What Does All this Connected, Interactive, Sticky Content Mean?
There’s a lot of buzz in marketing and advertising these days about smartphone users interacting with advertiser’s "content," especially from a printed ad and connecting to the web in some fashion. Content can be almost anything; making a purchase, watching a video, providing commentary (twitter, Like), playing games, entering contests, and almost anything else to get your attention. They want "stickiness"... i.e. you stuck in their content for a long time. And if you click "recommend to a friend" it's the cherry on top!
I try a lot of these smartphone apps that read "connected" print like QRcodes, barcodes, TAGS and of course Digimarc Discover for reading digitally watermarked images. These apps can easily read the technology they are designed for, some can read other technologies as well and all direct you to the "payoff."
It's these payoffs, this sticky content, that's bugging me because most is so poorly done. I could go on and on about bad payoffs, but I'd like to complete this post today. Let's chat about two pet peeves that affect stickiness and are easily fixed.
1. Connecting to a company's primary web page. SERIOUSLY!? I have a smartphone and probably can type your URL faster than using an app. Worse, this usually includes the infamous miniaturized full size web page on a smartphone. You do know that this is NOT mobile optimized. I hate getting sent to another web page while attempting to zoom in this is not sticky, it’s annoying.
Smartphones already outsell PCs, think this rapidly expanding user base will be looking at your traditional website on their smartphone if your competitors' is mobile friendly? You need to offer that smartphone user a reason to try connecting to you again and again. Coupons, videos and contests are a good start. Do it right and you can track trends in your audience. And PLEASE don’t link to your home page unless you're offering at least 50% off.
2. That YouTube video link*. It could have been great, but carrier bandwidth, a phone's operating system and just about anything else can slow or make the video never play. If I've forgotten what I was waiting for I might not hang around.
- Remember your video will be playing on 3-5" screens.
- Academy Awarding editing isn't needed and a little quirkiness could equal stickiness.
- I bet your sister's kid in Art School would jump on the change to create your video.
To host your video don't torture your webmaster; mobile video playback currently is as much fun as getting your website to be compatible with multiple browsers in the middle to late 1990’s.
- Find a video hosting service that will optimize your video to playback on whatever the smartphone and the bandwidth. A simple search for "mobile phone video hosting" will bring up lots of listings and we’ve had good luck with influxis.com hosting our demo videos**.
- While I'm pretty sure that in 3-5 years YouTube will be a reliable host of smartphone videos, it's not today.
The good news is that it really is easy to connect printed pages to the web. You just need to select the one(s) that work for your printed pieces.
Of course the audience still needs to be educated about the possibilities and then it all comes down to the payoff content. Can you make it sticky? Sticky content will get your audience to train their friends when they share good content. We'd have called that a synergistic solution back in the 90's!
Smartphone are shifting the paradigm (sorry, I couldn’t resist). So don’t be afraid to look for new services to provide video hosting and mobile webpage designers. It's the early days of smartphones and finding the right solution means you reach you audience. Keep your customers coming back, get sticky.
*Yes, I have a YouTube link in this blog, but not as my main payoff for a smartphone.
**FYI, as far as I know we’re not getting anything from Influxis to mention them. If you have a webservice or video hosting recommendation please share it in the comments.