Interactive Videos: Engaging Audiences in a Clickable World

Interactive Videos: Engaging Audiences in a Clickable World

by Sankar M | 16 Feb 2024 |

Interactive videos are exploding in popularity. But what are they, and how do they differ from the standard video format we’re used to?

The short answer is that unlike traditional linear videos, where users have the option to “Play, Pause, Fast Forward, and Rewind,” interactive videos also include clickable or touchable hotspots that viewers can interact with.

Interactive videos are being used successfully for many different purposes, including:

  • Moving the screen 360° to explore an environment.
  • Revealing information about on-screen products and linking to online stores.
  • Allowing viewers of training videos to make decisions that affect various outcomes.
  • Moving between different storylines for “choose your own adventure” entertainment.
  • Answering questionnaires or polls.

However they are used, interactive videos generate greater engagement by immersing viewers more deeply in the subject matter. So, if you’re looking for new ways to improve conversions and grow your sales, this new media format could prove invaluable.

The Power of Interactive Videos

There’s no denying that interactive videos are much more costly and time-consuming to create than a traditional YouTube promotional film. However, at a time when attention spans are plummeting, the extra effort can skyrocket your marketing campaigns.

Here are just a few of the reasons a good interactive video trumps a regular linear version:

  • Higher conversion rates: According to research, interactive videos have click-through rates of around 11%. By contrast, a typical YouTube video may only achieve 1%.
  • Better engagement: Interactive videos create an active rather than passive viewing experience that captivates viewers and encourages them to continue watching.
  • More memorable: Even if a viewer isn’t interested in the subject matter of your interactive video, the sheer novelty factor may be enough for them to keep watching. 
  • Improved data collection: Certain interactive video tools allow you to track exactly how people interact with certain video elements rather than simply reporting on data collection how long they spent watching.

The Different Features of Interactive Videos

So far, we’ve touched on how businesses use interactive videos and their benefits over traditional media forms. But what exactly is an interactive video? Or, more precisely, what features can be added to a basic video to make it a more immersive experience?

Here are some of the most common methods and technologies:

Clickable or tappable hotspots

Hotspots are areas on a video that can be clicked or tapped to reveal more information. There are two ways hotspots can be implemented:

  • Static Hotspots, as the name suggests, appear on fixed areas of the screen.
  • Sticky Hotspots appear attached to an object as it moves around a scene. This feature is most often used to give additional context to products. For example, print-on-demand companies that allow you to make your own t-shirt could use sticky hotspots to let viewers learn more about various fabric styles and print methods.

Now, let’s look at some examples of how hotpots can be used in interactive videos:

  • Hotspots can be used to allow a viewer to jump to a scene of their choice. This effect is known as branching. Using the example mentioned a moment ago, a printing or clothing company might use branching to give viewers the option to view ‘custom hoodies’ or ‘custom tote bags‘, and the video would then branch to a new scene depending on the viewer’s choice.
  • When a hotspot is clicked or tapped, an overlay might appear, providing additional information, such as a product’s price, specifications, or interesting facts for e-Learning purposes.
  • Hotspots are also an excellent method for diverting traffic from a video to a website or eCommerce product page.

360 Degree Experiences

Unlike regular videos, 360° video is recorded in all directions using a special camera. While watching these videos, viewers can control the viewing angle and watch the action from any perspective. Of course, 360° videos can also incorporate hotspots and branching, making for a completely immersive experience.

Tools and Platforms for Creating Interactive Videos

The interactive video sector is still in its infancy. Unfortunately, that means many of the services are expensive or aimed at larger corporate and B2B clients. However, we were able to put together a list of useful resources to help you get started:

i) Eko Studio is a powerful online interactive video tool that’s easy to learn and completely free.

ii) is an online tool, which helps to generate videos in minutes and price starts at only 15$ per month. 

iii) Rapt Media is considered an industry leader in the interactive video space. Unfortunately, the service is aimed at larger companies, so you’ll need deep pockets!

iv) WIREWAX is another big player, with software available from $1000/month.

v) Mindstamp allows you to add buttons, hotspots, drawings and more to your videos. The starter package is very reasonable, at under $30/month for a single user.

vi) DilogR has more of a marketing slant, and offers quizzes, interactive videos, and more for around $100/month.

vii) Adobe Captivate is a powerful eLearning tool that can be used to create interactive video — though you’ll need to do some customization. Once you get the hang of the software, you’ll be able to produce some incredible educational programs.

Real-life Case Studies

Honda: The Other Side

Honda successfully used an interactive video to market their sporty Civic Type R model. The idea of the video was simple but effective: The car in question led a double life. By day, the vehicle and its owner carefully transported a family. However, if viewers pressed “R” on their keyboards, the camera would jump to a parallel storyline where the car and its owner chased art thieves. 

This interactive video beautifully conveyed how Honda made practical family vehicles that could still be exciting when the situation demanded.

Deloitte: Will You Fit into Deloitte?

Professional services firm Deloitte’s interactive video aimed to introduce new candidates to the company’s workplace culture. Viewers were taken through a series of situations and presented with choices that each had their own consequences. The video was widely appreciated and heavily shared on social media. 

Philips: Click & Style

Philips’ interactive video is an excellent example of using hotspots effectively. The video began with the protagonist asking the viewer to choose a style for him. The viewer then picked hotspots at various stages of the film, with each interaction leading to a different storyline.

Although the video was purely about making more sales, its amazing storyline kept viewers engaged and was responsible for dramatically increasing traffic to the company’s website.

Samsung: The Anatomy of Surf

To coincide with the launch of their Gear VR, Samsung commissioned an interactive 3D surfing video narrated by pro surfer Ian Walsh. The film gave a realistic, slow-motion perspective inside the barrel of a wave, and viewers could pan and tilt the camera to see the action from every angle.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t just display products or add “Buy Now” buttons, but instead, try and tell an immersive story that generates emotion and hooks your audience, compelling them to keep watching.
  • If your interactive video is intended as a sales tool, not everyone who watches will end up making a purchase. Make sure to also capture email addresses or other lead information so that you can continue marketing to viewers long after they’ve finished watching.
  • Keep your interactive video script short and punchy. Although it sounds obvious, ensure that you are using as many interactive elements as possible to use the medium to its fullest and keep viewers engaged.
  • To generate sales using video, you need to take viewers on an emotional journey. Interactive videos can work fantastically when it comes to creating a sense of surprise or humor, for example, so take full advantage of everything the medium has to offer.
  • A dopamine rush can be a powerful sales tool if used correctly. When it comes to interactive videos, giving viewers a sense of achievement (gamification) by allowing them to unlock special features or progress through a narrative can massively boost conversion.
  • The more complex an interactive video, the more costly it will be to create. You can save a lot of time and money by creating a detailed storyboard before approaching prospective video production companies. The more information and scripting you’re able to provide, the better.
  • Remember that your interactive video will likely be watched on tablets and smartphones. That means you should consider user experience and ensure that clickable elements are easily visible and accessible on smaller screens.
  • Your interactive video project isn’t finished once the final film has been uploaded. For your marketing campaign to succeed, you’ll need the video to go viral —at least in your own niche. For that to happen, you’ll need a well-executed social media campaign.


Making interactive videos requires a great deal of planning and careful consideration of your audience or target market. However, as part of a well-executed market campaign, they can be a potent sales or lead generation tool.

Creating a “choose your own adventure” style film or adding targeted product recommendations into a video advert would have seemed like pure science fiction just a few decades ago. Yet today, plenty of cloud-based interactive video platforms and software tools exist, allowing you to get started right away.

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