Consumers now expect a full media experience when browsing the web.
Because of this, rich media (images, graphics, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc) has become more important than ever. Rich media can build a sense of brand consistency, trust and interest in consumers when used correctly. When done wrong (or neglected altogether), businesses consistently derail their own marketing efforts.
Short Attention Spans
Attention spans are even shorter online than they are in person. Your website only has a matter of milliseconds to impress visitors. If your website can’t make an immediate positive impression, consumers will probably choose a competitor who can.
Images, videos and graphical elements help grab the attention of visitors right away. Of course, they need to be optimized to load fast (visitors rarely wait more than 3 seconds for a website to load). However, they also need to maintain their quality after optimization. If you’ve ever seen an image on a website that contained blemishes around certain visual elements, you’ve seen examples of images that were optimized improperly.
Social Media Content
Shorter attention spans are especially concerning on social media, where news feeds are more crowded than ever. We have long passed the days when a simple text update will suffice. Images and videos eclipse text posts and are far more effective at grabbing attention. This is why Facebook now offers background colors and patterns for text-online posts.
With more brands responding to the success of rich media, a quick, blurry photo uploaded from a smartphone’s camera just isn’t going to suffice anymore.
Of course, this isn’t to say that smartphone pictures are always bad; they just need to follow a few common principles of photography. Crisp, colorful images that contrast well and conform to the rule of thirds still do a great job of grabbing attention. Tools like Photoshop and Instagram’s filters can add subtle effects specifically designed to draw attention. Photoshop can also be used to correct problems such as over exposure.
Still, videos are more effective at attracting clicks on social media than pictures. This is especially true in the age of automatic video plays, a subtle feature that draws our attention subconsciously. Videos are, obviously, also necessary for a presence on YouTube, one of the most popular social media websites and the world’s second largest search engine (behind Google, its parent company).
Once again, relying solely on your phone’s default camera isn’t enough; voices will sound distant, the picture will likely appear choppy and there are few opportunities to incorporate your branding elements (logos, jingles, etc). With so many quality videos being published by businesses of all sizes, a subpar video may actually do more harm to your social media marketing efforts than good.
Consistency is vital to success when designing marketing materials. This is an important consideration at a time when stock media are easy (and cheap) to get. These materials are designed to fit a broad audience, including entertainers and hobbyists. They are not designed exclusively for specific businesses or even industries. A custom approach is needed to reflect your brand the right way.
When designed the right way, rich media can help maintain your brand’s consistency across advertising channels. With so much competition for an audience’s attention online, it can be difficult for consumers to fully grasp your brand’s message after seeing your ad for the first time. But if they repeatedly encounter your ad across channels, it will begin to paint a picture of your brand’s mission and unique selling proposition. Even Entrepreneur magazine stresses the importance of differentiated content.
Search Engine Rankings
Google emphasizes relevance when ranking websites. One of the best ways to improve a page’s relevance is to enhance its message with rich media. In fact, blog posts with rich media consistently rank better in search engines. By including images and videos, your website can also rank for Google’s image and video search results.
Interactive Experiences: The New Shift in Rich Media
Pictures and videos have been essential to digital marketing for some time now. However, modern consumers increasingly expect a full media experience that’s more interactive. These media components often perform better on social networks. They also show up in search engine results. A few that are trending now include:
- 360° tours
- White Papers
- Third-party reviews
Although some of these media can be complex in nature, they can all be embedded on websites (and most can be shared to social media).
Drafting and promoting a full media experience online takes more time than most business owners can spare. And hiring an employee with the right skill set costs more money than most small business owners can afford. That’s where we come in. We offer a variety of custom design services. We also offer competitive retainer rates. If you want to learn more, we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email to get started: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at 865-272-9322.