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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : August 16, 2016

Expert: How to better use interactive content

By now, most brands are clued in to the fact that consumers are finding interactive content more engaging than static content. In the future, one expert believes content will become democratized with amateurs and professionals changing how brands tell their stories.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Do you think that interactive video will take over linear video?

Dan Bigman, Publisher, Verse: Linear storytelling has been around for millennia -- it isn't going away anytime soon. In the same way that radio survived TV and live entertainment survived the movie business, linear video will exist happily alongside interactive video.

But what is changing -- and what marketers and storytellers will need to adapt to -- is an audience that is increasingly eager to make choices. In much the same way they had to make the transition to the social web, they'll need to get creative about navigating interactive content.

Kristina: What are the value/benefits of interactive video for publishers and marketers?

Dan: The biggest benefit is engagement. In an era where there's more visual content produced than ever, audience attention spans are shrinking and media consumers are actively working to avoid advertising. Publishers and brands will need to become much more sophisticated storytellers, and give more control over to their users if they want to keep them involved. Interactive video not only gets people involved -- by asking them to make choices -- but it keeps them involved. We're seeing engagement rates of upwards of 60 percent on Verse-produced stories, and viewing durations 50 percent or more above linear presentations. We've seen consistently that if you provide people with an opportunity to get more involved with your story, they will.

Kristina: How can brands redefine storytelling through interactive video?

Dan: That's what we're waiting to see. At Verse, we don't have all the answers, nor do we pretend to. We're just a bunch of journalists and programmers who built the tools we wanted to use because they didn't exist.

Now that we've launched, we're excited to see what everyone does when they can focus on the story, not technology. We want to see people -- brands, filmmakers, journalists, artists, literally anybody -- get a chance to innovate, experiment and play. What happens next with storytelling isn't up to us. It's up to them.

Tags: branded content, content trends, interactive content, Verse

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