The ultimate guide to the best interactive video platforms

So you want to use interactive video but you don't know where to start? In this post, we will explain how to make interactive video and introduce you to the interactive video platforms that can help maximise engagement and conversion. Let's start with the basics.....

What are interaction videos?

Interaction videos are a type of media that support user engagement. Top brands are starting to use the format to engage audiences to reach their digital marketing goals. Viewers can immerse themselves in videos by clicking on various hotspots. They may be able to find out more about a product, play a game, explore a 360 degree landscape, participate in a quiz or make a purchase. With 68% of marketers predicting that interaction videos will become a significant part of modern marketing, the format presents a key opportunity for brands to optimise their promotional content to be as memorable as possible.

Interaction videos are popular. Viewers are more likely to watch from start to finish, 44% longer than standard video. It is fully measurable as brands can track every interaction that occurs within the video. Metrics might include dwell time, interactions, shares, plays, user paths, 'add to carts', all engagement, all conversion and all completion rates. Exciting stuff.

How to make interactive video

So, how does it work?

There are several interactive video platforms that can help brands make exciting, creative and clickable content. This can even be achieved by revamping existing videos. Here are some of the options you may encounter and some information you should consider when choosing an interactive video platform.

DIY videos using in-app interactive formats

Apps like Facebook have in-house software that can help users create interactive material like polls, gamified experiences, quizzes and monetized videos. Instagram and TikTok have also started to introduce formats for users to use to allow their consumers to shop directly from their content. TikTok has also started to integrate shoppable live stream formats for brands to use to engage customers. These platforms allow brands to manipulate existing content and add features like hotspots, shoppability, branching and more.

Using an interactive video platform company

Turning your own existing content into interaction videos can be exhausting, time consuming and complicated. So, the easiest option can be to partner with a professional interactive video company.

Here are some of the options available to brands depending on the type of content they want to create:

1. Rapt: branching videos

Rapt Media's cloud based interactive video platform allows brands to build experiences in the Composer and publish them to a player. Analytics can be measured via the dashboard. The result is a customised experienced that takes users on a fun and exciting interactive journey. These interaction videos can be embedded on websites or across social media platforms. Having previously worked with Toyota, Rapt helped the brand create a 'Choose Your Wild' interaction video campaign. The viewer was able to take the 4Runner out for a virtual test drive by choosing one of three off-road and totally wild pathways.

2. Smartzer: interactive and shoppable videos

Shoppable video example

Smartzer's interactive video platform allows users to turn new and existing video content into dynamic, immersive clickable marketing content. This is done via an interactive overlay. Here, brands can add products by tagging images, text, product API's, URLs, product feeds or manually. When complete, a viewer will be able to click these tags to learn more, explore the video, customise items, 'buy now', 'book a test drive' or more via calls-to-action. The quick and easy software can increase engagement rates by 40% and increase conversions by 400%. Smartzer also provides a format to create shoppable live streams. Brands use Smartzer’s live player that can be fully integrated into the Demandware API, to instantly pull up-to-date product information into the Smartzer editor and player to be showcased to viewers within the stream. Viewers can then shop along with the video in real-time, clicking products displayed in a carousel, adding to basket or making a purchase without leaving the stream. Smartzer has helped brands like NARS, Christian Dior, Adidas, Missoni and BMW create interaction videos for campaigns.

3. Vizia: quizzes, polls, CTA

Originally the company was using their software to make e-learning videos. Now, they have extended their platform to fit businesses and brands. Using Vizia interface brands can insert multiple choice quizzes, polls, short answer questions into their videos and then embed them anywhere across blogging platforms, site builders, e-commerce and more. The measurable qualities of quizzes are a great way to gain data from viewers. End of quiz CTA's encourage higher conversion rates. Videos can be easily shared across social media to achieve virality turning passive viewers into active participants.

4. VRCRAFTWORKS: 360 degree interaction videos

VRCraftworks offers a bespoke interactive video platform for brands. These videos are like a virtual reality, the user is fully immersed into the video and can spin, zoom, click and more to explore. The high-tech company has a range of virtual reality packages from gamification, training and simulation to story telling. Above is an example of Royal Caribbean Cruises partnership with VRCraftworks to create a promotional sales tool to help up-sale to existing customers. Each menu 'orb' can be clicked on to visit a 360 degree holiday destination. Other interactive video platforms include:

- WIREWAX - Interactive and shoppable video

- VYOND - Animated interactive video

- HERO - conversational commerce

Whether you decide to incorporate DIY interaction videos or use a professional platform, the format will undoubtedly boost engagement, CTR and conversions.