The ‘future’ of online content. A bold claim to make. In the past, that meant a catchy headline and striking image. Content needs to evolve … but how? The simple answer is interactive content. We’ve seen strides in this field — bandwidth goes up, marketing budgets shift online and users demand more. This brings us to Superhoop’s innovative new product — a touchable video technology called ‘Hoops’.
Three months ago…
I was asked by friend and photographer, Edmund Fraser, to join the Superhoop team. He had spent years experimenting with bullet time photography and had teamed up with developer Gianluca Trombetta and growth hacker Yaniv Mazor to build a platform capable of turning his three-dimensional shots into interactive video files. They soon realised the greater potential. Before I accepted Edmund’s proposal, I wanted to understand how Hoops are different.
Defining interactive content
My initial research was surprising. Many sources were confused as to what interactive content constitutes. Mind maps, quizzes and infographics are often bundled together with gated content such as E-books and white papers as interactive. Compared to Hoops, none of these technologies feel interactive.
I asked Google, what does interactive mean? It revealed: ‘Allowing a two-way flow of information between a computer and a computer-user; responding to a user’s input.’
Seemingly, everything constitutes interactive. I mean literally everything in the digital realm. Opening up finder, Googling, scrolling through Facebook … anything!
The online marketing community assumes (rightly!) that a user has to be active rather than passive to get value. However, choosing to engage with a mind map to discover information or pushing up on a trackpad to explore a PDF rarely gets someone excited about the prospect of interaction.
Hoops are different, but how?
We found that the real magic of interaction was the second part of the above definition: ‘…responding to a user’s input.’
This is vastly different because it suggests users need to engage the content before it responds. And this is what separates Hoops from other “interactive” content. Unlike a mind map or an infographic, your engagement matters and actively defines your viewing experience. As opposed to just making it comprehensible, they transform the content entirely and give each user a unique experience.
With that cleared up, we wanted to see if Superhoop could also address the current flaws in content marketing today.
The Problem: Advertising is everywhere.
Consumers are starting to avoid content rather than engage with it and it’s easier than ever before to skip or block ads.
The transition from print to digital has meant brands no longer have someone creating valuable content to surround their ads. As a result, social feeds are the equivalent of a magazine full of ads, with little content hooks to interest people in the first place.
Today, brands are looking for new ways to provide audiences with content they can engage with. They want to know the content they publish works whilst not spending a fortune on advertising. They want to discover new ways to stand out against competitors, maximise their exposure and ultimately drive sales.
So — is Superhoop the future of interactive content?
Hoops guarantee visually engaging content with a user-retention rate of 30 seconds and more. For brands looking to engage their audience online Hoops is an essential tool. And the remarkability, exposure and user engagement metrics far outweigh the current standards of static imagery and stock photos. In comparison to video content, Hoops can bring new life to existing content, in a 1-day turnaround and at a price as little as £200. For those who follow the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) Hoops are far and away the standout victor.
Brands — What you need to know now.
The first place we launched Hoops was on Vice. And the metrics we gathered showed that people were spending over 30 seconds on each Hoop. This means a Hoop containing some form of branding can sometimes expect to receive 15x return on the exposure compared to a static visual. From an audience perspective, Hoops are visually stimulating, rewarding to reveal, and gratifying to play with. Meaning that if the content is high-quality, there is a high chance your brand will be remembered.
With no external promotion, Hoops received 150,000 views over the launch weekend on Vice. It was clear that audiences were talking about and sharing the content.
We’re currently charging £200 per hoop, with reductions on bulk purchases. At that low a cost, it is very possible for brands to create new content. We can also use your existing content to recreate a Hoop (Absolut) that has proven to be highly engaging across social platforms and microsites.
4. Stand Out
So far Hoops are virtually unused. Any brand or agency that uses this new medium will stand out. When they become a ubiquitous format, which we expect they will, the ability to standout will be found through their limitless creative potential and application possibilities. Featuring Hoops within written content is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the format’s potential.
5. Driving Sales
Hoops can be used to drive sales in much the same way any other content can. Traditional product demonstrations, or call to action reveals, are just two of hundreds of ways the Hoops can be used to push sales.
Because we run the Hoops on external servers, we’re able to track all the metrics and provide detailed breakdowns of engagement to help brands more effectively identify which content converts best and provides most value.
As part of our culture at Superhoop, we believe in the integrity of online content and feel the best way to make the format popular, is to make Hoops synonymous with value. To us, that is what the future of content marketing is all about.
It’s said that the best way to predict the future is to create it and at Superhoop we’re excited about that future. Soon the platform will be seen all over the web and as we work every day to continue improving our product, we hope to be a catalyst of innovation for interactive content.
We’re keen to hear from anyone who likes (or dislikes) what we’re doing and we’re offering a free Hoop to anyone who wants one. Simply get in touch via our Contact Form in the top right and we’ll get you hooped up.