We’ve talked before about the reasons why videos are a must, whether you’re an app developer or a product-maker. Videos are an amazing tool you can’t afford not to have in your toolbox.

Interactive video is an up-and-coming video technology, and it’s something we’re incredibly excited about. Here’s the 411 on this new trend!

What is Interactive Video?

Put simply, interactive video allows the viewer to perform actions while they are actively viewing the content. These actions can have a direct effect on the content the viewer sees next, they can allow you to collect information from the viewer (such as answering a multiple-choice question or filling out a short form), and they can even provide something (like free downloadable content, or a click-to-use coupon or other easy way to buy a product) to the viewer.

Why Interactive?

Interactive video is the next step in audience engagement. An interactive video isn’t something they simply watch; it’s something they actively participate in.

You can use interactive video to present a “choose your own adventure” style journey through your products to help the viewer decide which product/s is best for their needs – and then provide an easy way for them to click on that product to add it to a shopping cart.

In a similar vein, you could use interactive video to allow a customer to choose how they want to learn to use your app or product, providing them with options they could click on in order to go through different features and functions.

Interactive video lets the viewer choose the path they want to take through your content, giving them control over the process. This keeps the viewer from getting bogged down in information they don’t want (or need) to know yet, allowing them to access the information they do need quickly.

You can go even further into video interactivity – you can ask yes/no or multiple choice questions, and have your video respond with appropriate content depending on the viewer’s answer. Imagine being able to ask the viewer about their needs or wants, and then being able to direct them to the product that best meets their needs.

You can add forms to your video to gather information from your viewer, giving you access to viewer contact information that can be used for sales, or useful demographic data which could provide insights to help you create future content and help shape your marketing plans.

How does it work?

How interactive videos are created depends on what sort of interactivity it is you’re needing. Video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo offer simple interactivity options such as adding hyperlinks that let you jump pretty seamlessly to other sections of a video, to other videos, or to your website.

With interactive videos, what appears to be a single video is actually many shorter video segments accessed via a user interface either built into the video player or coded by your IT department. This means that there could be many more minutes of video than any single individual viewer will ever see. For example, when you ask the viewer to answer questions and then present video based on those answers, the viewer will never see any of the other options.

An individual viewer might watch a video that is 2 minutes long, but the actual full content of the video is 8 minutes; it’s simply that 6 minutes of the content wasn’t applicable to them. To the viewer’s eye, everything appears seamless – they simply made choices while watching that effectively made a custom version of the video that was tailored to their interest and needs.

The potential applications for interactive video are nearly endless. If you’re ready to jump into this exciting technology and want to create an interactive video for your company, please get in touch! We can help you decide how best to use interactive video to accomplish your goals.