Interactive video ads can increase the time customers spend watching or engaging with your ad by 47% compared to regular video ads according to Magna Global. After all, in a mobile-first world where our devices are intertwined with the real-world, “interactivity can build organic connections between viewers and branded messages” according to Chad Stoller, EVP of Universal McCann.
One such interactive ad unit is interactive end cards (IECs), which can be paired with your existing in-app video ads to enhance user engagement and drive more meaningful connections.
Interactive end cards appear at the end of regular 15-30 second video ads and function as mini playables or interactive units that customers can t engage with if they choose. These rich creatives give customers an opportunity to connect with your brand in a unique way while raising awareness for your offerings. For example, if your regular video showcases information about your brand’s clothing, the interactive end card can go a step further and let customers design their own outfit.
Interactive end cards are a valuable way to drive deeper customer engagement with your brand from the onset, setting the stage for more quality interactions in the future. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider running these ad units in-app.
Leave a lasting positive impression on customers
Customers are in control of the experience and have the option to interact with IECs after watching a full video ad, which means those who choose to engage are doing so for some extra bit of fun and on their own terms, leaving a powerful, unique impression on viewers. Rather than just sitting back and staring at an ad as it plays, customers can learn something new about your brand they may have otherwise ignored, which will ultimately drive greater recall.
In fact, regardless of whether consumers interact or not, these ad units are 32% more memorable than non-interactive ads according to Magna Global. Interactive ads also make customers more excited about brands, 6% more excited according to Magna Global.
For example, movie studios develop interactive end cards for customers to build a personal connection with characters and get moviegoers invested in the plot. One movie studio working with Tapjoy, an ironSource company, created an IEC where users play hide and seek with the main character. This way, they anticipate meeting the main character on the big screen. Another movie studio working with Tapyjoy developed an IEC where users collect objects while avoiding the villain. This leaves them intrigued to find out whether the villain or protagonist wins in the end.
IECs are a commitment-free, fun way for customers to learn about your brand before clicking to your website. There’s significant growth potential by collapsing the funnel and allowing users to interact and take action with your brand before leaving the ad unit.
Even better, interactive end cards allow you to start your dialogue with customers before they enter your website or landing page, reducing friction.
Cultivate the customer-brand relationship
With 96% of consumers saying customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand according to Microsoft, it’s important for people to feel heard and acknowledged as early in the funnel as possible, even before they enter your website.
You can foster an open dialogue the first time users interact with your brand through interactive features. There are software solutions and in-app networks that provide countless resources to help you create rich interactive end cards. Pro tip: Use Luna, a product by ironSource, to produce unlimited ad variations.
For example, your interactive end card could be a poll or survey asking customers what they thought of a feature mentioned during your standard video ad, giving customers a voice while giving you an opportunity to optimize your creative strategy. If customers thought your ad was disruptive or inappropriate, they can let you know right away through the poll, which will show them you care about customer service.
You could also use polls to ask customers about their preferences to show you care about their individual experiences. This will also help you get a stronger idea of what customers are looking for in a new offering. For example, a clothing brand could ask customers whether they care more about free returns or free shipping. This is a great way to determine how to allocate your budget and put emphasis on what’s important to customers.
Even if you aren’t using polls and surveys, asking customers to interact with your brand in a fun way is a good start to cultivating the customer-brand relationship before they enter your website. Fostering this dialogue earlier in the funnel will also contribute to encouraging customers to convert to engaged customers.
Convert customers to drive action with your brand
Customers remain excited and continue their dialogue with your brand beyond the interactive end card, ultimately driving action, whether it’s a purchase, visit, download, etc. By collapsing the funnel - allowing users to learn about your brand and start a conversation before they enter your website - you can achieve strong outcomes. In fact, interactive ads are 9x more impactful on purchase intent than non-interactive ads according to Magna Global.
For example, a well-known political campaign wanted to reach more users at home and encourage them to go out to the polls. They developed an interactive end card to play after the informational video where users drive the candidate’s car to the final destination, which resulted in a record-breaking 9% click-through rate, demonstrating higher-than-average intent to vote.
The same goes for purchases. A well-known CPG brand developed an IEC that prompts customers to swipe to match popular snacks. If a customer hasn’t tried one of the snacks before, the ad is intended to pique customers’ interest about the new flavor and encourage them to buy a bag. If they like it, they’ll remain customers in the long-run.
IECs are a surefire way to expand your consumer reach and convert users to drive action with your brand. Being exposed to a new product and learning about its value through a fun, engaging ad before the website puts your brand in a great position to see customers start their journey with your brand.
Interactive end cards encourage brand awareness and brand engagement early-on in the funnel. After all, with most well-known brands utilizing the same approaches to customer engagement, IECs are an innovative way to cut through the noise.