Many companies tend to place greater emphasis on networks like Facebook or Twitter for their marketing campaigns. Yes, they may be creating excellent marketing campaigns on these channels but they are not taking into account the potential from incorporating video based social channels such as YouTube.

The second largest search engine after Google, YouTube allows the viewer to interact with the campaign and socialise with the brands from the video in a simple way.

Despite the traffic generated by YouTube and the ever-improving functionality, many companies are still not considering video as an active part in their online marketing strategies. Interactive videos and websites should serve and interact together to help brands achieve their marketing goals.

Interactive YouTube campaigns

In these examples, you can see how some companies have used this platform to engage with their audience through interactive videos. As a result of these new marketing strategies, they have had both a positive impact on society as well as an increase in sales.

Tipp-Ex: Help me to rewrite this story

This video showed the hunter being surprised by the animal and the hunter faced with the decision of whether to take his gun to defend against a possible attack. When the video played out, viewers had to decide whether the hunter fired or not by clicking one of the two options presented. Regardless of the decision, viewers were taken to a page pretending to be the same YouTube showing a continuation of the episode (in reality this was a page created by Tipp-Ex). In this new section, another video was displayed in which the hunter decides to amend the original title asking viewers to help rewrite history by filling the blank space with the verb they wanted. Watch this vid here.

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels (the popular brand of toy cars for children) has developed an interesting way to engage and interact with the YouTube audience through an entertaining game. In this game, players could choose both the vehicle to be used in races and the different accessories to customise their car. In the video here, begin by selecting the car, sit back and enjoy the experience!

Skittles: Touch the Rainbow

The popular brand of candy created a series of videos where viewers were prompted to place their finger on where the candy is. As you can see, this is a pretty simple way to generate involvement with people that any company could use without investing significant resources from such content. Check out the video here.

Hell Pizza: Let the zombie adventure start...

A New Zealand Pizza chain created a video in which the protagonist had to take an order for pizza in the middle of a zombie invasion. Thus, as the story unfolded, the video suggested viewers make different decisions to achieve the goal of bringing home. An interesting case that demonstrates the power stories have to engage people and the advantages of using channels such as YouTube to create interactive videos. Through this initiative, the video from Hell Pizza reached more than 10 million views and 43 % increase in sales. Now we know where to order pizza during a zombie apocalypse!

Audi: Driving an A6

Always wanted to drive an Audi A6? Now you can. Well kind of. Like a videogame, this ad allows you to control the video with keypad numbers allowing you to jump from section to section making you feel like you are driving the car. Isn’t it pretty cool!? Give it a try…

There are two sides to every story and after a collaboration with W&K London, users are placed at the heart of this movie by Honda. Titled the other side, this interactive mini-story show’s one man’s double life by weaving together two parallel videos. As you watch the video, you can press ‘R’ on your keyboard to see the alternative, simultaneous story thread.

(Note that the choice of the "R " key is not accidental, it is a clear nod to the new role model Type R, which will debut the new " + R" button located on the side of the wheel of the car.)

The popularity of Youtube and video based social channels are evident. In the ‘I want to do moments’ consumers are taking to YouTube and in the last year, ‘how to’ based searches have increased by 70%. Combined with the fact that 100m hours of YouTube videos have been watched since the beginning of 2015, the popularity of this channel is clear.

Above all, interactive video has been known to increase attention, engagement, recall and satisfaction and with large brands such as the ones above incorporating it into their marketing strategy, is it time for you to do the same?