Before creating a Content Experience, you firstly need to understand exactly what the term means. A content experience is the flow of a beautifully designed, responsive piece of content that engages your readers via a journey.
It might feel quick and easy to simply populate pre-designed static templates with your content, but this will only lead to the reader becoming disconnected from the content they are reading. You need to design the experience in a way that ensures everything is connected. The content should act as a guide that takes the user on a journey, containing information that is of value to them.
Instead of delving straight into the creation process, start by planning out how the content should flow. Thought should be given on how the end readers path flows, from start to finish. And you should also put thought into how you want the experience to be visualized across a multitude of screens and devices.
A key mistake in the creation process is designing it for desktop viewing, which has all the bells and whistles, but not putting thought into the mobile experience can be detrimental to your content. It’s worth noting here, that the majority of your readers will probably be viewing on some sort of mobile device, in fact, according to Blue Corona, 70% of web traffic comes from mobile phones, so you want to make sure that your content is also optimized for mobile devices as you do not want their experience to be any less than that of the desktop users. The whole idea here is to improve accessibility and allow your content to reach a larger portion of your target audience.
When it comes to the structure of your content experience, do not limit your experience to a single element of content. This is your chance to really show off your content. It is a journey after all, so let them experience the full potential that your content has to offer. Design your content in a way that guides the reader to engage with your brand and showcase your brand in a variety of content elements.
Organization is key here. In order to do this successfully, your content needs to flow seamlessly, so it is very important to ensure the pages and elements are linked correctly. The user should never feel as if they are ‘lost’. Try to design the structure of your content experience with the end reader in mind, think about where their mind and thought process will naturally take them, and add helpful directions to guide them where you would like them to go, like navigation buttons. They should always be able to revert back to the last location with ease, and it is also important to allow them to easily return to the beginning and/or the Table of Contents page. This can be done by adding a home icon that should be visible throughout the entire experience.
There is no better way to make your Content Experience more engaging than by adding interactivity. Social media has developed a large audience that seeks out interactivity. According to an analysis from Kepios, in October 2022, there were 4.74 billion social media users around the world, equating to 59.3 percent of the total global population. Social media has given typical content digesters more opportunities to be interactive, from liking, commenting, engaging in debate, to watching videos and live streams, so now people are expecting interactivity in all their content.
With the simple introduction of rich media such as videos, audio, interactive links etc., this will propel your content into a much more engaging experience. You can also take it one step further with the addition of lead forms, polls, surveys, etc. to allow readers to give you valuable information in return. Adding these additional elements will result in your readers engaging with your content and in turn, allowing you to gain important user information.
But it is important to add the right interactive elements for your content. Content that triggers emotions by creating a connection with the audience will lead to a higher conversion rate, so it is important to understand your audience and what type of interactivity will work best.
Formatting isn’t the most exciting step in the process of content creation, and it can feel like an easy step to skip due to the manual work involved, but if you can make sure it is done well, it can greatly improve your readers’ experience. Formatting elements such as imagery, videos and animations well can greatly reduce the loading time of the final content creation.
If, for example, you are adding hundreds of images to your content experience, it is best to ensure that the file size is suitable for online viewing. Imagery over 5 MB will result in those images loading in at a slower speed which will cause frustration for your reader. While Content Creation platforms such as Ceros and Experios will have a size limit in place anyway, it is always best to have all your images the same size before creating your experience. Try to keep them under 1MB.
It is also important to think about text size, font, colors etc. too, and ensure they are consistent throughout your content. Keep color and font size variations to a minimum while ensuring you represent your brand well, this will help your user experience as too many variations can be distracting for the reader.
These steps and elements in the content creation process are fundamental in creating an effective and engaging Content Experience. Simply reaching your audience in this day and age is not enough. Users crave interactivity and emotion in the content they are digesting, so taking the user on a journey is the most effective way for them to visualize and engage with your content and will result in a higher conversion rate. In order to do this you must plan out how you want your content to be experienced, structure it well so it takes your reader on a seamless journey, add interactive elements in order to engage with your reader, and ensure your content is formatted and optimized with the end reader in mind. If you take time considering these steps, you can easily build a unique content experience that will truly engage your reader.
Experios is 3D Issue’s all new Content Experience platform that allows you to build both internal communications and external content easily, while implementing your company branding. You can create annual reports, newsletters and brochures for your employees as well as your customers.. You can get started with Experios for free today, schedule a demo or start your free trial.