According to one recent study, the average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads daily. Oh. My. Gosh. No wonder we’re all exhausted. But that’s exactly why it is imperative that brands are brave and crack into the world of rich content as a core part of their larger marketing strategy. If nothing else, it helps you stand out in a crowded environment in a way that is more engaging for the people you’re creating content for.
What is rich content?
“Rich content” describes any marketing collateral your brand creates that uses different media formats beyond traditional text. Think images, videos, infographics, reels, podcasts or playlists. Rich content isn’t just a way to communicate your brand’s key messages across more channels. It also increases user engagement, loyalty and conversion.
Why rich content is great for humans and search engines
Part of the reason why rich content is so important has to do with the fact that human beings are visual learners. According to one recent study, approximately 65% of the general population falls into this category. The human brain can process images and videos literally 60,000 times faster than text alone. People also retain 80% of what they see versus just 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.
That means that if you want to get a message across, you should create rich content about it first and back that up with a written version. A combo is always going to perform best because people will engage with it for longer. That makes them more likely to share it on social media which will ultimately increase engagement across all channels.
The more interactive, the better
One critical thing to remember with rich content is that you should let the message itself dictate the ultimate form it will take.
For example, let’s say you’ve got lots of statistics, figures, and other numbers to communicate. They would be a prime candidate for an infographic that would visualise this data in a compelling way.
Or, if you’re launching a cool new product, you should definitely create a video so you can show, not just tell, people about the benefits.
But challenge yourself to not always go for the simplest option, because when it comes to rich content – the more interactive, the better. Turning an infographic into an interactive data exploration experience will instantly ignite engagement. As will animating written and visual elements of a long-form report or article. Ultimately, if you want people to engage with your content, you must give them something worth engaging with.
Why you need to optimise visual elements for improved organic traffic
Always try to understand your target audiences and the devices they’ll be experiencing your rich content on. Ask yourself who these people are and what they like, dislike, and want. Then, build content around those ideas to create pieces that resonate with the people you’re speaking to. Don’t just start with a message and hope it connects with your audience. Start with your audience and ask yourself how to use rich content to benefit them.
If the data tells you that the majority of your audience members are on mobile devices, create content that looks great in that context. Lean into content that is easy to interact with via a smaller device with a touchscreen interface.
Conversely, if most of your users are on desktops, design with large monitors and a computer mouse in mind. Remove as many obstacles that could harm engagement as possible, and people will gladly interact with what you’re putting into the world.
Use rich media and influencer partnerships to drive demand
You can speed up the dissemination of your rich content ideas by leveraging influencer marketing. There are so many ways to partner with people who already have established audiences that match the people you want to reach. You pay them to promote your content or create their own content about your products or services, and this then drives their audience to become yours.
You need to be careful about who you select as your influencers, but the key things to consider are:
- does their following match your ideal audience
- how engaged is their audience
- what results can they promise
How do you know if your rich content strategy is working?
In the marketing world, you can’t improve what you’re not measuring, which is why you always need to be proactive about measuring the success of your rich content strategy moving forward. The key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll want to pay attention to will be dictated by the larger goals of your strategy.
- Were you trying to execute a rich content strategy to help increase brand awareness? In that case, you’ll want to look at things like article views, social shares, and audience engagement in a high-level way.
- Did you want to generate more leads? In that case, you should look at KPIs like click-through rates and your ultimate cost per lead.
In the end, remember that using rich content to empower your larger strategy is not something you “do once and forget about.” For the best results, you need to be thoughtful about what you create, measure its performance, and look for ways to improve in the future. Don’t assume you’ve “done enough” to reach your audience because that audience constantly changes. Therefore, the rich content you’re publishing needs to change along with it.