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


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…)

Crowdsourcing video content: 6 tips for creating successful Interactive Videos [IV Tips Week 7]


With the rise of high quality video integrated into smartphones and tablets and the ubiquity of cameras like GoPro that are built for any and every circumstance, the opportunity to incorporate user generated content (UGC) into all video campaigns is greater than ever.

I know I’ve said it before, but while creating video is easier than ever, creating great content is still very challenging. Not only do you need a killer idea for your video to succeed, but you also need footage, which requires actors and sets and (usually) money. However, you don’t have to be rolling in the dough or hire professional actors; crowdsourcing video content can boost viewer engagement, vastly expand your initial audience base, and transfer some of the production costs over to the consumer.

Today we’re going to provide a few tips for successfully crowdsourcing video content and how to leverage interactivity to improve your chances for success.


Rapt Media-powered interactive Maybelline campaign chosen as Webby Awards honoree

The votes for this year’s Webby Awards are in. While we’re thrilled to see an increase of interactive projects included in the mix, we’re even more exhilarated to announce that Rapt Media partner, ICED Media, was chosen as an official Webby Awards Honoree for its work on #TheGlamourEye campaign for Maybelline.

With 12,000 entries received from all 50 states and more than 60 countries, this distinction is an exceptional accomplishment, and we are delighted that Rapt Media’s interactive technology played a part, allowing ICED Media to easily create a compelling, mobile-compatible, Interactive Video experience that earned 6 million impressions, and achieved a click-through-rate 14 times higher than the industry average.

ICED Media’s work exemplifies a growing trend – Interactive Videos have hit critical mass worldwide. eMarketer and Adotas have both recently reported on a new study showing that Interactive Videos, especially those built in HTML5, are outperforming other ad units by combining the best of rich media ads with the best of video.


Why HTML5 will finally take over video and the Web this year


This article was originally published on The Next Web on April 21, 2014. 

Cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and … Flash. All three of these mediums need a player to work, and all three mediums are either dead or dying. Just as CDs replaced tapes as a more efficient means of playing music, and digital files replaced CDs to do the same, HTML5 is making Flash obsolete.

The HTML5 versus Flash debate has been a hot topic among Web developers for years – and even more so since Steve Jobs published his now infamous 2010 letter touting HTML5 as the future and Flash as “no longer necessary.” But whether you side with Flash or HTML5, there’s no denying that the implications of HTML5 on video and the Web are real.

For online video, HTML5 offers two things Flash does not: mobile capabilities and semantic markup. The growth of mobile engagement; the rise of Interactive Video for entertainment, advertising and shopping; and HTML5’s open structure all combine to create the future of an HTML5-based Web, leaving Flash to eventually shuffle into its place in the Retired Tech Hall of Fame (make some room Windows XP, Palm Treo).


How to make an animated video in less than 24 hours (without knowing what you’re doing)


A few years ago I was given a theme, a prop, and an action requirement that had to appear in an original video – oh, and 24 hours to create said video. For those of you familiar with the production process, you know this is no walk in the park. It’s hard enough to work within a 24-day production schedule let alone 24 hours.

No, it wasn’t the theme (“One”), the prop (the number one), or the action (listening to music) that caused the vein in my forehead to bulge out a few hours into the competition – it was that I decided to try my hand at something I had little to no experience in: Animation.

Maybe it was the stress of the clock winding down, or maybe it was simply a stroke of genius, but I figured this would be a great opportunity to put all of my Adobe Creative Suite experience on the line and to “binge learn” on what tools and features I might be missing out on. In case you decide to make an animated video in one day with minimal prior experience, I’ll save you some time by giving you a few tips on concept and storyboard, production, and post-production so that you too can learn how to make an animated video in 24 hours or less.


Turning online video into your hub for brand, product, and content engagement [IV Tips 6]


U.S. interactive ad revenue is exceeding that of broadcast television, according to figures like those from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Internet Advertising Revenue recent report, so why is it that online video is still finding itself relegated to garnish instead of the main course?

