The Netflix movie titled ‘Bandersnatch’ garnered a lot of praise besides having a whole fandom – all due to its interactiveness. The movie is an interactive film in the science fiction anthology series Black Mirror and is a choose-your-own-adventure-style movie having 5 different endings. Sounds mind-blowing, right?
We wonder how it is possible, but well, it is. Bandersnatch is written using an open-source platform called Twine which allows for interactive fiction and narrative-heavy games but can play only on devices with a certain level of technological sophistication so as to deliver a proper interactive experience.
In short, interactive video is the next hot thing in the market, and the coming days of technological revolution will see them flourishing like no one’s business. Read on to find out how an interactive video can make a difference and what we have in store for us.
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Interactive Video: Definition and Impact
Interactive Video, also referred to as IV, is a type of a digital video meant to support user interaction. Simply put, interactive videos are videos which your audience can interact with. This means you won’t simply be traversing through a linear journey of ‘skip,’ play and pause but your videos will have several different paths which users can navigate as per their own preference.
Interactive videos are not only found as an extremely handy resource for markets, but it also is an extremely diverse medium in general and is suited to any form of business.
An interactive video plays like a regular video file but has clickable areas or hotspots which perform an action when you click on them. On clicking a hotspot, the video might jump to a different part of a video or open another video file altogether.
Such videos are common on the popular video-sharing platform called YouTube, which allows you to select for one or more options while the video is playing.
At the end of it, you might be asked as to which character you liked best in the video which would subsequently open a new video or give out information about the character you liked. Other examples of interactive videos are interactive tutorials, choose your own adventure videos etc.
Benefits of an Interactive Video
There is a reason interactive videos have become a game-changer in the digital world – from a common man to a CEO – no one can underestimate its importance. Given below are a few benefits of an interactive video and why you should add it to your digital toolbox.
Currently, both brands and the masses are riding high on the wave of interactive videos. Why? Because the best marketing strategies always incorporate media which consumers want to interface with, which is at present interactive videos.
Brands are producing interactive videos at a high rate of 36% of all video content, while consumers are responding to it with equal gusto and viewers have been known to watch them 445 times longer than linear videos.
You can track an interactive video’s engagement, views and success rate quite easily. This used to be a problem for several people earlier who had difficulty in assessing the impact caused by their videos due to the absence of data showing a correlation between video activity and conversions.
Interactive video enables powerful metric tracking and helps you track clicks within a video, collect data through video form fields among others.
Also, there is no dearth of platforms which can help you achieve the said objective. You have Wirewax, which is a leading interactive video creation platform which lets you track a wide range of metrics from the moment a video is pushed and published from your end, including dwell time, interactions, shares and ‘add to carts’.
Rapt is another cloud-based interactive video creation and publishing tool possessing a built-in analytics dashboard for tracking user demographics information, plays, user paths, etc. Other alternatives include DilogR and Spotful.
3) Improves user engagement
It is easy to get distracted while viewing a linear video, since 87% of viewers use more than one device at a time, which means you are already competing for your audience’s attention.
An interactive video, will instead, transform passive viewing into active viewing and create a game-like experience for you which leads to the audience being hooked to the video and producing an exponential increase rate of 59% in user activity, which is HUGE.
4) They use gamification
Interactive video enables marketers to gamify a video experience, something which is impossible to do in linear videos. This technique is referred to as branching which is basically creating multiple content pathways for a user to let them create a unique experience of their choice.
5) Increased conversion rates
Interactive videos have a significantly higher conversion rate in comparison to digital video ads, especially banner ads, YouTube annotation ads, and Google display ads convert at a rate of less than 1%. Notably, an interactive video converts at a staggering rate of over 11% surpassing all other videos.
6) Pleasant, delightful and memorable
Since one can engage with the content offered in an interactive video, a user will be more likely to remember the brand of the video. Interactive video ads are reportedly 32% more memorable than linear video ads. Also, simply put, they are in general more delightful to watch than a linear video since they come across as engaging stories.
Interactive videos are great due to an amalgamation of numerous factors. They are intentionally designed bearing the user in mind and the end result is focussed on pleasing the audience.
