How to Make an Interactive Video Work for You

By Troy Anderson

Several premium (paid) video hosting platforms offer the ability to create a menu of choices or clickable areas that appear at certain places within the interactive video. Capabilities vary widely by platform and if your company is already paying for one of these video hosting services, be sure to ask about its interactive options.

Interactive video always evokes the idea of entertainment. When traditional marketing considers business, entertainment always feels like a façade. The kind of razzle dazzle that one uses to entice emerging consumers.

So, Autodemo asks you to look at the initial facts. 60% of people prefer video over reading text. These videos keep visitors on your website longer to engage with your brand.

AutoDemo2_VideoInkInteractive video is the chance for viewers to begin engaging with direct marketing. Call-to-action overlays allow a marketer to measure results in ways beyond standard video marketing. Imagination is the name of the game with interactive video, as new methods of technological engagement has pushed marketing into the memorable.

Whether it’s Disney allowing visitors to tour vehicles and sets from their latest Star Wars film to DKNY allowing ad and merchandise buyers to peruse their latest fashions; the customers gain new choices with interactive video.

The good news is there are several methods of how to make interactive video using free resources on YouTube or your own website. Read on to learn more.

YouTube makes it easy to add interactivity to your videos using the “annotations” feature. Annotations can point viewers to a specific URL and show customized images, titles, and calls to action, depending on the annotations type. They are designed to complement videos and enhance the viewer experience with contextually relevant information. Annotations work on the desktop and mobile app versions of YouTube.

There are five different types of annotations to choose from:

  1. Speech bubble: for creating pop-up speech bubbles with text.
  2. Spotlight: for highlighting areas in a video; when the user moves the mouse over these areas the text you enter will appear.
  3. Note: for creating pop-up boxes containing text.
  4. Title: for creating a text overlay to title your video.
  5. Label: for creating a label to call out and name a specific part of your video.

You can add up to 5 cards to one video but you should be careful to space them out as to not overwhelm the viewer. There are multiple types of cards you can add:

  1. Video or playlist cards – Link to another public YouTube video or playlist that viewers might be interested in. You can also link to a specific time in a video or to an individual video in a playlist by entering a video or playlist URL directly. Make sure to leave a pause in your video to give the viewer a chance to click the card.
  2. Channel cards – Link to a channel that you’d like to call out to your viewers. For example, you can use this type of card to direct viewer to one of your distributors or partners.
  3. Associated Website Cards – Link directly to your associated website from your video. You need to add an associated website to your account to use this card.
  4. Others – Link directly to a non-profit organization, promote licensed merchandise or direct viewer to a crowdfunding site. Link cards do require a bit of extra work during set up but YouTube steps you through the process.

For more information, be sure to watch this helpful tutorial from YouTube about cards.

Here are some visual examples of what using YouTube cards looks like for the end product.


The art of doing vs. watching demands active participation and takes your clientele further down the sales funnel. Every brand wants to make a lasting impression and active engagement demands awareness from clients. If they are clicking on your ads, hearing a targeted message and staying focus…the road to sales conversion has begun. Providing video viewers with the chance to make selection based on their interests keeps them on your site and focused on making a decision. You can fix their point of research on materials designed to promote your product/service.

Several video platforms such as YouTube offer annotation services that can branch a video segment to a specialized section of your website. When the consumer clicks, you can convert this opportunity into further video interaction or a target measure such as a free product trial. More important than that, consumers become more informed and willing to offer sensitive data about their interests. Contact Autodemo to learn more about what we can do for your interactive video needs.


This post was contributed by AutoDemo.

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