How to Give Your Site a New Media Spring Clean
We've come a long way since the days of text-stuffed websites and painful Geocities pages. The web is a now a vibrant audio-visual mix of high resolution photography, high definition video, carefully crafted fonts and refined brand palettes. Brief blasts of video on YouTube intermingle with long-form documentaries, striking stock images nestle alongside original artwork, and podcasts compete for our ear time alongside albums streamed from Spotify or digital radio stations from around the world. In short, today's Internet user expects a rich blend of content styles and media options. Your business doesn't get a pass on this multimedia evolution, and if you've neglected your site's developement for several years, now is the time to bring it up to speed! [caption id="attachment_3566" align="aligncenter" width="601"] Image Credit: Serge Kij[/caption]
Spring Clean Your Site's Content Strategy
In many ways, businesses have been slow to move their content beyond more traditional forms of communication with customers. Content marketing has gained a foothold in recent years, with blogging established as an important element in establishing your expertise and building a brand on that reputation. Social media and website updates are also seen as a crucial way to keep content fresh, but consumers are increasingly asking for more than plain old text and some cursory images. What began as a move towards image-based social media, such as Instagram or Pinterest, has developed into a full-blown trend, requiring experimentation with audio, video, and different styles of visual content. To maintain engagement and to stand out from the crowd, a business must increasingly translate its products, services and culture for the medium that suits it most. If your business has just started to get a handle on content writing and text-based SEO, this new requirement could be another jarring shift to take on board. Thankfully there are methods and tools available that make the trend to multimedia content marketing not only manageable, but one that could actually save you some time. These include:
- Start with images: As Instagram and Pinterest have shown in the last year or two, people love to communicate with a powerful picture or photo as much if not more than they do with a written update. Find the right type of image that works with your audience. Once you hit upon a winning formula it becomes much quicker to publish engaging content.
- Use mobile videos: Video and audio can be more involved to create and edit, but most of us now have a smartphone close at hand. Even short videos of something interesting in your business day or audio interviews with staff members can be produced on a tight budget, so creativity is your only real limitation when exploring new forms of content.
- Add audio clips: These could be testimonials, interviews with employees, or even a full blown podcast series, if you're feeling adventurous. Whatever you choose, the idea is to add elements to your site and social platforms that visitors cn click to play along as they enjoy your other content. This might support an existing blog post or be a separate element, but it should always be good quality audio and add value to your user's experience.
- Encourage interaction and clicks: The more valuable content that you add to your site, the longer people should want to stay there. Unfortunately, if you don't show them where to go or present new content in an appealing way that encourages clicks, your effort will be wasted. Think about how your visitors use the site and what you want different types of user to do next. You can experiment with new styles and test behavior to better understand the additions that you make and how they improve interaction on your site. When in doubt, refer back to our article on 10 Ways to Enhance Your Website in Under an Hour for further inspiration.
- Create custom images as "snackable" content: Compare the time it takes to write a simple blog post to snapping a great picture of what you do and adding a descriptive caption. In most cases it's the picture that is quicker. Experiment with tools like Canva or Share As Image to create custom visuals that can be easily enjoyed, shared, and which represent the values of your business.
As you explore new media types for your business, don't forget that everything should fall within your wider marketing strategy. Make sure that your most important brand values, who you are, what you do, and why customers keep coming back to you, are at the heart of all the content you put out into the world. Doing so helps to build your brand even further, rather than confusing the message you've worked so hard to communicate with earlier strategies. We always love to hear how your business is improving its marketing, online or offline. Contact us here, ask us a question on YouTube, or reach out on any of the other social networks you see linked below.
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