What are Interactive Videos and Why Should You be Using Them?
Interaction can be done using clicking, typing or simply moving a camera angle by moving your head in a VR video.
Interactive Videos: A Definition
An interactive video is defined by the user’s ability to interact directly with the content. Interaction can be done using clicking, typing or simply moving a camera angle by moving your head in a VR video. There are numerous different types of interactive video, as well as many reasons that they’re used, and they’ve grown in popularity a lot over the past 5-10 years.
At their most reductive, an interactive video requires some kind of input from the viewer. That input can be minimal, such as a single few clicks, or it can be major, such as making several different choices that branch out and create whole different narratives.
They can be long, short, creative, live-action, animated and feature a whole host of creative and practical features. In short, an interactive video is the future of marketing, of e-learning and of entertainment.
What are the Benefits of Interactive Videos?
There are several benefits to using interactive videos, which vary depending on the purpose and audience.
Some major benefits include:
- Increase in engagement
- Increase in click-through rates for websites
- Improved attention increases fact retention
But, how do interactive videos achieve these benefits? They do so by:
- Being fun and engaging
- Being tailored to a specific audience
- Utilising interactive tools and features to suit purpose
- Being well written and well made
Because of these benefits, interactive videos can be used in the world of marketing, e-learning, gamification and many more. You can use interactive videos to collect market data, market your product, service or brand, raise brand awareness and portray the brand image you want. You can also use it to successfully teach people about a specific subject and ensure they have a better chance of retaining the information.
Who is Using Interactive Videos?
There are a great number of individuals and companies who are all utilising the wonders of interactive marketing. For the last few years, more an more people have jumped on the interactive video bandwagon, recognising the array of value it can bring for their business or cause.
Most of the people who are using interactive videos are brands who want to showcase their products, services or even just enhance their brand image with fun and quirky videos that people can engage with.
However, it’s not just people who want to sell something that are using interactive videos, there are many sectors who enjoy the benefits.
From learning institutes and musicians to recruitment companies and charities, or even individuals who want to create something wonderful. They’re all a part of the interactive video revolution and have been busy creating some fantastic interactive masterpieces.
What Can I Use an Interactive Video For?
One of the big reasons people use interactive video is because of its potential in the marketing world. With so many different options and styles, brands are able to portray their message much more clearly through the use of interactive tools, while also being one of the most engaging ways to communicate with your audience available.
From big brands to small, there are some big hitter getting involved with interactive video in order to further their marketing efforts and appeal to younger audiences. Maybelline, Honda and many more are breaking through the wall of boring linear videos or mainstream digital marketing to include interactive tools and features in order to further their efforts.
Interactive videos are also a great tool for gathering data about your customers or potential customers. With a more engaging approach, users are more likely to pay attention to video and give you more useful, useable data. Not to mention the fact that if you make it fun, more people will participate, giving you a much larger data set than if you were to use traditional methods.
Questions are the key to market research, asking what people like, what they don’t and how they go about their daily lives are key in gathering the data you need. Interactive video offers a fun and creative way to do this. You can create a narrative that requires input from the viewer, requiring them to answer questions about certain things so you can learn more about them.
In this modern, digital age, brands aren’t just marketing their products or services, they’re marketing themselves as well. Younger and more avid internet users are almost numb to the traditional methods of marketing, where brands just simply tell you how great they are and why. They need to be shown. They need to build trust and relate to a brand that they feel has a benefit to society and gels with who they are.
That’s where interactive videos can help. The interactive, engaging nature means that brands can show viewers what they stand for and who they are in much more engaging way than linear video. It allows for more creativity and a better way to tell a story.
Take Asos for example, the clothes company who creating a simple interactive video that allows viewers to simply change the colour scheme. The colour change results in props and clothes all being in that one colour as the models pose in the fun and quirky scene.
Another way that interactive videos are being utilised is in the world of e-learning. With attention spans getting shorter and more young people flocking to consume content on the internet, interactive videos create a fun and engaging platform for institutes and companies to teach learners about key topics.
