How to boost interactive video conversions with gamification

For companies hoping to generate leads and collect meaningful data, using interactive video is a no-brainer. But adding a contact form doesn’t mean people will effectively use it. Our solution to really drive conversions? Combine interactive video with gamification!

But first, let’s take a look at how interactive video has evolved and which services you can use to make your videos interactive.

In this article you will find:

  • A historical overview of interactive video with pros and cons of available tools
  • How to boost your interactive video conversions by adding gamification
  • Inspiring examples of gamified interactive videos


The evolution of Interactive video

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Interactive video has come a long way. The world’s first interactive movie, Kinoautomat, was conceived by the Czech screenwriter Radúz Činčera and was shown on the Expo 67 in Montreal. At nine points during the movie, the film stopped. A moderator came onto the scene and took votes to decide how the story should unfold.

Kinoautomat – the first interactive video

Wild Gunman – the first interactive video game

In 1974, Nintendo created the first interactive video game, Wild Gunman. A full motion movie was projected on a projection screen that was connected to a light gun. Each time the eyes of an enemy flashed, the player had to shoot faster to win. If you were fast enough, the projection showed footage of the enemy falling down, otherwise, you saw a clip of the gunman shooting you down.

These early examples led to an early video game genre called “movie games”, made entirely with real of animated movie clips instead of computer graphics. These games primarily focussed on the narrative instead of the gameplay and contained very limited interaction. If you’re old enough, you might remember the classic game Dragon’s Lair, about a daring knight trying to rescue a princess.

Dragon’s lair – A classic in the movie game genre

Youtube’s annotations: the first interactive layers

The emergence of Youtube as the most popular video uploading and sharing platform meant a first innovation to interactive video. In 2008, Youtube introduced annotations: small boxes with subscribe buttons, text fields or hyperlinks users could add to their videos. This was the first tool that allowed content creators to upload videos and enrich them with interactive layers. However, the main goal of the annotations was monetising Youtube content by driving viewers to other youtube content and boost the channel.

Although the features were very limited, users found creative ways to hack the annotations. They used them to add little jokes and easter eggs to their videos and even revamped the interactive movie genre with “Choose your own adventure” style video series. These are branching narratives with short movie clips where the viewers can choose the storyline by clicking through to another movie. Check out a cool example below.

But annotations didn’t work on mobile and were eventually replaced with a fixed set of cards and end screens. Still, the focus of Youtube’s interactive features still lies on offering ways to mint content through the platform by collecting donations, selling merchandise and generating funds through crowdfunding. Even a very basic interactive video feature like linking to an external website is limited on Youtube.

From monetisation to professionalisation: Vimeo and Wistia

Video hosting services like Vimeo and Wistia capitalised on the drawbacks and limitations of Youtube’s community approach regarding interactivity. Instead of focussing on content monetisation, they target businesses and professional users who want to use video on their own website. They don’t run ads or recommendations, but provide better privacy/security options and cleaner design, embedding and on-site options.

Following Youtube’s example, they offer interactive layers, but from a commercial angle. Their interactive features include unlimited linking to external website, business cards and capturing e-mails.

Email capturing on Vimeo

However, interactivity is not the focus points of these platforms. And as a result: the interactive options remain very limited in functionality as well as customisation.

Interactive video options on Social media

Social media have also discovered the efficiency of interactive content to increasing engagement and conversions. According to Facebook, slow load times are a top reason people abandon a website after clicking on an ad. That’s why they created interactive Canvas ads and lead ads, allowing users to reach the information they want within the ad instead of clicking through to another site.

Similarly, Instagram’s stories allow you to add polls and include clickable links in their stories. The goal? Increase engagement and conversions of Instagram content.

HTML5 interactive video

Video content has become the main source of internet usage. At the same time, brands are struggling to retain their customer’s attention and are faced with dropping engagement and conversions on ad campaigns.

This led to the emergence of HTML5 interactive video: videos with interactive layers and clickable hotspots, external links, contact forms, etc.

As HTML5 is custom code and not linked to a publishing platform or social medium, the possible features and customisation options are unlimited. However, there are a number of companies have built tools to upload videos and add interactive layers. They typically offer very similar features such as clickable hot spots, branched storyline videos, external linking, contact forms.

Interactive videos are typically output as an iFrame, which means you can easily integrate them into websites, but also on interactive signage screens you can use in stores, at fairs, conferences, shopping malls, airports, etc. Unfortunately, at this moment, HTML5 videos cannot be posted on social media and on video publishing platforms like Youtube and Vimeo.

Interactive video and gamification: a match made in heaven

Adding interactive layers is a great way to increase engagement and conversion. According to a study by Brightcove, interactive video leads to 70% more engagement and 35% more conversions. 

But do you how you can increase engagement and conversions even more? By adding gamification!

That’s why we developed a unique tool that combines traditional interactive video features like clickable hot spots, data capture forms and branching videos with gamification elements such as mini games,  quizzes, points, timers, leaderboards and user feedback tasks.

Adding levels, points, timers, prizes and rewards, have a huge effect on people’s motivation to complete tasks. That also applies to conversions like filling in forms, completing customer data quizzes and performing creative user content tasks like formulating opinions, uploading pictures or making cool videos! Not only are your viewers far more likely to complete your conversions when you use gamification, they will also feel fulfilled when they’re done.




Overview interactive video tools features


4 examples of gamified interactive videos

Interactive videos are great for boosting conversions, but by adding gamification, you can take your conversion optimisation to the next level. Check out these cool examples of gamified interactive videos.

#1 Interactive video Quiz

Interactive video game quiz
In this example, we combined a product presentation of the new Samsung Galaxy with a cool quiz to tease tech enthusiasts and test their knowledge.  Fans can leave their email address to win the device they just discovered!


#2 “Where is Wally” interactive video game

This type of interactive video allows you to create a video game with interactive layers. You can select screenshots you want players to find in the video, or create a game by adding an overlay with logos or products. For each correctly found image, the player gets points. A great interactive video game to organise a contest and collect customer data!

#3 Interactive video story

Making choices is a classic game design element. In this awesome example for the con movie ‘Focus’, players can test if they got what it takes to pull of a con.

#4 Easter egg game

Find the easter egg interactive video game

By making an interactive layer invisible, you can conceal a hidden easter egg within the video. The possibilities are limitless: organise a contest, invite people to an exclusive event, or just give away a coupon code. But if you make it hard to find, the conversion rates of those who find it will go through the roof!


Want to get started with interactive video?

Contact us for more information about our interactive video services. Let’s combine forces and reach for top scores together!

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