They are taking the world by storm. They may have been around for a while now, but it’s only in the last few years things really started to take off. An influx of people are using interactive videos to reach more and engage more with their audiences.
From shoppable videos to full-on branching adventures like Bandersnatch that offer a ‘choose your own’ adventure vibe, there are a world of possibilities when it comes to interactive video.
We all know that it’s great in theory. It holds people’s attention for longer, makes them feel like a part of the story and gives them a sense of authenticity about the brand that they’re interacting with. It can be used to enhance the customer experience, to teach people and to gain valuable insights into different markets and consumer groups.
But what exactly are the practical ways that you can use interactive video? Here are 10 practical examples of interactive video.
Branching videos, also affectionately known as ‘choose your own adventure’ have been around for a while. The concept was taken from the books of old that used the same mechanic. Having readers skip to certain pages depending on what they wanted to do. Branching videos work in much the same way but on a digital and much more streamlines level.
A branching video will ask the audience to make a series of choices. Each choice that is made will lead to a consequence that will be different to the one that would have been portrayed if the other choice had been selected.
They can be complicated, simple and incredibly creative in nature, with limitless possibilities as to how many individual storylines can be help in just one video. Branching videos can be practically used best for the purpose of entertainment.
They give viewers the chance to control the story, making them feel like a part of the narrative and giving them authority. This, in turn, makes it more engaging and mixed with impressive visuals and creative storylines, brands and musicians can use interactive video to create more engaging content to entice users.
Hotspots in interactive videos can be used to highlight certain areas that can be interacted with. The things you can do with the use of hotspots in your video are almost endless.
They can be used to highlight clickable areas that bring up certain information at key point during the video, they can also be used to give instructions or cause an action to occur.
The use of hotspots in videos is a great idea for a simple way to give the viewer more information in a clean, tidy and elegant way. You can have clickable areas that light up and allow users to add things into a basket, build inventories or simply offer information about the topic that the video is talking about.
It’s an engaging way to allow people to interact with your content without overwhelming them. You can focus on the main body of the video content, ensuring that it’s engaging, creative and fit for purpose, while simple using hotspots as a way to grab the viewers attention and draw it to a certain thing.
By clicking on or interacting with these hotspots that you’ve set up throughout the video, the viewer receives a wealth of information at just the right time, without having it shoved down their throats or having it interrupt or conceal any of the main video content.
Multi-view videos and interactive videos that utilise 360-degree views are an excellent way to show something off. Linear video only gives people the chance to see something from the viewpoint that it’s being shot in, whereas multi-view allows people to adjust the viewpoint throughout the video playback in order to see something from every angle.
It’s a fun and simple way to showcase a product or place and can give brands a better chance of persuading customers to purchase, visit or interact with them as a brand.
The use of multi-view is best utilised alongside VR experiences, which allow people to have fully immersive experiences as they explore your product, place or other object. It can be a more engaging version of the images that can be rotated 360-degrees, adding an element of movement to enhance engagement levels and draw the viewer in.
Multi view is an incredibly simple type of interactive video that can be incredibly effective. Giving people the sense of immersion and as though they’ve seen everything there is to see, therefore making them feel as though your brand is trusted.
Another practical example of an interactive video is one that’s been around for decades. The insertion of links into videos isn’t a new concept, just like how interactive videos as a whole aren’t new, but the introduction of better technology and a more digital age makes clickable links within videos even more valuable today than they ever been.
When it comes to inserting links into your interactive videos, you can do so at appropriate times in order to direct a viewer to products, information, other videos and almost anything you want. You can embed buttons into your videos that take people to your social channels, your website or specific pages on the web to eliminate the need for them to search for it themselves.
People love for their customer journey’s to be made shorter, and they love being given as much information as possible, especially when it comes to purchasing. Giving them a one-click journey on their way to further information, which your video has made them want to attain, only increases the chances that they will trust you as a brand and eventually convert.
5. Shoppable Video
Shoppable video is an incredibly useful tool in the world of e-commerce. With links and clickable products within the video, you can ensure that customer’s convert more easily by removing the amount of time and effort it takes them to complete a purchase.
