Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Photo: The British Fashion Council's interactive content for London Fashion Week June 2020

Interactive video has come a long way since the explosion of the number of users consuming video online. In 2021 alone the average person is expected to spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos (Zenith). Depending on the type of content being watched, much of the video content can be consumed passively by users who are favouring a lean-back approach online however many people watching online videos are leaning forward and actively browsing the web while consuming content. Particularly with these users in mind, making a video interactive can unlock a whole new area of engagement that has been previously often overlooked.

The world of interactive video can be a challenging place to navigate, with a wide variety of tools available on the market that each specialise in doing different things. Here’s a quick summary of some of our favourite methods out there that can add interactivity to videos for various use cases online:

Adding further information to EDUCATE users

When users are consuming content there might easily be further information that you could include about what is on show. Perhaps it’s the stats of the sports game that is playing or even the actors that are on screen. This type of information could potentially easily be added to your content to educate your audiences. One stand-out tool is EDpuzzle, which allows you to easily add educational information to your content.

Make your video SHOPPABLE

For branded content, in particular, interactive video can be used to help drive sales of a particular product that is featured within the video. Tagging your video with the items that are featured, and enabling users to click on the content to find out more, as well as purchase the product, can boost conversion and engagement rates in one fell swoop. When it comes to shopping, Smartzer can be used to easily create highly engaging content that presents your products in a professional and fully optimised interactive video player. With over 5 years of experience, working closely with some of the world's largest brands, our tool is now available for any business to use for their own content. Find out more on how Smartzer can support your business goals here.

Allow users to pick their path through video BRANCHING

Video branching is a good way to gamify your video content and enables users to pick their own path and storyline when watching a video. The greatest example of this was Netflix’s Bandersnatch, Netflix’s first ‘choose your own adventure’ series that took the world by storm. The production of Bandersnatch cost over $76 million dollars, which is not surprising given the sheer amount of different options available to the user, and therefore subsequent scenes that had to be filmed. Regardless of the expense, video branching can be a great way of adding interactivity to a good storyline that matches. One tool worth looking at is eko, which was the tech behind P&G’s Interactive Super Bowl ad for 2020.

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