But this isn’t the same old television ad you’re used to. As you watch, you find that you can control the content: view the car in different colors, get a tour of the interior and even “test drive” it from your computer. In other words, you are engaging with that Audi advertisement the way you want to. That’s not just an advertisement, it’s an experience.
Now, imagine if it were possible to control the content for all digital video ads this way.
This isn’t some ten-years-down-the-line prediction. Interactive advertising is happening right now. A recent VINDICO report found that interactive video ads grew over five times in volume during the first half of 2012 – proof that we are indeed moving away from the “one size fits all” approach. Unlike in traditional settings, digital video advertising has the potential to dynamically adjust to ensure that the right message reaches the right viewer. And by handing control over to the viewer, we empower them to take actions and make choices. Those choices and actions are measureable – making all of the insights garnered invaluable to advertisers. With interactive video, everyone wins.
The industry is ready for interactive, but without clear purpose and intent advertisers run the risks of not reaching potential and missing goals. As advertisers continue to push the limits of engaging brands and refine ways to communicate with their customers, below are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to going interactive.
- Have a clear call-to-action. It sounds simple, right? We all know that a good ad has an engaging narrative and elicits behavior from its audience. Having a clear call-to-action in your format will make users more inclined to engage with an ad that is interactive if they know what’s being asked of them. Use a specific call-to-action and direct the viewer on how to engage. In expandable pieces, such as side-bar curtains or top toolbars, simple call-to-actions like “Rollover to Expand!” or “Click to Learn More!” may make all the difference.
- [Player] size does matter. Player size effects engagement and is critical for a well-executed ad. Smaller players (both in-stream and in-banner) may force any text or graphics to shrink to fit the smaller size. A format designed for a full-screen FEP player (like 768×432) may be illegible in a 300×250 player.
- Location, location, location! Understanding the different viewing behaviors in environments will help yield best results. For example, interactive ads perform best in premium environments. Make sure your ad is on video-centric sites and in an environment conducive to viewer engagement. An ad network may have superior targeting abilities, but this will not make much of a difference if your ad is running in-banner and auto-muted as pre-roll to short video clips.
- Forget CTR, think Click IT Rate! Engagement with viewers means deeper conversations and findings about your audience. With advanced formats, users don’t have to “click away” from their content page in order to interact with your brand. Allow viewers to sign up for coupons, find store locations and ingest more content by bringing your product information directly to the user. Forget “build it and they will come.” Build it and bring it to them!