Everything you need to know about interactive video

Written by
Elly Henriksen
Published on
June 4, 2024
Table of contents

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Interactive videos create an immersive environment for viewers that is proven to increase engagement.

These videos are used in various industries, from marketing to entertainment to education and training. In this blog post, we explore the world of interactivity, looking at:

  • What are interactive videos, and why are they useful?
  • How is an interactive video different from video interactivity?
  • How to create interactive videos.

What is interactive video?

An interactive video combines video with clickable graphics that change the storyline or next scene. They're usually built using gamification principles and are effective at improving engagement. 

Unlike traditional videos limited to only basic playback controls, interactive videos offer:

  • Clickable hotspots that reveal hidden information
  • Multiple-choice questions that lead to different scenarios
  • Clickable links to web pages
  • 360-degree environments
  • Automatic quizzes and polls at checkpoints

Interactive videos can be just what you need. Like anything from product demos, training, and educational videos to simulation and augmented reality videos. Interacting with the content in an immersive VR environment makes the experience all the more powerful. Even Netflix's Choose Love is an interactive production, as you can see in this trailer:

Choose Love | Official Trailer | Netflix

These videos' engagement elements create an active viewing experience that is more fun and likely to be remembered.

What is the difference between interactive and interactivity videos?

"Interactive" and "interactivity" are used interchangeably in the context of videos and refer to the same underlying concept — videos that allow user interaction beyond playing, pausing, and skipping through the content. However, there's a subtle difference:

Interactive video requires and responds to user inputs, altering the viewing experience. So, the focus here is on direct interaction and viewer engagement. 

Interactivity is a broader concept. It discusses the feature set of interactivity within videos or a video platform. It includes the various tools, technologies, and design principles that make interactive videos possible.

Any video can become interactive if you: 

1) Add interaction features, like branching techniques, quizzes, or clickable hotspots.

2) Ask viewers to make choices that influence the video's storyline or reveal additional information.

What are the elements of an interactive video?

Decision-making options, quizzes, and polls are the most common in interactive videos. Entertainment interactive videos often use branching storylines, clickable hotspots, and drag-to-look-around environments. 

In contrast, training and educational interactive videos mostly rely on quizzes, polls, forms, input fields, hotspots, and interactive timelines. 

To create an interactive video, you need one or more of the following elements:

  1. Decision-making options: These branching scenarios or multiple content pathways allow viewers to influence the storyline with their choices.
  2. Quizzes: Interactive questions and tests provide immediate feedback on the viewer's understanding or information retention.
  3. Polls: As an engagement instrument, polls collect viewers' opinions or preferences during the video and gather data on views.
  4. Clickable hotspots: When clicked, the interactive areas within a video can reveal additional information, play a video, or redirect to a website. 
  5. Drag-to-look-around environments: 360-degree videos are ideal for creating a video tour or various experiences on a team's training grounds. This type of interactive video lets viewers click or drag the environment to explore it in all directions.
  6. Links to external pages: A lower form of interaction, embedding hyperlinks within a video is a simple way for viewers to access additional information or resources. These links are called on YouTube annotations and on Google display ads.
  7. Forms or data inputs fields: These are useful for surveys, feedback, or registration purposes. They collect information from viewers directly through the video.
  8. Interactive timelines: Present a chronological sequence of events or steps, like in a traditional linear video, but let viewers navigate by clicking or hovering to access various information formats. This walkthrough of a custom interactive timeline for litigation lawyers is an example.

Are interactive videos effective?

Interactive videos produce some excellent results. Digital marketers who include interactive videos improve conversion rates by 25% and lead generation by 18%. 

Interactive videos are highly effective in education, marketing, and training. In the learning and development industry, adopting game-based learning scenarios has been shown to increase engagement by 50%.

Interactivity feels, to some extent, like playing a game. As viewers make choices or discover hidden elements in the video, they get more curious and involved. This approach works very well even when teaching at scale.

By observing how viewers interact with the video, you can better understand viewer behavior and preferences. These details will help you further refine and tailor your interactive content strategy.

Marketers often use these videos as a marketing tool to showcase products. Then, they extract user data to guide their future video creation and marketing strategy. The same applies to L&D practitioners who rely on interactivity to make their learning programs more effective.

