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Published June 13th 2012

Why Rich Media Loves Social Media

Internet users have much shorter attention spans than they used to, largely due to the rising popularity of social media platforms.

Ever since sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube launched, people expect to get their information quickly and in short, entertaining chunks. One of the best ways to get your rich media out is to harness the power of social media to reach people.

Doing so through a video is a great way to grab attention will be even more eye-catching if the video is interactive.

The power of social media

Social media, which includes blogs, forums, networks like Facebook and Twitter, content communities and online gaming, is the perfect way to distribute videos quickly through vast networks of people.

One of the best aspects of social media is its potential to virally spread content as it goes from one person to a whole network of connected people.

For example, let’s say your brand launches a video and five people see it, share it with five friends and those friends share it as well. By the seventh share, more than 65,000 people will have shared your video and many more are likely to have watched it.

People may have lost some of their enthusiasm for traditional advertising, but they still pay attention to the things their friends like and post.

By distributing your company’s rich media through social sites, you can reach many more potential customers than you could on just your website. Plus, after your initial rich media campaign is over, the viewers do the rest of the distribution for free.

Examples of successful campaigns

One somewhat recent example of a successful rich media campaign came from Tipp-Ex correction fluid. The initial video features a camper who encounters a bear.

The viewer has to decide whether the camper shoots the bear or not. No matter the decision, the camper doesn’t shoot the bear, uses Tipp-Ex to white out the video and invites users to rewrite the story.

Typing other actions into the space guides you to one of many additional videos filmed with the hunter and bear participating in a wide range of activities together.

This campaign went viral, largely because of its interactive abilities.

Rich media isn’t confined to online experiences however. Honda created a billboard that allowed people to send a text message to virtually start the car on the billboard.

After texting, the engine revved and the car’s exhaust pipe spewed smoke from the billboard. This type of technology is quite simple, but its interactivity appeals to many individuals, especially younger generations.

Launching your own campaign

Rich media isn’t restricted to videos, but it does require that you give people who see your media the chance to respond to your message.

Many people will engage, even if they wouldn’t have thought twice about your media before you invited them to respond.

Once you have the media, it’s time to spread it. Getting the ball rolling can be one of the most difficult parts about using social media, but there are services that help distribute your videos to sites that may be interested in sharing them.

Once you have an interested audience, the power of social media takes over to distribute rich media further. As long as your media is engaging, people will talk about it.

Creativity is the name of the game when it comes to rich media. Create media that appeals to your audience’s sense of humor and encourages them to interact with your brand over a prolonged period of time.

The more you entertain people, the more positive feelings they’ll have about your brand. These positive feelings translate into sales in the long run and encourage the distribution of your rich media through social media channels.

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