Originally posted on TMCnet's The Mad Marketer by Steve Callanan

Consider this: more than a billion videos are uploaded online every year; even if a tenth of those were interactive, it creates an enormous opportunity in terms of ROI. An interactive, motion-tracked video containing clickable "hotspots" creates a tangible emotional link between viewer and the object they click on. That tangible link alone generates nine times more engagement than a static link in bottom of a video frame. In a market worth billions of dollars, advertisers who are able to create video experiences that are interactive have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

There are many barriers to entry for content, pre-roll being one of the most common. While pre-roll can be forced upon viewers ahead of content, its presence is ultimately ineffective in that it cannot compel views or force engagement. Advertisers need to integrate brand presence within content and make it something that viewers want to engage with by welcoming it as part of their experience. Essentially, content itself is now advertising and the best way to take advantage of that is by making it interactive.

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There's been a shift in consumption habits. The uptake in mobile is growing and more people than ever are watching video via their mobile devices. Advertisers have a unique opportunity to leverage the devices' always-connected, inherently interactive touchscreens by making their video interactive and compelling for consumers to engage with. Research from the IAB supports the importance of video as an advertising channel, revealing that more than two-thirds of digital marketers and agency executives expect to increase their digital video ad budgets within the next 12 months.

Whether it's providing interesting content features that viewers can unlock by clicking right into the video or taking an ad and making products within it shoppable at a touch, making content engaging through interactions not only creates a bond between the consumer and the brand, but also makes measuring ROI more possible and likely. The need for interconnectivity in video also applies when a video is optimized for mobile. Interactive video views coming from mobile devices continue to increase, from 23% of interactive views coming from mobile in 2013 to as high as 50% in 2014 - and the trend continues to rise.

As an example, in working with Peugeot on an interactive "test drive" page, we found that viewers of this pages were spending 1 minute, 48 seconds on average interacting with the test drive functionality, as opposed to viewers of the rest of Peugeot's media campaign (ads, banners, etc.), were spending only 32 seconds engaging with the brand. There was a 237% increase in brand engagement by making the advertisement creative and interactive.

Advertisers must think about creating an experience rather than just creating video for mobile. The endgame shouldn't be just about re-purposing a TV ad and putting it on a mobile device - advertisers also have to think about how to optimize the content itself to be more impactful on mobile. Does the creative content view well over mobile? Is it engaging on a smaller screen? Are there opportunities for viewers to swipe, click or otherwise interact with the content on their device? These are all questions that must be considered by creative teams making content that'll resonate well on mobile.

Although not as obvious as Instagram disrupting photography or Uber the taxi industry, the simple fact that video and mobile have indeed been on the rise for some time is not insignificant; their impact on how we behave and interact with content has changed the game for advertisers.