Looking to fill a hole in your social calendar? Think about hosting a food swap. Food swapping parties offer opportunities to share favorite recipes, socialize, and sample new dishes. A baked goods swap is a great low-key party idea and a fun excuse to gather your girlfriends and dabble with domesticity. Baked goods can range from biscuits to quick breads and cheesecakes to cupcakes.
If you've never hosted a food swap, these tips will help you plan a stress-free (and mess-free) event.
Keep the guest list small. For a more manageable food swap, limit your guest list. Six-to-eight people will provide plenty of options for swapping while reducing the amount of pre-party prep.
With an event like this, food allergies are always a concern. Ask invitees to reveal any allergies with their RSVP and alert the other participants so recipes can be altered to accomodate.
Establish some rules. Choose a theme for your baked goods swap (sweet 'n' savory, secret family recipes, breakfast treats, etc.). Encourage your guests to tell you what they plan to bring to ensure you don't wind up with multiples of the same dish. The goal of a food swap is for each guest to leave with new treats to enjoy later, but you'll want to have something to try during the party. Ask guests to prepare enough for all the attendees to take away plus a mini batch for sampling.
Be prepared. In addition to standard party needs (drinks, napkins, seating, music, etc.), have cutting and serving tools available for use. Also have some pens and stickers or place setting cards so people can label their goodies. If you're feeling ambitious, provide a packaging station with food grade boxes and decorations where guests can wrap up their treats for taking home. Blank index cards come in handy for those want your great-grandmother's awesome zucchini bread recipe.
A food swap doesn't necessarily mean everyone will fill up on samples, so set out a few trays and bowls of munchies and appetizers. Offer some healthy options to balance out sweets-based contributions
Don't forget to make your own dish to swap! If you are sidetracked by planning details, try to incorporate your dish preparation into the party. Get your guests talking about their own cooking methods.
The best part of a food swap—beside eating, of course—is the socializing. Every recipe has a story. Whether it's a sentimental memory or an embarrassing anecdote, sharing these stories over homemade goodies makes for a lovely bonding experience. What started out as a way to use up leftover chocolate chips may actually strengthen friendships.
You've got the man. You've got the ring. You've set the date. Now it's on to tackle the biggest challenge of planning a wedding—picking the right venue. To help narrow your options for a wedding venue you'll want to consider your guest list, your needs and, most importantly, your budget.
Choose a type of venue. If you've got a large guest list, you'll need space to accomodate them. An outdoor venue sounds romantic but is susceptible to weather changes (with nonrefundable deposits). Are you anticipating a lot of out-of-town guests? Maybe a hotel wedding suits your needs. Are you an avid arts lover? Rent out your favorite art gallery or museum.
Get recommendations. Ask around for opinions on venues in your chosen location. Contact former brides about their experience with the venues you're considering. They'll have the best insight for pre-wedding venue hunting and how the staff handles last-minute crises.
Visit venues in person. Once you've made a list of your venue preferences, tour the facilities with your partner to get a full assessment. Consider the following factors:
Work within your budget. Factor in costs of the facility itself along with catering, equipment rentals, and staff services. What's included in space rental and which services are considered add-ons? Before booking a venue, get details of the rental agreement regarding cancellation policies, change of date, and terms for deposit and final payment.
Be flexible. If you find your dream venue, make sure you're prepared to compromise on your wedding date to meet venue availability. Get married in the off-season, when rental costs will be lower—and you won't be competing with all the other summer brides.
It takes more than a good idea to fuel a successful business endeavour. You need time, money, energy, manpower—but most of all, you need a plan that harnesses all of these components and ensures optimum use and distribution. Without a plan, you could easily max out time and money before you get proper manpower in place. Whether you're launching a brand new start up or expanding an existing enterprise, having a five-year goal in place will help keep your growth on track.
Follow these 10 tips to realize your business vision.
