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How to Make an Interactive Video That Increases Engagement and Drives Leads (6-Step Guide)

An interactive video lets viewers actively engage with the content while watching it. For example, in an ecommerce shoppable video, viewers can click on the products right in the video to learn more about them. This is unlike a regular passive video, where they can only press play or pause the video.

So, why create an interactive video? What’s in it for you?

First, let’s examine the numbers. Experts say interactive videos produce 44% longer viewing times, 10X higher click-through rates, and 66% more engagements than regular videos. As a business owner, those are not numbers to scoff at.

The success of these videos is due to the fact that they make things simpler and are more useful and exciting for the viewer. 

Think about it—you can showcase your products in greater detail and in a relatable way to your audience through video (generally speaking). The interactive elements also give viewers the freedom to engage with the products in the video.

Plus, if they like what they see, they can directly go to the product page in just one click. Can buying get any more simple than that?

Did you know that a complex checkout process is among the top reasons for cart abandonment? Ecommerce businesses lose up to $18 billion each year due to cart abandonment. 

So, it literally pays to simplify each step of the buyer’s journey as much as possible.

Now that you know a few of its benefits, let’s explore how to make an interactive video. Below are the steps you can take to create a compelling interactive video that drives leads.

Table of Contents
Step 1: Choose The Goal of Your Interactive Video
Step 2: Choose What Functionality You Want Your Video to Have
Step 3: Source Video Content
Step 4: Create Your Interactive Video in 6 Easy Steps
Step 5: Distribute Your Content
Step 6: Track Your Success
Who Should Use Interactive Video?

Step 1: Choose The Goal of Your Interactive Video

You can use interactive videos in many different ways and for all sorts of businesses. So before actually making your video, it’s good to think about your specific goals. Be sure to align your video creation goals with your overall business goal.

Typical Interactive Video Applications

Based on your goals, here are a few ways you can incorporate interactive videos into your strategy:

  • Shoppable Videos: Shoppable videos are great for driving ecommerce sales. Viewers can click on products in the video and immediately be taken to the product page, where they can purchase the item. This method significantly simplifies the buyer’s journey, which can boost conversions.

Want to Create a Shoppable Video?

Explainer Videos: These short 1-2 minute videos are often used to explain the main features of a product or service. About 96% of people have watched explainer videos to learn about a product or service, making it a valuable asset on any business website.

Viewers can click in real-time to learn more about certain aspects of your product or service while watching a video.

  • Customer Feedback: Interactive videos generate high-quality customer insights, regardless of how you use them. This is because, with the right platform, you can understand customer behavior by tracking the clickable elements in the videos.

    You can also use your interactive video to run a simple poll or survey to get customers’ feedback on your brand. Just keep the questions simple, make the answers clickable, and you have yourself a poll.
  • Recruitment: Technology is fueling the talent marketplace, and recruiters are looking for ways to stay abreast of changes. A CareerBuilder survey showed that job postings with recruitment videos get 34% more applications than those without them.

    You can use interactive videos to learn about potential hires before setting up an interview. This gamified recruitment video by Deloitte does a great job helping potential hires know if they’ll fit into the company’s culture.
  • Educational Videos: Interactive educational videos are generally used in online education, as it helps students engage more with the content, which boosts interest and memory. Quizzes, hotspots, and other interactive elements make the content more digestible.

    However, educational videos don’t have to be limited to the classroom. The insurance marketing company, The Lift Factor, does a great job at using an interactive video to educate its clients about insurance.

Step 2: Choose The Functionality You Want Your Video to Have

Your next step in making an interactive video is to decide on the functionality you want your video to have. Interactive video platforms offer a range of functionalities for you to choose from, so it’s important to get clear on what elements you wish to use in your video before choosing an interactive video provider.

Effective Interactive Video Functionalities

Here are some functionalities you should consider for making an effective interactive video. 

