While Interactive Videos aren’t necessarily new (remember Dragon’s Lair?), they are definitely growing in utility, sophistication, and popularity. Today, with easy-to-use platforms like Rapt Media’s, anyone with a creative eye and some video experience can create an amazing Interactive Video (IV). So to help you get started with building your own successful IV, we’re launching a new weekly series of Interactive Video Tips. Each week we’ll demystify different pieces of the IV puzzle (which is actually pretty easy to put together) so that you can fully understand the best ways to make an IV that gives you the results you’re looking for.
From Forrester reports to premium interactive microsites, Interactive Video has captured the attention of businesses, major brands, and the public – but there are still a lot of questions about how to do it “right.” So to kick off our first edition of Interactive Video Tips, we’re going to answer a question that comes up in almost every strategy exercise we conduct with clients: “Where should we put our first choice point?”
The short answer is: the sooner the better. Interactive Video is redefining how viewers engage with video content, and one of its clear advantages over linear video is the ability to control the experience. Can you imagine going to a website full of content but not being able to click on any of the links for 45 seconds? I’m not saying that we should universally abandon the art of developing a video story for the quick hit of a button click; I am saying, however, that with the right amount of thinking and planning, the two can complement and even enhance one another.
An early decision point or an additional choice quickly engages the viewer, drawing them to take part in the experience rather than just sit back and absorb it. This technique can also be used to enhance the storytelling process by quickly determining viewer preference and catering the rest of the storyline to fit that first choice.
For example, if you were creating an Interactive Video around March Madness you might make the first choice around which region the viewer would like to follow. BAM! Within the first 5 seconds, the viewer is providing preference information that allows you to deliver content catered to that preference. Clicking on the South Region might deliver video background on the teams, info about the FedExForum, travel highlights in Memphis, and so on.
Interactive Video empowers the content creator to offer a customized experience for each viewer, which can extend to ads (find a great hotel in Memphis, buy your tickets to Graceland), primary video content (highlight reels from the individual teams), or secondary video content. Although making an IV takes more forethought as a content creator, if you get good at using this new creative tool, the results deliver an unprecedented, personalized experience for each viewer.
Keep in mind that each Interactive Video experience will take on a different tone and flow, just like each video that you produce. If you embrace the opportunity to really maximize the value of this new medium, you will be able to create engaging, high-return content that delivers the experience your viewers expect.
One last note: your Interactive Video must be a delight to watch on mobile as well … but we’ll discuss that in a future post.
Have any questions about Interactive Video you’d like answered? Drop them in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list of IV Tips. See you next week!