Standard video vs interactive video

More video content is uploaded online within 30 days than major US TV networks have created in 30 years. This means that brands must create video content that stands out to get noticed.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the two kinds of video formats on offer for brands.

Standard Video

  • Basic video that viewers are most accustomed to online
  • Interactions go as far as pressing “play” to start the video, pause, rewind, fast forward and restart
  • Minimal interaction, just viewing

Interactive Video

  • Viewers can interact with the content by clicking, hovering, scrolling and dragging “hotspots”
  • Videos can be shoppable with hotspots displaying product info and options to buy
  • 360 views might give the user the ability to drag the screen and see in all directions
  • Branches give users different path options allowing them to customise what they see
  • Data inputs allow users to enter information like name, age etc.
  • Quizzes combine buttons and branching to deliver an assessment and reveal a personalised result at the end of the video
  • Customers can shop live through streaming commerce, watching videos and clicking the products shown to buy in real time.

While each form of video is informative, it is beneficial to look at the key differences that set interactive video ahead of standard video.

Engaging Potential Customers

Standard Video

54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. Video is the easiest way for customers to become instantly aware of a product. Static imagery and text can work, but video tends to be far more engaging and lead to more qualified leads to e-commerce sites. Linear video can engage an audience, but may not hold a viewer for the whole duration of the video. Brands need to come up with extremely creative content to grip a potential customers attention.

With 99% of current video marketers continuing to use video in 2021 and 96% planning to increase their spend, brands really need to consider how to optimise their video content beyond flat video.

Interactive Video

Interactive video platforms can help engage a viewer for 44% longer than linear video. The clickable element immerses the viewer, making them less likely to get distracted. By gamifying the experience the viewer actually enjoys and remembers the brand content. Therefore, the viewer is encouraged to visit the brands e-commerce site to learn more or make a purchase.

Informing Potential Customers

Standard Video

Linear (standard) video can be informative through the quality of the content. However, the viewer experiences it on a basic level, being shown and told information about a product. This lack of personalisation may become boring for a viewer and lead to increased drop off. Alternatively, the video may not include enough information. This might require the viewer to visit a brands site and research more details. The disconnect from the advert to the website may cause the viewer to become distracted and abandon their search for information altogether.

Interactive Video

By clicking on areas of the video a viewer can instantly find information about the products being shown without leaving the stream. Interactive video platforms like Smartzer help brands to develop informative, interactive videos. Brands can upload product links to hotspots for viewers to click to show details about the product such as colourways, sizing, prices or an option to buy. This shortens the path to purchase as the consumer is instantly informed about the product early on in the purchase funnel.

By using streaming commerce, viewers can shop live from brand videos in real time. This format of interactive video is highly effective at engaging and informing customers. Before the stream, merchants can use interactive video streaming platforms like Smartzer to add links to products that they want to showcase in their stream. Brands can maintain trust with their customers by demonstrating items for them to shop live. This interactive video format successfully reflects the benefits of in-person shopping online. Customers can shop live as the stream continues, maintaining their attention throughout. As a result, consumers feel connected to brands, turning views into conversions.

Conversions and Measurability

Standard Video

It is difficult to measure conversions through linear video. The only way to track a standard video’s success is through views. This has made it difficult for marketers to prove the value of their video efforts. Being unable to measure linear video means that it can be hard for brands to see where they are going wrong. Flat video banner ads convert at rates of less than 1%.

Interactive Video

Compared to linear video, interactive video is entirely measurable and converts at a rate of more than 11%. In fact, Smartzer’s interactive video platforms prove that by using these formats brands can increase their conversion rates by 4x their linear rates.  Interactive video has enabled better measurement of metrics. You can track clicks within the video and analyse different paths taken, data inputted etc. Useful call-to-actions like “add to carts” measure the popularity of products and even purchases completed.


Video marketing has been and will continue to be successful at attracting potential customers. But, when push comes to shove, interactive video trumps linear in the fight for securing customer conversions.