Most of us remember the boring text-only websites of yesteryear. Now, sites are brimming with images, videos, and other content that makes interacting with it more enjoyable and rewarding. What makes all this content better and what can you do to keep up?
Most users today have little time to read an article about a product or service and often don’t stick around to the end. By adding multimedia, or “rich media,” to your website, audiences are more engaged and will spend more time on your site. Rich, quality media on your site will also attract and retain users more than text.
According to Google, rich media is “an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage visitors to interact and engage with the content.” However, it’s not exclusive to ads. Rich media can be used on any page of your site. It could be a video on a product page showing the product or an infographic explaining how recycling works.
Rich Media Increases Conversions
While it’s true that images increase engagement, they can only do so much to attract and maintain a user’s attention. Customers who watched a video on a product or service are 64 percent more likely to buy from you than customers who see a simple image or read text.
A good example of rich media is Moz’s Whiteboard Friday. In it, they have video presentations that make complex concepts from SEO and content marketing easier to understand and digest. Under the video, there is a transcript should users prefer to read it instead or are in a situation where they cannot watch the video.
The presenter, Rand Fishkin, guides viewers with visual examples and takes the time to explain concepts. Then, he asks and answers questions the viewer may be having like, “How does this affect my site ranking?” Fishkin presents information that may otherwise be bland to read in a way that captures your attention and makes you want to learn more about it.
Rich Media Lets Visitors Focus & Retain Information
In my own past Internet purchases, I felt more confident buying a product after I watched a video about it. That way, I could see the product in action and get a “real” sense of what it was like. I cannot get the same experience by only reading about it. Since then, I have gone back to the site for purchases because not only did I love the product, but the rich media gave me the information I was looking for. In fact, it is predicted that by 2017, video will take up 69% of all consumer internet traffic.
But rich media isn’t just a fancy term for “videos.” Video is a great way to engage users if it is done right, as people digest video better than any other form of content. However, some readers retain information better if they see a visual representation of it (infographics) or listen to it (podcasts). Infographics are usually used to supplement an article. If users don’t want to read an entire article the infographic will provide them with the basic information that is easy and quick to read.
Rich Media Gets Shared
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I once stayed up until three in the morning watching BuzzFeed videos. Why? Because not only are some of them informational, but they’re fun to watch. They’re so effective because viewers can relate to them, like when the video is about annoying things everyone does. The more people relate to a video, the more likely they are to share it.
Visual additions like infographics and video supplements your blog and can even be used on their own as an alternative to blogging. It’s a good idea to balance traditional blogging and rich media. As we’ve talked about previously, you can use social media sites like Tumblr and YouTube as your blog.
I cannot begin to say how many videos I had to click away from because it was too boring to watch—even if the information was good. Rich media that is humorous tends to get shared more often than dry, informational media. When you provide your audience with rich media that is enjoyable and easy to digest, they will be more likely to share it with others. Thus, your content will be seen outside of your audience and attract new members.