Businesses have been trying to reach buyers in greater numbers by telling their stories through various media since the dawn of the industrial age. Here's a brief history:


The Next Generation of Marketing

What if the customer could help write the story? What if the video was interactive? According to David Mink, CEO of Avalaunch Media, "A strong trend in business communication is to modify the story-telling mode and include the prospect as a story-maker." Avalaunch Media is on the forefront of interactive video, having created infographics and presentation videos for hundreds of clients. When their clients started asking for something more collaborative, interactive video was the answer. "The technology exists to use video with customers and prospects as an engaging interaction, not merely as a message, and a number of our clients recognize the value in that," explains Mink.

Interactive video increases the prospective customer's level of engagement. Joe the Customer gets to choose the path the encounter takes. When an interactive video is designed, each data point addressed in the video is called a "chapter," and the overall script is written in a decision tree format so that as the prospect reacts to interactive elements of the video, an appropriate and engaging video chapter is played that corresponds with the choice that was made.

Interactive video also attracts higher viewership and longer viewing times. Most YouTube videos are only watched for a matter of seconds. If you've spent any time on YouTube, you know why. Many videos are hard to watch due to poor quality, irrelevance, and/or inanity. Don't underestimate the benefits of being both cool and interesting. And in addition to being viewed longer, user analytic data tracks every interaction so you can get unparalleled insight into user behavior. Every click tells you something you didn't know before. All of this data can be connected to the systems businesses depend on: CRM, CMS, LMS, and more.

The opportunities from interactive video are there for the taking. The videos are embeddable in all video players, including Vimeo and YouTube, so no one has to reinvent the wheel. You can already do anything you want--links, overlays, quizzes, calls to action--for any purpose you have, including lead generation, eLearning, training, and choose-your- own-adventure scenarios. This can exponentially increase your engagement with prospects and customers.

Given the leap forward that interactive video represents, it's somewhat surprising that more companies aren't taking full advantage. As seen here, there is some great work being done to produce these experiences. Can you imagine your company using this technology? How might it help you grow your business?