Interactive Video: Is It The Next Big Thing?

Interactive Video: Is It The Next Big Thing?

You may have noticed interactive video being utilised recently by major brands including Netflix, Disney and Nike. For video marketing we believe this could be a real game changer in seeking to make brand content more relevant and engaging. In this article we will discuss interactive video and how it could help brands differentiate and build loyalty.

What is interactive video?

When it comes to video, it seems that ‘interactive’ is a buzzword on the rise. We think this is because it is more personal and engaging than regular linear video. Interactive video can involve anything that gets the audience directly involved. Obvious examples are 360 degree video or click through stories in which the audience makes the decisions in defining their own content journey.

Why should brands be using interactive video?

If you’re going to spend significant budget on video, then why not do everything you can to ensure you engage your audience? What better way to stand out than by directly involving your audience in the viewing experience?

The internet is awash with masses of content and video is a major part of that – the good, the bad and the ugly. In our experience, not all customers are prepared to sit through a 3 minute video to find what they are looking for. Time is precious, so if there is a way to lead the viewer more directly to where they want to be, then it has to be taken seriously. We need to give viewers the information they want, when they want it and in the order that they want it. That’s where interactive video comes into its own.

This is statistically proven when you consider that interactive video generates twice the conversion rates of passive content (50wheel). Video no longer needs to be a one size fits all medium. With interactive capabilities we can tailor the story to fit specific audience tastes.

Interactive video examples

There are numerous ways to use interactive video in order to develop your brand. We have selected some good examples here, which utilise tools such as branching and hotspots. Hotspots are clickable boxes added to videos that allow the user to choose what they want to see. A hotspot action can be anything from taking you to an external web page, to simply moving you to a different section or layer in the video.

An example of a well executed interactive video using hotspots are these children’s party ideas produced by Walmart.

Another way of creating interactive content is branching. This involves creating different pathways to let the user make their own choices. Netflix recently used branching successfully in Black Mirror’s interactive special ‘Bandersnatch’.

360 degree or VR is another way to create inspiring and powerful interactive video. This works especially well to capture destinations such as this recent TMC production for the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

For a great way to personalise your interaction with your following, you could try data input or quizzes. Data input is simply where the viewer inputs details such as their name to customise the content. Quizzes can also be great ways to find out more about your audience and are often used by large brands including Buzzfeed. They are personal and therefore welcomed by the audience and can provide great insights and data on your customers.

Another example of engaging interactive video is this Honda advert, which has an impressive average viewing time of 3 minutes.

How to use interactive video in your marketing plan?

The magic of interactive video is that it is so customizable. It can be tailored to suit any company need. Videos made using branching can be particularly useful for staff training. They are not only engaging for the viewer, but useful for your business as you can look at the clicks and therefore gain insights on where to focus in future training.

Hotspots are used for retail and e-commerce advertising mainly, but are also an amazing way of delivering varied information. One way this could work well is if you were to use it for an interactive tour for a hotel or premium property. You could add different branches for bedrooms, restaurant, spa, meetings  etc. The customer would be able to jump directly to what they are interested in. This would allow the information to be tailored entirely to your customers needs.

Here at TMC we believe interactive video is a great way to give customers what they really want. We are currently working on a number of interactive video projects and can’t wait to share them – watch this space. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.