A majority of internet users are discerning enough to know high-quality content from shoddy, mass-produced drivel. Similar to how you can judge a terrible show or movie within seconds of viewing by assessing camera angles, makeup, special effects, and other quality aspects, web users are constantly getting savvier at rapidly judging web media.
According to research by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, "It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand once they've perused your company's website."
With 86 percent of marketers using content marketing as a component of their digital efforts, it's no secret that quality content is crucial for reaching new customers and attracting leads. Even within our own firm, clients have begun to exhibit a rising interest in optimizing their own web content. As the web has progressed and paradigms like HTML5 have matured, content creators have brought newfound interactivity and digital experiences online, making it easier for "traditional" content to stand out even further.
Sure, adding in bolded sub-sections and other readability tweaks can help spur traffic, but today's audience truly craves immersive and engaging content experiences. Below is a list of some of the most awe-inspiring immersive content executions over the recent past. And as you will see, this isn't your grandma's WordPress blog.
The New York Times: "The Jockey"
In recent years, The Gray Lady has made several high profile attempts to embrace digital. Like many newspapers, The New York Times is faced with an increasing generational gap in terms of how people consume news. Mobile devices, social media, and video streaming services have thrown the traditional news model out the window. This is why its move to incorporate more digitally minded content is worth noting.
The organization recently was awarded a Pulitzer for its initial step into immersive content for "Snow Fall." While the success was there, the newspapers most recent foray with "The Jockey" was just as impressive. "The Jockey" incorporates superb design, infinite scrolling, seamless video integration, and intimate audio narration.
All of the elements combine to tell the story of the winningest horse jockey in history. Reminiscent of a National Geographic production more than a newspaper article, at one point readers are treated to HD head-cam footage from the perspective of Russell Baze atop his horse.
CNN: "How 3D Printing Will Reshape the World"
One of the most mind-boggling technological and scientific trends out there is 3D printing. From talk of 3D printed guns, Aston Martins, and even mock human tissue, the concept is often hard to explain. Yet CNN did a great job of incorporating graphic animation, contextual web design, as well as interactive infinite scrolling. The background resembles a blue print and even the font serves to represent the "maker movement" through its scratchy style.
Particularly, the infinite scroll combined with animation and concise bursts of text allows for a visitor to view visual representations of the 3D printing process while reading. The immersive content format used by CNN allows for a dense topic to be easily accessible and comprehensible by the common person.
Navigating the content is also made easier by notification arrows and a menu bar for jumping to various sections. The act of physically scrolling your mouse wheel melds perfectly with the animated displays. Additional incorporation of relevant statistics, graphs, and quotes from thought leaders allows the concept and potential for 3D printing to be seamlessly communicated.