Advanced Interactive Video: What It Means and How It Works

Have you heard about Interactive Video? It’s a game changer in the world of video and the internet as a whole. Users don’t want to be passive viewers. They want to control the narrative, and that’s exactly what Interactive Video lets them do.

I’m talking a lot more than a link to book or buy embedded in a marketing video — although that drives real conversions, make no mistake — but advanced interactivity involves something else. Users can change the flow of the story, input their own data and take a whole host of other actions.

It all comes down to the customer experience. At Idomoo, we’re constantly pushing the limits of what video can do. And we’re making it easy, too, with our Next Generation Video Platform, the most advanced video platform on the market today (really — you’ll see below), which supports a full range of interactivity.

From clickable CTAs to user-customizable videos rendered in 100x real time, let’s explore what advanced video interactivity means for brands today.

Interactive Hotspots

A hotspot is any area in the video that the user can click to generate an interactive action. It can be any element in the video (text, media, etc.). Whatever element you choose should look like it’s native to the video to create a fully immersive viewing experience. Unfortunately, most Interactive Video solutions use a smart player application that connects videos with hotspots overlaid on top of the video.

One of Idomoo’s unique features is that our interactive hotspots are designed in Adobe After Effects, the same as any other video element. This way the hotspot is native to the video, blending seamlessly with the rest of the scene. Hotspots can be designed with graphic effects and even animation.

This is key for interactive elements that move. Want to send your customers a 10% discount on a balloon to grab before it floats away? It’s possible with advanced interactivity. And gamification like this is a great way to boost conversions.

Actions Users Can Take: You’ve Got Options

Clicking a hotspot in an Interactive Video can trigger any action. If you can dream it, we can do it, revolutionizing the traditional video experience. Users can click on a video to go to a web page, generate a new video, add a product to their online cart, jump to another chapter in the video, invoke external APIs and so on.

An action can also be triggered automatically based on a rule. For example, a user reaching a certain point in the video can trigger an SMS to be sent to their phone.

We’ll discuss some of the most common actions below.

Branching

advanced video interactivity

Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure book series? Video branching replicates this type of storytelling, letting users jump to a different position inside the video and create their own storyline.

You might give the user 2-4 choices on the screen, so they can access information quickly. It’s a great use case for self-serve customer support videos.

Clickable chapter markers are another example of branching. Imagine an explainer video for your new insurance policy. Sections are labeled at the top of the video so users can click on chapters to skip forward to another section or go back to something they’ve missed.

With our Interactive Video platform, branching doesn’t just have to connect to a specific second in the video. It can jump to a logical position, like the “recommendation” section. This is especially important for dynamic videos since the recommendation section may start at a different time for different users. See the Interactive Video example below, used for internal training at Lancôme.

Viewers aren’t passively watching an interaction between customer and employee. They’re role-playing to learn what they should do on the job.

Other advanced branching features of our platform include:

  • Conditional jumping: The user will be taken to a different branch according to a business rule. For example, if the requested loan amount is higher than $50,000, the user jumps to a “big loan scene;” otherwise, they continue.
  • Swipe gestures: Users can swipe, rather than click, on mobile devices for quick navigation between chapters and videos.
  • Real-time generation: The videos the user can jump to can be generated on demand, right when the customer clicks. This is essential if you’re creating a video with data the user just input.

CTAs

The call to action — the ultimate goal of most Interactive Videos. This is the external action you want your customer to take. It might be clicking to purchase an item, request a demo or book a reservation. You have their attention. Strike while the iron’s hot.

We support a range of CTA actions (yes, that’s call-to-action actions) with our Interactive Videos.

  • Open link: Opens a new browser tab or window. Our platform passes URL parameters from the current session, such as a user inputting their preferred loan amount.
  • Invoke an API: We can call any external API using JSON interface or a simple HTTP GET interface. This can be used for sending messages, storing data in an external database and more.

User Customization

Not sure what your customers are looking for? Want to drive social shares? Want to increase your first-party data?

There are a lot of reasons to let viewers customize their video. WW did this with their customizable year-in-review video campaign.

Users could select which achievements to include in the video, straight from the video player. The result? A video that shows off every viewer’s proudest moments, guaranteeing they’ll want to share it with friends and family.

What can users customize?

  • Text
  • The soundtrack
  • Uploading media
  • Changing colors of elements
  • And more

You can let them enter and upload their choices, or make it easy with a drop-down menu. We support both, all inside the Idomoo player.

Users love to be creators, not just viewers. When a user customizes the video, it becomes their own, meaning they’re much more likely to share it with friends on social media.

Hover Interactivity

Not all video interactivity requires a click.

One of Idomoo’s newest innovations for Interactive Video is allowing the user to hover to interact. For example, they might hover for tooltips, such as definitions of medical terms in a patient engagement video, or to add an effect, like an outline or shadow, so they know an element is clickable.

Advanced Interactivity Unique to Idomoo

As you can see, advanced interactivity is complex, but fortunately, it’s easy to execute when you have the right tool.

