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Parallax, Storytelling and More: New Web Trends that are Making Companies Rethink Design

There are many new web trends that are making companies rethink their web design. These new design approaches are changing the way users interact with websites, users identify with the company brand, and how engagement is created. A few of the trends that are making waves include Parallex, storytelling and brand focused design.

What You Need to Know About Parallax Design

What is it? – Parallax design is a method of design that uses multiple layers of graphics at different speeds to create an animation. As the user scrolls down with his mouse, the images come together to create an animated presentation.

How it’s being used – This design method has been used for promotion websites, content marketing campaigns and sales pages. One of the best examples of it being used is a comic strip where the characters and the background is moving as you scroll down, resembling a flip book animated cartoon.

Results – Some of the biggest brands including Apple have used this design method to showcase their products with great results. The design method really makes a sales page interactive and allows companies to portray multiple aspects of their products to really wow potential customers.

What You Need to Know About Storytelling

What is it? – Storytelling focused design uses visual presentation and content to draw users into the website. There whole point is to provide a story oriented setting and use progression to engage users deeper throughout the browsing experience. A good example of story oriented content is infographics. It uses graphics along with content to draw people in and provide a structure for them to consume the content.

How it’s being used – Companies like Yahoo! Personals have used stories to sell prospects on their dating subscription. Other companies have used it to explain concepts, products and services which would otherwise be too complex or tedious for users to consume. Some companies are using stories to connect people to their brand message.

Results – Designing via stories is one of the hottest web design trends for a reason. It doesn’t hard sell consumers about a product or service. Stories are used to inform, entertain and educate people, which can often translate to higher sales numbers and engagement than traditional direct selling strategies.

What You Need to Know About Brand Oriented Design

What is it? – Gone are the days of stale corporate websites with no personality. Brands are now incorporating their identity into the foundation of their websites. Not only are these websites more visually appealing, they are engaging, interesting, valuable and impactful.

How it’s being used – Companies are now integrating the visual elements and core message of their brand into the design itself. It’s not just about leading with the brand logo and expecting people to be impressed anymore. The web design encompasses the brand and does it in a way where users can understand and relate to it.

Results – This design approach is helping consumers identify more with the brand. It’s increasing user engagement and helping brands differentiate themselves from their competitors. It’s also leading to more social shares, referrals, and press.

There are other design trends that you should be aware of such as minimalist design, “hero board” design, big visual backgrounds, and multimedia centered presentations. While the old approaches still work, companies that are willing to experiment will reap huge rewards in today’s digital arena. People are becoming receptive to these new design approaches because they are being engaged in unique ways. So the question you need to ask yourself is “what design approach should my company try?”

5 Tips to Create an Integrated Content Marketing Plan

There’s no going around it anymore. Content marketing has become a core marketing strategy for businesses that want to thrive in the digital space. Great content helps create relationships, followers, shares and engagement. One of the biggest reasons more companies are being drawn to it is because search and paid search have become more competitive and difficult.

While some companies are using content as a core strategy with great success, it is best to integrate it with your other marketing efforts, especially social media and SEO. By combining it with multiple marketing channels, you amplify the results all across the board. With that said, you still need to make sure that you have a plan to integrate a content strategy into your current strategies. Here are some tips to make it work.

1. Specify Your Core Audience

One thing that companies will realize is that their audience will differ from one channel to another. To make sure you integrate your content promotion efforts into your channels seamlessly, you need to identify your core audience. The content you produce will need to resonate with the biggest segment of your prospects and customers. If there is more than one sizable audience, it may be necessary to segment your audience somehow and plan on creating different types of content for each.

2. How Can You Satisfy Your Audience?

You need to ask what kind of content will satisfy your audience. Low quality articles simply won’t do anymore. You have to come up with content that’s valuable, engaging, entertaining, or interesting. Something that delivers on at least two of the four should be the bare minimum. And of course, the topics should be relevant to your audience. Content should also expand to different types from infographics, podcasts, videos, apps, powerpoint presentations, audio interviews, to blog posts. By delivering different types of content, you’ll keep your audience engaged.

3. Systematize Your Marketing

Creating and marketing content can get complex. That’s why you need to come up with a solid plan for content creation and integration to your marketing channels. You may need to build a team of quality writers, hire a person to research content topics, connect the content director to your social media director, etc. By systematizing your whole process, you will be able to build momentum, stay organized, and integrate content into your marketing channels effectively.

4. Connect the Dots

As mentioned in the introduction, content marketing works best when used with other marketing channels. You need to figure out how you’ll connect the dots to make everything work symbiotically. For example, your content can be linked to important pages on your website for SEO benefits. You can also give your content a push by announcing it in your social media pages. In order to connect the dots effectively, you need to think about what your primary goals are and figure out how to implement your marketing plan in a way that meets your goals.

5. Take Metrics Seriously

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is not taking the metrics for their content seriously. You want to find out how many subscribers your content generated, how many comments it has produced, how many times it was shared, etc. By analyzing your metrics, you’ll be able to make important changes in your web design for the content, find what types of content is the most popular, what story angles work, and more. Like any other online campaign, you want to measure it simply because you want to know what works and what doesn’t.

Originally published by Goran Paunovic at Creative Agency Talk

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