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…)

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).


Marketing Land: Is the next marketing technology wave all about better creative?

This article was originally published on Marketing Land on Dec. 4, 2015.

The first marketing tech wave of ad tech has been all about media, placement and timing, focusing on where to put your ad, who to show it to, when to show it. The idea was simple: Leverage web’s technology to target the ad better.

But today, we see diminishing returns from this, as ad blocking and viewability challenge marketers’ ability to break through to customers. Basically, you can lead a horse to water, but…

Not unlike early days in TV advertising, earlier web ads were about the advertiser and ad buyer and not about the consumer experience. The new medium was feeling its way through the opportunity and technology, and at some points, the consumer suffered through that exploration, too.

But, again like TV ads, the medium is evolving, and creative approaches are improving the experience and the performance technologies that appeal to marketers. And, unlike TV ads where measurement is an inexact science, as online engagement increases, it only makes the targeting technology more effective and productive.


Interactive Video 101: What is it and why should you care?


“Blu-ray,” “cloud storage,” and “convertible PCs.” These terms were thrown around left and right when these tech innovations hit the market. However, not everyone knew exactly what these products were or why they mattered. We all had an inkling of an idea about what they did: Blu-ray was some sort of DVD replacement, cloud storage held your files somewhere in the ether, and convertible PCs somehow combined a laptop and a tablet into one device…we think. Clearly, there was some confusion. As we dive head first into 2014, a certain tech innovation is next up to bat at the Misunderstood Plate: Interactive Video.

We’re sure you’ve been hearing the term “Interactive Video” more and more as of late with videos like Pharrell’s “24 Hours of Happy,” and the interactive music video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” making waves, but as the company behind the fastest and easiest way to create Interactive Video, we feel it our duty at Rapt Media to lay everything out on the table and explain what an Interactive Video actually is and why the technology has everyone talking. So, let’s start with the basics.