1. Identify your vision. Before formulating a plan, take a moment to envision the shape of your business in five years. How do you quantify its success? Consider not just financial wealth but also the size and structure of your company and recognition within the industry. Do you have the resources necessary to fulfill your ambition within a short timespan? Focus on the details of your vision to form realistic objectives and short-term goals.
2. Define your company's objectives. With a goal set, think in specifics about what your company will achieve and how those achievements will be measured. Objectives will reveal whether your company is on track to the ultimate goal and fulfill shareholder expectations. From the successes (and failures) of your objectives, you can gauge where to make adjustments and how to proceed forward. Objectives should be short-term with a set criteria that is attainable and relevant to your business.
3. Think big, work small. Once you've identified the long-term goals and short-term objectives, it's time to focus on the immediate. Put plans into action by breaking your objectives down further into smaller tasks with quicker turnaround. Here is where you tackle the meetings and phone calls that build client lists and networks.
4. Be (more than) your own boss. Building a business from scratch demands a great deal of time and sacrifice. Even the most successful CEOs have to make compromises in both their professional and personal lives. Consider your own personal risks and compromises. How much of your own time and money are you investing? Do you have full support of your family? Could your business venture potentially jeopardize your home life? Can the company survive without you should a personal emergency arise?
5. Manage expectations. Some objectives may not be met. Deadlines will be missed. A dramatic shift in market demand could set your business back several months (or years). Brace yourself for early disappointments, especially if this is your first entrepreneurial endeavour. Scale back or extend timetables of objectives if performance seems lacking.
6. Understand the costs of doing business. If one of your objectives is to pursue higher profit margins, keep your fiscal performance in check with regular assessments of your business expenditures. Know what it realistically costs to run your company while keeping your employees and shareholders happy. It may be necessary to sacrifice one objective in order to meet your fiscal target. Keep in mind that sacrifices may inconvenience or adversely impact employees even if it buoys your bottom line.
7. Be flexible. As your business grows, you may notice an increase in demands of your time and resources. New opportunities or market fluctuations may dictate an adjustment in short-term objectives. Keep your company's goals fluid enough to accommodate new ideas or improvements on existing objectives.
8. Compete, don't compare. When entering any marketplace it's crucial to know your competition, to be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses in order to seize opportunities within the industry. But when it comes to the internal operations, every company is different. Each firm has its own objectives and works at its own pace. Do not compare your company's objectives to those of your rivals.
9. Forget the middle. Focus on the short-term goals. Concentrate on the acheivements you can make six months from now, not the goals you want to accomplish two years from now. New ideas are often the most exciting ideas, but if they aren't part of the current plan, they can prove to be unnecessary distraction from more time-sensitive tasks. If you have an idea for a mid-term objective, make note of it for future pursuits.
10. Make a commitment. If your business is your passion, commit to the journey and prepare to weather the highs and lows of running a successful business. Surround yourself with a dedicated and determined team to help realize the full potential of your enterprise. Be prepared to stick with your business for the long haul—your commitment may prove inspirational to staff and clients alike. When you reach your initial goals, you may find yourself planning for the next five years.
If your go-to-market strategy relies on indirect sales channels, it's imperative to keep your channel partners engaged in driving sales and increasing revenue. Maximize your GTM strategy's effectiveness by understanding external markets and prospects. Channel partners often have direct experience and can provide valuable buyer insight that can enhance your GTM strategy. When partners are invested in a product and its brand, the motivation to implement strategies is stronger, providing greater accuracy for monitoring success.
Partner engagement can be divided into three categories:
Information—Provide your partners with the knowledge of your product and equip them with the tools necessary to generate sales.
Incentives—Offer benefits to stimulate sales growth.
Involvement—Embrace channel partners as an extended branch of your sales team and encourage participation in corporate events.
Are your channel partners actively engaged in implementing your current go-to-market strategy? How much input do your channel partners have in your GTM strategy?
Here are 10 techniques designed to boost sales partner engagement.
