Interactive Video Is Redefining Engaging Content: Here’s How to Do It

Interactive video is popping up on every major social media and entertainment platform. Major brands and marketers are finding that a passive audience can become engaged users of carefully crafted content through this new media form.

Read on to learn how interactive video can transform your content and benefit your business, agency, or startup!

What is Interactive Video?

Although you’ve probably already seen or even interacted with an interactive video, the term is still fairly unfamiliar. Interactive video is a new form of media that many top brands are using in order to engage their audience and reach certain marketing goals.

While traditional video is a completely passive experience. You press play, the content starts, you watch, the content stops. An interactive video inspires engagement in viewers. Users click, drag or scroll as prompts come up on the screen asking for input. Some of these prompts include:

  • Hotspots – These are clickable buttons that can take viewers to a separate web page or reveal content directly, such as pricing.
  • 360 views – The user can drag the screen within a video frame to see all around.
  • Data inputs – Form fields where the viewer can input their comment, age, name, etc.
  • Branches – Paths a viewer can choose from to decide the next scene they view.
  • Quizzes – A combination of buttons and branching to reveal a result at the end of the video.

By incorporating any number of these elements within a video, you’re crafting a more entertaining, engaging experience for viewers. It’s a form of marketing that allows viewers to become a part of your brand story, making it a more memorable experience.

In fact, interactive video ads boosted viewing time by a whopping 47%.

Interactive Video with YouTube

YouTube is probably the most popular online platform when it comes to interactive video. It’s no wonder, since they added annotation capabilities all the way back in 2008.

Although in 2017 they removed the ability to create annotations, there are now numerous ways to add interactivity to your video on this popular platform. They include:

  • Cards – These are content blocks you can place anywhere in a video. They create a hotspot that can link to other videos, playlists, or your YouTube channel.
  • End screens – These are exactly like cards, but only occur at the very end of a video to promote further engagement.
  • Call-to-action overlays – These can only be utilized with paid video content. They are pop-ups that can link to your website, not just other places within YouTube.
  • Shopping cards – These are only allowed in paid video ads as well. They are e-commerce pop-ups that allow viewers to purchase products seen in the video.
  • Auto end screens – These end screens generate automatically, so you don’t have to create them manually each time. They’re also only allowed in paid YouTube videos.

Crafting an Interactive Video

Whether you choose to host an interactive video on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, there are a few principles to keep in mind no matter which platform you use.

1. Storytelling Concept

This is the most important aspect of your video. Your concept serves as the foundation of your video and the goals you want to accomplish.

Have one clear, concise marketing goal in mind as you craft your storyline. Are you looking to boost sales? Want a more robust mailing list? Your marketing goal will direct the calls to action throughout the video.

Lastly, choose a storyline that doesn’t require too much backstory in order to make sense to viewers.

2. Create the Outline

After you have the storyline decided, you need to decide how many parts you want your interactive video to be split. In the case of YouTube, instead of one video, your interactive video is a series of separate videos that are linked together through cards.

The easiest way to create your outline is to utilize a flowchart. Keep in mind the maximum length of time you want your video to play, along with your storytelling concept to keep things simple.

While you want viewers to be engaged, you don’t want them to feel confused and lost in the weeds – or at the worst, annoyed by your interactive video.

3. Hire Collaborators

At this point, it’s recommended to find professionals who can craft your video with exactly your vision in mind. They can help you hone your story and outline so that you know you have something engaging and memorable.

Depending on which platforms they’re familiar with, they can create the annotations, quizzes, data inputs, and more in places that make the most sense and draw the most engagement from viewers before they lose interest.

4. Set Deadlines

There should be clear deadlines in place for each stage of the production of your video. Everyone should know what their tasks are and the amount of time needed to complete each task. It’s your job to ensure all the professionals you’re working with are on the same page.

Engaging with Viewers

By now you probably recognize the benefits of interactive video. Through engaging, fun content, passive viewers become engaged users of your content.

Depending on your specific marketing goals, these can be more people to lead through your sales pipeline, heightening brand awareness, growing your mailing list, or people who can potentially become interested in a cause you’re trying to bring awareness to.

Ready to work with professionals who create videos that inspire and drive action? Contact Viva Media today for a custom quote on your interactive video project idea!

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