Here’s a rundown of the various interactive experiences that give our Next Generation Video Platform an edge:

  • Interactive placeholders: Every placeholder can be interactive. Whether it’s text, media or video in video, you can make any element an opportunity for interaction.
  • Interactivity native to the video: Interactive elements are part of the video, not an external overlay that comes from the player. Interactive elements are designed in Adobe After Effects, just like the rest of the video.
  • Swipe gestures: We support swipe gestures on mobile devices for quick navigation between chapters and videos. This is especially useful for the growing number of mobile users.
  • Rich interactive actions: Our platform allows for jumping to a different location in the video, invoking an external API, creating a new video and more. All of these can be based on user input.
  • In-player customization: Viewers can update the video right from the player, including inputting their own data. We also support conditional actions based on user input.
  • Live data: Businesses have the option to connect their video to any live data feeds (for example, retail inventory) including third-party data feeds, so the video is evergreen, auto-updating in real time. You can also add video contextualization, so the video changes based on the user’s device, location, etc.
  • Marked visited placeholders: Marking visited chapters of clicked elements helps the viewer navigate through the video and keep track of what they’ve seen (especially helpful for non-linear videos). This is similar to “highlighting” visited links in web browsing but inside a video!
  • Hover options: These include tooltips or effects like shading or adding a border to let viewers know what elements are clickable.
  • Personalized user data: Connect your video to your CRM. Our Interactive Video platform supports personalization at scale — millions of videos, one for every single customer.
  • Hiding the progress bar: Unlike a regular video, a non-linear Interactive Video can jump from Scene 1 to Scene 7 to Scene 3. Hiding the timeline helps avoid confusion.
  • Advanced analytics dashboard: It’s important to know how viewers engage with your Interactive Video. Gain insight with our analytics dashboard to see the big picture or hone in on the smallest details.
  • Input dialogs: Allow users to enter free input. Based on the input, the user may be able to take conditional actions.

Example Use Cases for Interactive Video

You now know what advanced Interactive Videos are capable of. When should your business use them? Here are some ideas.

Sales Videos

Sales are key to a healthy bottom line. Make it easy for customers to click to convert with shoppable videos. By leveraging the immersive power of video, you create a more engaging ecommerce user experience.

Or, if you’re a sales agent, make follow-ups even easier by adding customizable quote videos to your flow. Give prospects the option to generate their own quote based on their needs with an Interactive Video calculator. Click the lightning bolt to add your own data and see how it works.


Success stat: Personalized follow-up quote videos have increased sales by 40%.

Educational Videos

Explainer videos are popular among consumers, and interactivity makes them even more effective. Clickable chapter markers help the viewer navigate between different sections and re-watch what they find most important. See the example below.

Other interactive videos to help explain or educate include:

  • Interactive Q&As where customers select from a menu of common questions to get the answers they need fast.
  • An interactive quiz at the end of a video to make e-learning more exciting.
  • A video chat that simulates a live customer support agent.

Gathering Customer Feedback Surveys and Quizzes

Collecting feedback is critical to understanding your customer satisfaction, but many people aren’t willing to take the time to fill out a lengthy survey.

Include a short survey or NPS poll inside your video so your customers can give feedback right then and there — rather than click a link to another page to fill out a form. It makes it easier, and more likely, that customers will answer your questions.

Filling Out Forms

Onboarding often requires a ton of paperwork.

Think about an appointment with a new doctor. It requires you to fill form after form, which can be time-consuming and tedious. Even online form fill apps, overloaded with text, can leave users confused about what they’re signing.

A video that guides the viewer through a contract or form makes it easy. You can also clearly — and visually — explain terms and conditions for your customer, walking them through the process.

Or maybe your customer needs to update their contact information. Send them a personalized Interactive Video that explains what to do and lets them add their info right away.

Note: We’re ISO 27001 certified (and HIPAA compliant), so customer data is always secure.

Interactive Advertising

Imagine you’re at the mall. You come across a video ad propped up against a screen — and it has a QR code you can scan to make the ad your own.

UGC video content is easy to make and irresistibly shareable, further increasing your campaign reach.
Click to Tweet

Once you scan the code, you can customize the video to your liking. If you’re a retailer, you can let viewers design their own product. If you’re a wellness app, you can let customers add their fitness goals for the year.

User-generated content created with simple video templates like this are irresistibly shareable, further increasing the reach of your campaign.

Concierge

Treat your customer like the VIP they are.

An interactive concierge video can help across domains, from sales to support and beyond. Help them plan their next vacation, provide personalized recommendations, suggest new products to suit their individual needs. The concierge asks questions (like a chat experience) and the video updates in real time based on customer responses.

It’s like a virtual assistant, on demand and accessible from any device.

What Interactive Video Can Do for You

The future of Interactive Video is here: advanced technology that allows for a truly immersive experience. Now, viewers do more than listen to what your business has to say. They can join the conversation. Video is truly a two-way communication tool.

Interactive video content also drives deeper engagement that turns into higher retention and customer lifetime value, making this an essential video marketing tool.

Ready to stand out from the competition with a CX unlike any other? Start by scheduling a 15-minute call.

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