1. Sales tools. How are your partners promoting your product to buyers? Do your channel partners have a compatible sales strategy in place? Vendors often possess the resources and expertise that new channel partners needs to drive buyer engagement. If you want your partners to move your products, furnish them with the same sales enablement tools you provide for in-house sales reps.
Sales materials may include:
•Free trials of product
•Dynamic report generators
2. Ongoing training. It's important to illustrate how implementing existing go-to-market strategies can result in success, so take the time to train your partners not only about what they're selling but also how to sell it. Present recent successful campaigns and the trajectory of your current sales strategy.
3. Joint marketing campaigns. The best way to ensure quality and consistency in brand messaging is to collaborate with partners. Partners' independent marketing materials may reveal opportunities to adopt their tactics. If your partners have multiple vendor agreements, be aware of how they promote your products alongside your competitors.
Allow partners to customize marketing programs to fill the needs of their niche or territory. Find messaging that reflects the individual partner's brand and highlights their unique value without diluting your own brand. Co-branded marketing can reduce those costs and boost profits for both businesses.
Your endorsement matters—to your partners and buyers. Co-branding provides legitimacy to your partner, builds trust, and demonstrates to your buyers that your partners are reputable sources. Ensure call-to-action in co-branded communications are directing leads to your partners.
4. Exclusivity agreements. Push your product to the forefront by offering exclusivity agreements. Give your partners exclusive rights to sell your product in their geographic location or give them limited time exclusivity on offering a new product or service.
5. Pre-sales incentives. Partners need motivation to sell your product. Beyond the promises of sales margins and commissions, consider brand-centric incentives like product discounts and rebates. Boost sales potential by setting up a brand-wide promotional program designed to drive buyers to partner sites. You will be able to track buyer interest in target markets, but it's up to the partner to turn those leads into sales. Consider bonus revenue sharing if partners exceed their sales quota.
6. Post-sales rewards. Financial motivation gets the sales but emotional motivation is proven to be as effective in boosting overall results. Non-cash rewards are a more personalized way of demonstrating the value of individual partners—and an easy way to ramp up competition amongst sales partners. These kinds of rewards can include gift cards for merchandise, health and wellness packages, and travel vouchers.
7. Recognition. High-performing partners deserve public acknowledgement for achievements. Publish a success story spotlight in your monthly newsletter as a way to praise power sellers. This feature will make a memorable impression on recipients and their influencers (family, friends, etc.) and motivate other partners to increase their sales efforts.
8. Share analytics. Giving sales partners access to your website analytics supplies them with data about their prospects. Some shared analytics programs deliver information in real time, allowing partners to see when prospective buyers in their market visit the vendor website so they can act on buyer interest while your product is still top-of-mind.
9. Partner surveys. Invite participation from active partners to provide feedback on product performance, buyer insight, and opportunities for improvement. Surveys may reveal shifts in the market or buyer behaviour that will need to be addressed in future go-to-market strategies.
10. Private events for Partners. Host quarterly or annual conferences for channel partners to foster engagement in your company's culture. In-person events encourage partners to network and give them a chance to interact with your company in a less formal atmosphere. Conferences and galas can be used to present non-cash rewards and awards of recognition, further promoting vendor investment in partners. Include top performing partners in sales forecasting calls, quarterly meetings, and go-to-market planning sessions.
How many of these techniques have you adopted in your efforts to engage channel partners? Which techniques will you try?
Now that we can distribute our eBooks instantly, it would be great if we could also track eBook sales instantly, right? Good news—we can!
The latest—and most valuable—innovation in eBook publishing is the instant availability of sales data online. Publishers no longer need to wait for quarterly reports and impenetrable spreadsheets to gauge performance in the marketplace. With real-time analytics, it's now possible to access and interpret sales data quickly and easily—and to take action in response to the results.
Analytics let publishers evaluate a title's trajectory through time, in various regions and on different platforms. When comparing weekly or daily sales data, publishers can detect patterns in sales while measuring the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. The best way to identify trends is to regularly monitor movement in three areas—sales channels performance, regional sales, and pricing.