  • Clickable Elements: This functionality is essential as it’s what makes your video interactive in the first place. Whether you choose to use clickable cards on the screen, or an indicator that opens a drawer of products, it’s important to ensure viewers can click on items in the video for more details.
  • Expanded Product Cards: As the name suggests, these cards allow viewers to click and expand the cards to see more information about a product or service without interrupting the video. This can be very useful for gaining more context about what you’re watching without breaking the flow of information. 

    For example, someone watching a video featuring different pieces of women’s activewear could click on an expanded card to start viewing more information on each piece and decide whether they’d like to go directly to the product pages for the items they’re interested in.

    Annie Hinners, Marketing Director, Interactive Video Expert, observed that, with this functionality, “people can actually start getting a little bit warmer towards whatever product or piece of information you’re trying to display.”
  • Product Groups: This functionality allows you to group related products or elements and display them on a single product card. Having several products on one card can make it apparent to viewers that they are related and encourage viewers to purchase related items. 

    For example, say that a video showcases different sets of camping gear. One set might feature a camping cookware set. Another set might feature a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent set. Grouping those products into one card makes it much easier for the viewer to navigate within short frames of a video and also easily enables viewers to shop recommended products all at once. 
  • End Screen: With the End Screen feature, you can display all your products in a carousel on a single screen at the end of the video. This functionality can give viewers another opportunity to engage with the products they saw during the video.

    Reminding watchers of the products they saw in the video is a great way to keep those items fresh on their minds. This functionality would be especially useful with a longer video with more products. 

    Maybe the video was so entertaining that the viewers chose not to click on products to interrupt their viewing experience. The End Screen would be a great way to remind those viewers of the products in the video.
  • Customization and Branding: Good customization features allow you to make an interactive video that aligns with your business brand. These functions include customizing your product cards, CTA buttons, logos, fonts, colors, and more.

    Good branding is vital for building trust among your audience. For example, having a signature brand color can cause an 80% increase in your brand recognition among consumers.

Also Read: How to Make a Shoppable Video to Boost Ecommerce Sales in 4 Easy Steps

Step 3: Source Video Content

Now that you have a clear goal for your interactive video, it’s time to work on the actual footage in the video. For this step, you can repurpose an old video and simply add your interactive elements. Else, you can create a brand new video to work with.

If you’re making a brand new video, here are a few things you should keep in mind for the best results:

  • Plan Your Storyline: Now’s the time to think about the message you want to get across in your video and the best way to do it. Get creative with your shots, and keep things as simple and clean as possible so that viewers can easily navigate your video.
  • Hold Your Shots A Little Longer: For the parts of the video you want viewers to interact with, it’s good to hold those shots a few seconds longer than the rest. This gives watchers more time to read any text or observe items and decide if they want to click.
  • Be Mindful Of Overcrowding: Overcrowded shots can distract viewers, so it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. If you’re creating a shoppable video, try to limit the number of products on the screen at the same time. Similarly, if you’re creating an instructional video, try limiting the clickable options on the screen at any given time.

Step 4: Edit Your Interactive Video

Once your video footage is ready, it’s time to make it truly interactive. COTU video editing platform provides you with all the functionality you need to make an amazing interactive video, and it can all be done in a few simple steps.

Let’s explore the steps below:

Step 1: Upload Your Video

First, you’ll need to upload your already-made video to the COTU platform so you can start adding the interactive elements. Simply upload your video and get started with your new campaign.

Tip: “For this, we recommend using a video that’s already fully edited with audio and is already approved by key stakeholders. That way, you can avoid having to go back and change anything.” — Annie Hinners. 

Step 2: Upload Products

The next step is to upload the products you want to highlight in your video. With COTU, you have the option to add information for your products manually or simply import them from your Shopify store if you have one.

Tip:  “If you’re adding products manually, make sure you have product images or graphics handy. It’s a lot easier to have all your images in a folder so that you can just easily upload them.” — Annie Hinners.

Step 3: Add Products To The Timeline

Once you’ve uploaded your products, it’s time to add them to your video. Place products at your preferred points on the video timeline, which appear as overlays, and use the slider as necessary to adjust where and for how long product overlays appear in the video.

Tip: “Use your branded colors and add your logo to the video to aid brand recognition.” — Annie Hinners. 

