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How Storyworks Videos Keep Viewers’ Attention

how to keep viewers' attention

By Michael Shaun Conaway, CEO of Storyworks

Sometimes, to keep people’s attention, it pays to be a little creative.

Storyworks’ client needed to increase engagement with the online introduction to their personal development course. The original introduction included seven different videos, which mostly featured talking heads. It felt dated. But more critically, few viewers actually watched all the carefully written material. People would start the introduction and then only navigate to one of the videos, usually not even watching through to the end of the second. How could the program hope to achieve the development results they were looking for when people did not even finish watching the introductory videos?

Learning that Reaches People Where They Are Now

There had to be a way to get and keep viewers’ attention. That’s why Storyworks turned to the Rapt Interactive technology from Kaltura. Through the Rapt interactive video technology, they could build choice-based branching videos whose endings changed depending on the viewer’s choices, driving deeper engagement, greater learning, and accelerated behavior change.

Not all the things that people say they want to learn are the most important thing to them at the moment they’re trying to learn them. The key is to make it easy for people to find their own solutions for their problems. For example, if a person is overwhelmed by the number of tasks they need to perform, they’re not going to choose to watch a video about how to relax (no matter how much they need to do so!) But if they’re presented with choices that include videos on how to prioritize tasks and how to delegate, they can find the content that makes most sense to them right now. By embedding these choices into the video itself, viewers are drawn to think about and engage with the material more deeply. Then, they can choose for themselves what additional information they’re interested in, leading to a satisfied user who learns the information they need.

The new video sequence that Storyworks designed includes seven videos in total, each 3-4 minutes long. The first video ends with a choice of additional videos that the viewer can watch, as an interactive overlay of buttons inside the video itself. The Rapt interactive tool from Kaltura offers an easy-to-use dashboard with drag-and-drop content to easily arrange and form ‘branching’ interactive narratives. It allows the video creator to connect videos, link out to additional content, create calls to action, and more—all without writing any code.

After creating the first set of videos, Storyworks went on to globalize the effort, creating multiple language versions of the same course.

Was It a Success?

The video has been available on the client’s site for more than a year now—this was no one-off course but a long-term development solution. It’s enjoying extremely positive results—twice the interaction of the previous videos! Engagement is much higher than it used to be. Far more people move on to multiple additional videos, and then actually watch them to completion. Allowing people to navigate to the content they personally need has made them far more interested in the content itself. Keeping everything in the same video player keeps them focused. Every time they had to navigate to a new page had been an opportunity for them to become distracted. Now their chosen content flows through seamlessly.

The tools also give really good insights into user behavior. It allows the company to precisely track which content specific people choose to engage with, and which content they actually finish. This information helps them refine their understanding of what their users need and want, so they can create even more effective courses in the future.

Storyworks is a creative agency unleashing greatness in people and organizations through strategy, branding, storytelling and purpose and culture transformation.  We are a good for people, profit and planet agency.  

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