Content marketing trends #2 Parallax web design
What are the newest trends and tactics used in content marketing? What’s catching on as a way to provide additional value to clients?
Following on from the first post on ‘gifographics’, we look at another content format gaining momentum: parallax web design.
As this article explains, making online content more interactive and visual in this way helps brands make a bold statement that target audiences will respond to and increase their engagement.
Research by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 46 per cent of surveyed marketers use interactive content, with the main reason being to engage and educate their audience. In addition, 79 per cent of those that use it say they plan to increase their use of interactive content in the next 12 months.
In its report, The Symphony of Connected Interactive Content Marketing, the CMI said: “The key power of interactive content is that it provides valuable experiences where our audience wants to willingly provide us with insightful information.”
Something that is particularly powerful is parallax web design, which allows background and foreground images and text to move at different speeds (and directions) when scrolling through content. It often also includes animation.
This approach has been employed extensively in journalism. BBC News has used the technique to powerful effect in stories that examine news in depth, such as this story that explains how events unfolded in the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London and this one about the rise to power of Angela Merkel in Germany.
The Huffington Post has also been making use of the technique in Highline, its long-form journalism strand, which promises “stories that stay with you”. A good example is this 8,000 word article looking at the economic future faced by Millennials. This story also has graphics for stats and images that move in and out of the main article, suggesting a descent into economic depths.
In the content marketing realm, parallax design can be used in a range of ways, whether for a one-off article, a microsite or even a full website.
Car maker Peugeot makes great use of the technique in the microsite for its HYbrid4 technology which provides different travel modes on its road cars. It’s presented as a graphic novel complete with a dramatic soundtrack, in which the protagonist embarks on a dangerous mission. Through the unfolding narrative, we learn about the different HYbrid4 modes of SPORT, 4WD, AUTO and ZEV (Zero-Emission-Vehicle). It’s well worth a look.
Another great example is the website for Seattle’s Space Needle, which invites the reader to scroll down to see facts about the tower and find out what attractions are on offer at each level, from the base to the observation deck, and beyond into space.
The ‘Make Your Money Matter’ website promoting credit unions, meanwhile, tackles a drier subject with a range of cartoon-like backgrounds and images that move in different directions to explain the benefits of credit unions and provide useful stats as the user scrolls through the site.
Parallax design is a great storytelling tool and like other approaches that started off in journalism is a means for brands to tell their story in a more engaging and interesting way. The approach gives the sensation of a story that is moving, giving extra impact and driving the narrative forwards to maintain the interest of the reader.
No wonder it’s an approach that is becoming more and more popular in the content marketing world.