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Rich Media Boosts Engagement

Rich Media Boosts Engagement

Adding video makes your content an experience.


declineIn our newest ToadTalks edition, we share how decline magazine, a niche magazine dedicated to mountain biking culture, uses video and animations to engage readers.  Competition is fierce and publications struggle with monetization strategies, ad-blocking, and the ability to produce quality content consistently that brings in readers and advertisers.  There is no perfect solution to these challenges, and its impact reaches both large and small publishers.

The article reminded me of Red Bull, who, until recently, focused most of their marketing spend on television, sampling and live events and avoided print and radio.  The reason was that Red Bull is an energy drink and the marketing team didn’t feel that print and radio could effectively project the image of energy.  Instead, Red Bull created events designed to capture stories and content worth sharing.  They were able to create one of the best lifestyle brands out there today (my opinion).

Publications like decline use the same strategies for building on print publications with content that engages the reader in a more dynamic fashion.  Face it, seeing an amazing picture of a mountain bike rider going off a cliff is exciting but watching it come alive with video and sound on a digital page takes engagement to a whole new level and multi-sensory experience.

Why does video make a difference?


Psychology Today reports that “Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text”.  Humans are programmed to be a bit on the lazy side and reading requires more brain power.

Interestingly enough, even though it takes less time for readers to process video content, our analytics reporting shows that readers spend more time on pages with video content, both editorial and advertisement pages.  It’s possible a reader short for time will scan a digital edition, check out a video and when time allows, return to that page to read the article.


Creating an ad spread with video content adds value in several ways.


Video creates an emotional connection to the content by watching someone perform an action that helps us visualize ourselves performing that action. Since watching a video requires a loss of control and is a form of escape, content shared using this method is better for low-level decision-making.  When decisions require high levels of cognitive thinking, text is still your best friend.

Video creates higher recall.  Nielsen analyzed data from 173 studies based on digital video ads shared on Facebook.  What they found was that video increased ad recall, message association, and brand awareness. While the length of time watched increased all three metrics, views as short as 10 seconds were effective. 

Image from Facebook

Our story in the latest ToadTalks goes into more detail about the advantages detour magazine sees in adding rich media to their digital publication and how they manage content with a small team.  If this blog piqued your curiosity I suggest reading the article as well.


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