If Interactive Video Isn’t in Your CCM Strategy, You’re Doing it Wrong
It’s 2021, the age of streaming services, YouTube vids and viral TikTok dances.
In this world, you need to understand that your customer communications management (CCM) strategy is absolutely not competing against other CCM strategies. Instead, to cheekily paraphrase Netflix CEO Reed Hasting, you’re actually competing against sleep itself.
People only have so much time in a day, and with the plethora of digital content distractions being pushed at them, it has certainly created a challenge for brands looking to effectively connect and communicate with its time-starved customers.
So how do you cut through the clutter? Can you supercharge your CCM with specialized tools and resources to stand out from the crowd?
The smartest CCM strategy always meets people where they already are – in today’s world, that means watching video content in the digital landscape. People are more engaged with video content than ever, and interactive, personalized video is proving to be one of the most effective tools available to help businesses to meaningfully connect with their customers and maximize the ROI of the CCM strategy.
Inputs, choices, and branches: What is interactive video?
An interactive video is content that lets viewers directly participate in the video, usually by inputting information that personalizes the experience.
A very simple example would be a customer providing their first name so that the video can address them personally.
A more sophisticated form of interactive video gathers select information about the viewer and tailors the content to speak only to their unique interests. This could, for example, start with a questionnaire about pension plans and, depending on their answers, serve the customer a personalized pension statement video that offers ways to adjust their savings and meet their retirement goals.
An even more evolved approach would be a branching video which allows users to make choices as the video progresses in real time, so that each choice takes them down an even more personalized path.
Now let’s look at how interactive videos can maximize your CCM and how you can harness their power to reach more people in better ways.
Surprise and delight
Cringeworthy newsletters. Annoying targeted ads. Cloying, ingratiating language. You can almost smell the desperation on the current one-dimensional communications from most companies.
People are more digital-savvy than ever and their brand trust is always on a knife’s edge, but what they want, and have always wanted, remains the same.
What people really want – from marketing, from content, from life in general – is to be surprised and to be delighted.
And this novelty is where interactive video shines.
Employing interactive, personalized videos will surprise and delight jaded customers who tune out the standard drone from companies fighting for their attention. By definition – with its graphics, motion, and personalized details, packaged in a story that asks for their input – an interactive video has all the elements to grab and hold onto attention.
Customers already prefer videos
Twenty years in and trillions of hours of video already watched, online video consumption has changed irrevocably changed consumer behavior:
72% of customers now prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service over any other channel.
Video has evolved beyond simple entertainment to be a leading tool that helps consumers make important buying decisions. And video marketers agree: 94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
Personalized, interactive videos are neither outlandish nor unproven – they are already what people want.
When you combine the power of personalization – tailoring content to the specific needs and expectations of each customer – and interactivity – having viewers input their information directly into the content – it’s no surprise that engagement rates go through the roof and can boost your CCM strategy.
People love to be the star in the movie of their life and using interactive video for your customer communications will elicit much higher levels of engagement.
If your business uses a call center service, you’ll know the hefty price tag that comes along with communicating with customers: on average $1 per minute, and potentially a lot more depending on the level of service required.
Interactive video can package information in a way that pre-emptively answers customer questions, so they better understand your communications and won’t feel the need to reach out, reducing your overall call center interactions.
You reduce your CCM costs. They get the answers they need. You can scale digital customer service to be cost-effective. They didn’t have to make a much-dreaded phone call. You can still provide self-service and personalized support. They get a level of service that exceeds their expectations. How many wins is that?
Encourage customers to share more
Given the slew of recurring, high-profile data leaks, consumers are increasingly wary of sharing their personal information, and for good reason (we’re looking at you, Zuckerberg!).
Often, however, if explained carefully why some data is being collected and how it will be protected if shared, people will open up to your business. Segments of an interactive video can directly address privacy concerns and give you the opportunity to explain how it will make their customer experience better.
Not only will this provide significant data and insights into consumer behaviors and purchasing journeys that you can feed back into and refine your CCM, but it can then be used to re-target subsequent personalized video with unique up-sell opportunities.
Traditional video metrics, like number of views and average watch time, gives you a wealth of data from which to draw insights into the kind of content that resonates with your viewers. Now imagine going further.
Interactive videos allow you to gather even more rich and meaningful data, develop deeper insights and track different consumer behavior far beyond standard metrics.
Cultivate value-added insights from metrics unique to interactive videos – click-through rates, dwell time, skipped and re- watched sections, and submission rates from in-video polls and questionnaires, and more – and use them to constantly to improve both your content and, ultimately, your CCM.
Maximize CCM ROI
This is the magic of interactive video: it can instantly transform a dull and passive experience – like getting a bill or statement – into a fun and engaging one. Sure, it’s a great benefit for customers who no longer have to be served CCM leftovers, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to maximize the ROI of your own CCM strategy.
Briefly, the logic works like this: an interactive video is by its very nature engaging, which produces data on viewer metrics. From this data, you can form insights about factors driving behaviors, continually refining your CCM strategy to increase conversions and decrease funnel abandonment at every stage of your customers’ journey. All the while, you can use the increasingly precise data to make better interactive videos that continue to maximize your ROI. Rinse, repeat and reap the benefits.