We are now well into the world of immersive content. Everywhere we turn there are new ways of consuming information. The way an audience interacts with content is becoming shorter in span but more engaging, and at the same time, more saturated. So what does this mean for your brand’s web presence? Does it help to have an interactive website to keep users more occupied, and in turn longer on-site? We think so. Here’s what you should look ahead to for the future of your website.
According to Edelman’s 2017 Digital Trends Report, virtual and augmented reality or VR and AR is the future. While companies are already rolling out VR goggles like HTC, Oculus, and even Google, and AR goggles like Magic Leap’s One, there are additional products on the horizon. Snap Inc., Facebook, and Google invested heavily in virtual reality. Facebook released Oculus Go in May, boasting that it is the most “approachable” VR headset. Snap Inc. acquired British VR startup PlayCanvas in March, and we can bet we can start watching snaps through VR goggles in the near future.
The point is: brands should be looking ahead to potentially having an interactive website or apps optimized for VR.
Another prediction from the Digital Trends report is that video content is and will continue to be shorter, but more immersive. An example of this is the rise of TV shows that may only be 30 minutes long but are responsive to viewer’s Tweets or votes. This engagement makes viewers a part of the experience and integrated into what millions of other people are watching.
Ideas for implementation for an interactive website include responsive tickers that show how many customers you are serving at the time, moving animation, or short videos explaining your product.
You may think that contact lenses that record everything belongs in a sci-fi movie, but the reality is, it’s not too far off. Snapchat Spectacles already exist. With Spectacles, you can take a short video, a “snap,” through your glasses, literally filming what you are seeing and post it. Unlike Google Glasses, Spectacles have a “cool” factor since they are Ray Ban-shaped. Young users may be more prone to wear them. Initially offered through vending machines before they took a $39.9 million hit, Spectacles have re-launched for another attempt at success. With the rise of wearables creating live content in our everyday lives, we need to think about how this can translate to websites.
Does your business use Snapchat? Should you provide product updates through real-time video or snaps? What if you had an interactive website feature that synced with wearables, like an Apple Watch, to unlock incentive-based discounts? The tables have now turned, and brands need to think deeper about the user’s experience. You need to make sure that visiting your brand’s website is worth the consumer’s (short) time.
In the infancy and early stages of the web, web 1.0 and 2.0, websites were able to influence user experience. Usually, through paid ads, demographic targeting, and keyword manipulation, users were often sent to places they didn’t intend to go. While these tactics are still necessary, as we’ve passed web 3.0 and are now moving into web 4.0, search engine algorithms will change to give the user more reliable information and control. In this realm, providing a face to a brand, backed by a real human presence is more productive and authentic.
Examples include having better, and more interactive dialogues with consumers which can be held via podcasting, blogging from a first-person view, chatbots standing by to help, and interacting with your audience in a real, transparent way. Mainly, users want to see you’re an ethical and real person and having an interactive website that reflects that will become more and more important.
Rather than going after celebrities or paying ultra outrageous sponsorship fees to help market their product, we’re seeing brands begin to work with “internet-famous” influencers who may have a smaller number of followers but who are highly engaged and often align well with the brand. Given a shared interest in a product, fans will often follow the influencer’s lead.
“65% of the Trust Barometer respondents rated ‘a person like yourself’ as a credible or extremely credible spokesperson. By collaborating with trusted influencers, brands can create the type of content consumers actually want, ultimately increasing trust and engagement for the brand.” -Edelman’s 2017 Digital Trends Report
SEO: Always Changing
While you may be resisting an AI-driven world, be prepared. Homebase devices like Alexa, Siri, and Hey Google are making content even more accessible. Voice assistants are changing the way search engines are finding what the world needs. Imagine you have an Alexa and want to know the distance from Earth to the moon. You’ll likely ask: “Alexa, how far is Earth from the moon?” Now, SEO must be optimized accordingly. That. Is. Game-changing. Not too long ago, and it’s still true, that same user would type in “distance between Earth and moon,” or something along those lines, and that’s what we as digital marketing agencies and SEOs would optimize for. But not tomorrow. It’s changing, and for the foreseeable future, it will continue to.
Interactive Websites | Savy Agency
Digital is an ever-changing landscape, but it’s an exciting one. As long as brands are looking ahead to new trends and providing the user with what they want and expect with clean, intuitive, and interactive websites, both will win. Here at Savy Agency we are always on top of new trends; we can help your brand create an interactive website. Reach out to see what we can do.
What are your thoughts on interactive web design? Let us know in the comments below.