The Swirling Tail of Interactivity - Google's Attempt to Increase Purchases Through Interactivity

Recently Google has beta released in its new Swirl 3D display ad format aiming to offer brands and users a more engaging and interactive ad experience. According to eMarketer, in 2018 68% of digital media time was spent on mobile and as result in 2019, mobile ad spend grew by 38% from the previous year to reach a 100 billion USD!

In essence, Swirl allows advertisers to add 3D interactive elements to their mobile ads, allowing potential customers to rotate a product and zoom in and out etc. to “test” or at least qualify a product prior to committing to a transaction.

Why do I find this interesting? As a specialist in engagement and purveyor of interactive video, this demonstrates a “leaning in” firstly to an improved user experience and secondly to providing users a choice of experience or access to information on their terms through an interactive, rich and immersive medium. In other words, this provides further evidence that the Gang of Four are embracing a move (at scale) from static and linear content and purchase experiences to interactive and immersive ones i.e. Greater user led immersion = higher engagement and increased transactions / revenue.

What does it mean to you? Even if your business isn’t product based (or at least not in the context of being able to build a 3D interactive model of a physical product), how can you improve the user experience from an access perspective - what additional relevant (to them) content, information or otherwise can be used to build a taxonomy.

Also, how can “rich media” experiences can be further enhanced to provide an immersive experience, provide the aforementioned user relevant access to move away from a static or linear experience – instead of just talking to your audience, how can you provide them with relevant info and content and allow them to access it on their terms.

This approach can be applied to general content and thought leadership – such as using live video, adopting interactivity to provide greater access and incentivising audiences to take part, join the conversation, interact or contribute.

Like interactive video, 3D functionality, 360 videos etc are still in relatively early adoption phases and some of the social platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn can be limiting in their functionality and flexibility. There’s still plenty of options and wiggle room in your content and digital marketing delivery to differentiate your product, brand and messaging through an immersive, interactive experience. I can assure you from experience that when a curated journey is provided through an optimised user experience with a sprinkling of incentives, engagement is always going to be maximised.