Interactive video: the future of content marketing

In 1984 only 8% of US households had access to the internet. Now, 2.65 billion people in the world use social media. Undoubtedly, this is set to increase as 90% of the entire world’s data was created in the last two years. These astonishing facts confirm that the only way is up for the future of video content marketing technology.

Introducing interactive video

These are videos that promote interactivity. The videos include “hotspots” that perform an action when they are clicked on. The video may then display information about the product you have clicked on or direct you to a window where you can purchase the item. This video interactivity drives engagement and entices the customer increasing the chances of completing the sale.

The first examples of interactive video

Depending on the type of video, the first instances of interactivity vary. From film to music video to advert each type has a different date. All the way back in 1961, the first example of interactive film was exhibited by William Castle in his film ‘Mr. Sardonicus’. Here, the audience voted in a poll prior to the film to dictate the characters fate. Perhaps a less technological method but interactive nevertheless.

Technologically speaking, one of the first examples of interactive video commerce can be witnessed by Canadian fashion retailer  By partnering with Diplo, Iggy Azalea and FKi they created the first ever shoppable music video for their song “I Think She Ready” in 2012. The interactive video utilised ‘hotspot’ technology, so if you really wanted to buy Iggy Azalea’s unmissable, neon pink blazer you could click the item in the video and be directed to the product page. The video featured pieces from designers Givenchy, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rick Owens and Preen making the video a prime example of pioneering video content marketing.

The evolution of video content marketing

Since SSENSE and Azalea’s venture into video interactivity, even more brands are harnessing the technology provided by companies like Smartzer in ecommerce sites and advertising. Rapid tech advancements mean that everyone, regardless of skill, can create immersive, interactive video experiences to attract customers to their brand. Here are some of the ways brands have employed video content marketing and interactive video:

Volkswagen interactive video campaign with Smartzer (2019)

Example of shoppable video on the phone

Volkswagen used Smartzer’s platform to create an interactive video to advertise the new Golf R. Their customers could easily explore the car’s features to find out more and book test drives without being redirected. The interactive video was linked to Instagram Stories and In-Feed Ads.

SPP “Earth 2045” with M&C Saatchi Stockholm (2015)

Visual reference of interactive example

Here M&C Saatchi partnered with Swedish pension company SPP to deliver a thought provoking advertising campaign depicting the need for sustainable investment. By dragging left and right the customisable ad shows two versions of the future, either an ecologically advanced utopia or a derelict dystopia overwhelmed by human activity. The video campaign suggests that while the viewer can change the outcome of the ad, they can make changes within their lives to help build a sustainable future.

“Focus on the con” for the film “Focus” by Warner Bros (2015)

Warner Bros used interactive video technology to promote the film, “Focus”. The mobile friendly ad takes the consumer through a series of interactive scenarios to see if they have what it takes to be a con artist.

“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” Netflix (2018)

The interactive, “decide your destiny” film successfully incorporated video interactivity to deliver five main endings for the viewer. Although, even writer, Charlie Brooker could not agree on how many variants of these endings there actually were. The viewer clicks on the options shown on screen using their mobile device or smart TV, ultimately deciding whether the protagonist succeeds or fails, lives or dies.

The benefits of video content marketing

According to Optinmonster, video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year (2019). They also concluded that video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. Additionally, 93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media. This is largely due to the following reasons:

  • Single click product discovery and shopping. Consumers are able to shop and to discover more information about items featured in brand videos by simply clicking on them. This is particularly beneficial for the increased mobile users where easy and seamless navigation is essential.
  • Gamification of the online shopping experience driving engagement. Shoppable and interactive videos provide a new fun way to experience their content, brands see higher engagement and a new revenue channel across their digital platforms.
  • Convert a video into a revenue channel. By adding the interactive layer to their content, brands are able to convert a video that has traditionally been a top of the funnel asset to create awareness, into a format that allows for consumers to enter the purchase funnel.
  • Valuable performance and creative insights. Brands have access to detailed interaction data, building a better understanding of how their customers engage with their content across different online channels.

By observing the undeniable benefits of interactive video, it is understandable that video marketing is here to stay.