Posted August 27, 2013 2:59 pm by with 0 comments

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fuiszmediaWhen I was first learning web design, I was fascinated by the concept of an image map – one large picture that links to different webpages depending where you click.

Now imagine doing that with a video. Fuisz does it with their patented annotated pixel technology and now they’ve partnered with ZEFR to bring that technology to YouTube.

When you watch an annotated video, you can click on different portions to get more information or buy a product. Love the lipstick – click on Eva’s lips. Want your eyelashes to look like hers – click her eyes.

The technology can also do that one thing I’m always asking for – lead me to more information about an actor! Click the face and get the actor’s IMDB listing.

Fuisz technology can also be used to include social media links, recommendations for additional content, even live polls. That’s how you make video interactive. Run that video on a smartphone or tablet, where touching the screen is intuitive, and it’s a sure-fire winner.

Not long ago, the idea of using a short video to market your product was radical but now it’s not enough. With the overflow of new content on a daily. . . heck, hourly basis, we have to find new ways of pulling the viewer in. Passive engagement isn’t enough. Viewers need a reason to not only watch through to the end, but to seek out more information. If you do it right, that path will lead to a sale and if you handle that right, it will lead to a new repeat customer. And that is the point of this exercise, isn’t it? To bring in customers, or clients, or advocates, or whatever you want to call them.

YouTube Annotations

If you’re not in a position to do business with Fuisz, you can use YouTube tools to get a low-tech version of the same concept. Upload your video to YouTube, then locate it in the Video Manager. From there, use the edit drop-down to reach the annotation tool.

With this tool, you can add visible speech bubbles or boxes on your video at different points. These boxes can be linked to other videos, playlists, your Google+ page and to your subscribe page.  YouTube recently added the ability to link to the top fundraising sites such as Kickstarter, DonorsChoose and IndieGoGo.

Here’s the big one: under certain circumstances, you can link to ecommerce pages but YouTube is going to make you jump through some hoops first. And you can only link to approved sites but the list includes Etsy, CafePress and BandMerch, so it’s a good option for craftsmen and artists.

Do you have any experience with annotated YouTube videos? We’d like to hear about it.