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How Interactive Video is Upping the Game

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As more and more brands turn to video marketing to help raise their profile, grow their reach and build sales, how can content producers cut through the noise and create videos that truly stand out?

It’s simple really; get consumers interacting. Chances are that half the people sharing your tube, train or bus journey are permanently glued to their smartphone. And 50% of online video is now viewed on a smartphone or tablet while people are on the move. In fact, mobile video consumption is growing at such an incredible rate, ReelSEO predicts it will account for 72% of all mobile traffic by 2019.

Utilising tech savvy devices to interact with great video content isn’t such a big step change. We’re all used to swiping up, double tapping and tilting to improve the orientation. Surprising then that the majority of video is still produced and played out in a non-interactive linear format. The technical capability’s definitely there.

One of the first interactive videos I ever saw was Breakeven by Irish band The Script back in 2009. It was a music video with a twist, featuring layer of interactive product hotspots, where, for the first time in history, you could click on a hotspot and buy things. Very cool, very exciting but incredibly hard to produce. Back then the tech was clunky and you needed to be a whizz kid at coding in Flash.

#fastforwardto2016 and what’s changed? Well, the internet has changed, or the way its written has. In late 2014 came the evolution of HTML5, and with it came a shift in how code was written for video.

We’ve since seen a wave of new and exciting interactive video experiences, where you can jump to many different points in time at the click of a button, wheel, or what ever the interactive object might be. Pharrell Williams’ Happy is a great example of this.

Dulux’s explore colour also proved a big success. Filmed inside a fashionable apartment, the walls, pictures, staircase and even people’s tops became clickable samples of colour. Choosing a colour presented users with a moodboard style selection of pictures featuring the colour of their choice. Users then had the option to click through and order a tester pot.

68% of the views came through mobile and tester pots sold out in the first week.

Most recently, and my current personal favourite is Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen’s Runaway With Me. At the start of the video you are invited to select an emoji to impact what Carly does. The video then plays out and along the way you are presented with chat style bubbles asking “where in the world are you today” and then a selection of interactive emojis to choose from. The video continues in this fashion, your decisions controlling what plays out in the upcoming footage.

What’s most compelling about interactive video is the level of immersion you experience while watching interactive content. I don’t think I’ve seen one interactive video where I haven’t watched the feature right to the end. Well, one of its ends anyway.

The benefits of interactive video speak volumes. Current metrics show:

  • 67% of the audience will interact (active audience share)
  • Three times each
  • 3.5 times longer than a non-interactive video (where you'd see one minute of engagement before, you'll now see 3.5 minutes)
  • A 16%-48% click-through rate for shoppable videos
  • And 52% of views are on mobile

Surely if audiences are willing to watch interactive videos three and half times longer than traditional, non-interactive video, it makes perfect sense to make more interactive content.

With Facebook launching Canvas – a new platform that will allow users to interact with an ad or video by scrolling horizontally or vertically, then surely interactivity looks set to take our content to the next level.

This article was originally published in Little Black Book

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