Rich media, a form of engaging content that should already be incorporated into your marketing strategy, has become the latest marketing buzzword. So what is it and why should you care?

Online marketers are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves by producing higher quality content. Rich media provides this opportunity by offering much more dynamic elements and a ‘richer’ user experience. By definition, rich media is any form of content that deviates from normal text and static images and engages with the end user.

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Rich media comes in many forms and deciding which form to implement can be the most difficult part.

Podcasts. Roughly 30 percent of your customers are auditory learners and will process and retain information much easier through sound. If that isn’t enough of a reason, consider the following added benefits of a podcast: It forms an intimate relationship, shows expertise and is a way to build brand equity across multiple devices.

eBooks/whitepapers. eBooks and whitepapers offer thorough information and/or data on industry specific topics. This form of content should be a cornerstone of your overall strategy and be conversion focused. Consider leveraging this form of rich-media content to collect opt-ins for an email list of qualified leads.

Video. Cisco predicts that by 2017, video content will account for 69 percent of consumer internet traffic. People digest information through video better than any other form of content. If you are not already using video, you will want to consider it, because your competitors already have. It’s reported that 64 percent of marketers anticipate video to dominate their future content strategies.

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Interactive content. This is a growing form of rich media that acts as a sticky piece of content. Examples include interactive infographics, scrolling parallax pages and digital quizzes. This form is founded in displaying information or data visually. It engages the user to interact, share socially and reveal personal information that can be used to help your lead targeting.

Although different in nature, these forms of rich media all add similar advantages to your content-marketing strategy. That is, they provide engaging, high quality, shareable and differentiated content.

Still not satisfied? Let’s take a look at an example of a recent successful rich-media piece. CopyPress built an interactive infographic for Airbnb that displayed data from studies conducted by Airbnb across nine cities. The page has already gained almost 6,000 social shares and received a number of high-end mentions, including the Washington Post. By taking complex data and displaying it through rich and engaging visuals, Airbnb was able to communicate their message in a form that was easy to enjoy and digest.

Online marketing is steadily moving towards high-quality, differentiated content. While there will always be a need for day-to-day pieces, it’s important to consider the benefits that developing in-depth, intuitive content will have in your effort to stand out from competition. If rich media content is not already in your marketing strategy for 2014, it could be time to seriously consider it.

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