Denver Startup Week 2014: Rapt Media on entrepreneurship, technology, and video


Happy first day of Denver Startup Week! That’s right, the largest free entrepreneurial event in North America is once again upon us, and Rapt Media is thrilled to be participating in two of the conference’s panels. In addition to helping sift through some of the BS advice entrepreneurs get in their early startup days, Rapt Media CEO and co-founder Erika Trautman will also discuss how video can be used to engage and tell your story.

Erika will speak alongside a handful of Colorado’s best startup CEOs. For more details on both panels, check out the info below.


Kapost’s interactive Ice Bucket Challenge lets you choose who gets dumped

Last week, when our friends at content marketing software company Kapost got nominated to complete an Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC), Kapost’s community and content manager Andrew J. Coate was instantly off brainstorming ways in which the company could present a creative response befitting of Kapost’s typical content creativity. Wanting to make Kapost’s IBC into an interactive experience where the user could select which Kaposters got soaked, Andrew turned to Rapt Media with the idea. Of course, there was a resounding “hell yeah!” from the Rapt Media team.

We love to see companies like Kapost thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative ways to use interactive video, and we were happy to help them create this video to help spread awareness and raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). kapost-toby-gun-show-ice-bucket-challenge

Within two days of floating the idea, the Rapt Media and Kapost content team were done – the Kapost Ice Bucket Challenge was storyboarded, shot, edited, and we created the final interactive video.

The guys at Kapost did a fantastic job with this video – plus, it helps that the gentlemen participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge had strong personalities and were great on camera (and the tight shirt on CEO and co-founder Toby Murdock didn’t hurt either).

Check out Kapost’s IBC video above, and dig in further below to see how we worked with Kapost to make an interactive IBC video.


Should you build or buy your interactive video platform? 5 things to consider before making the call


In a recent story written by TechCrunch about Rapt Media’s latest funding announcement, one comment in particular caught our eye. The commenter was curious about what makes our product worth a total funding of $7.5 million when, in his mind, it’s something that a custom development shop can build for a lot less.

After three years in the interactive video business, this type of question still comes up from time to time – often when talking to a prospective customer who’s evaluating interactive video vendors versus building a custom one-off video experience in-house. In the era of YouTube, it’s understandable for consumers to look at online video and think it’s cheap, easy, and straightforward – and with the right tools, it can be.

But there’s more to online video than the end product the viewer sees and shares with their friends on Facebook. How the video works behind the scenes is a whole other story, and the reality of video delivery on the internet is anything but simple. If you want to build a top-notch interactive video experience, you first need to decide whether to build or buy the platform. Here are the five key pieces to take into account before making that decision…

In the press: The latest from and about Rapt Media


August was a busy month for Rapt Media, particularly because of our two big announcements. First, we shared the closing of our $3.1 million round in venture financing, led by Boulder Ventures; and second, we announced the exciting launch of our integration with marketing automation system Eloqua.

And we’re not the only ones excited about this news. We’ve received some great coverage from some big names in tech, such as TechCrunch, VentureBeat, VideoInk, Reuter’s PE Hub, and StreamDaily, as well as some great local publications, like the Daily Camera, Built in Colorado, Xconomy, and Denver Business Journal.

In addition to these fantastic media outlets writing about Rapt Media’s latest happenings, we were also mentioned in the Wall Street Journal in a story that speculates on what areas AOL’s Tim Armstrong might consider focusing on with the extra $300 million AOL is raising in a convertible bond offering. According to the WSJ’s Mike Shields, AOL should look into companies “focused on making Web video ads more attractive/interactive.” Read the full story here.


Rapt Media raises $3.1M in funding, intros video-powered marketing automation with Eloqua integration


It’s a big day here for Rapt Media. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve closed $3.1 million in venture financing led by Boulder Ventures. We’ll be using the funding to build out a presence in New York and Los Angeles so that Rapt Media will be in the hearts of the two largest cities where brands, agencies, and production companies thrive. The new round brings Rapt Media’s total funding to $7.5 million.

“Video is the fastest growing format in branding and advertising, and mobile is the fastest growing form factor in the consumption of content,” said Peter Roshko, General Partner at Boulder Ventures Ltd. “Rapt Media’s interactive video platform enables content creation for the next generation of mobile video, and has captured mindshare among leading consumer brands.”

