Interactive video has been touted among loyalty marketers in recent years as an effective way to impact customer engagement and customer loyalty.

HapYak Interactive Video, a company providing a SaaS-based platform designed to allow for the creation of personalized videos (PVs) at scale, offers a platform that gives clients the ability to add interactive elements to these videos, creating an engagement opportunity in which viewers can potentially select their own experience while watching.

Loyalty360 caught up with two executives at HapYak: Travis O’Connor, senior director, revenue; and Chris Ladouceur, creative director, to learn more about how interactive video can impact customer loyalty and customer engagement.

How can interactive video increase customer engagement/customer loyalty and what are its core features?
O’Connor: Interactive video transforms a flat, one-way (you to them) content delivery system in an experience the end-user can take part in. With compelling overlays, personalization, or branching “choose-your-own-adventure”, content is delivered in a highly tailored, highly custom fashion with relatively minimal effort. If a person is watching your video in full screen, you have maximized 100 percent of the viewer’s attention, and subsequently 100% of the available real estate on the screen. So why wouldn’t you treat the video just like any other part of the web page? 
 
Throughout our conversations with prospects and customers, we’ve really focused on refining these core competencies so that our platform can handle any use-case for video. It’s our belief all video will become interactive video, so the core features for University (Chapters, Quizzes, Grades) differ from the core features of marketers (e-commerce, overlays, forms). In a 10-day pilot, customers experienced 900 percent increase in click-through-rate and generated $115,000 via interactive video. Being able to handle all these use cases allows our customers to establish success metrics and tie that annotation back to the investment they make into a video.
 
What types of marketers should use interactive video and how can they best leverage it?
O’Connor: Every single marketer should be using video, if able. The wealth of data around your audience increases, as well as click-through rates, overall time on site, and specific data around what you put into the video. Being able to either capture information on the fly and subsequently personalizing the message to the user is extremely effective, giving them a better overall experience and helps you accomplish your data goals.
 
One customer used HapYak for an account-based marketing campaign, which connected their customers with their Account Manager in a personalized fashion via marketing landing pages. The customer had the ability to fill out a form from within the video if they wanted to talk with the AM. Over 100 meetings were collectively booked; 80 percent of them through the interactive annotation.

The creativity of approach, as well as defined success metrics, are up to the marketer. We strive to offer a complete tool set for the modern marketer to help drive initiatives from brand awareness to MQL - SQL conversion. HapYak can integrate with a marketing automation platform or customer-relationship platform, and be able to help identify what your specific, unique users are watching and doing throughout the video.
 
What types of annotations are best in which scenarios?
O’Connor: This is a tricky one for sure. I am personally one of those that says, “Let me enjoy the content!” However, that really only pertains to video advertisements because I truly find myself clicking on annotations within videos, as long as they aren’t ads that obscure my focus of the overall experience. For example, you may want to assign scores to how far your users are getting into the video (0-25 percent = D, 25-50 percent = C, 50-75 percent = B, 75-100 percent = A). 
 
Based on how far these users are getting into the video, the goal of the annotation evolves. Showing a button at the 25-50 percent mark that leads to a slide-in form is a great way to get information about the B&C leads, but if someone makes it 90 percent in, just slide out the form automatically (if they made it that far, they sure seem interested!)
 
The best part is that our iframe annotation capability allows you to take nearly any existing page content built, and be able to insert it into the video.  This could be a chat-bot, another part of the web page, or marketing automation forms.
 
Chapters are effective for longer form content, as the user has the ability to see what’s in the video and jump to the sections they want to consume. The ability to convert increases with the more you help your user navigate the content without interfering with the overall experience. Tricky!

How does interactive video work with existing workflows?
Ladouceur: True interactive video works seamlessly with existing workflows. HapYak is built to work with every major video provider out there, meaning videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, Wistia, or simply mp4 uploads can be the base of your video.
 
With our WYSIWYG interface, creating interactivity is as easy as point and click. HapYak also has integrations with partners such as Brightcove which allows all the publishing to be maintained by the OVP, meaning after you add interactivity, it just shows up on your video without needing to update your embed code or link. For all other OVP providers, HapYak generates a new embed code that you simply use wherever the original video was embedded. The best part of plugging interactive video into your workflow is the new flow of analytics. While a traditional video is a black box of data, the interactive video lets you track everything you would on a webpage. Navigation, click through rates, question responses, and engagement to name a few. With integrations, this data can be passed directly into MAP services or Analytics services such as google analytics.
 
Can you talk about what you recommend to marketers that want to use interactive video as a customer loyalty strategy?
Ladouceur: There are quite a few advantages for marketers with interactive video. It is one of our largest use cases. We really see this break down into five main benefits.

First, deep video analytics, giving you the ability to finally answer how effective your video strategy is performing. Second, the platform is easy to setup and maintain. There isn’t a three-week learning course or new technology to decipher. You can have your first interactive video up and running in about 20 minutes. Third, interactive video is scalable. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 videos, you can quickly add interactivity to all of them utilizing our template and dynamic data pass in abilities. Fourth, you can now make data-driven decisions. Rolling up data into your existing reporting tool allows you to see how your strategy is doing and what you can do to improve it in near real time. Fifth, personalized content. HapYak gives you the ability to take one video asset and personalize it for every user, serving up different videos or experiences based on their level of loyalty or position within the buying cycle.

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