An interactive video, or a linear style video, is great for showing off products and creating a fabulous brand image. The addition of shoppable features that allow customers to click directly onto the products that they’re being shown removes a lot of the effort associated with the customer journey. This streamlines the entire process and turns an engaging experience into one that can directly affect the level of sales gained from a video campaign.
Practical uses of shoppable videos can be seen throughout the e-commerce world, with products being displayed on-screen as part of a narrative and the user being able to click on each product to bring up more information, size options, colours, price and the option to buy. Some shoppable contents even takes you directly to a cart full of the items you’ve added during the video, further removing the friction between content and purchase.
For instance, this Modest Fashion shoppable interactive video.
6. Adaptive Quizzing
Adaptive quizzing takes the ability to ask viewers questions to the next level. An innovative cross between the branching and quiz styles of interactive video, the adaptive quiz features allows you to adapt further questions to adhere to previous answers that have been given by the user to previous questions.
This can help to personalise the experience as you gain insight, teach users something and continue to engage with them on a personal level.
Adaptive quizzing can be a useful tool to use in e-learning or market research videos that require the gathering of certain information that can be dependent on previous answers. For instance, asking a user whether they have purchased a certain item, and asking questions about that specific item or items similar to it, and skipping those further questions if the user indicates that they have not before purchased the item in question.
It streamlines the whole process of gathering information while also being useful for e-learning quizzes that test knowledge. You can also allow users to enter their own, typed-out answers to questions rather than simply choosing from pre-set options, giving you even more insight into their learning experience and customer journey.
7. Embedded Widgets
Interactive videos open up doors to an endless number of worlds that are ripe with possibility, including the ability to add widgets into your video.
Widgets are simply small sections of apps that can be embedded into almost anything. You’ll find them on your smartphone, on your PC and laptop and on most smart devices. They can tell you real-time information such as the weather, show you directions, let you read messages and much more.
These widgets can easily be embedded into videos, allowing you to give the customer easy access to information that’s relevant to the video that they’re watching. For instance, if you’re trying to tell a customer about a specific store or place, you can add a widget that allows them to, using their on-device GPS, see how far away they are from it and how they can get there.
You can do this with almost any widget, so the possibilities really are endless. You can let them contribute to message streams in real-time using chat widgets, let them see the weather in real-time for certain places, give them map information and much more.
Personalisation simply refers to making a video more personal to the person who is watching it. The person watching the video content can be addressed by name, their location can be taken into account and many other factors can be embedded into their interactive video experience.
Personalisation has many forms, and there are many ways to achieve it. Rather than simply asking them for certain information such as their name, you can pull this information from insights and previously explored content, giving them a personalised experience without any effort from them.
This is a very useful tool in interactive videos, as personalised content is known to be more effective in terms of engagement and conversion. People like it when they feel like they are having a direct conversation with a brand. They feel special, and everyone likes to feel special.
9. Live Participation
The practical example of live participation interactive video is anything but a new concept. It’s been around for decades and is probably one of the oldest and most mainstreams forms of current interactivity withing video media.
Already a huge contributing factor to broadcast content, interactive participation only works with live videos. So, videos that are streamed or broadcast live can contain ways that the audience can directly participate with the people in the videos and with the brand.
Examples include live social media streams that are displayed on screen or read out, live question and answer sessions and even gameshows that incorporate the audience as a whole other contestant. This is already being rolled out across online content, with some companies.They are offering live participation game shows, so it’s only a matter of time before it becomes much more mainstream.
Allowing the audience to participate in live videos can make them feel as though they are part of the story, making the content more engaging. You can even adapt your live video depending on viewer input. For example, letting viewers choose certain things that will happen in the live video, much like with a branching interactive video.
10. Insights And Lead Generation
One of the most forgotten gems of interactive video is the insights it can give to brands and companies who employ it. Practical examples of insights that can be gained include gathering data about the options chosen in branching videos to gain insight into how people think, consolidating personal information from interactive market research collection videos and many more.