Too often broadcast spots are just reworked for an online audience as their broadcast production budgets dwarf that of their online video counterparts. Despite huge viewing and engagement numbers, web video is still generally a “nice-to-have,” or an afterthought. Brands still aren’t shooting for the mobile web or telling stories that work with this new viewing medium, and videos are generally still linear thoughts conceived of in a different time and for a different audience than those viewing content on the web.

So how can marketers make online video different from what they create for TV? Video is hard and expensive to make, right? Sure, good online video does require effort, but so do the out-of-home campaigns, television ads, and marketing campaigns that have driven results for brands and corporations forever. The change that needs to happen is at the point of conception. It’s time to start thinking of your online video as a valuable storytelling tool to achieve business goals.

One clear way to make online video worth the investment is to leverage it as your hub for brand, product, or content engagement, and the easiest and fastest way to do this is with Interactive Video.


How to use Site Pairing’s tab feature to create impactful CTAs, organize your Interactive Video


Back in February we moved our Site PairingTM technology out of beta and into the hands of creatives, marketers, brands, and agencies. Though we have plenty of examples within published projects of how Site Pairing works – check out Cinemax’s “Banshee” microsite or our own “Baking with Jonathan” interactive cooking video if you haven’t yet – you may still be wondering how Site Pairing actually works. In our new Site Pairing interactive demo video, we’ll give you the behind-the-scenes scoop.

Not only does our demo video explain how you can use tabs to organize your video’s information, the interactive example allows you to watch as tabs within the video change in sync with each part of the Interactive Video you’re watching, and vice versa. The demo also shows how you can draw attention to what matters most in your video by using impactful calls-to-action that leap out of the video player, making it easier for users to follow through with a CTA.

Check out our new Site Pairing demo page to see the technology in action. After you watch the video, scroll down to read about how we created the simple interactive demo – production to final implementation – in just a few hours.

How to plan for an Interactive Video: Pre-production tips and tricks


Sure creating Interactive Videos with Rapt Media is drag-and-drop easy, but the planning process of realizing your vision can feel daunting. How long should your clips be? What sort of experience are you trying to create? How much “interactivity” is too much? The list goes on (check out our Interactive Video Tips series to learn more about some of these questions), but with a little pre-production preparation and direction, you can easily build a successful Interactive Video (IV) experience, resulting in increased viewing time, engagement, and replay value.

Here’s what you need to know before ever pressing record on that video camera…

Interactive Video Tips: How to optimize Interactive Video for mobile devices [Week 5]


How would you react if you heard that mobile video viewing has increased by over 700 percent since Q4 of 2011? Shock, amazement, disbelief? “Yes to all of those!” was my reaction before downloading the Ooyala Global Video Index Q4 2013, which reports that year over year, time spent watching video on tablets and mobile devices is up an astounding 719 percent since Q4 of 2011, and up 160 percent since Q4 of 2012.

Brands and agencies aren’t sleeping on these statistics, and we’re regularly fielding questions about how to optimize Interactive Video for mobile devices. Want to know how to engage viewers on all devices? We’ll provide a framework for how to think about Interactive Video (IV) on mobile here. Read on.


Rapt Media: ‘Engaging Customers with Interactive Video’ at ClickZ Live conference


If you missed us at the ad:tech SF14 conference in San Francisco yesterday, we have good news. Rapt Media CEO Erika Trautman will be speaking at the ClickZ Live conference, formerly the SES Conference and Expo, in New York next week. On April 3, Trautman and ICED Media co-founder and president Leslie Hall will discuss how they partnered to create the world’s first interactive video optimized for iPhone and Android to launch Maybelline New York’s Big Eyes Falsies Mascara to a global audience.

Partnering with top blogger, the Glamourai’s Kelly Framel, Rapt Media and ICED Media created #TheGlamourEye, an interactive beauty adventure hosted by Framel where viewers could click on the video to choose which signature makeup looks they wanted to learn about and then click directly to those featured products.

In the “Innovative Campaigns - Engaging Customers with Interactive Video” session at ClickZ Live, the two executives will discuss the three key components to the project’s success.