As part of its business-focused drive to convert viewers into users and customers, Rapt Media also announced the launch of its integration with marketing automation system Eloqua. Enterprise-level customers can now collect more valuable information about leads by using Eloqua’s marketing automation suite to capture user interactions within an interactive video experience. This essentially lets companies monitor how people are traveling through interactive videos the same way they monitor how people travel through their website.


These are the top 2 things to consider before choosing an Interactive Video platform


So you’re interested in creating an Interactive Video (IV)? That’s great! After all, Interactive Video experiences see completion rates of 90 percent and above, which is much higher than the completion rates of linear videos.

We recently posted our 11 tips for creating a successful and engaging IV, but before you jump into building an IV with the first platform you find, know that there are two critical pieces to the IV puzzle that you must consider before building your project. To us, being able to build an IV that’s mobile-friendly as well as scalable is crucial to creating a successful IV that will give you the results you’re looking for in an online video campaign.

Below, we lay out why mobile matters, as well as why it’s so important to choose a technology that allows you to iterate easily when it’s time to update your video.


Room 214, inContact create Rapt Media-powered interactive video that integrates with marketing automation system


Marketing a cloud-based contact center solution in a fun and entertaining way might seem like a feat to some, but digital marketing agency Room 214 found a way to make an engaging and informative video to promote its client inContact’s product. Using Rapt Media’s interactive video platform and piloting a new marketing automation system (MAS) integration, Room 214 and inContact created video content that not only speaks to each viewer but also allows them to gather valuable information about those viewers.

InContact was looking for a way to promote its Workforce-Intelligent Contact Center solution in a new and cutting edge way. It wanted to create an interactive video that could integrate with its MAS to help capture and score leads. “When inContact came to Room 214 with this idea, we pitched them on Rapt Media’s tool with Site Paring…knowing that it was the right solution and team of people to accomplish this,” said Room 214 producer and editor Jen Casson.


11 tips for creating a successful and engaging Interactive Video


This article was originally published by The Next Web on July 13, 2014. 

Between Pharrell’s “Happy” music video and the video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” Interactive Video (IV) is undoubtedly hot this year. IV breaks through the noise, gets people talking, and gets more views. The real value, however, is that those views are longer and more engaged.

But with Interactive Videos like Pharrell’s and Dylan’s setting the bar high, it’s easy to assume that only rockstar creative teams with monster budgets and months upon months of planning can create an IV, leaving those new to Interactive Video wondering where to even begin.

As one of the first companies in the IV industry, we’ve seen IVs of all types created – some with deep budgets and large production crews, and others with leaner budgets and just a few smart team members – and we know that with the right knowledge and tools, any company can create a powerful IV quickly and easily.

So what do you need to know to build your own IV? From choosing an IV platform that’s right for you, to figuring out where to put your first choice point, here are our 11 top tips to keep in mind when creating Interactive Video that is both successful and engaging.


Introducing Rapt Media on Tumblr and SlideShare


Though the Rapt Media blog is the best place to stay up to speed with news, as well as your go-to place for Interactive Video tips and tricks, Rapt Media is branching out to other spaces on the web, including Tumblr and SlideShare.


Rapt-Media-tumblrIf you’re one of the many Tumblrers who use the site’s unique social platform to follow the goings-on of companies and people, you’ll want to add to your list. Our Tumblr includes key content from our blog, as well as interesting case studies, and links to our SlideShares (more on that below). (more…)

Best practices for creating an interactive, mobile-optimized shoppable video

interactive-shoppable-video-maybelline As we predicted at the start of the year, shoppable video (an online video that allows viewers to buy products while watching the video, similar to the one we did with Kara Ross) will be used more frequently for mobile sales in 2014 and beyond – and especially on tablets. During last year’s Cyber Monday, 17 percent of  sales came from mobile devices, and that number will continue to grow each year. For forward-thinking brands interested in shoppable video, there are a few things to know before diving right in – especially for those interested in reaching audiences on mobile devices.

Below, we cover the basics of mobile-optimized shoppable video, from pacing and structure to technical and SEO best practices. (more…)