Last week I snuck into our R&D lab on the second floor of our awesome new office and saw a few TOP SECRET things that I probably shouldn’t have, one of which was something labeled “New Vidyard Interactive Player”. And then I got busted by our VP of Engineering, Tyler Campaigne.

I was in trouble. He knew I had seen too much. So we made a deal: I keep my mouth shut until this new product is released, and he’ll let me be the first to break the news to everyone.

Finally that day is here! Meet Vidyard’s New Interactive Player, a monster upgrade to our already-awesome HTML5 video player!

Check out our video on your desktop to get the full experience (annotations aren’t supported on mobile): 

The New Interactive Player: The Evolution of Engagement

You already know that keeping your customers engaged is everything. It’s why you’re using video for sales and marketing and why you’re more concerned about tracking value rather than views.

Our previous HTML5 player was at the top of its game, but at Vidyard we don’t stop innovating. Whether it’s personalized video, calls-to-action, or our powerful analytics, we make sure you have all the tools you could imagine to guide your customers on a journey, and keep them engaged every step of the way.

And that’s where our new Interactive Player comes in. It takes engagement beyond what you thought was possible by enabling your viewers to interact with your videos in new, powerful ways…essentially creating a two-way conversation. Pretty incredible, right?

We’re so passionate about this stuff that we could talk about it forever. But we know you have a lot of work to do (and maybe even some playing around with the new player yourself, hmm?) so we’ll break it down to the gist by sharing the main ingredients of the player with you:

If you’ve spent any time on YouTube, you’ve probably seen annotations before. They tend to be either small links that pop up in the corner of the video, or big obtrusive boxes that overlay on the entire video. Either way, if you’re anything like me, you’re pretty quick to click the x and dismiss them. We’ve improved upon the annotations you know by keeping the usefulness, but upping the experience. We’ve added an entire interactive layer on top of your videos. These aren’t your father’s annotations. These are Advanced Annotations. More on that in a minute.

We’ve also made it even easier to gather the information you want from your viewers. Simply add a fully-customizable form to any part of your video. The information the viewer enters, as well as detailed analytics about the viewer’s engagement levels and behaviours, will be pushed directly into your Marketing Automation Platform.

And, you can also turn a regular video into a powerful lead generation tool with our “Calls-To-Action” tool, which comes in two varieties: Pop-out CTAs to snag the attention of an engaged viewer, and Final CTAs to encourage post-video actions such as signing up for an event. Setting these up are easy with our WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor.

What can I do with the New Vidyard Interactive Player?

The better question is, “What can’t I do?”

Note: That sounds like hyperbole. So much, in fact, that our Brand and Creative Manager told me I had to take that line out. But when I showed her what the New Interactive Player can do, she said I could keep it in. Thanks Em!

Seriously. This puppy can do almost anything. Whether you want to drop in a traditional text-based annotation, we’ve got you covered with a number of pre-built options and a WYSIWYG builder to make it easy to get started.

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Or if you’re feeling creative, spice things up a bit with CSS and Javascript! Think of our new interactive player as a platform on top of which you can build anything you want. With a little bit of HTML knowledge you’ll be creating engaging content in minutes.

Oh, you want to know how you can use it? Here’s how:

 

It’s for Marketing teams

Marketers will love the ability to get the right content in front of the right people at the right time. Toss a downloadable document or a link to register for a webinar right on top of the video, encouraging prospects to take action right then and there, while they are most engaged.

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It’s for Sales teams

Salespeople will find all kinds of benefits. You can guide specific viewers on their own unique journey by offering up links to other videos from within videos. True choose-your-own-adventure videos are now possible, keeping viewers engaged like crazy (and of course you’ll be able to track the journey they took, and send that data back to your CRM).

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And Support groups, too

Yes, the new Interactive Player is also built for Support teams! Add ticket management capabilities right into a video. Already sending your customers how-to videos? Give your customer the ability to close the ticket and provide feedback directly in the video.

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Nice! How do I get started?

Well, this is going to be a lot of work…

Ha! That’s not how we work at Vidyard! You don’t need to do anything. If you’re a Vidyard customer your account has already been upgraded. At no cost! Simply add an event to your timeline and be amazed.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you create! Oh and Tyler, if you’re reading this, can I tell them about that other new thing?

 

Jesse Ariss

  • Preston Miller

    Wow! What a fantastic moment for Vidyard. I can’t wait to use this but I don’t see the annotations event in my account at this time. Do you have any idea why not?

    • Jesse Ariss

      Thanks Preston! We’re excited too.

      These new features are rolling out to all our customers throughout the day. You should see the annotations event show up in your account very soon, if it’s not there already!

      Can’t wait to see what you make!

  • Nick Gaede

    This is awesome! We’ll get a lot of use out of this feature

  • Vincent Perquia

    I want to try it !!!!

    • Jesse Ariss

      Thanks Vincent. I have a feeling you’ll be doing some pretty innovative things with this.

  • I’m really excited for this feature. The CTAs/events are so limiting because you’re either interrupting your viewer’s experience OR having to wait until they reach the end of the video (IF they reach the end of the video), so having the opportunity to present the viewer with a next step before they lose interest is ideal.

    • Jesse Ariss

      I agree! CTAs can be very powerful if used correctly and the new annotation events give you even more opportunities to engage with your customers. Try it out and let us know what you think!

  • Abby Lehman

    Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Jesse Ariss

      And I can’t wait to see what you make! It’s available now for you to check out, under the events section.

  • Andrew Davis

    This is awesome. Using this to promote webinars during product videos will be helpful

  • Dustin Tysick

    This is awesome, I really like the idea of including a survey right within the video.

    • Jesse Ariss

      Thanks Dustin! We’ve seen that adding interactive components like surveys is a great way to get your viewers to really lean in to your video.

  • Bradley Simmons

    I dig it. The examples of real life uses for the advanced annotations really helped.

  • tmadel

    This is very cool – but I wonder if we are distracting attention away from the video content itself with all these other enhanced annotations?

    • Jesse Ariss

      That’s a great point – In the video example above we made the annotations distracting on purpose to showcase the power of the new interactive player. In practice they are usually more subtle, like adding a link here or there to supplement the action on screen. Of course if you want to add over-the-top CSS animations, you can always do that too!

  • Brendan McCrann

    Awesome! Do you have tutorials for anyone who’s a “non-coder” like myself? Would like to get these out the door ASAP!

  • Melissa

    This is so cool. I have been looking for the ability to poll my viewers, and this seems to be it.

  • Sara

    very cool! I am just starting to learn more about Vidyard and can’t wait to try these tools! I have been taking a class about video content so it will be really cool to apply these – especially when it is this easy!

  • Warren Dow

    This is a great feature – Great way to get immediate feedback!