Interactive videos can be a great recruitment tool for recruitment companies and brands. The opportunity to show potential candidates the work environment while also testing their ability to deal with certain situations means that more candidates can be placed in companies that fit them better, while more companies can reduce the number of underperforming staff by heading them off at the pass.
Take Allianz, for example, the big financial company who put out a recruitment video with interactive features. The video shows a staff member’s first day on the job as they’re guided around and taught by another staff member. However, there are several things that go wrong throughout the day, that the viewer has decide what to do about. Their interactive video actually scores candidates based on the options they choose and the stock they decide to buy at the end.
The gamification aspect of interactive videos can really help recruiters to find the perfect candidates for their job openings.
What are the Best Examples of Interactive Videos?
That very much depends on your definition of “best”. Interactive videos, like all creative media, are largely subjective. However, some are more successful than others, and the ones who have the most success, measured by viewing time and/or click-through rates are the ones who best understand the audience they’re appealing to.
For instance, the Honda interactive video saw viewing times of over 4 minutes, which is a lot higher than industry standard, and Maybelline’s, simple and interactive mascara tutorial gave them a click through rate that was more than 10 times the average for the industry.
Why Interactive Videos are the Future?
The world is digital. It has been for some time now, but the innovations in technology and the new and exciting ways we can consume media mean that the digital age is ever expanded and ever growing.
Millennials grew up during the birth of the digital age whereas it’s all our latest generations will ever know.
The days of traditional media may not be entirely dead, but it’s a known statistical fact that younger generations consume more content on the internet than they do via traditional media. It’s also known that they have shorter attention spans, require more effort to build brand trust and the gaming revolution means that they need more and more to keep them entertained and engaged.
All of these things combined mean that not only will interactive video be the future; they have to be.
Who Watches Interactive Videos?
Everyone. However, the data shows that interactive videos are bigger among the millennial generation, and many company’s and brands who want to appeal to the millennial and Gen X audiences are using interactive videos as a way to do that.
It’s not just millennials though, there are other age groups from a range of incomes, genders and all over the world who are watching interactive video. Interactive video isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing, the endless realm of possibility that lies within the interactive features and creative input means that you can create interactive videos for almost anyone, it’s more about who is using websites, social media and other platforms where the videos can be shared.
What are the Different Types of Interactive Video?
Gamification is the act of allowing users or viewers to perform actions that give them a score or can directly lead to consequences. Many interactive videos in the world of recruitment or even marketing use gamification in order to create fully immersive and engaging experiences.
With the gaming industry booming, it makes sense for brands to use gamification of interactive video as a fun and simple way to connect with their audience. Gone are the days where you need to create full flash games, or even console games, almost anyone can gamify an interactive video now – and many are.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The classic interactive video style, choose your own adventure, has its roots in literature. There were several choose your own adventure books way before interactive video was a thing, and the birth of Bandersnatch and other high-production, mainstream content has made this style of video even more popular.
It's entertaining, can be used to send a message and is even a great feature to have in e-learning videos.
Why Should I use Interactive Videos?
Interactive videos are the future, they’re a way to connect to audiences who aren’t interested in mainstream media or are harder to reach. When used as part of a full content and digital marketing strategy, interactive video can sit alongside social media marketing to create fun and vibrant ecosystems that show your audience who you really are and what you stand for. This trust building is essential in marketing.
But, it’s not just marketing that utilises interactive video. No matter who you are or what your brand does, interactive video is a way to hold people’s attention for longer, gain valuable information and present yourself in just the right light, all while giving them the opportunity to learn.
What Makes Interactive Video Better Than Linear Video?
Quite simply put, interactive videos are better because they require input from the viewer. With the need to interact with the video, viewers need to pay more attention to what’s happening, and attention is the first stage of memory storing- meaning that interactive videos are more memorable than linear videos.
You are also able to tell a story in a much more complex way, have more creativity and let the viewer feel as though they are a part of the story and experience. All of these combined means that interactive videos give people a better impression of your brand, teach people more effectively and are more memorable.
You can give people the whole new experiences and a sense of control over the narrative. You can create complex branches and worlds for people to explore. You can portray complex ideas such as relationships and have a higher emotional impact than in linear videos.
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