With video playing a bigger role in creating rich customer experiences, advertisers and marketers are looking for ways to improve videos' engagement levels. One company that is looking to help is Viewbix, with its integrated video app platform.

The Power of Video

When video first became prominent on the internet it was often used for entertainment purposes -- a way for users to share humorous home videos or clips from a television show or film. But video's role has expanded into the marketing world, to help reach a wider audience and appeal to more viewers.

The presence of video is not only growing as an entertainment medium on the web, but it’s also now being used as a point of consumption for learning about products and services,” said Hillel Scheinfeld, Viewbix’s COO in an interview with CMSWire.

There are a variety of ways in which the capabilities of video have changed, as marketers can now add in-stream ad components, use videos to teach website visitors about a product as well as promoting the product, post video content on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, use analytics to determine viewer behaviour and trends or record and share both live and recorded screencasts with tools such as Panopto.

Viewbix: All in One Video Experience

Many of the tools previously mentioned are designed to improve marketing's abilities, extend customer reach and share company content, but in most cases all the user could do is watch the video. Another limitation is if the video is hyperlinked to a website, viewers often have to open another browser window or tab to see related content -- which takes them away from the video and often the company's website or video page. These are among the problems that Scheinfeld and the Viewbix team noticed.

There are a few elements to keep in mind [when using video],” he said. “One is how to put a video up on a site and two is how can I get my video out there for people to watch it, but get them back to the website.”

With Viewbix, video becomes interactive by allowing brands to add certain website and social features into the video itself.

We've transformed an ordinary video player into a mini-website that can be shared with anyone on the web,” said Scheinfeld. “We look at websites and see what are these websites made out of and incorporate that into a video player.”

With the Viewbix product businesses are able to ensure viewers stay on the video page when looking for additional information or sharing the video as the app shows the selected content directly in the video screen. Apps include Additional YouTube Videos, which gives users the ability to stream a brand's playlist and watch additional videos from the same company, a newsletter sign-up tool Constant Contact, Google Maps which lets companies that are promoting an event to show viewers exactly where the event is taking place, as well as the option to add Twitter, Skype and RSS Feeds.

viewbix Interactive Video

Browsing Viewbix's YouTube playlist from within a video.

In addition to this, Viewbix also allows its clients to "brand" or customize the video platform so that it matches the company's look, as well as share content on mobile devices and view analytics data. For analytics, Viewbix tries to separate itself from other tools. Instead of just giving a basic report of viewing numbers, the tool gives an analysis of each tool and app that is being used in a particular video, such as how many clicks were made on a particular app, along with how many individual views the video received.

Videos that Viewbix supports include those from YouTube and Vimeo. The product is geared towards small to medium businesses.

All-in-One is the Future

As with many other aspects of social and digital media, what content a customer looks for in video and other digital tools is something that changes as technological trends change. Today’s business customer is looking for all-in-one solutions that allow them to work in one central environment, such as being able to post to a social media site without having to open a new browser window. This is why all-in-one tools such as HootSuite, a social media management tool and now Viewbix are becoming the norm.

Specifically for video it shows both customers and the companies that a video can be an interactive, integrated platform that drives engagement.

If you combine video with a call to action it creates a much deeper kind of engagement,” said Scheinfeld. “When I share a video I’m not just sharing a video, but the call to action."

With video looking to become a bigger part of the digital marketing landscape, tools that offer richer functionality like Viewbix point the way forward for companies seeking new ways to turn passive viewers into active participants.