The 4 Most Common Myths and Misconceptions of Interactive Video

Myths and misconceptions are the biggest deterrent as to why businesses are missing out on Interactive Video. But how real are these myths and misconceptions?

As we know, video usage grows exponentially quarter over quarter, but almost all of that video is linear and not Interactive. Myths and Misconceptions is why interactive video, which is known to be more engaging and a better user experience for viewers, used so infrequently. Let's take a look.

The 4 Most Common Myths of Using Interactive Videos in your business

  • Too costly
  • Takes a long time to create
  • No benefit to viewers
  • No benefit to my business

Too costly myth - adding Interactive video sounds hard, which implies expensive, but that just isn’t true. It is easy to add hyperlinks, images and text with a few clicks to existing videos and you can even do this for free on YouTube’s platform. There are also a number of low cost paid services like HapYak that can offer advanced interactivity and data analytics for even greater value.

Takes a long time to create myth - With do-it-yourself platforms and working with existing videos it takes only a few minutes to add interactivity and share with the world. You can edit, optimize and improve videos faster than writing a blog post.

No benefit to viewers myth - Interactive video is more engaging as viewers are empowered to control and personalize their video experience. Call to actions (CTA’s) inside video see a 3-4x conversion improvement over linear video that only offers CTA’s around a video.

No benefit to my business myth - the data and insights you get from Interactivity can be extremely valuable, especially when you connect your video data to your CRM, Marketing Automation and LMS systems. From finding new customers as a lead generation tool to driving new revenues with in video purchases, the benefits are clear and measurable.

Try interactive video for your business today with a free account from HapYak or YouTube.

Tips to Get You Started with Interactive Video

We hear all the time from folks who want to cash in on the value of interactive videos, but don’t know where to start. Here are 5 tips for getting started and how to successfully launch an interactive video initiative inside your organization.

Start with existing videos. Grab one of your most popular videos from your website or OVP.  Write down the main goal of the video (Lead Qualification, Compliance, Audience Engagement, etc).

Focus on that main goal or purpose of this video. Videos are trying to accomplish something such as educating or informing, positioning or selling, or getting a viewer to take a specific action.  Focus on the main goal of the video and add Interactivity or annotations to enhance that goal. Is the video requesting that an action be taken by the viewer?  Allow the viewer to take that action inside the video with a form or link annotation. Is it teaching something? Add a text annotation to highlight key points to enhance the key learning objectives of the video or add an in-video question annotation to ensure comprehension.

Add no more than 1-3 interactions on your first video.  Interactions are the icing on the cake, keep in mind that 95% of the video needs to remain the cake. Here are 3 simple and extremely valuable interaction annotations to consider adding:

a) brand/logo with a link annotation back to a landing page or subscription page.

b) ask for contact information with a form annotation as a lead generation activity.

c) ask a question about the material to assess how well it is understood.

Mind your data. While less is more from tip #3, the real value is in the measurable results that come from these interactions. There is a misconception that engagement value is based on a video’s completion percentage, but it is not that simple.  We measure engagement based on a viewer taking your desired actions.  If the purpose of your video is to drive subscriptions does it matter if your completion percentage is 50% when you only get 5% to subscribe?

TIP: Engagement and Interaction. Data from specific viewers can provide these insights as well as ways to improve your videos and engage users in new ways.  Ensure your video metrics support your business metrics.

Get feedback from others. Feedback can reveal areas for improvement that you are not used to even looking for.  This is a new process for you.  Early feedback is invaluable.  You’ll find that once your colleagues have provided their feedback it will help determine new and better places to add interactions.

Did you find these tips helpful? There’s more where that came from. Download our free eBook: Getting started with Interactive Video.

Getting customer feedback on your videos doesn’t have to be hard

Getting customer feedback on your videos has proven difficult and unreliable. So how do you quantify viewer satisfaction, while it doesn't take your viewers away from your video?

customer feedback on your video

Taking your users away from the video might lose a viewer’s interest and negatively impact a customer’s opinion of the video and your services. It's important to remember to be subtly when asking for feedback during video play.

