Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Inbound Marketing with Interactive Video


Inbound marketing and its most recent iteration, interactive inbound marketing, changes the style of communication that your company has with customers. No longer limited to a one-way monologue that takes to the bullhorn and shouts out the merits of a company's wares, inbound "new" marketing is more interactive and predicated on a back-and-forth style of communication.

This more interactive style of communication has been shown to provide more value to customers since you can recalibrate your message in real-time and send your customers more relevant emails, social media marketing materials, blog posts, and promotional offers based on the customer data you've gleaned from more intelligent targeting, personalization and behavioral analytics.

Harnessing the Power of Interactive Video and Social Media

Another reason inbound marketing is here to stay: it's designed to be entertaining yet educational right from the beginning.

Interactive video supercharges your site with better lead nurturing, e-learning and video branding. By taking to video-sharing sites and social media, companies from around the country are embracing things like interactive video marketing for its ability to curate personalized, branded video content in a way that consistently dazzles and entertains.

The trend towards developing more personalized and interactive content that also entertains has been gaining traction for the last few years.

Interactive whitepapers and interactive infographics were forerunners to the wider acceptance of interactive video. These three inbound marketing techniques actually work on the same premise of delivering more relevant and, therefore, immersive content that your customers can control (i.e., interactive content) and enjoy.

Putting the User Experience First

Interactive content that takes the user into account - in fact, prioritizing the user experiencing over the selling of products or promoting your company per se - is appreciated more by your customers and subsequently shared more on social media, commented on and re/watched at far higher rates.

While there might not be a magic bullet when it comes to igniting your inbound marketing strategy, interactive video comes pretty close since people are watching more video content on mobile devices than ever before and taking to social media in droves to talk about their experiences.

Interactive video is also a marketing opportunity from a B2C marketer's perspective since it can be incorporated into, for instance, email marketing campaigns for higher open and click-through rates or form the basis of social media ads designed to catapult your brand awareness from regional to mainstream. Online videos can be accessed from anywhere and they afford customers and other professionals the chance to pause the video, discover more about your company, and review the products and services on your website.

More ROI, Lead Generation and Conversions

While companies are definitely looking to put on a show and entertain their customers, they're also concerned about results. Increasing marketing ROI, lead generation and conversions and lowering the cost of customer acquisition are obviously still forefront on B2C and B2B marketers' minds.

And for good reason. What's really impressive about interactive marketing is that it doesn't de-emphasize or ignore these things: It makes them better.

Inbound marketing produces leads at less than half the cost of traditional marketing, and interactive content brings that number down even more because of the greater reach and reusability factor provided by social media, drip marketing and customer testimonials.

Injecting a little interactivity—whether in the guise of interactive videos, polls, games, or surveys—makes your content more entertaining (maybe even addictive) while seamlessly moving your customers along in the buyer's journey.

Interactive Video and the Buyer's Journey

Interactive video can be one of the most potent tools in your marketing arsenal for creating, and nurturing, more sales qualified leads (SQL) for your sales department. It's somewhat of a cliche point but it definitely bears repeating—interactive content doesn't talk at or to your audience: It talks with your audience.

Interactive content effectively brings your audience into the conversation and naturally fosters more engagement, sharing, feedback and more intelligent buyer personas for your business. The more feedback and data generated from your content, the more your content encourages your customers to interact, which aids in streamlining the buyer's journey. That way, you don't have to guesstimate what stage your customers are at. Instead, they are telling you through their selected actions and preferences.

Matching the Buyer's Journey to Interactive Content

One of the biggest challenges for B2C marketers used to be creating content that perfectly matched the customer’s stage in the buyer's journey. For example, sending in-depth blog posts or complex whitepapers to potential customers at the awareness stage used to be just as disastrous as sending generalized, top-of-the-funnel content to customers at the most critical moment of the buying phase (i.e., the decision stage).

Interactive marketing is sometimes also called event-driven marketing because the content that customers are receiving is predicated on a particular event that a customer took. Interactive content takes much of the guesswork out of the equation since you're now able to start collecting information on your customers at the awareness stage (e.g., polls, surveys and interactive infographics) that can inform the personalized content that you deliver at the evaluation stage (e.g., interactive white papers and benchmark assessments) and decision stage (e.g., product pickers and ROI calculators).

Blending more interactivity into your inbound marketing simply leads to less guessing, more relevant content, and happier customers.

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Topics: Interactivity