In an earlier post, I compared optimised content to a billboard. The billboard catches the eyes of many commuters and travellers, conveying the same message day in and day out. Optimised content, on the other hand, by its very nature, relies on the participation of readers – your client’s message reaching people who are already looking for it.
So you’ve honed in on your client’s dedicated audience. Now engage them.
Rich content, or rich media, takes your beige, bland marketing soup and turns it into a spicy stew. Using diverse media – images, video, podcasts, eBooks, infographics, to name a few – strengthens the relationship between your message and your audience.
As part of a content marketing strategy, rich content invites the user to engage with your message in their preferred mode of communication. And positive communication is an essential component of effective marketing.
That’s the first punch
Personalised communication. It sets a precedent for users that your client’s message is dynamic – that it is meant for them. Not some blanket audience, not some algorithm (Okay, SEO Man, maybe you’re killing two birds with one stone. Though I never loved that idiom.) – Your rich-media content is meant for equally rich and diverse users.
When you think you’ve personalised rich content, personalise it more. Instead of just using different forms of media, play off the type of media you’re using to communicate with your audience more effectively.
You post a podcast, for example. Good – rich content, check. Now take it a step further: What makes this audience of listeners special? How can you use this information to personalise your client’s message even further?
- There’s a good chance users are in a car, on a treadmill, or otherwise engaged in multitasking, meaning they probably won’t be taking notes. Make your message clear and concise – and make it stick. You’ll want your readers to hang onto one takeaway message that they’ll remember – a seed that will grow later when the time is right.
- It’s safe to say they have an appreciation for sound. So sound good. Fill your listeners’ ears with interesting sound-bytes and beautiful audio. For some listeners, it might be less what you say and more how you say it that matters.
Then there’s the call
Rich content calls upon the user to act. In ways that plain text can’t, alternative forms of media insist upon the user’s participation. Podcasts engage her ears, her ability to listen. Images and infographics play on the user’s inclination toward colour, composition and aesthetic. Videos demand both.
And all three call to action. In a world where online social sharing makes up a large part of our interactions with one another, providing content that intrigues the senses allows users to engage with your content in a social way. Users are inclined to listen, to look, to watch – and then they are compelled to comment, to critique, to share.
- Be clear about your call-to-action. What is it, exactly, you want from your users? Say it.
- Make it easy for users to share your rich content on different social platforms: the easier, the better. Put social share buttons in easy-to-spot places. Encourage comments and dialogue, right there and elsewhere.
- Show users where to find relevant content, and call upon them to engage with it, too.
And then he goes down
If your opponent is stasis, and SEO is the one throwing punches, that is.
Rich content is the ultimate enemy of inactivity. Because of its diverse nature, it makes its way to deeper corners of the web, as it’s picked up by internet users with various interests and media favourites.
Rich content is inclusive. It invites the users that are turned off from long texts to be a part of something different. Such inclusion is the oxygen that feeds the fire of your client’s progress. It allows your client’s message to respond to the qualities and desires of its organic recipients. It inspires movement.
So, beat stagnancy. Beat complacency. Rich-media content is a powerful tool in engaging with a dedicated audience: sharing with them and learning from them. It’s the right hook that hits the right spot.
SEO is the player, but the market – the platform for sharing your client’s message – is the game. And what’s a game without an interested crowd?