Interactivity injects life into your videos, turning passive viewers into engaged users. Interactive video is a new concept, meaning that your viewers won’t just be more interested in your content, they’ll also be far more likely to engage with it.

Video content has rapidly gained momentum in the past decade, and it’s not hard to see why! But how can brands boost their video engagement and guarantee positive ROI when producing videos? Interactive content and in particular, video content, is easy to consume, is highly engaging, and provides a more immersive brand experience than other forms of content. In a cluttered online world and the battle for brands to stand out, interactive video can be worthwhile just for that special “wow” factor.

Traditional video can be compelling for audiences, yet presents challenges for brands. It can often be costly, time consuming to create and, if not done correctly, it may not produce an adequate ROI. 

Interactive video, however, provides a brand new experience. It allows you to captivate your audiences by enabling them to actively engage with your videos, which in turn allows you to directly execute upon your business objectives within video.

 

What creates strong video engagement?

In creating interactive video, you’re already re-shaping the user experience, changing it from a passive one to an engaged one. As a result, you’re re-setting user expectations and creating a two-way dialogue between you and your consumers. 

This will leave viewers far more likely to take an action throughout the video, which rapidly results in high levels of engagement and in turn, conversion.

 

How to use interactive content to boost your engagement

As interactive video is a relatively new concept, people are interested in experiencing the magic it creates. In fact, viewers of interactive video exhibit far higher levels of recall, compared to traditional video.

And while that all may sound fantastic, your interactive videos do need a clear message and strategy to ensure their success. The more engaging and creative your concept is, the better your video will perform. So, how can you ensure that your interactive video will actually elicit high levels of video engagement?

 

Create something unique

Interactive videos already represent something shiny and new. But why not go one step further and create something revolutionary that can educate users and enact real change?

For instance, R U OK? Day created an interactive video that guided users through the process of broaching the important issue of mental health. 

The video was created for R U OK? Day in 2020, and aimed to help improve conversations when people were approaching friends and family to discuss mental health. This interactive video roleplay explores a range of questions and answer options that the audience might actually encounter in this situation, allowing viewers to pick and choose the responses they might use to discover the effect of different responses.

This video gives viewers the confidence to initiate and navigate these difficult discussions and gives them working feedback on which questions and advice might work best. It attempts to dissolve the stigma of mental health and empowers viewers with the knowledge that they can help.

And while not every brand is looking to talk about mental health, this example shows us how we can use this interactive format in the best possible way to educate people, enact change and create a kinder world. 

Brands can harness the power of interactive video in this immersive format and embrace creative storytelling and role play like never before. This, in turn, will help users connect with  brands (and each other) more immediately and on a deeper level.

There's more to say after R U OK video thumbnail

Example of an interactive branching video

 

Produce branching videos

Another way to boost engagement is through using branching videos. Branching videos are also known as choose-your-own-adventure videos and bring a whole new level to telling stories online. Rather than presenting a linear narrative to viewers, users can choose the narrative of  their video, based on their selections.

Branching videos are ideal for creating fully immersive and interactive content. They’re great for storytelling, guiding viewers through their own self-chosen narrative. In this way, users can navigate their own way through the content, picking the route that they find more compelling. This transforms the viewing experience into an engaging one that will hold consumer attention longer.

The choices your viewers make can also give you rich insights into the kinds of content that will resonate with them in future. This will only enhance your interactive content and make it even more engaging! 

It’s also a fun way to help viewers discover the different scenarios in which they might need your product or service. In this way, you can help them see how your brand is specifically relevant to them.

Interactive branching video

Example of an interactive branching video

 

Add quizzes, polls or surveys

If you’re seeking to encourage your audience to become more engaged, why not just ask them? Use quizzes, polls or surveys to ask your audience what they like and don’t like. Your questions could be in relation to your products, services, a relevant issue or even in relation to the content itself!

Quizzes, polls and surveys are magnetic, as they demand a response, and offer immediate results, which can be immensely satisfying for audiences, which you’ll understand if you’ve ever found yourself clicking through a Facebook quiz to discover your spirit animal. This content can also provide considerable value in testing your audience’s understanding of a subject or in gauging how helpful or interesting your users found your content, and why. Instead of just knowing a user watched your content, you can use interactive content to understand why.

You could even use quizzes to determine which of your products might be more relevant to each user. For instance, a home décor brand might quiz their audience on which home style they prefer, giving them a better understanding of which products might work better for them. This helps narrow the path to purchase and creates a more holistic, customer-centric marketing approach. 

Like anything, your brand’s unique approach to interactive content will depend on the purpose of the content and the audience you’re speaking to at any given time.

Interactive content can enhance and develop your video content strategy. But once you have initial insights you can begin refining your strategy even further as you learn more. In the meantime, you’ll witness your content performance improve and your engagement rates soar.

Interactive polling video

Example of in-video polling

Aleksandra Harsic

Commercial Director – Global