Your viewers are already engaged with your content and this is the perfect time to interact with them and get customer feedback on your video. By adding interactivity to your videos, you can determine when viewers normally drop off and ask for feedback and opinions before hand. The key is making it as quick and enjoyable as possible. A smart selection of one click answers with an optional input field will get you usable results without annoying viewers. Stick to a single question. Let the viewer answer and return immediately to their business.

So what is the best way to measure customer happiness without distracting your viewers from the video itself?

Adding an attractive and minimally distracting poll to your videos will give you and your viewers instant results that everyone can understand. How better to gauge a user’s interest than to ask their opinion? Compare this with the viewer’s view-time and interaction data for a much more thorough description of your customers’ preferences and habits. A viewer who watches only 30 seconds but responds to a call-to-action may be far more satisfied than the viewer who finished the video and didn’t find the answer they wanted.

To take things a step further, the data can help you shape usage patterns of your viewers to determine customer feedback. This can be used to compliment those few voices who actually participate in after-experience surveys. Interactive video makes it possible to find out, directly from users, what they are thinking as they watch your content. This can then be used to serve new content based on a user’s previous interactions.

As an example: One can ask a viewer to supply their average expenditure on XYZ and, based on their answer, present the Fortune 500 companies representative with the sign-up form for an enterprise level account and the casual enthusiast with that of a free plan, all within the same video that got their attention in the first place. This allows one to actively track customer opinions and react to them intelligently, such as putting the unsatisfied viewer in touch with a support professional OR offering the satisfied customer an upgrade plan.

By simply adding a couple of well planned interactive annotations you can make your videos worth your customer’s time and your money while getting valuable customer feedback on your videos.

Easy Branding for Videos using HapYak


In that case, videos are made up of frames of hundreds to thousands of pictures, thus exponentially increasing their worth. Such an effective method of communication is an incredibly important asset in almost every industry. From marketing, to ecommerce, to education and corporate training, video gives you a unique medium to get your message out to the world. Even so, something has been missing.


Over the years, the internet has become a designer’s playground. Responsive design, intuitive and dynamic sites, beautiful UI and the code backbone to support all of it has set a standard for user experience. Video on the web hasn’t seen the meteoric rise of enhancements. With HapYak, video gets that much needed upgrade. Adding interactivity to videos increases engagement, functionality and measurable effectiveness. Chapters, Branching, Quizzes, Polls, Surveys, Text, Links, Images, even custom iframes provide a fresh new toolset when creating a video strategy for the new age of the web.

So that’s a lot to take in. Your video is now a canvas outside of a studio or some video editing software. You might be a designer, you might be a product manager, a video pioneer, or an intern. The best part is it doesn’t matter. Try out different annotations (our word for anything that you overlay on top of the video). Share it with people, try out different flows, add a simple subscribe button and a couple chapters, it’s up to you. Every video you create with interactions is helping write the future of video on the web.

Get started now if you haven’t. Then come back and keep reading.

Welcome back! You’ve used our editor, got some annotations wired up and a couple projects under your belt. (If you haven’t, get over there and do it! It’s fun and free to try). Now, let’s take these interactive videos to the next step. Every company, project, or idea has an identity. Most corporate or commercial projects have a company ideology or focus in their video narrative. On the web and in print this messaging is visually represented and tied together using logos, brand colors, and typography. Your videos usually require this to be done in post production with expensive software or and agency. Oh and by the way got one shot unless you want to pay more or re-record. This usually ends up with the simplest, not the best solution.

We’ve all seen the company watermark in the top right of videos. With HapYak, you can quickly create a template with your company logo and branding, and apply it to every video you produce or have an agency create. No more swapping different sizes and formats of logos between departments or companies. Furthermore, unless you’re Coca-Cola, your logo just might change in the future. With HapYak, simply change out the logo in your template and all your videos are updated.

