It all started when a group of creative people decided that the growth of visual content was having such an impact on visitor engagement that traditional content would no longer break through and connect with audiences.
Written content and traditional Infographics are no longer holding the attention of the target audience because they are expecting to be entertained, informed and engaged. Whilst quality written content is still effective to theme a website or different site categories, reader engagement stops abruptly at the end with many people not even finishing the read.
The desire or need to share, comment or link to traditional content is no longer there for the majority of visitors. Our collaboration was a diverse group of people with a writer, researcher, designer and a coder working together to create stunning content that people raved about.
We started by creating fun content for in-house use to test our theory that user interactivity would be compulsive if the right blend of elements were fused together.
At that time we were part of a large digital agency so we brought our ideas to life and sent them round the office for trial. Our second piece was so successful we had to pull it to avoid a complete meltdown in the office as people became preoccupied with it. This second piece of content was based on a famous horse race – The Grand National, it was a simple betting for fun piece that had specific elements.
The Grand National
- Informative – every winner since the race began had a special bio
- Researched – The bio was accurate and also had the winning time
- The bet could be variable but there was a maximum starting pot
- The odds were accurate of the race day the horses won The National
- The payout compounded over 10 races
- You could win or lose
- The trigger to share, G+ and tweet was present and the final pot was accompanied by a jockey trump card that was shared.
When this content was put to a local university it had 10,000 interactions in just 30 days with lots of social shares, comments and other interactions. The time spent by each individual on this content was averaged at 25 minutes with repeat visits.
That is OVER 4,000 Hours of brand exposure!
What Does Google Think?
The short answer is that Google loves it, Google loves content where people spend time on the page, where it gets mentioned, shared and voted, commented and then linked to from all manner of websites including highly trusted domains.
When we actually launched the ICE Viral brand we created the amazing FIFA World Cup Penalty content that was both used and featured around the world. A case study evaluated the exposure, the social share, the backlinks, the branding and the value of the traffic. A conservative estimate was about £60k of traditional marketing budget would of been spent to get these results!
If you factor in that this content was launched a couple of days before the 2014 World Cup at an unknown brand it is nothing short of astonishing as success goes.
The Collaboration Blossoms
We realised that ICE Viral had changed what can be created and delivered for modest marketing budgets, that the content would work hard and deliver. In fact it would continue delivering and the FIFA content continued to perform for 2 years before we mothballed it.
ICE then tested the general business market, our problem was that we were so far ahead of the game that general businesses still wanted conservative written content. This reminded us of when we first started in digital marketing back in 1997 and even estate agents didn’t think they needed websites!
We then turned also to video and combined video with tutorials, graphics and information. Stunning success was had in the industry of sports nutrition with some videos generating tens of thousands of views and visits. Again this content was shared and liked with many G+ votes too, links came into the content from all over the world.
Paid advertising was then used to boost the visibility further with the cost effectiveness hitting new thresholds and brand visibility exploding across the internet.
ICE are not just ahead of the curve we are laps in front of the competition, we dispersed our collaboration for a year to concentrate on other projects.
Now we are back to shake up the world of content!