Many sales channels offer the option to distribute eBooks across multiple territories, meaning you can simultaneously release a title in the U.S., Brazil and Germany and immediately track sales in those regions. You may find that a title performs exceedingly well in a unexpected foreign market or that what's considered a popular genre in one country may be almost non-existent in another. These trends could help determine opportunities for expansion into other markets.
Sales Channel Performance
The surge in the popularity of tablets and eReaders has resulted in an influx of eBook retailers. These sales channels offer the potential for wider distribution across multiple platforms. Through our global distribution service, publishers can easily access the analytics and compare a title's performance from all available sales channels. The accumulated sales data will reveal whether a title is under-performing on one channel, allowing for swifter response to remedy the issue.
The price of an eBook is in constant fluctuation, often reliant on the perceived value of the book's content at any given time. Publishers can adjust prices seasonally or for a title-specific promotion and use analytics to measure the effectiveness of a particular promotion or sales action. Allow ample time for sales channels to update their databases to reflect new pricing, as some retailers take several business days to apply changes.
Trend tracking in sales data offers insight into consumer behavior and reveals opportunities for future promotional or marketing plans. Using these insights, you can improve on existing marketing tactics, revise pricing structures and identify new markets. Monitor daily trends to gauge the effectiveness of a price adjustment or sales action. Review monthly reports to compare performance across multiple territories and sales channels. With short-term data, you can make changes in distribution—either by country/region or sales channel—or in the content's metadata to help boost visibility and sales. Long-term data results can inform decisions on future content production and distribution.
Whether you're publishing one title or 20, sales analytics may prove invaluable to your marketing and distribution strategies. The digital shelf life of an eBook had yet to be determined, but the trends revealed in sales data will enable you to keep your title relevant in the marketplace and out of the virtual remainders bin.
"How much should I charge for my ebook?"—It's the question every new book publisher asks before entering the digital marketplace and one with no easy answer.
While ebooks become more prevalent with mainstream readers, publishers still struggle to find the magic price point that appeals to consumers and generates maximum sales. For new publishers, experts' suggestions range from 99 cents to $9.99 while established publishing houses offer new titles starting at $15.99. And because ebooks can vary in content and quality as much as their print counterparts, there is no "one-size-fits-all" pricing solution. Instead, publishers have to rely on the trial-and-error method. You can simplify your own pricing process by developing a pricing strategy specifically suited to your sales goals and customer behaviour.
To formulate your pricing strategy, first determine your book's value, target audience, and sales goals.
• What is your book's value? Consumers are conditioned to pay more for materials they deem worthwhile to career advancement or self-betterment whereas they're less keen to spend much on ebooks with pure entertainment value. If you're selling a reference guide with specialty content (worksheets, embedded illustrations, tutorials, etc.), you would position your book in a different price range than you would a short book of humourous essays.
• Who is your target audience? Are you targeting a niche market or reaching out to general audience? If you have an established fan base, they may be more willing to pay a little extra for your title because they're already familiar with your work. An unknown author promoting a new novel might have better luck with a lower price point to entice new readers.
• What are your sales goals? Is it more important to maximize profit or broaden your readership? Are you prepared to sell your title at a loss in order to gain prominence in the marketplace? Factor in the expenses involved with the creation and release of your ebook and determine a reasonable time frame in which to recover those costs.
Your actual pricing strategy should include your anchor price—the standard price point at which you plan to list your book—and a flexible timetable for offering discounts and other price modifications. Choose a price range that best reflects your goals and be prepared to experiment with different price points to gauge customer behaviour. Offer your title at the lower end of the range as an introductory price to penetrate the marketplace. If sales performance is strong, you may try raising the price. Take care not to raise or drop prices too sharply or with too much frequency as erratic pricing may scare off potential customers.
