It's no surprise that online video has taken off. With the ease of carrying a laptop, people can now watch hundreds of different types of programs with the click of a mouse. From popular new shows such as "Glee" to classic programming and homegrown YouTube videos, news and entertainment are available virtually at any time and anywhere.
The greater potential, however, lies in using the power of the internet to bring these programs to life in ways no standard television can replicate.
While interactive or "hypervideo" is still the exception versus the rule, major strides are being made to create more immersive online experiences.
To help the process and create more dynamic video experiences, here are some ways content creators can bring more interactivity to their online content.
One of the biggest leaps into interactive content is the ability to present information in context. Publishers and brands can now enable viewers to enjoy truly immersive experiences with content, fostering longer viewing times and more focused advertisements that speak to consumer interests. Here, online video can include points of interest, such as the ability to click on a product and purchase it. This not only extends a brand by creating interactivity on a commerce level, but also creates new engagement avenues for brand loyalists. In the realm of linear content, imagine how product placement can reach new consumers in the form of fans of a program, as well as new environments for a brand to live in the digital world.
Interaction does not only need to be about using a mouse. Social media makes it easier than ever to get the word out about online contests and participatory ad campaigns, and of course to directly engage with consumers.
By allowing consumers to "take over" your brand and make their own statement, you might be surprised what creative life a Flip cam, some ingenuity, and brand loyalists can bring to your product. Brands are also discovering that loyal fans can breathe new life into products and make memorable ad campaigns from the ground up.
Participation can also come from the business side. Want to share some tips or talk about your latest product innovation? Get personal with a simple webcast to provide an authentic, first-person account about your brand.
With the launch of the iPad and other devices that use physical touch as the primary way to use these technology products, true "hypervideo" experiences are a natural complement to this increasingly popular way to interact with our computers.
I define hypervideo as the convergence of online video, social media, weblinks, and commerce into one immersive experience. For both traditional PCs and touch-based devices, software solutions with cross-platform creation and playback tools bring interactivity to new heights. Beyond two-dimensional clicks, hypervideo at its best combines one part web with one part video to form a singular experience.
With an enhanced online ecosystem, content creators can make one-of-a-kind video experiences for audiences and further customize them with demographic data such as gender, age, and personal preferences.
Hypervideo represents the best of what's to come in creating immersive, online experiences. It's the most dynamic platform to engage so-called "superfans" and to seamlessly integrate logical brand representation into both linear and viral online programming. This can include anything from delivering Facebook profiles straight into the video viewer to presenting related content, such as a profile of the director, actor, or lead costume designer of a show. These additional features also provide ways for programmers to create "sticky" content and prolong audience engagement.
Online video presents exciting new ways for audiences to interact with programs, brands, and businesses. With new interactive software and other engagement tactics available, the sky is the only limit to how rich we can develop online content.