How great would it be to have control over the storyline of a movie or tv show? A few years ago, Netflix started developing interactive work aimed at kids. Quickly, they moved to create films like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Revered, where the audience can guide the narrative and decide the fate of its protagonists.
But the truth is interactive content is no longer limited to the film-making industry alone; businesses are also beginning to use the format for their marketing efforts as well. And it only makes sense when you consider that interactive videos give you a perfect platform to keep audiences engaged!
So, in this piece, we will cover the ins and outs of interactive videos, including excellent examples to give you a better sense of what they are, how they work, and how you could benefit from them in the future.
In any regular piece of video content, viewers have little more agency than deciding when to play, pause, rewind, and skip ahead. Interactive videos also enable viewers to provide input that affects the nature of the video they are watching in different ways.
In essence, interactive videos are pieces of media that make viewers and active participants – directors, if you will – of the content they are watching.
As they put the viewer at the center of the action, the communication and interaction tend to be much more immersive than with traditional video pieces. Moreover, due to their novelty and inherent immersive aspect, interactive videos provide a perfect medium to make the viewing experience much more customizable, enjoyable, and memorable.
As we’ve mentioned before, one of the things you can do with this video type is to choose the storyline you want the video to take, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks to technology like branching video software and online video streaming, interactive video development lets you create content that gives viewers a number of exciting options and choices. Like allowing them to jump to related pieces of media, find out more information about a product on screen, or even choose the angle a given scene is presented from.
Some of the functionalities you can add to your interactive video are:
So, we know that interactive video makes viewers active participants when consuming your content, giving them agency and making the whole experience far more engaging than it normally would be.
However, engagement is just one of the great benefits of this type of content. Here are a few other relevant ones.
When it comes to marketing, using the ultimate and more popular tools is one of the most effective ways to reach an audience. On the same note, consumers are craving more personalized content that makes them feel like more than mere spectators.
Interactive video has the best of both worlds, making it perfect for enhancing your audience’s experience and involvement with your brand.
Whatever your niche, you probably face stiff competition. And, of course, these competitors are trying to win over the same people you are trying to appeal to. Thus, you’ll have to find ways of standing out and getting people’s attention. Interactive videos can lend you a hand!
First, they are more fun than linear videos. On top of that, they enable people to be part of the narrative, resulting in a stronger emotional bond with your message. All in all, letting viewers get involved with the content will make your video and brand more memorable.
Video, in general, gives you a great way to improve your marketing ROI; that’s a given. And you can take this to a new level by adding interactive elements to your content.
You see, interactive video is perfect for boosting your marketing strategy; with the use of buyable links and hotspots in your content, people won’t have to stop watching the video to make a purchase. That alone can make the right interactive video into a conversion powerhouse.
As we’ve said before, including quizzes, polls, or games in your video is a great move to collect data about your customers and prospects. People will want to participate and won’t mind providing their contact information for the opportunity.
Now that you have a better idea of what interactive video is and its functionalities and benefits, it’s time to look at some tools that can help you with interactive video development.
Spott is one of the best software to create interactive shopping videos. Its more remarkable features include the possibility to add clickable sections, tags to elements, call to action, and embedded links on your video. Its prices range from a free version to a monthly corporate subscription of around $500.
This platform allows you to add interactive hotspots, overlays, camera switching, and 360-degree experiences. Moreover, you can include branching functions so people can choose the path they want the video to take.
The platform also allows you to embed your video to your website or drop it to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and it offers metrics and analytics to track your video’s performance.
With this platform, you’ll be able to add buttons to your video, like Subscribe or Buy Now. You can also collect information from your audience and ask them questions while they are watching the video to better understand people’s interests and objectives.
On top of that, Mindstamp allows you to measure viewer engagement with reporting tools. It offers three different plans and starts at 19$ per month.
By now, you already know a lot of the basics (and not so basics) of interactive videos. But what better way to understand the format’s potential than to see it in action?
Here are a handful of excellent interactive video examples for you to learn and get inspired by!
Oreo gives viewers an interactive behind-the-scenes tour to the world that inspires the new filled cupcake flavored Oreo cookies. This 360-degrees video showcases a fantasy Willy Wonka-type factory where all the magic takes place. It works because it attracts all types of audiences and gives them a delicious insight into their product.
This video presents Gigi Hadid’s eyewear collection for Vogue and it showcases the products in action. Moreover, it showcases how to use hotspots for each pair of glasses so you can see the price and even make a purchase in real-time. It works because it’s simple.
Similar to the previous one, this video presents different products in action. As people watch the video, they can click on the button on each product and interact with it in different ways. For instance, they can read the product description, purchase, and go back to the video.
In this fun video, we can watch people’s reactions to what they unexpectedly see in the bus shelter, which shows the craziest and unexpected visuals. Pepsi excels at making this experience memorable for its audience!
This interactive video, made for mobile, walks customers through the different features and navigation buttons for the 2020 Elantra. It showcases an interactive menu that prompts people to choose which features they want to learn about. It also includes a button to book a test drive.
Netflix uses this video to promote the also interactive series You vs. Wild. It starts with the search of three questions at Google. Then, you have to decide to answer or decline a call from the host, Bear Grylls. Depending on the option you choose, it takes you to another video.
Netflix does a great job at keeping people interested in what’s coming and letting them take the lead in the video outcome.
With this choose-your-own-adventure style video, P&G enables viewers to try different variations. First, they can choose their protagonist. Then, they can select a type of clothing and see different issues like stains and spillages. Lastly, Ariel comes to the scene and solves the problem.
This video is a great example of how you can address your audience’s pain points and provide them with a solution using interactive elements.
With new digital trends emerging every day, staying up to date it’s imperative. Interactive video is one of the newest arrivals in media and content marketing, which means you’ll want to keep an eye on the style and try and incorporate it into your marketing efforts.
When done right and with the right tools, interactive videos will help you leave a greater impact on your audience and improve your ROI.
The creative options are endless; just make sure to develop unique experiences for your prospects and customers! Put viewers in the driver’s seat, and we promise you they won’t forget your brand. Good Luck!