…and Other Multimedia Tips
Blending different grapes in the wine-making process is often used to enhance the aroma, color, and flavor of a wine. The different varieties compliment one another to create a wine that is higher quality than each of the individual components on their own. When you think in terms of what makes your blog effective to your audience, consider different multimedia that can be blended with your words for the most impact.
A common statistic used in blogs, articles, and books, is that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Although that sounds impressive, there is simply no proof of this. The 3M study that is often credited as the source doesn’t even mention speed. It does, however, state that “presentations using visual aids were found to be 43% more persuasive.” (Vogel, Dickson, & Lehman, 1986, p. 3, para. 2). That statistic is much more important that speed. Relevant visuals are more persuasive because they support the written content and give the message more credibility.
Readers are also more likely to remember a message that includes both visuals and text (Sundar, 2000). Visuals can include:
Photos or Illustrations—Our attention span is only 3–8 seconds. (Stelzner, 2014). An image can be used with an engaging headline to immediately grab the attention of the reader. Additional photos or illustrations can be used to explain your content in a visual way. For example, Dr. Vino includes beautiful photos showing tables of bottles lines up and rows of wine glasses to support his blog about a wine tasting.
Videos— The majority of users prefer watching a video rather than reading content (Smith, 2013). Embedded videos are an effective way to present an animated infographic, presentation, or short movie to support your content. This helps your blog to be believable, but can be particularly effective for instructional or tutorial videos.
Audio Recording—A human voice on your blog page can tap into the reader’s emotions about your topic and lend credibility to your message.
Podcast—Think of these as mobile audio recordings, which can be listened to at work, in the car, or at home. You can also encourage your readers to subscribe to the podcast to increase traffic to your blog. GrapeRadio is a wine talk show that produces a podcast once a month.
There is a great appreciation for the lingering flavor of a wine. Your message, too, may linger in ways that you didn’t expect. A benefit of using multimedia in your blog is that it can also increase traffic to your site. Search engines value multimedia much higher than your written content and a keyword in an image file can direct a user to your blog (Smith, 2013).
Finding the Right Blend
Without the right balance of varieties, a wine may fail to meet expectations. Know your audience and use media that is appropriate for your reader and for your message. Offer a blend of different forms of media, but remember blogs are meant to be simple. Providing an overload of information weakens your message. Limit your words, photos and video to be the most effective.
Wine producers go through many trials and errors to find the right blend to craft their best wines. So, pour yourself a glass of wine and think about what varieties of multimedia will best compliment your message.
Krum, R. (2013). Cool infographics: Effective communication with data visualization and design. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com
GrapeRadio (2016, January 29). 2015 World of pinot noir seminar: Latitudes & longitudes [Podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.graperadio.com/archives/category/podcast/#sthash.nqqKTmpx.dpuf
Langer, R. (Photographer). (2014, May 1). Wine-335672. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/wine-drink-wine-glass-red-wine-335672/
Smith, M. (2013, March 28). Why multimedia blog content is good for your site. [Weblog]. Retrieved from http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs/detail/why-multimedia-blog-content-is-good-for-your-site
Stelzner, M. (2014, March 7). Visual storytelling: How to use visuals, videos and social media to market your business. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/visual-storytelling-with-ekaterina-walter/
Sundar, S. (2000). Multimedia effects on processing and perception of online news: A study of picture, audio, and video downloads. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. 77(3). ABI/INFORM Global, p. 480. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.wisc.edu/~dshah/blog-club/site/Sundar.pdf
Vogel, D., Dickson, G., & Lehman, J. (1986). Persuasion and the role of visual presentation support: The UM/3M study. Retrieved from http://misrc.umn.edu/workingpapers/fullpapers/1986/8611.pdf