Every annotation you add to your videos can be completely customized.

Logo’s are the easiest way to instantly add branding to your video. What about more subtle or complete experiences? This is where custom CSS really packs a punch. Every annotation you add to your videos can be completely customized. Add your brand colors to a chapter menu, put your logo on a quiz question. Change all the text to your corporate or favorite font family. Check out this custom css for MIT Center for Real Estate.

Anything you can do on the web you can do on top of your video. That’s our goal here at HapYak, to make video work like the web, and with custom styling, your videos will finally look and feel the part.

We can’t wait to see what you will create with HapYak. Subscribe for more tips and tricks and feel free to reach out for design and styling guides and help with your interactive videos!

How Pervasive is Interactive Video?

Interactive video may not be known by a majority of people, but in reality it is a lot more pervasive than folks realize.

YouTube, the largest video platform in the world, actually has countless numbers of interactive videos through their annotations feature. Chances are you’ve seen many and interactive video is more pervasive than we realize. Subscribe Now! Click Here to Watch the Next Episode! Any time you’ve clicked on a video to be brought to the video owner’s website you’ve watched an interactive video. You may also have seen interactive ads paired with video content. Here are 4 recent examples of brands using interactive video well.

Of course, there is a lot of room for the use of these interactions (or annotations as YouTube calls them) to increase. I find that it is being used less than 10% of the time it should be.

Most videos are often not watched in their entirety. And that’s OK. Videos have the purpose of getting a viewer to do or feel something and this can (and often does) occur before the end. Subscribing to a Youtube channel; Requesting more information; Buying a product. Many viewers are ready to take action earlier in a video and not at the end of the video.

Adding interactivity to your videos empowers the viewer to act at any point - especially at the “aha moment”. Having the desired call-to-action ready to be clicked at that moment just makes sense. If your engagement reports show viewers dropping off early place your call to actions before these points and see if your results spike.

There are other valuable Interactions (adding chapters, branching, polls, lead generation forms, and more) and as these are adopted more widely by eLearning, Marketing and eCommerce video professionals, interactive videos will become even more pervasive.

In fact, you may just think of it as “video” and that is a good thing.

How to Improve Video Engagement

How to Improve Video Engagement

Video engagement is a key metric when it comes to measuring video success. How many times have you read that the key to your video success is to make shorter videos? Or to make them more funny? Or to make them more viral? But short, funny and even viral doesn’t mean they are valuable to your business.

The length of a successful video should be dictated by your business and the stage a particular viewer is at in the buyer cycle. If you were to spend $200K this year on video production would you want to see a 30 second video viewed by 1 million people or a 30 minute video viewed by 10,000?

I understand this is a simplistic way to look at video engagement but it should get the point across. And what is the value of a funny video that is shared all over the Internet to folks that couldn’t possibly be your customers? While it can build brand awareness that doesn't directly translate into revenues. Video engagement is the answer and here are 3 ways to get started and improve it.

3 things you can do to improve video engagement and conversions:

Customize - One size does not fit all. Offer different videos for your different audiences (you always have more than one). The current trend is to break large videos into smaller ones and let the viewer choose smaller clips to watch. You can provide a better user experience with Interactivity and a bit of guidance as they control their own viewing experience. TIP: Include in-video Chapter Menus so viewers can jump around easily; Ask qualification questions inside your video and depending on their answers branch the viewer to more customized videos next.

Measure - If you want to improve something you need to know where you’re starting from and how your changes are affecting the outcome. With video, start by optimizing them for conversion. Next, Google’s super-useful Customer Journey exploration tool will be your best friend. You can get a sense of where viewers are likely to convert in your specific customer journey. Finally, using Google Analytics for conversion tracking, you can simply and effectively connect video engagement to key conversion actions.

Optimize - Rinse and repeat this process to continually improve your video strategy. Video is exponentially more powerful than other web content. You should be putting the same optimization efforts into your videos that you do for your web pages (A/B test call-to-actions, using different colors, images, timings and durations).