Case study 📚

Zoom needed to train over 1,000 salespeople and used the AI video maker Synthesia to create 200+ micro videos 90% faster. Then, they produced highly interactive and engaging training modules at scale by customizing the AI footage in interactive video tools like Rise 360 and Storyline. Now, instead of relying on lengthy PDF files, their sales teams participate in realistic simulations with interactive sales courses like "Deal Detective," illustrated below:

Zoom: Deal Detective Preview

10 examples of interactive videos

After all this information, it's time to watch some of the best interactive video examples for inspiration. That way, you'll know what to aim for once you create your own interactive videos. 

Tip 💡

For many of these examples, the interactive element can only be accessed by taking the course or going to the website directly. You can find the website link between these 👉 two emojis.👈

Interactive video example 1: Video quiz

Example: Quiz feedback in Articulate

This interactive video quiz focuses on real-life scenarios instead of theoretical grade concepts. It even includes a friendly AI avatar to guide learners, making you feel more engaged.

The goal is to walk participants through a series of questions with multiple choices. You must select the most fitting answer, and if you're right, you unlock the next question. 

This type of interactive video makes learning simple, practical, and stress-free. It encourages you to apply knowledge to real situations and learn from mistakes. And the best part? There are no grades! It's straightforward, and it works.

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

Interactive video example 2: A dating experience

A Date with Markiplier

"A Date with Markiplier" is a unique but great interactive video. It simulates a date from a first-person point of view, with viewers joining Mark at a restaurant. But as soon as the bill comes, things complicate.

The interactive nature of the series is given by YouTube's "next action prompts." At specific points, you get options to choose what happens next. These choices lead to different scenarios, ranging from comedic to thrilling. 

Want to discover all the possible outcomes? Watch the video multiple times and select a different branching storyline every time. This strategy creates a branching path narrative. But more importantly, it shows the creative options within interactive video content.

Interactive video example 3: Culture fit evaluation

This interactive video by Deloitte takes you through realistic job scenarios. It challenges you to make decisions, and every choice suggests the answer to the big question, "Will you fit into Deloitte?" By the way, that's the actual name of the video. 

After a short intro, the script moves on to an elevator incident. Coffee gets spilled on a manager's coat, and you must say how you'll react. Other choices arise, evaluating your fit with the company culture and role expectations. 

The video content differs from traditional productions in that it involves decision-making tasks. It offers a dynamic workplace experience and insights into the company's values.

👉 Watch the full interactive video here.👈 

Interactive video example 4: Customer service training

Cloneable Customer Service Presentation Template: AI presenter included

Think of this example as a tool to teach your people how to communicate. It's critical to developing great customer relationships.

The script involves engaging scenarios with a customer called Joseph. He's facing a difficult situation. Participants must select from various response strategies that lead to different results. 

Notice how concise, interactive, and focused the video is on personalized learning. It makes the experience direct and relatable. And it shows how we're supposed to train staff to handle real-life interactions with empathy.

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

Interactive video example 5: Product demonstration

LaCantina shows us how interactivity can be used to demo even a product like doors. But what's so special about this video that shows you how folding door systems work?

First of all, it's like a choose-your-own-adventure for doors. You have different exploration segments: Operation, Configuration, and Materials. Based on your choice, you get a real sense of how luxurious and versatile these products can be for your home. 

Then, there's also the special "switch view" feature. This one adds a ton of dynamic visual engagement. And the entire interactive video doesn't just educate on the product's complexity but tailors the demo to the varied users' interests.

This example video provides an immersive experience. It's an excellent way to highlight design and features, especially for luxury products.

👉 Watch the full interactive video demo here.👈 

Interactive video example 6: Diversity training

Example: Diversity dilemma video course

Creating diversity training can be challenging, especially if you seek a unique approach. But this interactive video transforms it into an engaging detective game. Employees tackle a problem as if solving a mystery, which makes it so much fun.

The task involves examining various perspectives and researching laws. By judging the facts, learners have to reach a verdict. This is "learning through play" in action. It brings an entertaining approach to understanding diversity.

Besides the entertaining delivery, the video shows robust learning tools and covers many topics. Use it as inspiration to discuss sensitive topics in a way viewers resonate with.

