Have you watch Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or the new Kimmy Schmidt special on Netflix? If not, you should! Netflix started producing interactive branching TV-Show and these are amazing examples of their new type of content.
As usual, Netflix is not disappointing us. They always find ways to be trendsetters and to distinguish themselves from bigger players (a.k.a more rich players) like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and HBO.
But, branching videos are not only accessible to big companies like Netflix. You can actually create some quite easily. Read on to find out more about branching videos and be a trendsetter like Netflix!
What is a branching video?
A branching video is a type of interactive video where the viewer is asked to participate actively in the narrative by choosing between different actions or storylines. In other words, the viewer creates his own narrative rather than watching passively.
The main objective of a branching video is to engage the viewer through interactive storytelling. In a branching video, decision points are used to ask the viewer questions and based on the reply; the viewer is sent to another part in the video. A branching video combines different video clips to make an interactive story for the viewer.
You can see how the chocolate brand, Callebaut used a very simple branching video to create an interactive recipe-building experience. The user creates his own chocolate cream puff by choosing the type of chocolate, base and filling. Then, the chef creates the dessert based on the viewer’s “order”, and presents it to the viewer with a link to the recipe.
Try it out yourself, here.
The Main Benefits of Branching Video
You might be thinking, why don’t I just use my regular video? Videos are an effective marketing tool and deliver good results already. Why bother? Well, a branching video delivers even better results. Here are a couple of things to consider.
- Branching Videos provides higher engagement and longer viewing time on average than a linear video
- You offer the viewer to become an active participant and influence what happens, instead of passively watching
- With Branching Video you can better track and understand your audience; you track every choice the viewer makes and register it
- By registering the audience insight, you can personalize your future marketing tactics
- You can include an opt-in form to grow your email list, people are more likely to opt-in to an interactive experience than to a linear video
- You can tailor the content of your branching videos to match people’s preferences, based on their choices, and end with a CTA matching it, offering a more personalised experience
The opportunities of using Branching Videos
A branching video also opens up new potentials that regular video does not. For example, you have many types of branching videos like a virtual consultation, a virtual treasure hunt, or to present your company to new staff members.
Because of these definite benefits, more digital marketers are turning to Branching Videos or Interactive Videos in general. In fact, around 21% of marketers said they plan to include Interactive Video in their marketing strategy in 2020.
With the recent technology advancements, we have seen a rapid increase in video and mobile use. This development has made videos more crucial than ever in marketing. Everyone have started to do them. It’s incredibly difficult to stand out on digital channels with a linear video. That’s why it’s important to be different and implement branching videos and other types of interactive videos now.
By using an interactive video, you stand out from the crowd and reach beyond the digital channels’ noise.
How to make a Branching Video?
Making a Branching Video is not as hard as you may think. Get started by simply reusing one of your linear videos or record a new one. But, first, you’ll want to create a roadmap! A road map will help you decide what stories will be told, and what questions will be asked.
Let’s imagine you wanted to introduce your workplace to your clients. You record a video of one of your staff members walking into your office. You decide that the first decisions point (the first question) will be running into Johnny, a college. You’ll ask viewers: ‘What would you do, say hi to Jonny or run to the coffee machine to get coffee?’
From there, the viewer picks an option and jumps to the scenario chosen: running to the coffee machine or saying hi to Johnny, both of which you have recorded. The branching video will then continue with your other decision points.
To summarize, branching videos are an important and popular type of interactive videos. There are many benefits in using branching videos like distiguishing yourself from your competitors, gathering awesome audience insights, and engaging your customers. Plus, one is not as hard as it may seem. So, why not try to make one?