Interactive video platforms have been revolutionizing the field of content creation and the strategy behind it. According to a 2021 Wyzowl report the use of video content from brands has increased roughly 25% over the past six years.
Interactive video platforms have also seen an increase in usage since 2021. This would explain why in early 2022, 28% of global video marketers said they currently leverage interactive videos in their content strategy after surveying more than 500 of them.
However, besides the current hype behind interactive video platforms and how this can increase engagement, let’s first deep dive into this somewhat-new interactive video technology.
An interactive video is a non-linear form of media that allows viewers to engage with the video they’re watching by clicking on hotspots, answering questions, choosing their paths, and other forms of engagement.
Despite the several different types of interactive video technology, not all interactive video platforms offer all of them. This is because interactive video platforms tend to specialize in niches or types of interactive video technology to gain expertise and nurture their background.
Interactive video platforms allow brands to create a broad range of content types with completely different purposes. In this instance, we are going to focus on the interactive video technology behind Hotspots and Branching.
Giving brands the ability to create pop-ups with further information about their products, services, and/or brand history has been a widely used format of interactive video technology. In this instance, users can click on the video based on call-to-action images they see if they would wish to interact further with that element or to know more about it.
Additionally, some interactive video platforms also give brands the ability to create branching video content so users can choose their path throughout the video. So for example, in a styling branching video, viewers would be able to choose between casual or formal shoes, and the same with other parts of a look building their own outfit. This type of interactive video technology is very useful to navigate through long-form content while keeping the viewer engaged and interested in the content.
Now that we have seen the two main types of interactive video technology, let’s see what use cases they have:
Interactive video platforms can be used to create exploratory content. The main purpose of this type of content is to enhance brand awareness as well as to increase engagement through the discovery of certain products or the gamification of the content.
In some interactive video platforms such as Smartzer, exploratory use cases could be leveraged by combining both the hotspots and the branching interactive video technology. This could be done by creating a styling path through the branching interactive technology whilst also allowing the viewers to click on the products and discover more about them or even purchase them through hotspots interactive video technology.
Interactive video for educational purposes still has lots of growth potential. When thinking of educational content it’s easy to only think about schooling. In this instance, several education centers are already exploring the use of interactive video in teaching.
However, this is not the only educational purpose we can give to interactive video technology since there are many types of education besides teaching. Brands can come up with many ways to educate their audience. This could be by giving them more information about a garment’s stylists and materials through the hotspot interactive video technology. Viewers will be able to better appreciate the cloth as well as the work and inspiration behind it.
This use case is one brands could take significant advantage of since most brands/products have a story behind them that is worth telling. Additionally, this story is unlikely to change so the video could be on the brand’s website for long periods without getting outdated.
Adding interactive video technology such as hotspots and branching would make storytelling videos widely more engaging and easier to navigate. For example, interactive video platforms allow brands to create pop-ups of specific brand milestones so if the user clicks on a specific moment of the video, they can learn more about that specific milestone or what happened with the brand in a specific year.
Lastly, the branching interactive video technology would allow brands to give the option to choose to see the brand’s story from the beginning or the 2000s for example.
Now we have seen the different use cases in which interactive video technology can be leveraged, let’s see what are the benefits of using this content format and subscribing to an interactive video platform.
Using interactive video technology for any of the use cases mentioned above can lead to better brand awareness. According to the HubSpot x PlayPlay 2023 Marketing Playbook report, content that raises brand awareness is one of the top 7 content types that produce the largest ROI.
Being able to give brand audiences an immersive experience where they can play with the content while discovering more about the company and its products or services is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness.
When it comes to engagement, interactive video platforms are a no-brainer for brands. 47% of marketers surveyed say interactive content is one of the top three video types that get the most engagement.
Interactive video technology makes viewing active instead of passive. This is a game-changer for marketers that constantly compete for users’ attention. Results have shown a 591% lift in user activity – a huge increase that is making interactive video platforms more and more popular.