Interactive videos use interactivity to enhance the user experience and not simply to show off.
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Steps to Create an Interactive Video on YouTube
1) To wrap your head around this on a basic level, simply head to YouTube and check out their ‘Annotations’ tool.
2) Log in to YouTube to get started and select the video you wish to make interactive. Post that you can hit the ‘End Screen & Annotations’ icon. You will automatically be taken to the ‘End Screen’ tab, so make sure you select ‘Annotations’ and you’re all set to make your first interactive video!
3) Select a frame and click ‘Add Annotation.’ You will see a drop-down menu with options to choose from. These annotations are referred to as ‘hotspots, which are the clickable elements of the video, the crucial parts which make the video interactive.
Post adding annotation, one should link it up to another video. This should be done so that when users click on the hotspot, they are taken to the next video and can continue their interactive journey.
4) Please note that YouTube Annotations is free but doesn’t work on mobile. Therefore, in order to make a truly interactive video, you need to partner with a software solution.
The Exponential Rise in Video Consumption
A recent Forbes report says that video marketing in 2018 has been exploding as a way to reach customers. Marketing via videos is viewed as the biggest and an unstoppable way to reach people. The Instagram IGTV feature, Facebook’s video profile picture feature or the Vlogs which are heavily trending these days – you name a great product and it comes with a default video feature!
Even Indians have taken to watching online videos more than before, with the average time spent by Indian watching videos online risen to 52 minutes per day in the year 2018 as compared to a mere 2 minutes in 2012. Reports further say that it is expected to increase further to 67 minutes per day till 2019.
A report titled Online Video Forecasts 2018 said consumers globally would spend nearly 67 minutes per day watching videos in 2018, which is higher than the 56 minutes of 2017. It is further expected to go a notch higher to 84 minutes a day for an average user by 2020. Notably, users watch online videos on mobile phones (40 minutes in 2018) as compared to non-mobile devices.
Needless to say, global online video consumption is growing faster than overall media consumption and is further expected to rise by an average of nine minutes a day each year to 2020.
Videos: An Integral Part of Marketing Strategy
Content is undoubtedly king and to market is an absolute necessity in the present times. It is one of the most effective and useful digital marketing strategies for a brand to build better audience engagement and generate quality leads.
However, it needs visual elements for it to garner interest in its target audience and generate engagement. Facebook has long back started driving content engagement through videos, and therefore, visual content has found a new avenue for content marketers to explore to the hilt.
Content interactions are increasingly taking place via smartphones and tablets and engagement can be easily built through videos as the cost of video digital technologies is reducing by the day.
Here is why you should consider including videos in your marketing strategy:
1) Better SEO Optimisation
High-quality and relevant video content can lead to a significant improvement in the SEO of your site with more traffic in terms of homepage visitors. Nearly 65% of decision-makers in businesses watch your video and head to your website while 39% get in touch with a vendor post watching a branded video.
When videos are added to content offerings, website, and landing pages, it is easier to increase the click-through rates and SEO value of your company. The advantage of video content which supersedes other formats is videos not relying on device responses.
Video content performs strongly on smartphones and desktops and their user-friendly format ensures better conversion rates.
2) Increases Brand Awareness
While an instructional video can be viewed highly by key-decision makers, an entertaining one is likely to sprawl across demographics.
In any case, the former could be a potential buyer and the latter would help increase your brand value, awareness, and recall, so it can be a win-win situation for you either way.
3) Improves Engagement
If you embed a video in an email or a landing page, you will find that your engagement has improved drastically.
Marketing teams can either use internal teams to manage both their email and landing page videos or can opt for Saas vendors or third-party providers to do the deed, as per their budget.
Videos can be added to emails or landing pages via YouTube, or one can embed their own videos using a URL.
4) Gets you Social Media Mentions
Videos encourage social media shares. Social networks encourage video content with their novel features. Take the example of social networking giant Facebook, which has launched 3600 Video, Live Video, and Lifestage (A Video-Centric App for Teenagers). They even launched a video sharing feature called Facebook Watch Party.