In short, these three tactics will help you improve video engagement and turn more viewers into customers.

Calculating Interactive Video ROI

Today, Brightcove and Demand Metric released a first-of-its kind Interactive Video Benchmarking Study. It’s filled with helpful, actionable research and reveals one surprising misconception - while marketing professionals report amazingly high levels of effectiveness and satisfaction with Interactive video, they curiously struggle to answer this simple question:


The answer actually is quite simple. And we’ll show you how to calculate interactive video ROI using specific examples from our customers.

First, let’s summarize the key findings.


  1. Interactive video is mainstream. 32% have begun to use the technology.
  2. It’s owned by Creative Marketers. 60% are Marketing, Creative or Content Mgrs / Execs.
  3. The average annual spend is $30k - $40k annually.

And buried inside the report is the final, and we think most important, key finding:

  1. The more you use Interactive Video, the more you find applications and benefits for it. Look at page 21 of the report. 68% of people who use interactive video see the importance as growing. 2% see it as shrinking. That’s rare for a new technology.


OK. So people use it. They love it. They want more.
There are clear benefits and activities.

So calculating the ROI should be easy, right?

Here we reach the measurement problem. Right now, what stats do you normally track for your videos? Number of views? Average view time?

These are nearly useless when using video for marketing and determining ROI.

This lack of measurement and accountability has been the core frustration that our customers voice over and over again. Flint McLaughlin, CEO of MECLABS said it best, “I’ve had a vision of the HapYak interactive video platform for 20 years. I’ve been looking for something that lets video transcend its own limitations."

Calculating Interactive Video ROI

At HapYak, we notice a different focus on video analytics from our customers. They treat video like the rest of the web. They,

  • track click-through-rate (CTR) from a video to a landing page
  • track submission rate of in-video polls and surveys
  • track the true engagement of individual leads and prospects (including dwell times, skips and rewatches of specific sections)
  • track direct answers to questions (at a user and audience level)
  • track viewer navigation rate to specific sections of the video (“Oh, interesting. This prospect watched the benefits and pricing section of the video twice.”)

That’s the power of the medium of interactive video. Behind each interaction is a data point and each data point feeds a system of intelligence that lets you track leads, prospects and customers like never before and calculate its ROI.


The report identifies the top four current or planned activities of Interactive Video which are all fundamental to one’s sales and marketing strategy.


MECLABS develops real-world research to help businesses get better use out of sales and marketing technology and resources, including Internet marketing, website optimization, and lead generation and nurturing. Their research has been cited in 13,000 sources including The Economist and Harvard Business School.

Four years ago they focused on disseminating their research through the medium of video. They built a studio. They hired video professionals. But something was missing: A way to track their success.

Luke Thorpe, Senior Manager Multimedia Production put it plainly. “We knew in our core that video was effective but we had no way to prove it.”

So they decided to create interactive videos with in-video surveys and focus on Submission Rates of those questions as the core metric for their video success.

In video quiz example

MECLABS has developed very clever ways to subtly introduce these surveys into their videos. And then they use the specific answers to nurture leads through marketing automation.

Because they have a wealth of data to value a qualified lead by, they can finally connect the activity of a video viewer to established marketing metrics. Goodbye views. Hello leads.

And according to Luke the uses of interactive video are expanding across the business. “Marketing, sales and training will all be using it.”

Bottom-of-the-Funnel Video

MECLABS is a clear example of a trend revealed in the Demand Metric report.

When you look at the benefits of Interactive Video, the more they use the technology, the more the benefits are focused further down the funnel.

Interactive Video Benefits Infographic

And of course, the further you go down the funnel, the easier it is to quantify the success. What’s the value of qualified lead to you? A demo with your sales team? A new customer?

As Flint McGlaughlin laid out in his vision, Interactive video is an enabling technology - allowing video to transcend its own limitations and produce direct quantifiable business results.

