HOW AGENCIES CAN USE SHOPPABLE AND INTERACTIVE VIDEO FORMATS TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT

Interactive video has proven to be an effective and key tool for marketeers. In fact, video interactivity can increase viewer engagement by 3-4 x more than standard, linear video.


So, it is no wonder that advertising agencies are looking to seize shoppable tech to upscale what they can offer brands.


What is shoppable and interactive video?


Interactive videos encourage user involvement. They have clickable, tagged areas called "hotspots" that the viewer can interact with. Brands tag videos with product information or links to ecommerce to make them shoppable. Viewers may even be able to make a purchase within the ad. Video interactivity might also be encouraged via 360 degree exploration tech, quizzes, livestream, chatbots, calls-to-action and many more.


What is an interactive agency?


An agency offering a mix of Web design/development, Internet advertising/marketing, or E-Business/E-Commerce consulting. An interactive agency can help brands design and implement SEO strategies, create articles for online publications and many more.


How can agencies use shoppable and interactive video formats?


Shoppable and interactive video platforms can step up standard formats used by agencies. For example:


Interactive/shoppable video display ads


Display ads are hugely popular and common with brands. Typically display ads are placed on third party websites in the form of banners, images and text. Here is an example of interactive video display ads with Volkswagen. Viewers could type a command and the car would perform the action. The interactive banner ad makes viewers less likely to ignore it. The fun and engaging experience is memorable for the viewer, making them more likely to consider the product for potential purchase. By partnering with interactive video platforms, agencies can offer brands an exciting ad format like no other.


Interactive/shoppable video ads across social media


With 3.5 billion social media users world wide, agencies should optimise their strategies for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube and more. Interactive video ads are a great way to stop scrollers in their step. Take Wish.com on Snapchat for example:

Users could shop the items in a carousel below the video. Wish reported that their interactive and shoppable videos encouraged 17 x more engagement than their regular Snapchat ads.


Interactive/shoppable video based pre-roll ads


A pre-roll ad is a promotional video which appears before the video that the user has selected to play. Interactive video can do wonders for pre-roll ads as users are often made to watch them before streaming video on platforms like YouTube. Here is a YouTube pre-roll ad from Boursin that supports video interactivity through a 360 virtual reality experience:


The ad immerses a viewer by taking them on a journey through fridge packed with fresh produce. The explorative aspect encourages the viewer to watch until the very end, without the activity a viewer would be more likely to skip the ad. The experience is fun and memorable and will leave the viewer craving Boursin cheese. Agencies could partner with interactive video platforms like WIREWAX and Smartzer to help their clients create engaging and unique promotional content.


Interactive/shoppable video based Outstream ads


An Outstream ad is an ad shown within paragraphs of text on a website. They are typically without sound until the user hovers or clicks over the video. Here is an example of a flip-book style outstream ad with M&S and NEXD advertising:


The ad is formatted like an interactive catalogue that users can scroll through. The peeled corner introduces a sense of curiosity in the reader, encouraging engagement through the interactivity. By using ad agency NEXD, M&S was able to create a unique and interesting advert which generated a 20% CTR.


Interactivity encouraged through call-to-action


By using interactive video platforms, agencies can help brands tag videos with clickable calls-to-action to encourage higher CTR and engagement. Smartzer's platform allows users to create an interactive overlay by tagging product info to hotspots. This can be via Product APIs, Product Feed, URL's, images, text or manually. Here is an example of Smartzer's partnership with Volkswagen to create a clickable and informative video ad:

Viewers were able to click on the video to display a clickable carousel that would inform them on various aspects of the car. Smartzer also partnered with agency, Inskin to develop effective interactive video banner ads for the new Volkswagen Golf model. The "book a test drive" call-to-action was a simplistic way of encouraging brand engagement as the ad generated a 62% engagement rate and a 27% CTR.


Shoppable call-to-actions


Videos can be made shoppable by creating clickable hotspots. Here is an example of Rituals partnership with WIREWAX on a shoppable video:

The "click to shop" call-to-action entices the viewer to view the products in more detail. Once clicked, the product info is displayed and a "shop now" call-to-action shows, taking the viewer to the brands ecommerce to complete the purchase. WIREWAX's interactive, shoppable videos are 32% more memorable than standard video.


Call-to-actions may present themselves as "install now", "learn more", "sign up to mailing list", "visit Instagram" and more.


Trackability


Interactive and shoppable video is easy to measure and track. Every interaction that occurs within the video is reported back to the brand and they can clearly see performance data from their content.


Summary


Interactive and shoppable videos are key tools that agencies should consider implementing into their advertising strategies. Despite all the demonstrated benefits, agencies are still slow to do this. Shoppable advertising doesn't suit all advertisers as it is usually an expensive format to use. However, for retailers like Which.com, M&S and Rituals, shoppable video can suit their objectives and drive conversions. For auto brands like Volkswagen, interactive is used for effective product discovery. At the end of the day, it is unlikely that someone will see a car ad online and instantly "buy now", but they might "book a test drive".


Additionally, a lot of advertiser like to use existing non-shoppable content and make it interactive. This can work, but often to get the most out of the tech, advertisers should create content with shoppability in mind.


In an interview, Smartzer founder, Karoline Gross, explained that often when interactivity is used many advertisers fail to make full use of the data her company feeds back to them. Advertisers may be put off by any negative feedback that they see. She said, "There's probably a reason why a lot of advertising channels only report things like impressions. But if we want more impactful and relevant advertising, the only way we can really get there is by looking at these numbers, even if they're not always great to look at!"




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