Strengthening your C.O.R.E.: 4 tips to making effective interactive video

This article is part of the Digiday Partner Program and is brought to you by DG MediaMind.

Studies by the IAB and others have shown that online video can be an effective way to complement TV advertising. In the past, the goal was simply to extend reach, but with the arrival of interactive video, advertisers can employ the unique tools of the online environment to make ads more effective.

Online, audiences can do much more than stare at a screen for 15 seconds. They can create and share social content, play a game, even control the ad’s narrative. The result is that interactive in-stream video campaigns are the highest performing formats – five times as effective as standard video according to MediaMind data.

So, how do you get there? What makes an interactive ad compelling vs. just full of bells and whistles? The answer is to consider your C.O.R.E.

Ads that have a strong Call to action, pursue a clearly defined Objective, and are Relevant and Engaging – by far are the best performers.

C: Call to Action

A great call-to-action (CTA) can overcome just about any disadvantage, such as a mediocre media buy, to deliver favorable interaction metrics. Even the most engaging ad can fall flat if no one clicks because the CTA was buried. CTAs are vital to motivating user interaction and with a simple shift in the call to action (color, animation, copy), underperforming video campaigns can see a drastic improvement in interaction rates.

Here are a few tips for a strong call-to-action:

  • Understand what motivates your audience and invest in an appropriate incentive.
  • When you display your CTA could mean all the difference in your campaign’s performance. Try using an animated overlay right away instead of waiting until the end of the video.
  • Simply adding animation and color to distinguish the CTA from the video content can result in achieving a tremendous lift in your brand.

O: Objective

Define your KPI; and design your ad around it. If your goal is a PDF download, design your creative and CTA around that goal and that goal only – otherwise your performance will suffer.

R: Relevance

Here are some fantastic ways to get personalized impact from your VPAID ads. Dynamic creative versioning and retargeting is remarkably easy and effective online. Using one video, you can create any number of versions for different audiences (by geo, context, behavior, etc.) and edit/re-edit in minutes. Dynamic targeting can boost results 70-99 percent over generic ads.

Both third-party ad serving and dynamic creative versioning offer easy ways to tell a story and keep ads from getting stale.  Use a simple creative rotation and frequency capping to keep your message fresh and your audience tuned in.

It’s also smart to align the type of interactivity you choose with the audience you’re targeting. A recent campaign for a video game series stayed relevant to its gamer audience by going easy on the video and offering a game-like experience.

Nissan, on the other hand, knows that its audience wants to dig deeper into the technical aspects of their automobiles. In this ad, the brand uses hotspots on interior components to showcase the technology and upscale features of the vehicle.

Don’t limit VPAID to video. If your goal is to have someone play a game in your ad, then why delay the action for 15 seconds? This NRMA Insurance ad is a good example.

E: Engagement

By nature, interactive, online video has an advantage over TV when it comes to engagement.  Users can upload a video, create viral content or play a game – online allows the user to become involved in the ad.

In this example, users are immediately brought into a story and asked to make a choice that will affect the next piece of content they see. This is a relatively simple way to have users contribute to the narrative. This approach works best if you have video assets to support multiple storylines, but you can also prompt users with a question or ask for an opinion during pivotal parts of a single video.

The next time you’re planning a video ad, make it interactive and make that interactivity work harder for you. Just remember these C.O.R.E. principles. There’s nothing complex about it, and the results will definitely make it worth your while.

Image via Shutterstock

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