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

Interactive video example 7: A zombie romance

Aardman Studios created a unique production with this interactive zombie romance video. "Dead Lonely" introduces the story of Fred, a lonely zombie searching for his lost love.

The narrative explores love, loss, and survival in a post-apocalyptic world. It combines choice-driven storytelling with immersive animations in a choose-your-own-adventure romance. The branching technique lets you change the plot and enjoy a personalized experience.

Fans of Aardman Studios can recognize their signature animation style. This video uses high-quality visuals and an engaging storyline. It explores human emotions in unexpected circumstances, keeping the viewer on their toes.

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

Interactive video example 8: Customer testimonials

Example: Grocery customer testimonials

Who said exploring customer desires and feedback is hard? This engaging, interactive video centered on testimonials certainly seems doable. In this example, users can choose from different customer testimonials. It's a brief experience that keeps you paying attention.

The format is perfect for helping employees grasp customer service nuances. All it takes is a few clicks. It leverages relatable content and introduces a friendly interface. And its success lies in the quick, natural way of exploring the testimonials. The warm atmosphere and appealing visual design also help but are complementary.

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

Interactive video example 9: Cars collection ad

Ready to dive into the wild with "Built Wild"? This interactive video features the Ford Bronco Family. The presenter and main character is renowned adventurer and filmmaker Jimmy Chin. And the experience takes you on an adventure to see the car's capabilities.

Demonstrations are made on various terrains. You can explore Bronco's features through active engagement with the video or learn more about Chin. All while his expert insights and thrilling narratives weigh in. 

This isn't your typical interactive video production. It's a unique presentation that connects viewers with the essence of exploration and helps increase brand awareness. Subtly, it also highlights the vehicle's rugged appeal.

👉 Watch the full interactive video ad here.👈 

Interactive video example 10: Conflict of interest course

Example: Conflict of interest course

In this video example, you'll discover a different way to teach conflict of interest. The cool part is that you can use it with any other similar theoretical topic. 

As a course, it balances informative content and engaging interactivity. The narrative makes the concept of conflict of interest more accessible and memorable. And the interactive experience caters to diverse learning styles.

The visuals include a mix of video, graphics, and text. And together with the script and interactive elements, they create a fresh approach. Few courses can make learning so intuitive, educational, and entertaining!

👉 Watch the full interactive video quiz here.👈 

How do I make my video interactive?

To make a video interactive, you have to use interactive video elements that allow viewer participation and influence the content or outcome. Below is a four-step overview of how to do this.

Step 1: Choose an interactive video platform

To start, experiment with AI video makers like Synthesia. With text-to-video tools, a user-friendly interface, and lots of templates, you can create videos in minutes rather than hours. Integration with authoring tools like Easygenerator or Articulate 360 means you can add interactions without the hassle of exporting and importing video files. 

Step 2: Conceptualize your video's interactive elements

Decide which interactive elements best serve your goals. Here are some common interaction points to help you get started: 

  • Offer viewers choices that lead to different paths/endings with branching storylines.
  • Create clickable elements and areas that perform a specific action.
  • Embed questions or polls to test knowledge or collect feedback.
  • Allow viewers to control the viewpoint and explore the video from every angle.
  • Add a timeline for users to navigate and jump to different paths and video sections.
  • Enable content changes based on user input.
  • Add interactive AI avatars to keep your storyline more engaging.

How to Use AI-Avatars for Learning: Synthesia + Storyline 360

Step 3: Integrate and synchronize the interactive elements

Upload your video into the chosen interactive video platform and use the interactive elements available on that platform.

As you add interactions to your video, make sure each element is well-timed and programmed to show up at the right moment.

Here's a short video that shows how to add interactive elements to your video with Easygenerator:

How to create interactive online courses in Easygenerator

Step 4: Test and publish your interactive video

Test the interactive video to ensure it performs as intended and provides an error-free experience. Check that it adapts to different screen sizes and that all interactive controls work correctly.

When done, simply export and publish your video on multiple channels, as established in your marketing strategy.

Leverage AI videos to create interactive learning experiences 

Are you ready to create a video and add interactivity elements to it?

The AI video maker Synthesia will turn your text into videos in minutes, using AI avatars and readymade video templates. It can even write the whole script from some inputs and integrates with various platforms that allow you to make your videos interactive.


Frequently asked questions