Calculating Interactive Video ROI

So let’s bring it back to you. How can you calculate the ROI of your Interactive Video rollout?

At HapYak we serve more interactive video than anyone but YouTube - with 425 million interactive video data points tracked this year alone.

We’ve begun to dig into this data and reveal simple benchmarks you can use to estimate and calculate ROI. These initial Benchmarks are taken from 13 million interactive video views.

Benchmarks Interactive Video Infographic

We use these benchmarks internally to estimate the number of leads and qualified leads we’ll generate per 1000 views.

1000 views * 62% Submission Rate * 5.5 Qualified Leads per 100 Submissions = 34 Qualified Leads.

These Qualified Leads activate the sales cycle. We alert the inside sales team when leads have indicated strong interest from the video and push these qualified leads into our CRM, Salesforce.

Properly integrating this technique with Marketing Automation and Email Marketing systems results in a steady stream of qualified leads for a predictable price.

It’s important to note that these are early days when it comes to interactive video benchmarks. Specific CTR, Submission and Navigation Rates will emerge for each type of video - top, middle and bottom of the funnel.

We’ll be refining our benchmarks with this in mind and will be sharing these values publicly to help us all determine the ROI of interactive video.

Getting Started: Let Your Role Define Your Goal

Viral video. One video. Millions of views.

So what? The average organization is sitting on hundreds of videos. These are videos that you create, with webcams, screen-shares, iPhone's and go pros. Most videos today are created by people like you.

But video alone is not enough. You need your videos to be effective. Here's the secret:

Let your role define your goal!

Whether you're in marketing, training, sales, education, or support you need your videos to be effective.

We're going to show you 3 simple videos that when enhanced with interactivity become effective and reach their goals.

  • Uber: When in person training isn't an option. Take a screen-share to the next level and add on-screen quizzes as simple assessments
  • OoOTIE: Many viewers watch a video more than once. If they're watching a second time, give them the option to skip to the part they care about most
  • Excelsior College: Add chapters to build lead intelligence. Leveraging chapters the viewer gets a more personalized experience and you get a better qualified lead

If you want to make your videos more effective but don't know where to start, Sign-Up for HapYak and see how easy it is to get started. Try it out!

GetSmarter Creates 80 Interactive Videos in 80 Days with HapYak

Learn how GetSmarter created 80 interactive videos in 80 days using an easy, repeatable process.

Creating an on-screen chapter menu in each of their videos, GetSmarter was able to better engage the viewer and reach a desired learning outcome. As you'll see in the video, adding chapters has a dual benefit, one for the learner and one for the instructor. Download the 1-page case study here!

The solution is to give control back to the viewer. With an on-screen chapter menu the learner can:

  • Scan the material
  • Skip the parts they already understand
  • Review the parts they need to focus on
  • Control their own experience

Using reports about these interactions the instructor, for the first time, can:

  • Better prepare for the following teaching session
  • Learn how the class is learning the material
  • Focus on areas of difficulty
  • Be better prepared

If you want to make your teaching videos more effective but don't know where to start, an on-screen chapter menu is the answer. Sign-up for HapYak and see how easy it is to get started. Try it out!

"HapYak has transformed the way we approach our educational videos. Interactive elements such as quiz questions, links and chapters have added value to our videos and made them significantly more dynamic, which has in turn boosted learner engagement."
Rob Paddock, Chief Academic Officer, GetSmarter

How to Add HapYak to Private YouTube Videos

Today we're happy to announce support for Private YouTube videos as part of the all paid plans. This means that you can take your private youtube videos, add interactive annotations and share them with colleagues, clients and customers -- all with the assurance that only you and the people you invite can see your work.

It's easy. Simply connect your Google and HapYak accounts. Here's how to do it...

Go to your account page on HapYak
Account page - connect

Click Google: Connect and authorize the HapYak App

Your Google and HapYak accounts are now connected.
Connect google account

Add a new project using a private video from your YouTube account.

Easy as pie!
Add New Project