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The next step in video marketing: interactive online video

The use of online video is still increasing every year. The most famous of them all, YouTube, is only 12 years old and now people watch over 6 billion hours (!) of videos per month. Due to smartphones, people spent over 2 hours a day more looking at a screen than 5 years ago. A recent study by Adobe shows that, on average, a total of almost 10 hours a day is spent watching screens. It is therefore a logical next step for companies to get into online video. However, the art of standing out is has become more important than ever with the enormous amount of video content out there today.

What is interactive video?

With interactive video, the viewer is actively involved during the video. With active we mean more than just play and stop/pause. The video player can be enriched with different types of layers. A simple buy button, downloads and contact form to a google maps integration. By adding interactive elements you can create a lean forward experience from lean back.

Why interactive video?

Times change and inevitabely the viewing behavior of the consumer as well. Almost all video content currently available online is linear. This means that the user has no influence on what he/she gets to see, the company is just sending one message and the viewer is no more than a receiver. With interactive video, there now is a shift in this traditional model of sending and recieving. As once said by the well-know Chinese philosopher Confucius:

”Tell me, i will forget.
Show me, i will remember.
Involve me, i will understand.”

In other words: involve the viewer, let them influence the process and your content will stick better with them. It has been proven over and over that interactive videos are being watched better and longer than ‘linear’ videos.

There is frequently spoken about ‘completion rate’, this means to what extent the user completes the task (in this case viewing an entire video). With conventional online video this percentage is between 50 to 85%. When it comes to interactive video, this percentage is considerably higher, according to a study by Forrester, this percentage is at 90% or sometimes even higher.

By involving the viewer, conversion is increased. For example, a study by Forrester Research shows that significantly higher click-trough rates (5% -12%) and Sales conversion rates (growth 380%) are achieved.

What types of interactive video are there?

First of all, make sure that the viewer only gets to see relevant content and interactions. Think the customer journey through. At what point does your viewer get tet to see the video and what is the purpose of the video? This way you increase the engagement, which results in a better viewing experience and a higher conversion. To get the objective of the video clear, videos can be divided into different categories. This allows for a good distinction to be made between the goals of the video.

Shopping and conversion

These videos actively encourage you to buy a product or to sign up for a newsletter. They are always meant tot contribute to higher conversion rates, a ‘shop’ option is added to the video player so that the viewer can purchase a product at the same time. It is also possible that a form is added with which the viewer can sign up for a newsletter.

Instruction & customer care

These videos provide the viewer with information about a certain product or process works. They are informative and intended to help the customer with (frequently occuring) issues. They are focussed on two different aspects:

  1. Inform the viewer
  2. Arouse interest for the product/service

Research shows that consumers hardly ever read the instruction booklets after purchasing a product. The problem is not being able to find the right information in the large quantity of text (Digitalcommons, 2006).  Interactive video can offer a solution here. This way the information can be adjusted to the needs of the person viewing, because the viewer has control over what information is shown in the video.

The video footage must me processed in such a way that the viewer can remember the information mentioned, people have limited space in the physical working memory to store information temporarily, this memory serves as a channel to the long-term memory. That’s why it is important to offer the message in manageable snippets. It is best to divide the message into 5 to 9 pieces, this quantity ensures that the information is not too much at once and enables the user to link the information to existing information in the long-term memory (The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, 2011)


These videos are personalized based on the data available of the person viewing. This way they can be more informative and give explanations to the viewer with a personal touch. You can see an example of this in the Oxxio instruction video. Customers who have started with Oxxio as their energy provider receive a welcoming package including a personalized message. For example, at several moments in the video, the name of the customer and the address can be seen, the video clearly explains the structure of the costs and at the end of the video there are call to action about where the app can be downloaded and/or an account can be created

Fun and entertainment

Then there are also videos with a high entertainment factor. These mainly focus on increasing brand awareness or the brand experience. The product or brand is displayed in a spectacular or funny way in the video, in order to attract the attention of the people watching.

Pick the right video management solution

When you want to be able to determine what happens with each click, it is important to get started with a good video management system (VMS) where it is possible to create an interactive video player. A VMS gives you the freedom to decide for yourself what a video player looks like and its behavior. This gives you more control over the way content is shown to the end user. A good VMS is very important, its the backbone of the online operation. From the VMS, the online videos are distributed and it is possible to view all the details about the reach of the video, time watched, number of plays and so on.

Customize the player to match the brand identity

Pick a player design that fits within the web environment. Create a video player that breathes your corporate identity and leads up to interaction. This can be achieved by adding your own logo and using the company colors in the player. Leave all irrelevant elements that do not contribute to achieving your video goals out. A good example of this is the video player of Here they have chosen for a vertical video player to make efficient use of the space available within the webshop. The player is very minimal, there is no player bar or other elements to distract from the calls to action on the site (except maybe for the girl in the video).

Measure and improve

With a good VMS it is easy to manage and analyze videos. With the right video analytics, you can look into the statistics and you can retrieve the performance of each and every video, you can let the user decide what he/she wants to see, increase insight into the best performing content, get insight in viewing behavior, interactivity and conversion ratios. Based on the results and findings you can eventually set new goals.


In short, interactive video is a fantastic tool for transferring information, online findability, serve customers and increase your conversion. Taking all the previous points into account can really help you in your strategy. Here is a short summary:

  • Interactive videos can offer a complex and/or large message to the customer in an easy, clear and visual way.
  • With an interactive video you can personalize a message to the viewing needs of the user
  • The people watching can give feedback in the video player itself, which gives them a sense of loyalty which can be used
  • Higher engagement of the people watching
  • Activates the viewer
  • User is triggered to look back and find other elements
  • Significantly higher completion rate
  • Increased conversion
  • Higher CTR

Contact us

Please contact on of our online video experts. We’d be happy to give you personal advice about how you can get the most out of your video content.