Tal Chalozin of Innovid: the nuts and bolts of interactive video and what it can do for brands

The rise in smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and the dominance of the online and social media in daily lives has impacted consumer behaviour in such a way that brands must be agile in reacting to evolving consumer appetite. Traditional marketing – as we know it – is no more; siphoning campaigns via separate channels is an outmoded and redundant strategy.

The way that we as consumers interact with brands has changed; constantly connected, we expect one-to-one interaction via the many channels available to us, at our preferred time. So the role of brand communications and consumer relations is increasingly intertwined as brands are forced to be ‘on call 24/7’ across all digital platforms as a result of the rapid pace of technology and us, digitally-savvy, demanding consumers.

The Times they are a Changin’…

Number of views is no longer the best way to measure the real impact of video content – it’s about time spent interacting with the consumer. The goal with branded video content is to impact the right consumers – the measurable difference in reaching 100 people who will ultimately forget you versus reaching a handful of people who are engaged and relevant.

With 70 per cent of marketers now using video as part of their online marketing mix, brands need to start employing more sophisticated measurement tools to understand this viewer journey and monitor their engagement in order to ensure that branded video content campaigns are aligned – and reaching – a targeted market.

Unknown-5As online video is fast becoming one of the most popular channels to view content, brands who fail to take advantage of this opportunity risk falling behind the competition and missing out on a large proportion of the market. Mark Thompson (left), former director-general at the BBC and now CEO at the New York Times said recently, “The internet is the great leveller – video used to be the sole preserve of broadcasters.”

The New York Times is set to launch 14 online ‘channels’ creating short shows inspired by its newspaper columns- available on a sister site Hulu.com Its website will also host online ads from external brands.

Video now accounts for 18 per cent of all online and mobile display advertising; its share in the marketing industry as a media channel is now cemented, thanks mainly to the growth in time spent watching video on mobile devices. The share of time spent watching videos on tablet and mobile devices surged by an astounding 719 per cent globally since Q4 2011 and by 160 per cent since Q4 1012. According to IAB’s latest research in the UK, video advertising grew by 62 per cent year-on-year to £324.9 million.

Interactive video in advertising is the next step in enabling the viewer and giving them more control over their viewing experience, providing the option to be led into different areas of the ‘store,’ clicking through to other ‘departments.’

For example, with a car ad, the viewer can have the option to click through to book a test drive or with a fashion brand – pre order a piece from a new collection. Being able to navigate a consumer from an engaging piece of online video content into other areas of the brand is invaluable; it’s the digital equivalent to intelligent store layouts which direct shoppers to discover more and more interesting products or, in this case, content and services.

Why interactive online video is content marketing on steroids

People don’t hate ads, they just hate bad ads. Online video should act as another form of content marketing, engaging with potential customers in a way which not only adds value to their viewing experience, but compliments what they may be viewing on other screens.

As the modern living room gives rise to even more digital content (22% of us regularly use a second screen, according to a survey by Google) online video is increasingly important not only as a channel on its own, but as a means of amplifying other forms of media in an interactive way.

Why use one-dimensional measurements with a multi-dimensional campaign?

With many campaigns now focusing heavily on an interactive element in an attempt to increase their market share of genuine engagement and time spent, it’s clear that simply looking at CTR isn’t enough; you need to understand which element worked well in the campaign. Did people stop watching after 5 seconds or did they watch the whole video? Did they click through to social media? Did the digital competition increase social media engagement and/or followers?

For brands and agencies, interactive video presents limitless opportunities, but there needs to be an intelligent business strategy linking together the different channels at play; consumer insight, great creative, compelling content and intelligent metrics are essential if brands want to get it right.

tal-chalozinTal Chalozin is CTO and co-founder of Innovid, guiding technology development and implementation, product creation and business development. He has over 13 years of developmental experience including serving as an officer in the Israeli air force’s Computer Unit and co-founding Garage Geeks with Zvika. He was selected for Europe’s Young Entrepreneur in 2008 and the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer in 2010.

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