by Erika Trautman
Digital video is a powerful medium for grabbing attention. We know this to be true based on the exponential increase in online video consumption. After all, online video will account for more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, according to Cisco. Yet, measuring the business value or return on investment for all that attention is a challenge for many content creators.
And the main reason for that might be that we’ve measured the wrong metrics all along. Below, we break down those metrics as well as how to measure the right metrics and achieve a positive ROI.
Connecting eyeballs with ROI is difficult
The challenge of measuring the business value or ROI for your audience’s attention is not unique to video. Across the board, marketing efforts revolving around top-of-the-funnel activities, brand awareness, and gathering eyeballs are scrutinized when it comes to connecting those activities and related expenses with a measurable return on investment.
If the user doesn’t want to be interrupted…
According to eMarketer, 69.8 million Americans used ad blockers in 2016, a jump of 34.4 percent from 2015. By the end of 2017, that figure will grow another 24 percent to 86.6 million people.
But, I’m not going to cover the specific challenge of measuring the value of brand awareness in this article. I’m also not going to talk about how companies continue to invest vast sums of money, attention, and resources in advertising and ad tech even though consumers are now experts in tapping and swiping their way to authentic information and solutions that lead to purchase.
And I’m also not going to discuss how some of that advertising investment could shift to making needle-moving content experiences. These topics are all deserving of their own blog posts.
The race for eyeballs is distracting and keeping us from transforming video
I am, however, going to share why the huge success of digital video in the “capturing attention” realm and today’s primary metric for measuring content performance, eyeballs, is distracting everyone from a greater truth.
That distraction is keeping folks from thinking through and pursuing the real potential of digital video, which is to evolve into an interactive experience. The truth is, we are no longer a passive audience that sits back to consume content pushed to us. We are now a population of interactive users—touching, swiping, and tapping our way into discovering the information we need to do a better job or live a better life.
It is time to reimagine the way we digitally interact by putting the individual in the driver’s seat. It’s time to think about serving up experiences versus just content. One way to do this is to marry user experience with the power of video. Interactive user experiences are what drive measurable behavior that leads to return on investment.
Why are most digital videos still a dumb black box?
The fact is, most digital video today is still a dumb black box when it doesn’t have to be. The interactive video solutions available in the marketplace today enable businesses to glean data from content within the video that people choose to consume. That might sound strange, but if your goal is to educate people with video and drive awareness or deeper-in-the-funnel behaviors, you typically have different segments of content within the video that users can self-select.
You also might have different target personas you are trying to reach. They might not all want the same one-size-fits-all content or be willing to sit through 10 minutes of content to get to the parts that interest them. What content is most relevant and engaging to your different personas? Those insights are worth something for sure, but video tech brings even bigger opportunities that exist beyond just gleaning data and insights about the preferences of your different personas.
Video experiences that give back
We know customers today expect digital experiences to empower and make things easy, allowing them to get to relevant information faster, make better decisions, and finish tasks. Uber, Airbnb, Apple, and others are leading the way and changing consumer expectations forever.
Interactivity not only turns passive content into an experience, but it also provides the mechanism for responsiveness and personalization that leads to relevancy. Within the context of interactive experiences, relevancy is about giving the individual control to discover what is most useful to them.
Immersive experiences that invite participation and learning result in emotion from the individual. We call this emotion “the gratitude effect,” and gratitude is incredibly powerful. In exchange, we can request something in return with much higher conversion rates. Those requests could be a CTA built right into the interactive experience. Behavior conversions and the content insights above are what provide the business value that leads to your return on investment.
How do you get to measuring ROI?
Interactive video doesn’t just benefit the user. If implemented correctly, interactive video is the mechanism that allows you to get more from your video content to provide a return on investment. User experience video, also known as branching interactive video, works extremely well in driving both the insights and behaviors that add up to ROI.
However, your thinking and workflow need to transform. You need to think user experience first, and video second with this format. Additionally, this new way of thinking leads to your ability to establish your ROI calculation and measurable goals before you spend a dime creating anything. Prove your content ROI and then ask for the money to invest.
Transform your passive, one-size-fits-all viewing into an interactive, customizable user experience that incorporates video. We aren’t marketing to a passive audience anymore. We are marketing to interactive users. This is the filter we need to use.
Erika Trautman is the co-founder and CEO of Rapt Media, a 2011 TechStars company based in the “mini Silicon Valley” that is Boulder, Colorado. Our cloud-based interactive video platform enables brands and strategic solution providers to transform video content into response-provoking experiences. Our technology offers the ultimate in consumer control which drives deeper engagement, learning, and desired behaviors. Each interaction generates useful customer or product insights. For more information, please contact Erika at [email protected].
This post was previously published at http://www.raptmedia.com/blog/the-untapped-potential-of-video-solving-the-roi-challenge.