Visual content is not for every website. Used in the right context though, a short clip or promotional video can greatly enhance a user’s experience. A simple embedded link from YouTube or Google Video adds a new level of interaction to a page.
According to research, 83 per cent of all individuals learn visually. Using an appropriate video can help sell a brand, an idea, or merely break up a long stretch of text.
In the right hands, Twitter can be a scarily effective marketing tool. The service breaks down the barriers between customer and company – individuals can directly communicate to their favourite brand relaying opinions, thoughts and, heaven forefend, complaints. Considering the relatively low overhead costs, the service can be very profitable.
Still, there is a negative side to the application, as I’m sure the various ex-marketing employees of Skittles and Habitat can explain.
Users want to know a company is paying attention to their views and concerns. Allowing individuals the opportunity to comment on a service or review a product is a chance for a business to get instant feedback on their goods and reputation.
A few months ago, theEword attended the Ecommerce Expo North at The Hilton Hotel. One of the speakers, Gina Deeble - the Head of Interactive Content at QVC, was giving a talk about the benefits of user-generated content. She explained that QVC had recently integrated user content; customer reviews for the millions of products the shopping channel provides.
Deeble went on to say that this function had created a community – a group of dedicated QVC visitors who actively promoted the brand and its products to other members. She revealed that sales of reviewed items had risen by up to 20 per cent based solely on these comments.
A picture tells a thousand words. Images, graphs and charts are not only useful for illustrating a point, but also can be used to keep a user’s attention. A visually arresting photograph can inspire a reader to continue through a page or click through to another part of the site. The BBC News site uses this tactic in the ‘Big Picture’ section – users are encouraged to click through to a photograph by way of an ambiguous image link on the site.