Habits, expectations and attention spans are quickly changing in today’s digital world. With connected devices, social-media platforms, on-demand content and the desire of millennials for everything to be personalized, marketers are challenged to create compelling, engaging and shareable content that will break through all the noise.
Stop simply pushing messages at your audience and instead, engage them in a dialogue -- treat them as co-creators and invite them to participate by allowing them to determine what happens next. Not only will consumers lean forward, they will likely spend more meaningful time with your brand.
Audiences Are Different
While digital devices invite interactivity through comments, likes and links, those activities fall outside of the actual narrative experience. Storytellers are already creating content that they hope will be shared, but there is a need to move toward making the content itself more engaging.
The music industry has led the way in pushing the envelope with non-linear storytelling. From Arcade Fire’s collaborations with Google to Pharrell presenting a 24-hour music video to our own interactive video for Breached “Piece by Piece” these interactive videos not only showcase unique creativity but are exploring new ways to tell a story.
Audiences are passionate about these nonlinear stories, and they succeed in standing out in an otherwise cluttered marketplace.
Storytelling Has Changed
With the internet, marketers can effectively speak to the right person with the right message. And still, brands continue to create a single piece of content or slightly different versions, which they broadcast to audiences based on broad generalizations.
One example of this is movie trailers. Studios often create multiple versions of a trailer, which they test in different markets on fairly generic assumptions. A better alternative would be to create a single interactive trailer that lets the individual viewer make choices to ultimately watch the version most relevant to them and inspire them to see the film.
In the music industry, there’s a saying that if someone hears a song three times it will stick. Interestingly enough, according to our company’s data, interactive videos inspire viewers to replay them on average up to three times. If you want to make your brand stick, try interactive video.
The internet is interactive, as are the devices that connect to it: PCs, TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and so on. Technology is evolving from delivering content to you as a passive observer to offering you an opportunity to control what you see, when you see it and how you experience it.
The changing habits of consumers -- particularly the younger generations -- are creating an entirely new set of expectations for engagement. As technology evolves, marketers must evolve their methods of engaging their customers.