What is an interactive video?

Interactive videos break the linearity of traditional video. Find out in this blogpost what is an interactive video!

interactive video
Marketing Team
Video Marketing What is an interactive video?

Table of contents


Interactive videos break the linearity of traditional video, transforming one-way communication into a true exchange between company and customer. What are the benefits that result from this breakthrough?

In any kind of business, communication is the basis of everything. Internal communication within the company: with employees, collaborators, stakeholders. And external communication: with actual and potential customers.

The fact, which cannot be ignored, is that the Digital Transformation has disrupted the dynamics of this communication. The tools, the channels, the opportunities: everything has multiplied with digital.

And not only that. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these changes are actually continuous processes that digital has triggered. Therefore, the real revolution for all companies must be a revolution of mindset, which cascades down to all processes. That said, in this shifting and dynamic landscape, it’s still important to identify fixed points

In this post, which is devoted entirely to interactive video, we’ll try to do that. We’ll go step by step and begin with this starting point: in the digital ecosystem, the most powerful and effective means of communication is undoubtedly video.

The data itself says so: and we’ll look at some of the most important points in the next section. Then, we’ll tighten our focus around the specific theme of this post: interactive videos, precisely.

The effectiveness of video in digital communication – a focus

Let’s start with some impressive data regarding the prevalence of video on the internet (and thus the familiarity we all have with it):

  • By the end of this year, videos will make up 82% of total internet traffic. In 2017, the percentage was already very high, 73%, but the growth has been strong and all the more so after the stages of the Covid-19 pandemic (source: cisco.com).
  • By the end of 2021, YouTube had about 2.3 billion worldwide monthly active users (source: oberlo.com).
  • Every day, again on YouTube, more than 1 billion hours of video are viewed (source: oberlo.com).

Let’s now move on to the fundamental ability of videos to capture attention, stimulate engagement, and facilitate understanding of the messages conveyed:

  • 55% of people pay more attention when approaching videos than any other type of content (source: omnikick.com). 
  • 85% of marketers say video is the best way to get attention online (source: animoto.com).
  • When viewing a video, the average user retains 95% of the message it contains; when it comes to text, that percentage drops to 10% (source: covideo.com).
  • 94% of marketers say that videos have consistently helped with what customers understand about their products or services (source: hubspot.com).
  • 66% of people prefer to watch a video to get information about a product or service. Only 18% prefer a text post (source: elitecontentmarketer.com).
  • A study by Buffer of nearly 800 million Facebook posts  found that videos generate, on average, 59% more engagement than other types of posts (source: buffer.com)
  • On Instagram, the content that generates the best engagement rate is, once again, video (source: mention.com)

We could continue, but let’s conclude with a significant finding, which shifts from attention and engagement to the ability to generate conversions:

  • Marketers noticed a 34% increase in conversion rates when videos were added to their campaigns (source: explain.ninja).

What are interactive videos and how do they work?

Having demonstrated the unrivaled effectiveness of videos, here, we come to the heart of our post. Classic videos are always linear: you click “play” to start them and, at most, you can pause it, stop it, go forward or go back. 

Interactive videos, on the other hand, break this paradigm: from one-way linearity, we move to two-way interactivity. To put it another way: from monologues where the viewer is always passive, we move to a real dialog, where the viewer is an active actor in the storytelling and conversation. At this point, it is already clear why this is an important revolution, and one that – most importantly – has yet to bear its best fruits.

But let’s get down into the concrete and look at some of the interactivity features that can be implemented (there are many options; here we list only the most commonly used ones):

  • Hotspots: i.e., clickable areas within an interactive video. They are the perfect places for calls to action, and they can lead to a different web page or to opening content directly within the video.
  • Data entry fields: useful for entering the biographical details of the user watching the video, the email to subscribe to a newsletter, the address for a shipment and so on.
  • Quizzes and polls: very useful for probing audience sentiment and getting quick feedback in a way that is easy and non-invasive for viewers.
  • Branching paths (branches): a kind of map with multiple turns that the user can choose to take, so as to customize his or her path of watching the video.
  • 360-degree viewing: with the ability for the viewer to “move” in all directions within a frame of the video.

The main advantages of using interactive video

Let’s start with a figure, as we often like to do, so that we can immediately give a concrete measure to our argument:

  • According to a study by Spiel Creative, about 90% of the marketers involved noticed a growth in sales after implementing interactive video in their campaigns. And 85% of them said they plan to create even more interactive videos in the future (source: spielcreative.com).

And now let’s isolate five keywords, around which the main benefits of using interactive videos in their campaigns revolve:

1) Engagement.

We’ve said it before: interactive videos break the linearity paradigm and turn viewing into a true participatory dialog. This, of course, has a huge impact on increasing engagement. According to research by DemandGen, this impact turns into a net doubling of the engagement rate.

2) Traceability.

There is no such thing as the perfect video campaign. But every campaign can be constantly improved. How? By analyzing the results. It’s all about data and metrics: figuring out how long your videos are viewed, where abandonments tend to be concentrated, and then which people are most interested and which are less interested…and more.

With interactive videos, you can conduct this kind of analysis in a much more surgical way, because the touchpoints are multiplied and directly call the viewer into question.

Collecting such precise data is the most useful and valuable strategy for making your videos perform better and better!

3) Conversion rate.

The path from winning attention to increasing engagement can only end with a corresponding increase in the conversion rate.

Again, the data says it all. Linear videos such as banner ads or classic YouTube ads record conversion rates that stay below the 1% threshold. With interactive videos, the surge is truly remarkable, reaching an average of 11% (source: marketingprofs.com).

4) Memorability.

Here, we come to another decisive point. Not only do interactive videos have much higher engagement and conversion rates than traditional videos, but they remain imprinted in the minds of those who watch them in a much sharper and more prolonged way. As we know, this is a really decisive aspect that strongly impacts a brand’s image.

On average, an interactive video is 32% more memorable than a linear video.

5) Viewing times.

For this very important point, just remember this other statistic: on average, viewing times for an interactive video are 47% longer than for linear videos.

In short, here is the solution to one of the biggest problems in video marketing: the very rapid abandonment of viewing a video.

Interactive video – the case of Babelee

Babelee is a platform for producing a wide range of videos, among which interactive videos play a central role.

It’s about making a difference, but in a smart and affordable way for all types of business: the possibilities for personalizing interactive videos offered by Babelee are many, with different channels and modes of interaction and the creation of calls to action that are tailored to each individual viewer.

Here is a powerful and increasingly central aspect: personalization. So, not only creating interactive paths within a video, but making these paths different depending on the characteristics and navigation choices of each individual viewer.

With Babelee, in short, the revolution is twofold and complete: it breaks the paradigm of mono-directionality, turning video into a bi-directional, interactive dialog. And, at the same time, it overturns the old logic of one-to-many communication, of one-size-fits-all messaging, finally embracing the perspective of one-to-one, personalized, close-up communication.

This is the real breakthrough for the video marketing of the future but also for the present!

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