Review sales data regularly to identify trends and opportunities and use those reports to inform changes in marketing and pricing strategies. If your title has a seasonal tie-in or is in direct competition with a new release on a similar topic, adjust your sales price to attract new buyers and remain competitive.
The ebook market is still evolving and demands flexibility, patience, and perseverance. A strong pricing strategy will keep your sales goals on track and prolong your book's success in the digital marketplace.
As publishers work tirelessly to release digital versions of titles across the spectrum, Poetry is one genre that continues to be passed over. The dearth of classic poetry eBooks is not to be blamed on cultural limitations, but on technological limitations. Tricky indentations and structured stanzas of most poetry has proven problematic for basic eBook conversion services. Fortunately, we're starting to see more sophisticated eBook tools that can handle complex design needs. Will we start to see more poetry titles emerge as a result?
Poetry has long been plagued by digital format issues, from mangled line breaks in automated eBook conversion to formatting whims of individual eReader devices and reading apps. Because poetry is predominately text, it's easy to assume that converting the text digitally needs no special treatment. Poets experiment with line justifications and complex indentations in word document programs, creating word flow structures with strong visual and literary impact. These tabs and line returns, which seem like rudimentary format options, just don't translate into the eBook's xhtml page coding. Even when automated eBook conversion services can retain a word document's format, other variables can alter the integrity of a poem. Screen sizes and user preferences can impact font styles and sizes resulting in line breaks or white space not originally intended by the author.
The structural flaws have frustrated some poets to the extent where they requested the removal of their digital catalogue. Other poets request disclaimers on their eBooks warning their readers of potential format issues.
Poets and their publishers now have more options when it comes to eBook conversion. Older printed volumes can be scanned and saved as static PDF files to preserve the stanzas and line breaks. PDFs are universal standalone documents that can be read on computers, tablets and smartphones without dedicated eBook applications. The EPUB is a lightweight and widely available format that can retain a book's styles while allowing for user accessibility. however, converting to EPUB is time-consuming as it requires programmers to code individual poems.
With more sensitive technology in place to address the demands of poetry eBook design, are publishers ready to invest in Poetry again? The extensive design needs for individual titles means converting the back catalogue of poetry volumes is a considerable feat for any publishing house. What was already a low-priority genre for publishers may remain as such until consumer demand rises. We may see a slight uptick in the release of classic poetry, although at snail's pace, whilst most poets endure obscurity a while longer.
For emerging and active poets, the technical challenges offer ample creative opportunities. Armed with knowledge of how eBooks work, some poets could experiment with the digital page–perhaps developing an innovative poetry structure that simplifies the back-end for eBook conversion, making the form more attractive to digital publishers. Industrious poets might even consider tackling the conversion themselves and release their eBooks independently.
Improved technology has given poets renewed confidence in digital publication. If this enthusiasm continues to spread, publishers may find themselves amidst a revival of the genre. It's well worth giving poetry eBooks a second glance.
Although eBooks have existed for over 15 years, it took the convenience of ereaders and tablets to bring the format to prominence. As the eBook audience grows, so do eBook sales. Over the past five years, sales have soared to the extent that even The New York Times launched a weekly eBook bestseller list in 2011. With eBooks representing a significant percentage of overall book sales, it's worth considering what qualities make for a bestselling eBook title.
What attracts audiences to particular titles? If Digital Book World's eBook Bestseller list from 2013 is an indication, readers are drawn to stories, not publishers. From DBW's top 20 list—one populated with A-list authors Dan Brown, JK Rowling, Stephen King and John Grisham—three titles were from self-published authors. So, not only are we seeing more eBooks top the bestseller list, we're seeing more independent authors achieve bestseller status. Whether it's Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (Crown Publishing Group) or E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey (originally self-published), readers seek out compelling stories and then share their finds with fellow bibliophiles, propelling even the most unlikely titles onto bestselling lists.
