Why active attention is critical for unlocking the value of interactive video

Sponsored by KERV

As advertisers seek ways to better engage with their audiences, they are turning to interactive video for open two-way, non-intrusive conversations with their customers.

In another boon to advertisers, this interactive approach to video also equips marketers with insights from consumers’ organic interactions — insights that are especially critical as the attention economy becomes more important, brands work to cut through the advertising clutter, and first-party strategies become increasingly essential. 

“For brands, it will forever be about the consumer journey,” said Jay Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer at KERV. “For video, it’s how sight, sound and motion make the consumer feel and drive intent or a feeling for that brand. 

“Making video interactive — especially objects and scenes — and measuring and quantifying engagement using interactive data helps an advertiser follow a consumer’s journey with their brand,” he said. “So if a brand wants to think about making video work harder and smarter, they really have to think about the benefits of making video interactive and honing in on authentic actions and attention.”

Organic user actions are creating unique data points for brands

With interactive video, there are multiple opportunities for consumers to hover over or click various objects in a video — whether users are engaged on TV, mobile or desktop. These meaningful, action-based metrics garnered from interactive video allow marketers to tie consumers’ specific actions to ads more effectively — a critical consideration as both brands and consumers tighten their budgets.

“In a questionable economy, a brand is really losing out if they’re not making their video ads or content work harder and smarter,” Wolff explained. “The goal is obviously to reduce waste and make advertising more accountable. Static ads are wasted impressions. Passive metrics are nice to have, but active metrics and active attention are must-haves in the future.”

While economic uncertainty is impacting brands’ strategies as well as consumer spending, data from KERV indicates that consumers are willing to interact with content from brands if it is relevant, personalized and engaging.

For example, in 2022, KERV client data showed that CTR increased by more than 30% year-over-year on holiday retail ads using interactive video technology. Across KERV retail clients, CTR averaged 1.5%. Additionally, across all KERV retail clients, object highlight time — the amount of time a user hovers over an object in an interactive video — increased from 1.75% to 3.5% year-over-year. Among KERV’s largest retail clients, consumers engaged with interactive video tiles at a rate of nearly 7%, up from an average of 3.13% the previous year.

“When a consumer interacts with a shirt, bathing suit, accessory or next-generation computer in a video, that’s a data point that a brand would never have if the video wasn’t interactive,” Wolff said. “We’re seeing action-based metrics drive real, measurable and quantifiable performance metrics for brands.”

Leveraging video insights for optimized and personalized interactive experiences 

While organic user actions and metrics show how and where viewers are engaging with interactive video ads, Wolff cautions against overly relying on a legacy metric like CTR to illustrate campaign performance.

“There are so many other quantifiable ways to address and learn about consumer intent, including interactors, attention and lean-in engagement,” Wolff said. “We should always be thinking of active attention and engagement in a much larger way, versus the traditional proxy of click-through rate.”

And as interactive technology further evolves, advertisers will also be able to build smarter sequential messaging campaigns that lead consumers down the purchasing funnel more seamlessly. 

For instance, one of KERV’s brand partners used dynamic interactive QR codes on CTV and OTT to inform the consumer journey and drive conversions at multiple retailers. Users who completed or scanned the creative were then sequentially driven to convert through KERV’s shoppable video, Wolff explained.

“The interaction rate was almost 13%, which was 15,100% more than our benchmark,” he said. “We also ran a third-party brand lift study which illustrated a successful increase in brand consideration. We saw that consumers were deeply engaged with the KERV technology when we used sequential messaging off of the scan on the interactive unit on the TV. We’re really about taking a consumer from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel, all through smarter interactivity on ads.”

By leveraging these action-based metrics and insights, brands are creating interactive ads that are increasingly personalized and relevant — ultimately driving conversions and revenue. According to research from McKinsey, companies with the fastest rates of revenue growth drive 40% more revenue from personalization than companies with slower growth.

“An interactor or opt-in consumer needs a frictionless experience to make the journey more valuable,” Wolff said. “So utilizing AI and machine learning techniques and technologies within video is a great way to make the customer journey smarter, such as personalized interactions, optimizing touch points and the right creative at the right time.

“With AI and machine-learning interactive video capabilities, there’s no reason why every video can’t be targeted and personalized in near real-time,” he said. “You’re losing out if you’re not making your ads more interactive and actionable. The data is there to help inform your journey.”

Sponsored by KERV

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