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How interactive marketing drives brand engagement

By Akshae Golekar

Empowering consumers to make their own decisions and choices always has its advantages and with the advancement of advertising technology, innovation has led to engaging and exciting manners of how brands are now able to communicate with their consumers. We have witnessed the metaverse emerge as a playground for brands to experiment and play on. Brands have begun launching stories, host events and drive engagement with end users in the virtual world. We are also seeing audio grow to create a space of its own in the digital pie. Little did we know that audio would revive itself and earn interest from listeners once again.  

Alongside, video-based interactive marketing is also gaining momentum in India. Unlike regular digital video campaigns, interactive campaigns are trigger based and require direct response from a consumer or a viewer. It encourages the viewer to act on it rather than just skipping ads or just ignoring ads while consuming content. Interactive videos are known to increase brand recall by 68%, purchase intent by nine times, and engagement by five times, according to a YVEX report. It is for this reason that scientific channels, international furniture brands, automobile brands, leading sports brands, and many others have explored interactive ads considering the engagement and return on investment (ROI) they carry. 

For its interactive campaign, Nike had 73% of viewers engaging with one single interactive video, four times the interaction per active viewer providing a rich feature set. An average of 68% of viewers explored the video for up to two minutes. The ROI on such campaigns are real and measurable. Ranveer vs. Wild with Bear Grylls is a more popular example of an interactive short film that was well received by viewers in recent times. Interactive films leave lasting impressions.

Apart from experimental marketing, interactive ad films or campaigns comprise a lot of activities where the brand is integrated subtly or may even reward participants. It is an innovative tool for D2C brands to engage directly with their audiences, create brand awareness, generate quality leads, boost sales, and gain consumer insights. Given the significantly higher engagement rate and view time in the format than with a general film or campaign, brands are gravitating towards them. The strategy creates a hook for the audience, and hence the potential for it to be shared is also higher.

Interactive marketing has been around for a while but it is only in recent years that the technology supporting its usage and execution has improved significantly. For India, the transition from Web2 to Web3 is still a long way. While brands have already jumped the Web3 bandwagon and have begun investing in it, a bulk of users will still have a long way to go before they can begin their interactions with Web 3 or the Metaverse. Interactive marketing in a way is a catalyst for the much-needed bridge between Web2 and Web3. OTT platforms too have begun investing in and improving their interactive experiences thus serving as a platform for people to engage with interactive ads and attracting more brands as well.

While the adoption of interactive marketing and ads are on the rise, the technology is still to catch up. Social media too is yet to adapt to the new technology. Embedding the branching technology used for interactive ad films on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc is yet to see the light of day.  Making interactive ad films is a long process. Analysing competitors, and building potential target audience data is a critical part of the planning process and a must to get the best results. 

For automobile, entertainment, clothing and footwear, and FMCG brands, interactive campaigns can be a game changer in a cluttered market that is fighting for consumer attention. Like all other digital campaigns, interactive campaigns can also be targeted to a certain audience cohort. However, how you design a campaign and how you communicate with your end consumer is critical. Given its newness, it is essential to build a campaign that grabs attention and drives engagement rather than confuse and drive users away. A great time to begin now, and a great place to begin is a brand’s existing platform.

The author is CEO of Optiminastic Media. Views expressed are personal.

Also Read: Chai Pe Charcha with BrandWagon

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