What is Interactive Video? (Ultimate Guide & Resources)
What is an Interactive Video?
An interactive video is a type of digital media that mixes a traditional video with interactive elements.
Traditional video (also called linear video) only allows for a few simple interactions: play, pause, fast forward, and rewind.
Interactive videos play just like a traditional video, but they include clickable hotspots for users to interact with. It’s similar to navigating a website or smartphone app.
Some common features of interactive videos are:
- Clicking to reveal hidden information
- Dragging the screen 360 degrees to look around an environment
- Clicking through to product pages
- Making in-the-moment decisions for training purposes
- Choosing between different scenario paths for a personal adventure
- Answering in-video quiz questions
- Participating in questionnaires
- Playing interactive games
When watching a traditional video, users can sit back and watch passively. Interactive videos require users to actively pay attention for the entire duration of the video. It completely changes the video-watching experience.
From passive to active, interactive videos are much more effective at engaging, entertaining, and teaching.
Interactive Video For Marketing
Traditional video continues to be a key marketing priority, with 92% of marketers stating that video is an important part of their strategy for the upcoming year.
When used properly, video is a proven tool to boost web traffic, increase social engagement, and drive conversion.
How does interactive video compare?
While just 21% of marketers use interactive video today, this innovative digital media has a bright future in marketing.
Interactive video has been shown to improve click-through rates, drive consumer engagement, and increase video view time. It allows marketers to create highly personalized experiences for each target persona.
In a modern market where 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after a personalized experience, interactive video may be the media of the future.
In 2020, Facebook launched an interactive video option on its advertising platform. Featuring interactive polls, augmented reality, and playable ads, Facebook’s hope is to create more engaging ad experiences for those browsing their app.
Examples of interactive video for marketing:
Newton Running – Choose a Running Shoe
Key Marketing Statistics
- Interactive video deliver click-through rates as high as 20%
- Interactive video drives up to 3x more consumer engagement than linear video.
- Interactive video advertisements can boost viewing time by 47%.
- Interactive video is up to 32% more memorable than traditional video.
- 78% of marketers that used interactive video, said it was an effective strategy.
- 36% of all video marketing content produced is interactive video.
- Viewers spend 44% longer watching interactive videos compared to traditional video.
- 88% of marketers feel that interactive video advertising is a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Interactive Video For Training
Training videos have been around for decades. And recently has become one of the preferred mediums for delivering corporate training. It’s flexible, consistent, and offers a powerful learning opportunity at a reduced cost to in-person training.
The problem with traditional video is its passivity. Learners tasked with watching a training video must be highly motivated to continue. There is no engagement. No decision making. Not a significant degree of learning occurring in the moment.
How does interactive video compare?
Interactive video is perhaps most effective for uses in learning and corporate training. They allow the audience to have complete control over their learning experience. They can make real-world decisions. Then learn if that decision was correct or could have been improved next time.
We’ve long heard that personalized learning is the future. Interactive video provides one step closer to personalizing the learning experience for all.
Not only is the training experience more engaging, it’s also much more trackable than traditional video. Software providers like WIREWAX provide up to 120 data points to track user engagement.
Examples of interactive video for training:
Radisson Hotel Company – How to Deliver a Great Guest Experience
Interactive Video For Entertainment
Beyond 3D and special effects, there hasn’t been much innovation in the movie industry since the 1960’s. Movie experiences are all passively viewing a screen without any interaction from the audience.
In 2018, Netflix changed this. With an experiment with their Black Mirror TV series, Netflix launched an interactive TV episode called Bandersnatch. Self denoted as an “interactive odyssey,” the episode began as a traditional video, just like any other episode of Black Mirror.
A few minutes in, everything changed. When the main character is deciding which cereal to eat for breakfast, the video pauses. A few buttons come on the screen. As a viewer, you get to decide if he eats Sugar Puffs or Frosties. The decision you make leads the rest of the story down a different path.
Although this episode won an Emmy in 2019 for Outstanding Television Movie, Netflix hasn’t made any new attempts to create an interactive movie.
Media and technology company, Eko, has been experimenting with interactive video entertainment for the past few years. They have a free library of interactive videos, purely for entertainment. Check out what’s trending in the world of choice-driven entertainment.
Not only are they a media studio, but they also have an online tool for users to create their own interactive video. Try out Eko Studio here.
Examples of interactive video for entertainment:
- Major Lazer – Know No Better: https://eko.com/v/major-lazer?autoplay=true
- Epic Night: https://eko.com/shows/the-choice-is-yours/epic-night/part-1/
- Netflix – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch: https://www.netflix.com/title/80988062
Software to Create Your Own Interactive Videos
If you’re looking to create your own interactive videos, you may have to get creative. Most of the major players in this space do not offer single user licenses. Only bulk licenses available for B2B sales. Here is the list of top software platforms for interactive video:
- Eko Studio: Eko Studio is a free and powerful online tool to make premium interactive videos. Easy to learn and easy to customize if you know a little code.
- Rapt Media (purchased by Kaltura in 2018): An industry leader in interactive video. Fully cloud-based, high-performance interactive video for successful companies. Not available for single licenses.
- WIREWAX: Another leader in the industry. At time of writing, their software is available at $1000/month.
- Cinema8: An experiential video interaction design platform that empowers video lovers to create gamified, engaging, interactive, and immersive video experiences. Not available for single licenses.
- Mindstamp: Drive action and engagement through interactive video. Add buttons, questions, hotspots, drawings and more. Starter package is less than $30/month for single users.
- Verse: Create immersive interactive content with your videos. Showcase your stories with elegant tools to empower your audience. Not available for single licenses.
- DilogR: Geared more toward a marketing audience, DilogR is an interaction design company offering quizzes, interactive videos, and more. At time of writing, basic package is less than $100/month.
- Spotful: Interactive video tools for storytellers and empowered audiences. Gives videos the power to start conversations.
- Articulate Storyline 360: While not meant only to build interactive videos, Articulate Storyline is a robust e-Learning authoring tool with a long-list of impressive features. Many of the triggers and layers will have to be custom-built, but it is possible to create beautiful scenario-based interactive videos with this software.
- Adobe Captivate: Similar to Storyline, Captivate is another powerful e-Learning tool by Adobe. Creating an interactive video will take some customization. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to design some incredible learning programs.
About the Author:
Andrew DeBell is a learning experience strategist and content developer on the customer education team at Atlassian. Connect with him on LinkedIn for more.