How Rich Media Adds Value
It’s not the results that count. It’s the clicks.
Welcome to your new search strategy, if you didn’t know this already. A high ranking in organic search results (meaning, someone enters “Montgomery plumber,” and your name shows in the first page of search results) is still as important as ever. But guess what’s actually more important? Drum roll, please…
Getting the click.
Experienced Internet users (e.g., “everybody,” minus about 17 people) know that if your company shows up in the top five results, it’s highly likely that your site is useful and legitimate. But they still have a choice to make in which link they click. To make your site their choice, they need to see your value proposition in the search results.
How to add value in results? A couple of tips:
Leverage “rich media” – This use of the word “rich” is the version that has to do with “enhanced,” rather than the version of “rich” that has to do with “pile of money.” It’s about a “richer experience” – sort of the digital advertising term for “more than text.”
Rich media has advanced features such as video, audio and other elements that encourage interaction. So, whereas text ads have words and display ads have images, rich media is anything that isn’t just text or isn’t just a static image, but has engagement. Therefore, as you appear in rich media in search results pages, you’ve got a better chance to get clicks and increase traffic on your site.
What exactly is rich media? Think podcasts, interactive infographics or digital quizzes. You can also capture reviews on your site or partner with a review vendor. Among other examples, you’re using rich media when you have ads that expand as searchers click or roll over. Or you can enable them to click to make a phone call.
Video, in particular, is a giant having a growth spurt. Surveys show that 64 percent of marketers expect video to dominate future content strategies, and Cisco estimates that by 2017, video content will account for almost 70 percent of consumer internet traffic.
Obviously, don’t create videos just for entertainment value; make sure they’re aligned with your marketing objectives, explaining benefits or educating prospects. If you’re launching a video as part of a new campaign, complementing with paid search advertising is something to consider.
Credibility is central to the click and to the value proposition. Rich media adds credibility, for one, for the sheer reason that it shows you’ve put more effort into building your online brand. The interactive, engaging links in the results are validation, but also rich media opens up new opportunities to add credibility in the actual content at the end of the search results. Reviews, for example, demonstrate to prospects that your company has customers with real names and faces behind their experiences.
But even knowing that, don’t forget this…
Communicate value in text – Text is still important. People do read, and they want to know what’s going to be at the other end of the link before they spare two seconds of their life to click your site for a look-see. So, even as you use eye-catching imagery and interactivity to gain attention, carefully chosen text helps with the click-through just as much.
Marketing is always about differentiating yourself in the marketplace. As we know, you cannot stand out by sameness. Rich media helps you differentiate yourself from the “sameness” in the search results.
Why are your links click-worthy? Because you said so, actually – and you said so with the value proposition within your prospect’s search results.