Step 4: Get Approval And Publish

Once your product overlays are on your video and you’re satisfied with it, it’s time to get final approval from key stakeholders and publish the video. COTU provides a preview link you can send to stakeholders before publishing the video.

Tip: “Instead of publishing your interactive video and sending it to the key stakeholders, you can send them a preview link where they’d be taken inside the portal to review and make edits.” — Annie Hinners.

Step 5: Distribute Your Content

You’re done creating your interactive video, and it’s time to spread the word. COTU gives you three options to distribute your video: a shareable link, an embed code, and a QR code. 

With these three sharing options, you’re able to distribute your videos pretty much anywhere, including:

  • Personal website
  • Video hosting platforms (e.g., TikTok)
  • Paid ads
  • Social media
  • Emails

Due to certain restrictions on social media and emails, you might want to consider using gifs or creative images to let viewers know you are linking to an interactive video.

Also Read: 15 Shoppable Video Companies: Solutions and Software

Step 6: Track Your Success

Once your video is out, it’s time to start tracking its performance. You want to know how your viewers interact with the video so that you can improve over time for better conversions. 

The good thing about interactive videos is that they provide helpful insights into the viewers’ behavior. Here are a few ideas of things you can track:

  • Engagements: Interactive videos are filled with clickable elements that viewers can interact with for more information on a product. Tracking clicks on these elements can let you know which products viewers are more interested in.
  • Click-Through: This measures how often viewers click on the CTAs in your video. In an ecommerce campaign, for example, you can monitor how many people are clicking through and compare it with your cart abandonments. This can let you know if there’s an issue with your checkout process.
  • Campaign Performance: COTU also allows you to compare performance across multiple campaigns. This is an excellent opportunity for A/B testing the design and placement of the clickable elements in your videos.

Using an interactive video platform with a robust analytics function allows you to monitor the interactions that matter so that you can make better investments in the future of your brand.

It’s a good idea to allow a little time to pass before you start analyzing campaign results. This ensures that enough data has been gathered to show which products outperform others.

Hinners notes, “We recommend giving it a week or two to see results come in, although it is kind of fun to look on a daily basis to see what products are being clicked on.” 

Track Interactive Video Performance with COTU

Who Should Use Interactive Video?

Interactive videos have a wide range of applications, including shoppable and recruitment videos, explainer videos, educational videos, customer feedback, and many more. Their wide range of applications makes interactive videos useful in any line of business. 

Here are some examples of the different types of businesses that currently use interactive videos:

  • Ecommerce Store — Shoppable Video: Ecommerce stores can add interactivity to their product videos, turning them into shoppable experiences. These shoppable videos really simplify the buyer journey by making it easy for viewers to add products to their shopping carts without leaving the video.

    For example, online beauty retailer, Feelunique, made their product videos shoppable. This yielded a 40% engagement rate and a 4X increase in conversion rate.
  • Electronics And Technology Company — Customer Education Video: Video is one of the best ways to explain your product or service to customers. Adding interactivity to these videos helps to give the customers a more immersive experience, and it also helps them to retain the information longer.

    For example, Samsung used an interactive video to walk customers through the steps to use the camera on their phone.
Customer Education Interactive Video for Technology Company
  • Government Organizations — Skills Training: Interactive videos can also be used for skills training in the workplace. These videos typically have branching scenarios, allowing viewers to explore different routes to a solution.

    For example, the British Council used a fun, interactive animated video to help teachers come up with ideas on how to encourage creativity in young children.
Government Organization Skill Training Interactive Video
  • Breweries — Recruitment: Recruiters are now using interactive video experiences to allow potential hires to judge whether or not they’d be a good fit in their companies. These videos help both recruiters and potential hires know beforehand if it is worth scheduling an interview.

    For example, Ab InBev uses an interactive and interesting video to help new recruits and potential hires to get a good look into the company’s culture.
Breweries Recruitment Interactive Video

If you’re ready to create your own interactive video for your business, the COTU video editing platform makes it super simple for you to get started. Contact us today or request a demo to explore the platform.