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11 Tips For Developing A Compelling Interactive Video

  • Written by Chad Langford, Stepframe
  • Published in Demanding Views

chad langford imageWe are a visual people. While a cliché, the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” rings true largely because of the way we consume information. An avalanche of statistics can be offered to suggest the importance of a visual component to content and how it encourages prospects to dive deeper. One source even suggests that by 2017, 74% of online consumption will be in video form.

So, if you want eyeballs on your content, you’ll need to consider the avenue of video. But, not all videos are created equal. A shaky video on the iPhone differs greatly from a highly produced piece.

Thinking about getting into video? Consider these 11 tips:

1. Budget

One of the biggest barriers to creating quality videos is the budget. Too often, a company enters budget conversations with a secret around what the company can afford. The problem with this approach is that the supplier will leave the meeting and create a proposal without enough information to know how to deliver the best quality video on budget. If you can be transparent about the budget from the first conversation, your suppliers will often maximize that budget to the best of their ability and deliver the finest video your budget can afford.

2. Minimum System Requirements

Your company can daydream about the coolest interactive videos available on the web, but these videos demand performance on the back end of your servers and must be compatible with commercial browsers. If your organization doesn’t have the speed and capacity to house a high-end engaging video, then the pursuit of such content is fruitless. You don’t want to frustrate your viewers with technical difficulties. If your company’s IT infrastructure is stuck in 1965, there are a handful of steps you’ll need to take before video is a viable option.

3. Get IT Buy In

Make sure your IT team knows well in advance about the video project. They will need to know where the video will live upon completion. What use is a video if nobody can view it? Does the video need to be integrated with internal platforms or hosted externally? These steps take time, and if you drop a completed video in the IT department’s lap during a Monday-morning staff meeting, don’t expect the video to be live and viewable with its desired stakeholders that very afternoon. If IT has a six-month backlog to get your project online internally, that’s good to know up front.

4. Identify Key Stakeholders

This tip requires a fair amount of mindfulness. You don’t want to develop too large a core team of decision makers. You’ll find it impossible to make decisions when everyone needs to add their two cents. However, if the team is too small, you risk excluding key players that provide the needed insight on brand guidelines or legal sign-off. Video can be that key component to assured promotion, but you don’t want to be blamed for flushing a ton of money down the toilet because you forgot the right players. Keep your core team as small as possible, but make sure all of your key players are at the table.

5. Know Your Audience

Who is the target audience for your video? Identify them quickly and research the demographic soundly. Make sure your strategy appeals specifically to that audience. Your research surrounding the target audience will answer many of your content questions. A comical approach or an analytical approach to your project should be derived from your research.

6. Know Your Product

A video with high production value and a high level of interactive elements won’t matter if you’re unable to communicate clearly. Your audience will get drawn in, but you’ll lose them as they try to engage. Work closely with the sales team to understand the value proposition of your product. Get to the point quickly and provide a clear story. Finally, you need a call to action. Encourage the viewers to come back and respond in a specific way to your content.

7. Quality Is Key

High-quality design, production and content matter. It’s the complete package. Ultimately, the video content must reside in a high-quality design delivery. Trust your production team to develop something highly engaging. The creative minds that work on these kinds of projects daily will always have a better idea. Sit back and let them shine; you won’t regret it.

8. Analytics

If you can’t prove the ROI of your project, you leave it to others to decide whether or not you’ve been successful in your work, no matter how objective you might feel about the quality of the work. We have the technology to track everything these days. Make sure you’ve connected key performance indicators to your project and follow up constantly with the right kind of analytics so your team can quantify the quality of the work and allow for continual improvements.

9. Stick With Proven Technologies

The next big thing is an enticing idea, especially when it comes to technology. But don’t let the shiny new toy distract you from the proven technologies that will provide results. Be wary of the company offering to develop something on proprietary technology. You will always face the uncertainty of the company going under and a corresponding loss of support on the product. When this happens, it’s best to start over. That’s not a conversation you’ll want to have with your boss. So, stick to industry standards for your technology that limits the use of plug-ins and third-party downloads to make your creation work correctly.

10. Launch Strategy

How will you get this content into the hands of your target audience? You can create the most engaging interactive piece the world has ever seen, but what good is that piece if nobody can find it? To avoid these pitfalls, craft a launch strategy that maps out how your audience gains easy access to your work. Even more, ensure that you’ve created as many avenues as possible for your audience to access the work. The more avenues, the more likely you’ll find traction.

11. Feedback

Create a mechanism within the interactive experience for your audience to provide feedback. You want to know about the pieces you hadn’t considered so you can make the next version better. You should always be brainstorming for ways to improve the product, and an avenue of feedback will allow for your audience to provide the necessary feedback. At times, your audience will express their opinions in colorful ways. So if you’re feedback mechanism is public facing, be sure you are able to censor responses.

We are moving to a visual world more and more every year. As you sit down and consider creating an interactive video for your company, consider these 11 tips.

Chad Langford is the Co-founder, Principal and Director of Sales at Stepframe, a digital marketing and branding agency based in Richland, WA. As a pup, he fulfilled his desire for adventure by joining the Army where he spent his time flying, guiding and jumping out of planes. These days his adrenaline rush comes from providing clients with a product that exceeds their expectations.