Deliver online but don't slow down the user experience

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It's no secret that online marketing has become not only a numbers game but a race as well. Whether browsing an e-commerce site or calling up live or recorded video, consumers crave information in real-time and have little patience for slow web pages, interruptions or off-target marketing as they browse any brand's site. Most marketers responded to the needs of today's always-connected customers by incorporating social media and other types of dynamic content into their sites to keep audiences engaged. 

Although marketers understand that their website is often the first customer touch-point, they continue to struggle to find the right mix of content and delivery strategy to really support this growing demand of content and interactivity. How does a marketer make a website not only a destination site for information and purchases, but a core element of brand awareness?

Many start with the content and add more layers to elicit more consumer engagement. All of the interactive elements: videos, social media and promotions also come with potential delivery pitfalls. A marketer doesn't want a customer's experience with a slow-to-load streaming video to be the reason they move on to a new site. Unfortunately, this is the story all too often. Marketers pour resources into building a website with the latest applications but are not able to ensure that all the applications are supported properly.

Here are two reasons why content delivery should be a top priority for interactive marketers:

According to a recent Forrester statistic, a website has only two seconds to capture a customer's attention or they move on to another site. In that time, content must load, uninterrupted and be fully ready for customer engagement. Keep this in mind when building in high-bandwidth content such as live streaming video or Twitter feeds.

Just about anything can generate a spike in a site's traffic: a news article, a tweet, a Facebook campaign. It can happen without warning and can generate a groundswell from your customer base who wants information from trusted brands during these “events.” So be sure your site is up to the task and able to handle unexpected spikes in traffic and support customer engagement applications in its wake.

At the end of the day, companies need to have the control, power and ability to accelerate, customize and deliver content and media on websites. Keeping just a few things in mind and planning the right content delivery strategy will bear huge benefits and maximize the investment marketers have made in social media content.

Martin Hayward is director of marketing for Mirror Image Internet, a CDN vendor that helps companies deliver website content, including streaming media, while managing site traffic needs.

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