increase sales engagement for companies such as IBM, Cisco, Brocade, Quantum, Compuware, and many B2B technology startups.

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