Even Instagram has put in place 60-Second Videos & Instagram Stories and Twitter has Periscope. And, YouTube is the second most popular social networking and video-sharing site in the world.
Gamification of video content is an awesome way to boost engagement. Few takeaways from successful video campaigns include videos having elegance, appeal and the ability to grab eyeballs and maintain audience engagement.
6) Adds Emotion to your Marketing
Video marketers, however, should remember that people like sharing emotions and not facts, with 76% of users saying they’d like to share branded videos within their network if they were entertaining.
Emotions are not really great ROI but the social shares can increase the traffic flow to your website and you sure can take it from there.
All in all, due to the simple accessibility, virality and inherent built-in value, video marketing is undoubtedly an outstanding way to increase brand visibility, deliver personalized content and impact the audience in real time.
They also help evoke strong emotions which helps peak both sales and brand association and brands can enjoy remarkable online attention through interactive videos which are accessible and rich in information.
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7 Best Interactive Video Examples
1) Major Lazer | Know No Better Interactive Music Video
This interactive video by English band Major Lazer called ‘Know No Better’, depicts the journey of a young boy to a famous dancer who dates his dream girl up until his stark reality where he is a shy dork.
As the video nears its end, the contrastive narratives start converging and one can see him mustering the courage to dance with his dream girl in reality but in his dream.
2) Eko | That Moment When
Interactive video startup Eko has come up with another distinctive interactive show after their hat trick of five successful shows called ‘That Moment When’, which is both hilarious and discomforting at the same time, yet doubles down on the user for participation.
The show is about a woman named Jill who runs into awkward moments at the beginning of every episode and where your job is to help her manoeuvre through them as smoothly as possible.
3) Aardman Animations | Dead Lonely (A Zombie Romance)
Aardman Animations, which is a four-time Oscar-winning production studio offers interactive video solutions to create a charming interactive film ‘Dead Lonely‘, so as to help a zombie called
Fred finds his long-lost love called Barbara in a post-apocalyptic world amid several trials and tribulations. It is akin to Bandersnatch is terms of being both entertaining and grisly, but is totally worth a watch.
4) Bob Dylan | Like a Rolling Stone Interactive Music Video
Sony Music teamed up with Eko to promote famous singer Bob Dylan’s CD Box set containing all of his 41 albums in 2013 and instead produced a highly refreshing interactive music video for ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, one of Bob Dylan’s most iconic songs.
Sony’s interactive music video allows flipping through 16 channels, ranging from shopping, history, movies, reality TV, news, cooking, fashion, sports, and game shows. Every channel features different characters lip-synching the aid sing.
Notably, Sony also included some big TV personalities in this video, like Drew Carey, Steve Levy and Jonathan and Drew Scott to make the experience even more hilarious and memorable.
5) BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland’s immersive, 360-degree video features Glen Coe, a Scottish valley and one of the most striking landscapes in the world which cuts through the ruins of an ancient volcano.
The viewers, in this interactive video, are able to experience the landscape from an intimate point of view at every possible angle which makes them feel they are actually observing the valley first-hand.
6) Disney | The Jungle Book Interactive Video
Disney, along with the Wirewax company, made this interactive video to gift their fans an inside look and the live-action version of the popular animated movie, ‘The Jungle Book.’ Fans can click on each character’s hotspot and move a slider to actually see how Disney filmed the movie.
This way, Disney can let its adoring fans into the world of one of the most compelling stories ever told by helping the media giant forge a close bond with its fans.
7) Coldplay | Ink Interactive Music Video
This famous interactive music video called ‘Ink’ will absorb you in a forlorn yet adventurous journey of a man searching for his lost love. It takes you through beautiful sceneries comprising of an evergreen forest, a bustling city, serene ocean, and the entire cosmos!
Notably, this interactive video has over a staggering 300 storylines through which you can either unite the man with his lover or make him lose her forever.
There is no dearth of ways that an interactive video can be played around with! It really takes marketing to another level through offering a participatory experience, rather than a passive one, in turn allowing consumers to become a part of the brands they love.
The aforementioned interactive video masterpieces are just a scratch on the surface and we sure will see seeing a lot of them in the near future.
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