TBV Insights

Make interactive videos for free with open source software

You can increase engagement and provide superior customer experience at the same time by making interactive videos out of your ordinary “passive” videos.  I mean, wouldn’t you, as a viewer, like to start up a webinar and see clickable “chapter headings” — so you can skip ahead to the interesting stuff? Wouldn’t your sales team like to enrich product videos with new options — like seeing more in-depth info — right there in the video window?

The advantages of interactive video for you and for viewers are clear:

  • The viewer is thinking about your content, not just watching it
  • Viewers can navigate to what interests them most
  • Learners learn more when they get to ask and answer questions
  • You can add more than one call-to-action
  • You can verify viewing
  • You can collect feedback and interaction data

Interactive video tools designed for business users

OK, you say — but doesn’t that take heavy-duty tech and video skills? It does not. Now, interactive video tools designed for business users are available on many video platforms.

If you want to get a good idea of the process, I recommend trying the free, open source platform H5P. Here’s a demo of what you can do with H5P. You can test-drive their software to make your own interactive video, as well as other types of interactive content.

H5P is a widely used learning management solution that’s well-suited to injecting fun and games into any long-ish marketing video. With plugins for popular open-source content management systems WordPress, Joomla, and Moodle, H5P is easier to use than PowerPoint. You start by selecting a video on the web — your website or a video hosting platform like YouTube.

Screen shot showing how easy it is to select content for  interactive videos
Host the video on your website — or make interactive videos from your videos previously uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Then you add pre-made interactions. 

  • Labels
  • Text
  • Tables
  • Links
  • Images
  • Quizzes (multiple choice, T/F,  fill-in-the-blanks, drag and drop)
  • Branching
  • Navigation Hotspots
  • Chapters
  • Summary quiz
Prebuilt controls you can add to interactive videos
A simple interface for jazzing up your interactive video with different types of content.

Once your web team does the setup, adding interactive video content to your CMS is as easy as adding any other kind of content.

One video, unlimited interactive videos

H5P stores the elements of your interactive project (images, links, question-and-answer sets, etc.) into “content libraries” — which are are designed to be shared and edited.  This opens up all kinds of opportunities to re-purpose, expand, and personalize your videos. For example, an Account-Based Marketing sales team could customize interactions and personalizations for individual buying team members at an account. The underlying video doesn’t change, but the experience of interacting with it does.

Start with something simple, like adding clickable chapter headings.   Chapter headings are useful for demo-watchers and tutorial takers who want to review a feature or point it out to someone else. A demo video with chapter headings can put across the demo’s essential message — e.g., “Look how few steps it takes!” — even to prospects who decide not to watch the entire video. In either case, you’ve increased engagement with your video, repurposing the content without actually changing it.

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Videos to support your high-value offer

The High-Value Offer is a customer interaction with so much business value that the buyer feels compelled to engage. It’s an account-based marketing concept recommended by Gartner for customer acquisition, too. A high-value offer’s business value depends on timely topics

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Reframing your demos as How-to video content

I was surprised to learn from a Foundry (IDG) white paper on customer engagement [download link] that the average technology decision-maker spent 14.3 minutes watching each How-to video they viewed in 2022, up from 12.2 minutes in 2016. If you really want a technology