Releasing this type of innovation-edge content can be highly positive to get to know the brand beyond and within its public target. Interactive video technology raises a lot of curiosity for those users that have never been in touch with this kind of content before. This can easily lead to an increase in brand awareness as well as in new customers.
Keeping in mind most of the users will have barely been in contact with interactive video technology before, this makes the experience way more unique and special and hence easier to remember in the future.
Last but not least, tracking the data and performance of the interactive video is as important as creating and distributing the video itself. Interactive video platforms such as Smartzer provide brands with fine-detail analytics about engagement rates and further detail on the click map.
Okay, you convinced me! I can see the value of interactive video technology. Where do I start to create one?
For this, you would first need to look for interactive video platforms. Interactive video technology can add a layer of interactivity to any pre-existing video. At Smartzer, through years of experience, we found out the best solution is to add this layer with tags. By simply dragging and dropping them, the tag acts like a hotspot on the video that supports interactivity through clicks. These tags can either open pop-ups with further information or jump to a specific time of the video so viewers can create their own journey.
Interactive video platforms tend to be way easier and simpler to use than people might think. In most cases, it is a similar user experience to iMovie, Apple’s default video editor.
Some brands are already all-in on this content format. Many marketers have come to realize the power of interactive video technology and how easy it is to create through interactive video platforms.
Brands like Valentino did not think twice when creating their Haute Couture runway video. They wanted to give their digital audience an immersive piece so they could also feel part of the show. Additionally, thanks to interactive video technology, and the seamless player design developed by Smartzer, they were able to add pop-ups with the inspiration and the designers behind its garment, making the experience feel more unique and appreciated.
Alternatively, automotive leaders BMW and MINI also decided to delight their digital audience with a more engaging way of discovering the features of their new cars. Viewers were able to click on the different parts of the car and get further details about them. Additionally, there was also a CTA button linking to the PDP to drive all these leads to their site.
The 2023 state of video marketing survey shows that 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, more than any of the previous years since the surveys started.
With the video market being over-crowded, interactive video technology gives marketers an ideal way to differentiate themselves from their competitors while increasing engagement with their audience.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 66% of consumers have watched video content to learn about a brand or product. Interactive video platforms allow companies to make this even easier for their audience by giving them the chance to interact with these products and learn more about them in a more engaging way.
Onboarding a new format on a company’s content strategy may come across as overwhelming at first. Brands can feel like they don’t have enough time to allocate to this.
Whether this is an overall company’s focus or marketers just want to meet their department KPIs, they will be grateful they have allocated some time to this once they see the results interactive video technology can bring to the company.
Interactive video platforms such as Smartzer make this easy and simple for brands providing them with a dedicated account manager that will be working specifically to make this process as painless as possible for marketers.
Additionally, interactive video platforms can also provide brands with best practices to make the most out of interactive video technology as well as content ideas. The latter is usually highly appreciated by brands since at the beginning they may fall into not knowing how to apply interactive video technology to existing content.
Dedicated account managers at interactive video platforms will make sure brands are aware of the full potential of the tool as well as they will ensure they never run out of inspiration by constantly providing them with examples of how other companies use interactive video technology.
In short, the benefits of onboarding interactive video technology into a brand’s content strategy can go from an increase in engagement and brand awareness to a boost in new customers and trackable data. On the contrary, the opportunity cost for brands not joining this wave of video innovation, which has only just begun, could end up being rather costly for them.
Several companies are already up and running on interactive video platforms and progressively increasing the amount of interactive content released. However, this interactive video technology is still quite new for the majority of consumers and therefore brands can still leverage the momentum of it.
Additionally, having a dedicated account manager on the interactive video platforms will immensely ease the process of including this format in an already existing content strategy.
If you want to get started or know more about how interactive video technology could fit your particular content strategy, do not hesitate to book a demo with us!