Making your video work with interactivity

If you’re making an interactive video, then you want it to be the best it can possibly be! Here are some areas to think about when producing your video for interactivity.

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If you’ve ever scripted & storyboarded a piece of video content (or even if you haven’t), there are some things that you’ll need to do a little bit differently to create the best interactive video possible. As the interactive elements are the ‘heroes’ of the video, it’s important to construct the video with these in mind. Some things to consider include:

  • Leave rooms for interactions - your interactions are your main focal points. Leave half to two-thirds of the frame open to allow space for your interactions to sit in. The less cluttered the visual space is when your interactions appear, the better.

  • Think about your CTAs - what are the goals/objectives for your video, and how can you achieve them through using CTAs? Each CTA should be compelling to your audience - whether it’s getting them to sign up for a newsletter, click on a link to your website, participate in a poll or anything else that is beneficial for your business. This is a great time to put yourself in the shoes of your audience, and place CTAs in a way that’s visually appealing, as well as makes sense. This will help guide how you create the rest of the video. 

  • Make the most of a voiceover/on-screen talent - verbal prompts can help direct your audience to where you want them to go using CTAs, as well as introduce them to the world of interactive video, if it’s not something that they might have experienced before. Transform a traditional voiceover into a dialogue explaining what’s on screen and why your audience should care and watch your interaction rates skyrocket!

  • Understanding what makes people point and click - if you can film your on-screen talent is pointing to where the CTAs and interactions will be placed, then it’s even easier for your audience to follow. It’s a simple way to strengthen your message, as well as make your CTAs more enticing!

  • Map it out - looking to create a branching video? It’s important to understand the different pathways that people could potentially take. You’ll want everyone to walk away with the messaging you’re looking for depending on what pathways they take, so ensure you’ve got a plan for every scenario!

Filming your video

Filming video content doesn’t need to be intimidating - often, it can be done using phone, especially if you adjust a couple of the settings. Some things to be aware of when you’re shooting include:

  • Making use of the rule of thirds: The rule of thirds (mentally splitting a shot into three) can help you provide a clear space for CTAs/interactions to sit when you place them on your video. It’s a great way to make those elements more obvious, while also strengthening your message. 

  • Think about how it’ll look on phones and social media: More and more people are watching video on their phones. It’s worth considering filming a mobile/social friendly version of your interactive video by filming vertically and shortening the video to be bite sized. If it’s easier, you can do this during the editing process, but it’s worth considering while you’re filming so you don’t have any issues down the line.

Editing your video

Now the filming’s done, the real fun can begin! This is the point where you’ll start adding your interactions to the video, as well as creating the narrative that your audience will be following. Some things you’ll want to be thinking about during the editing process include:

  • Create visual interactions so they stand out: You can add interactive labels in the Vudoo platform (also known as pins) or you can customize and make your own via your preferred editing suite such as Adobe After Effects. With any custom visual elements in your video, an invisible hotspot can be added to them in the Vudoo Platform to trigger interactive actions. When thinking of compelling CTAs use dynamic graphics, text or button to drive clicks, but remember, a clear, simple element can be more attention grabbing than a busy, indistinct graphic.

  • Make your interactions obvious: Make your interactions and CTAs obvious to viewers. Don’t hide or allow it to get lost with small or dark elements over a busy background. Take the extra time to make sure they’re visible, clear, and noticeably clickable. This might mean adding some contrast or an arrow to point to the area of the screen where the CTA will be. These tiny tweaks will make your CTA easier to find and click through.

  • Avoid top and bottom of the frame: It’s common practice to place CTAs and text at the top or bottom side of a frame however with interactive elements, there is an interactive safety zone to allow interactions to be visible and active on all devices (more details in adding your interactions below). Refraining from positioning your interactions and CTAs at the bottom also leaves room for subtitles and closed captions to be added in as well.

  • Return button: With branching always allow the viewer to return to the menu or choice points. To do so, simply add a text or image annotation that links back to the choice point.

  • Give thought to color and text: a snappy video title and description gives people a reason to watch and should work together with your thumbnail for maximum impact. People also like to see other people so if there’s a friendly face in your video, try using them.

  • Have a great thumbnail: Getting clicks starts with the thumbnail. Humans are visual creatures, so a good thumbnail should act as a teaser to tempt someone to watch. You can also set your own thumbnail in the Vudoo platform by using a slider to select a video frame, but we highly recommend creating one during your video editing. The thumbnail is an important element to get right if you’re aiming for better performing videos.