When it comes to choosing reading materials, eBook audiences tend to respond better to ratings, recommendations and reviews rather than clever marketing campaigns. Customer reviews are an effective gauge of a book's quality and readership appeal. Sometimes these ratings generate more than sales; they can encourage the publication of new stories with beloved characters. Hugh Howey's bestselling Wool began as a novelette eBook but Howey expanded the story based on positive reviews and demand via Amazon reviewers.
Most independent titles aren't as fortunate as Gone Girl or 50 Shades to have a movie tie-in to help maintain buzz and bestseller status. What buoys many self-published eBooks is serialsation. It takes time to build an audience and serialised eBooks help in gaining recognition. With each new release, buzz builds and new readers are attracted to the series. These readers return to purchase earlier works, often boosting the original title to chart-topping success. Amanda Hocking made headlines in 2011 with her digital bestseller My Blood Approves when her groundbreaking Y.A. eBook series earned upwards of two-million dollars in sales.
Special price promotions can push titles into the bestseller limelight, but success may be short-lived without reviews and ratings to support the boost. Every eBook retailer has their own bestseller list reporting the day's biggest selling titles, so it remains unclear whether each retailer determines bestseller ranking by units sold or revenue. The self-published titles ranked on DBW's 2013 Bestseller list—including H.M. Ward's long-time chart-topper Damaged—were all priced at £0.77, while titles from more established publishers ranged in price from £1.99 to £12.99.
Because digital publishing has created a level playing field for all publishers, it's readers that now hold more power in determining the next bestselling title. Whether it's a self-contained novel or one volume of an on-going series, publishers of all sizes must focus on delivering quality stories at a reasonable price.
Trip planning is an intensive process for many travelers. Whether planning a vacation for a family of four, a romantic honeymoon or a summer-long cross-country road trip, juggling the different components for traveling can be stressful. In order to take just one trip, a traveler must determine a destination, choose and book transportation and lodging, plan activities and itineraries and pack. While travelers are in the initial planning phase, it may not occur to them to visit travel service providers or booking portals for anything beyond price comparison. Many customers may not visit until they are ready make to reservations and ticket purchases.
Content marketing affords travel brands the opportunity to reach out to customers during the crucial planning phase by offering trip planning resources and relevant travel advice. By investing in a content marketing strategy, companies offering travel services can go beyond the initial sales pitch to enhance branding, become a reliable source and build relationships with customers.
Five Reasons to Invest in Content Marketing
1. Advance the brand message.
Content does more than offset the sales copy—it helps set the tone for a brand. Quality content works to enhance the branding message and improve brand perception. Through content marketing, a travel brand can address the specific needs and concerns of its target demographic. For example, if an individual travel service caters to business travelers, the content would be focused on tips and information relevant to business tourism. The specialized content will draw customers and establish the brand’s position in the travel marketplace.
2. Demonstrate expertise.
For both foreign and domestic trips, customers do lots of vacation research prior to making final purchase decisions. Because content is a reflection of the brand’s knowledge of its niche within the travel industry, a travel brand that understands the customer’s needs and provides support through travel planning assistance and educational resources increases its value to that customer. Using travel experts as part of a strong content marketing strategy, a travel brand positions itself as an authority as it guides customers through the vacation planning process, from exploring possible destinations to finding the right accommodations.
3. Attract new customers.
Compelling content that incorporates long tail keywords will improve search engine ranking and, as a result, increase visibility to customers in the early vacation planning phase. Content such as destination guides and sample itineraries give potential customers much more to consider beyond travel services and package deals. Travel brands that stand out from the competition will sell customers on the fantasy of traveling and then demonstrate how they help to realize those fantasies.
4. Establish a bond with customers.
Over the course of a lifetime, people find assorted reasons to travel. From weekend getaways to overseas holidays, day trips to road trips and holiday family reunions, there are travel arrangements to be made and customer loyalty to be earned. In addition to providing high quality travel services, rewarding customers with trustworthy advice and engaging editorial helps reinforce favorable views of a travel brand. Employing a content marketing strategy across the website and the brand’s digital marketing collateral will offer useful travel information year-round and remind customers of their experience with the brand and keep it top-of-mind when it’s time to book a new trip.
