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In today’s content-saturated web ecosystem, nearly all of us have experienced a loss of direction. We open up a URL only to forget what we planned to type. We follow a trail of interesting links and before we know it, hours have gone by and we have not accomplished what we originally wanted to do.

The problem of content overload — driven by the avalanche of memes, celebrity scandals and cats scrolling down our social media feeds — is so severe that there are apps and websites like Pocket and Evernote promising to help us wade through the drifts.

For those trying to influence potential customers through online videos, connecting advertising impressions to consumer actions is more important than ever. Passive ads that are easy to tune out just are not going to cut it for entrepreneurs looking to break through.

A brand’s audience has to be persuaded to act on their feelings right now. Enter interactive videos. Here are five ways they improve conversions, proving they are essential to work into your content marketing strategy:

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1. Interactive video connects branding to action

Video is possibly a brand marketer’s most reliable tool for generating awareness, but until recently, it was mostly reliant on delayed audience reaction.

With interactive video, advertisers can add an immediate call-to-action (CTA) overlay button, catalog or feature in branded video content. Interactive elements can be added to video content already produced. Or, video may be produced specifically with interactive overlays in mind for an even better user experience.

2. The data shows how interactive video ads work

Compared to traditional ads, interactive ads generate higher click-through rates and purchase intent, according to one source. Web audiences expect control and on-demand responsiveness.

Being led by the nose by an unresponsive, static and impersonal ad is jarringly dated for today’s web users. The key to successful interactive videos is that they offer something more: User control, personalisation and CTAs. All these elements of interactivity combine to make viewers pay attention to an ad, rather than tuning it out.

3. It increases conversion rates

One of the most crucial and valuable aspects of interactive video is that it is perfect for giving viewers an immediate CTA — a specific, easily-executable request that engages viewers and helps convert them into customers.

Dynamic CTAs are even more effective, tailored to each viewer based on available data, ensuring that they are never shown an irrelevant message, like asking them to buy a product they have already purchased. IAB data shows an eight per cent lift in purchase intent among those who interact with interactive video ads.

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4. It offers a better user experience

The ultimate result of interactive videos is branding and CTA experiences, which are customisable to each audience and present new and useful information to viewers. They also grant the user control, make accessing additional content easily and seamlessly integrated into social media support. Who would not prefer an ad that lets users skip around, pull up the most interesting info with ease, and take further action with the click of a button?

5. It turns viewers into active participants

Allow users to participate and give them a chance to become a part of the story. This classic example by Choose a Different Ending allows the audience to actively participate by making choices that affect the outcome of the story. They help determine the outcome of the experience, which brings positive awareness to a brand.

With these five steps, an entrepreneur can take control — as well as give control to the users — which will lead to great products and sales.

Parveen Panwar is passionate about online advertising and ad tech technology. He has created digital strategy for various video branding campaigns and made them successful through various distribution strategies in digital landscape. Learn more about what he does through his company Vidaptiv.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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