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

interactive-video-build-or-buy

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…
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The top 2 things to consider before choosing an interactive video platform

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So you’re interested in creating an interactive video? 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 interactive video, but before you jump into building an interactive video with the first platform you find, know that there are two critical pieces to the interactive video puzzle that you must consider before building your project. To us, being able to build an interactive video that’s mobile-friendly as well as scalable is crucial to creating a successful interactive video 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.

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11 tips for creating a successful and engaging interactive video

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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 ) is undoubtedly hot this year. Interactive video 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 interactive video, leaving those new to interactive video wondering where to even begin.

As one of the first companies in the interactive video industry, we’ve seen interactive videos 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 interactive video quickly and easily.

So what do you need to know to build your own interactive video? From choosing an interactive video 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.

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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…)

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How to use Interactive Video to mirror the structure of an e-commerce website

interactive-video-e-commerce-website-designer-categoryBrands are using Interactive Video more than ever now to engage customers. The online shopping experience is no longer relegated to a static website of color and price filters; with the use of interactive elements, customers can self-segment themselves to create a shopping experience that’s personal and unique to them.

At Rapt Media, we’ve gained a great deal of experience by working directly with our customers and by watching how they engage with our product. E-commerce is one of Interactive Video’s most popular uses, and to take some of the guesswork out of the creative process around building an interactive e-commerce video, we’ve outlined a few common Interactive Video patterns. Last week, we talked about turning viewer interaction into smart product placement. In this post, we’ll explore mirroring the structure of an e-commerce website with Interactive Video.

We’ll use the Rapt Media editor to help visualize the structure, so we urge you to sign up for a free account to follow along.

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Interactive Video for e-commerce: Turning viewer interaction into smart product placement

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There is an ever-growing number of Interactive Videos available on the web. However, Interactive Video (IV) is still a relatively new concept, and there is little information available to assist creatives on how to conceptualize an effective, goal-driven video. On the surface, the idea of clicking on a video to make choices seems fairly straightforward; however, once you start working out the project details, you quickly understand that there is an infinite amount of patterns that you can build your creative around. Though exciting, it’s also a bit daunting when you begin to wonder what strategy will best achieve your project’s goals.

At Rapt Media, we’ve gained a great deal of experience by working directly with our customers and also by watching how they engage with our product. Interactive Video for e-commerce is one of IV’s most popular use cases, and to take some of the guesswork out of the creative process around building an interactive e-commerce video, we’ve outlined a few common Interactive Video patterns. In this post, we’ll look at how to turn viewer interaction into smart product placement. Next week, we’ll explore mirroring the structure of an e-commerce website.

We’ll use the Rapt Media editor to help visualize the structure, so we encourage you to sign up for a free account to follow along. (more…)

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