5. Improve social media engagement.
Content marketing—blogs especially—can ease the pressure of generating daily content specifically for social media. Shareable content prevents Twitter and Facebook accounts from turning solely into customer service help lines. Even evergreen content is worth sharing via Twitter if there's a fresh way to present it. Links to destination guides and travel how-to’s along with updates on services and travel offers will provide a healthy balance of content across social media platforms. When followers are engaged, they are more likely to share content with their own networks.
By providing content that addresses concerns, answers questions and alleviates the anxieties of travel planning, travel brands can trade the sales pitch for a subtle call-to-action and integrated sales proposition. For brands that prefer to focus on providing excellent travel services to their customers, Prose Media offers assistance in developing a successful content marketing strategy using professional, knowledgeable travel writers.
Multimedia content has come a long way in the last 10 years. Technological innovations have improved content accessibility and shareability, taking videos and photographs from barely there to everywhere. It is now necessary to include at least one visual element to enhance visibility of text content. This guide offers a crash course in multimedia and how to implement different components to maximize the effectiveness of your online content.
In the early days of the Internet, modems of varying speeds and reliability meant content creators needed to be cautious with employing too much enhanced content on one page. With more reliable connection speeds and the rise in popularity of video and photo sharing services, the Internet has become a multimedia-friendly environment. Multimedia content can now coexist on a single page with minimal impact on page load times. Users now seek out multimedia content that is engaging and interactive.
What is Multimedia Content
Multimedia is a combination of different forms of content, including text, video, still images, slideshows, audio, infographics and interactive forms. Visual content enhances the written word by attracting viewers and keeping them engaged in the story or news item. Multimedia elements should provide content that is useful and complements the main text.
Interactive content drives the web today. Text-only blogs struggle against competition like image-heavy list articles and animated recaps of popular TV programs. Which means adding one or two visual components is vital to content survival. But it's not enough to attach a sensational unrelated photo to a blog post to ignite virality. To capture viewers, content must be legitimately useful, attractive and shareable.
When (and How) to Use Multimedia
Relevance is the key word in choosing multimedia elements to accompany textual content. Visual content must be relevant to and supportive of the text to be truly effective. An unrelated video or misleading image will frustrate viewers and discourage them from sharing content. Combining multiple forms of related media into one post will turn a blog into an evergreen resource.
What is the right balance of multimedia? A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three multimedia elements: text, a static image and a moving image.
Every blog post should have at least one eye-catching image. This image often accompanies the post's headline on linked pages. The still image should be placed within the body of the post, between the headline and the opening paragraph. When the opportunity arises to include multiple images, a slideshow will improve interactivity while cutting down on page size and scrolling. Slideshows are helpful for list articles that contain multiple recipes, travel tips or other short items.
Infographics are a convenient way to convey statistics and lifestyle tips. An illustrated image with valuable content is like a magazine clipping, easy to save and store for future reference as well as easy to share via social media. These images can be very large and may be tricky to fit with other multimedia content as well as lengthy text.
Embedded video needs surrounding text to increase SEO visibility and entice viewers to click play. If the video is the primary feature of the blog post, include a detailed description, if not a full transcript of the video's content. Tutorials offer an opportunity to employ video to demonstrate a project or process. If a video is unavailable, the post should include several step-by-step images to boost effectiveness. A tutorial that shows only a photo of a completed project is less useful than one that includes visuals of each stage of a project.
Don't overwhelm viewers with too much multimedia content. While the Internet may be able to handle serving up content more easily, Internet users cannot be expected to digest content at the same rate.
Content on this site was originally written by Katharine Miller between 2000-2015. Many feature articles and interviews were published in print and on websites that no longer exist. Katharine is reproducing her written material here for portfolio and archival purposes only. Links and credits to clients and original publication will be included where possible.