Interactive video advertising: how to get creative with your video ads

No video is effective for everyone in the same way. Find out in the post the importance of interactive video advertising!

interactive video advertising
Marketing Team
Video Marketing Interactive video advertising: how to get creative with your video ads


No video is effective for everyone in the same way. But you can build videos based on the characteristics of each individual recipient, automatically. Here are some practical tips for designing your interactive video advertising campaigns in the most creative and effective way.

Interactive video ads: what are we talking about?

In our previous post we focused on the topic of interactive videos.

We told you what they are, how they work, why they’re so effective, and how they can be a real breakthrough for marketing and communication, transforming the traditional linearity of communication into a two-way, participatory exchange between company and customer.

So, we have isolated the benefits of choosing to include interactive videos in your campaigns, summarizing them around 5 key points:

1) Increased engagement rate; which, on average, doubles compared to linear videos.

2) Ability to collect a great deal of data and feedback, from which you can continually recalibrate your communications and make them more effective.

3) Increased conversion rates.

4) Surge in the memorability of your communications with important repercussions on brand image.

5) Prolonged viewing times, with lowered abandonment rates.

Now, let’s take it a step further in an operational sense and focus on everything related to interactive video advertising.

We want to give you some very practical tips for designing interactive videos that you can include in your campaigns so that you can successfully achieve your goals.

It’s all about creativity. And there’s no universal recipe for creativity, of course. But it’s also not synonymous with improvisation: there are rules and best practices that you should identify and apply.

Again, we have chosen to offer you a list, built around 5 foundational themes. They are closely related, but we will address them one at a time.

1. First of all, build a narrative

Video marketing – like all marketing for that matter – has the ultimate goal of selling products or services.

But never forget that selling is a goal, one that is reached by a clearly defined step-by-step path.

The starting point? The telling of a story. It always is.

A story that can capture a person’s attention, first and foremost (a great challenge, in an ecosystem where we are increasingly bombarded with information).

A story that then proves interesting and engaging to the viewer. To put it another way, it’s about building a bridge between the brand and the customer. And only then to trigger the call to action in the most natural way possible (we’ll talk about this in the next point). Sowing and then reaping, in short.

This is the power of storytelling, which is always at the heart of content marketing…but not only. How does interactive video advertising take this storytelling to an even higher level?

It’s simple: by taking the viewer right into the center of this story. By breaking the traditional barrier that divides the recipient of a video and the person who produced it. By making the customer no longer simply the target of a communication, but an active agent who can interact with the message that has been addressed to him or her.

Of course, in this way, the engagement rate soars significantly; and the rate of abandonment of viewing, on the other hand, plummets.

2. The right call to action in the right place

We mentioned above that selling is always a multi-stage journey, and a decisive stage when it comes to interactive video advertising is certainly the call to action, i.e., the moment when we move from storytelling to the moment of conversion.

It’s a real change of scenery, and as such, it can be perceived in an abrupt and forced way by those viewing the video. There is also the opposite risk: that is, that the call to action does go unnoticed.

Those involved in video marketing know that it all comes down to finding the right balance, avoiding these two opposite risks. It’s a very delicate operation.

So, let’s ask ourselves: what is the right call to action? And when should it be inserted? There is no perfect solution, ever.

It all depends on the context, the brand, the goal of the campaign, the target audience (a key point that we will return to later). However, even in this case, some fixed points are there.

  • Consistency: the viewer should not feel a disconnect between the pure storytelling part and the call to action.
  • Not too early, nor too late: inserting a call to action in the very first few seconds of a video is almost always ineffective; the viewer hasn’t had time to understand the message, the “story”, and why that story might interest him or her. Conversely, if you insert a call to action too late, you risk that many users have already abandoned the viewing experience.
  • Direct, but not too direct: Calls to action that are too vague don’t work. A “find out more” or “visit our shop” button is often better than a “buy now” button.

Dropping all of this into the realm of interactive video advertising, some decisive advantages immediately jump out at you.

Involving the viewer in a path based on his or her browsing choices allows the call to action to be embedded in a more fluid and natural path…and therefore more effective.

In an interactive video, the call to action is always the final landing place in a series of actions carried out by the viewer. This data we provide below, therefore, is not surprising:

Linear videos such as banner ads or classic ads on YouTube record conversion rates that stay below the 1% threshold. With interactive videos we get an average of 11% (source: 

A really important difference.

3. The personalization breakthrough

This is a point we think is really central. If interactive video advertising breaks the linearity of video and transforms one-way monologues into dialogs between company and customers, a next step remains.

This: no longer talking about generic “customers”, a generic “target audience” but about individual people, as many targets as there are individual customers.

Therefore, moving from one-to-many communication to one-to-one communication. Let’s say it even better: through personalization, interactive videos adapt to the characteristics of those who watch them.

How is this possible? It’s a matter of data.

By collecting and interpreting data from your customers you can really get to know who you are dealing with. Knowing their name, biographical characteristics, geographic positioning, behaviors, buying habits, preferences, relationship history with their company, and much more.

Possessing this knowledge allows video marketers to create campaigns that are truly tailored to the individual and to therefore build an interactive journey that is actually tailored to each individual.

Doing this does not require a huge expenditure of time and energy. In fact, it can be done automatically by relying on specialized platforms such as Babelee, which communicate directly with companies’ CRM and CCM systems.

4. Omnichannel: one voice, multiple channels

Now let’s turn to a more technical aspect. We have talked about the recipients of interactive video advertising: individuals. Now let’s turn to the channels through which these communications are conveyed.

Here the key word is very clear: omnichannel.

Your interactive video must be optimized for any type of device; also, keep in mind that the starting point must always be mobile: increasingly, we’re using our smartphones to watch videos. But this is only the basic level.

Then there is the need to pay the utmost attention to optimizing your videos according to the platforms where they are distributed: social networks have their own technical rules and best practices…indeed, each social network has its own (the differences, for example, between LinkedIn and Instagram are huge). If your interactive video advertising campaigns are distributed via email, things change even more; the experience is different when viewed on a dedicated app, as opposed to your company’s website…and so on.

Be careful, though. While it’s essential to adapt the format, style, and tone of your message according to the channel, it’s also crucial not to lose the unity of your voice.

Those who watch and interact with the video must always be able to recognize the identity of the brand, but also of the specific product or service at the center of the narrative. In short, again it’s a matter of balance.

5. Analyze results…to continuously improve

Here we come to the last of our tips. Know your strengths and weaknesses, learn from your mistakes, continually improve: advice that applies to all areas of life, not just business and marketing. Even this ancient wisdom can be carried forward with the latest tools. And again it’s all about data.

Video is the type of digital content from which the greatest amount and depth of data can be extracted. Technically, this characteristic is called “granularity”.

In concrete terms, it means that marketers have a very wide range of articulated information, about the viewing of the video, about different targets with their different behaviors and reactions, about what worked and what didn’t, all at their disposal.

All of this must be analyzed with the utmost care and without bias. Data, after all, does not lie. Of course, analysis is not enough. The next step is to continuously recalibrate your campaigns, fixing everything that isn’t working.

There is no perfect interactive video advertising campaign, but the good news is that, today, every campaign can be continuously improved!

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