A 2021 Wyzowl report found that the use of video content from brands has increased roughly 25% over the past six years.
Lately, the conversation has been focused on short-form video lately, but interactive video is one we should be talking more about.
Learn what interactive video is, how to create one, and examples from some top brands.
What is interactive video?
Interactive video is a non-linear form of media that allows viewers to engage with the video they’re watching by clicking on hotspots, answering questions, choosing their own paths, and other forms of engagement.
You can use interactive videos for a number of purposes, including increasing engagement, fostering two-way communication, and boosting conversions.
In Q1 2022, we surveyed over 500 global video marketers to ask about their video strategy. Roughly a quarter of marketers surveyed (28%) said they currently leverage interactive content in their videos.
Of those who do leverage it, 8% plan to invest in it more than any other video type.
There are multiple types of interactive videos:
- Branched stories – This allows viewers to choose their own path when watching a video and decide what they will watch.
- Hotspots – These are clickable areas within a video that allow viewers to discover something new in the video.
- Polls and quizzes – You can engage your audience with questions related to the content in your video.
- 360-degree view – This allows viewers to immerse themselves in the video and get an augmented reality experience.
Interactive video is still relatively new to many marketers with 27% leveraging it for the first time this year. Considering leveraging it? Let’s go over the benefits of this strategy.
Benefits of Interactive Videos
The biggest reason to leverage interactive videos is the high return on investment.
Our video marketing report revealed that interactive video offers the fifth-highest ROI, behind product-related, funny and trendy, and behind-the-scenes videos.
In addition, 47% of marketers surveyed say interactive content is one of the most effective lead generators.
When it comes to engagement, interactive video is also one of the best performers. In fact, 47% of marketers surveyed say interactive content is one of the top three video types that get the most engagement.
This video type can also leave a deeper impression on its viewers. With so many brands fighting for our attention, one way to keep them engaged longer is through interaction.
Doing so can help your brand awareness and recognition, helping you stand out from the competition. In fact, 7% of marketers say interactive video is most likely to go viral.
Lastly, you can gain more insight into your audience through interactive content. Say you include a quiz in your video, not only do you get insights from the video itself (views, time watched, etc) but you also learn more about them through quiz results.
So, you end up getting more data through a single piece of data.
How to Make an Interactive Video
1. Brainstorm your concept.
Before you create your interactive video, you have to build a concept. What will the video be about? What’s the journey you want to take viewers on?
Your answers to these questions should be driven by your marketing objectives. Otherwise, it will be difficult to create a successful concept.
Once you have that sorted out, how will you engage the audience? Given the various types of interactive content you can have, you’ll need to determine which one will work best.
2. Choose your video platform.
The platform you choose will depend on the type of content you’re creating and what you want to accomplish.
Popular interactive video platforms include:
Once you select the right platform, it’s all about putting the pieces together, creating a draft, reviewing it, and re-editing until you have a great final version.
3. Analyze results.
Once your video goes live, the hard work isn’t done. It’s now time to assess its performance.
During your concept phase, you ideally set some KPIs. If this is your first time creating an interactive video, use your other videos as a benchmark.
This way, you’ll know what numbers to expect and have a baseline to evaluate your results.
1. Mile 22
To promote this new action movie “Mile 22,” the marketing team behind the film created an immerse, interactive video that allowed you to choose your path and get snippets from the movie based on your selection.
What makes this video interesting is that it doesn’t rely on just the trailer to build excitement. It takes the viewer on the journey of the characters and gives them a peek into how things play out.
2. Sweet Digs
Usually, if you want to catch the latest episode of Sweet Digs, you head to YouTube. However, recently, Refinery29 decided to switch things up with an interactive video instead.
In this interactive video, viewers get a tour of someone’s home, as usual, but this time, they get to make guesses as they watch about costs, designs, and more.
It’s a great way to bring some freshness into an established series and keep viewers engaged.
Ever wonder what a fridge full of Boursin products looks like? With this interactive video, you can.
This brand reimagines what a food commercial looks like by offering viewers a 360 virtual experience through a fridge.
As the gold carpet guides them through the fridge, the viewer sees various Boursin products and can move the mouse to see other items in the fridge.
Like all new technology, interactive video might have started as a sort of fringe technology that seemed slightly intimidating and inaccessible. Now, that’s changing.
There are lots of exciting things happening in the world of video marketing but interactive video might just be the most exciting of all.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them
Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years.
So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more.
In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets.
The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years
Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world.
Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views
In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements.
Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites.
Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.
In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution.
Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend
In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won.
Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic.
The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs.
In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding.
Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme
In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages.
Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own.
Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts
In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.
In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all.
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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases
All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world.
The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases.
- No one is safe from ad fraud
Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud.
- Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods
Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud.
Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.
- Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals
Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results.
For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions.
Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised.
- You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet
As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already.
- You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud
Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence.
- But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go
The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals.
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