What is an Interactive Branching Video?7 min read

What Is a Branching Video - Header - Blog - Dot.vu

Do you know what Branching Videos are or, commonly named, Choose Your Own Adventure Videos? Have you watched 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 richer players) like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and HBO.  

But, Branching Videos (or Choose Your Own Adventure Videos) are not only accessible to big companies like Netflix. You can 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 viewers creates their own narratives rather than watching passively. 

The main objective of Choose Your Own Adventure Videos is to engage the user 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 of the video. In other words, 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 users create their 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 viewers with a link to the recipe. 

Try it out yourself by clicking on the picture!

Branching video examples - Callebaut

The Main Benefits of Branching Video 

You might be thinking, why don’t I just use my regular videos? 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. 

  1. Branching Videos provides higher engagement and longer viewing time on average than a linear video. 
  2. You offer the viewer to become an active participant and influence what happens, instead of passively watching. 
  3. With Branching Video, you can understand your customer behaviour by tracking every choice the viewer makes and register it. 
  4. By registering the audience insight, you can personalize your future marketing tactics or even dive into hyper-personalization Marketing.  
  5. You can include an opt-in form to grow your email list, people are more likely to opt into an Interactive Experience than to a linear video. 
  6. 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 personalized and memorable experience
Main benefits of a Branching Video?

1. Increase Engagement
2. Improve User Experience
3. Collect Valuable Customer Data
4. Personalize your Marketing Efforts
5. Grow your Email List
6. Tailor your content

The opportunities of using Choose Your Own Adventure 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 a new staff company presentation. 

Because of these definite benefits, more digital marketers are turning to Branching Videos or Interactive Videos. In fact, around 17% of marketers said they plan to include Interactive Video in their marketing strategy in 2022

With the recent technological advancements, we have seen a rapid increase in video and mobile use. This development has made videos more crucial than ever in marketing. Everyone has started to do them. It’s getting 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. 

To sum up, by using Choose Your Own Adventure Videos, you stand out from the crowd and reach beyond the digital channels’ noise. 

Check out this example by clicking on the picture!

How to make a Branching Video? 

Making a Branching Video is not as hard as you may think. Start by simply repurposing 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 decision point (the first question) will be running into Johnny, a college. You’ll ask viewers: ‘What would you do, say hi to Johnny 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 Choose Your Own Adventure video will then continue with your other decision points. 

Example of a Branching Video Roadmap

Let your customers choose their own adventure! 

To summarize, Branching Videos are an important and popular type of Interactive Video. There are many benefits to using Choose Your Own Adventure Videos like distinguishing 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? 

Dot.vu is an Interactive Content platform that allows you to create a Branching Video that you can embed anywhere. Visit our marketplace or book a meeting to get started! 

Other articles you might be interested in:

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