Many companies have started jumping on the interactive video bandwagon. There are many statistics to show the benefits of interactive video. High on the list of benefits are more engagement, higher retention, longer viewing time and the ability to track and understand consumer behaviour. It’s all nicely summed up in this graphic.
The question we have to ask is not whether interactive video is beneficial. But what type of interactive video? And is interactive video merely a gimmick or is it actually a game changer? How do we even distinguish the difference? And lastly, how do we ensure success by using the right type of interactive video, whether it is in the training and education space or the marketing space?
To go in depth into this, we must first understand the origins of interactive video and why it has become popular. Interactive video was actually born in the marketing space, where new, cool and shiny things are valued because they get people talking. But you see, as with all gimmicks, they’re cool because they’re new, and in the short term, can definitely drive user engagement because we all love new and shiny things. But over time, will the users continue to interact with the technology as the initial novelty wears off?
Interactive Video has many types
There are many different types of interactive video. For instance, one of the hottest interactive video in the market right now is the 360 video. Even youtube and facebook has embraced it and have updated their platforms for the 360 interactive video. However, whether the interactive video is a hero or a zero boils down to a few questions. Does the technology actually solve a real problem and does the technology creates an experience that is inherently better?
I think this really depends on how the interactive video is being used. Take for instance the 360 interactive video. I have seen some companies shoot an interview using the 360 interactive video. Although the user can look around and kind of feel like he or she is present in the room, I see little value in the 360 interactive video for a simple interview shoot. Why would the user want to know what else is inside the room? I mean it’s kind of a novelty if it’s the user is watching the 360 interactive video for the first time. But this type of novelty will surely wear off.
But what if you were to use the 360 interactive video in another way? What if we used the interactive 360 video of a room to ask the user the look around to look for clues. This could be part of a psychology course training program or a police officer induction program. Now the user has a reason to look around. Or what if it was something entertaining like this 360 interactive video trailer done for the movie promotion for the Conjuring 2. In the video, the user explores the room using sound cues, and gets freakingly scared by the different things happening in the room.
Interactive Video like ‘choose your own adventure’ style game
Another type of interactive video lets you choose your own story by answering questions posed to you. This type of interactive video allows the user to be much more involved in the story as he/she is no longer just a passive participant. When a user makes conscious decisions to progress the story, the engagement level will be much higher. This also applies to the retention level. Additionally, we can also capture the decision points as a form of data. This is extremely useful data for educators and marketers. So choice based interactive video provides a better, faster and easier user experience and it fulfils a need. This makes such types of interactive video, when used in the right way, an absolute hero.
Interactive Video for Training
The way employees respond to training content has evolved. I’ve met my fair share of educators and HR managers who think that training content does not need to be as interesting, fun or relevant as media or marketing content. They claim that they already have a captive content who will give them the attention because attending is compulsory.
But if employees or students are simply doing something because it’s compulsory, they may well go through the motion to complete the training but they are not necessarily learning or absorbing anything. This defeats the whole purpose of training in the first place.
On the flip side, if you provide students or employees with compelling and relevant interactive content, it enhances the experience. They look forward to more training instead of dreading it. They even begin to talk about and share their learning experience. In the long run, the dividends or ROI for creative interactive video content will definitely be high.
And creating interactive video content may not be that difficult or expensive that one might imagine. Talk to us today for a FREE consultation on how interactive video content will help you.