The competition is fierce on the market and there are no people who know that more than those in the entertainment and/or news industry.
The news is changing, evolving minute after minute, running stories and cases are unfolding, pushing yesterday’s events into the past with unbelievable speed.
Similar things apply in the field of entertainment, too. Trends come and go, faces become popular then fade away, either slowly or fast. Music, movies, shows, quizzes – all trying to reinvent the wheel and set a trend in the process, but few of them succeed.
With such fast-paced changes and chaotic nature, it’s no wonder that industry professionals sometimes struggle with creating a website that does justice to their company. To capture the essence of such a speeding industry, business owners must look for a handful of essential features that represent their brand in the best light and offer value to their visitors.
As such, we have compiled a list of a few key features and characteristics that every media and entertainment website should have.
The basic features
Here, we are going to list a few things that a media/entertainment website generally should have to improve how users experience the website itself and your brand as well. Readers need to be kept on the platform for the longest possible time and the website should be created with that in mind.
Media and entertainment websites shouldn’t be dull and boring. Keeping the main characteristics in mind is important when it comes to these industries and your website should reflect them with an up-to-date design that can strengthen your online presence if executed perfectly. Today’s websites are created by tracking different metrics, user behavior and activities. They serve as basic guidelines when creating a platform and deploy the practices and features that delivered the best results.
Nice aesthetics do grab the attention of your visitors but what makes them stay is navigation that’s easy to understand. That being said, having a simple navigation menu set in the right place should be a must. In most cases, that’s predefined too by tracking user behavior. The most common practices include the entertainment websites putting their navigation menu just between the header and the main content while others implement the navigation bar on the left side. The point here is for the menu to be distinctive, visible, and easy to understand.
Color schemes can be up to your taste, however, if you are thinking about developing a news portal, or want a page with plain news texts, you shouldn’t go overboard with those color schemes on the pages.
Contrasting colors, like dark text on a light background, can do the trick since it’s the easiest to read. Readable content is always of utter importance. You can have a breathtaking color scheme on your website, however, if your visitors can’t read it, you’re running the risk of losing them. The best option should be using a lighter color that won’t stress your visitors’ eyes too much, enabling them to read and watch your content without any disturbances stemming from your design.
That being said, style-wise, being modern and following the latest web design trends isn’t a bad idea, but content should never be sacrificed for looks. After all, media and entertainment both heavily rely on the content and making that content difficult for visitors to consume is rather counter-productive.
Be content-driven and focused
If you plan on running a great media website, you should get ready to launch a platform that will be heavy on the content and will be rather dynamic.
Content is an essential part of every website and this is especially true for the media/entertainment industry since it will play a huge role in determining how long your visitors will stay on the website.
As such, you should focus on including every type of content the media and entertainment industry has to offer through plain text to streaming, and so on.
The hardest part is undoubtedly creating a design that offers this wide array of different content types, yet delivers them in an elegant, streamlined feature without feeling too complicated to navigate, overwhelming to look at, or simply too crowded on the pages.
Content should be focused, especially if you are in the news industry. You will want to maximize your readers’ focus on the main news (or the main piece of content) and doing that in an environment that’s already bustling with content is a tough job. Striking the perfect balance between rich-content and subtle design is hard, but should be prioritized.
That being said, breaking news should always reflect their importance and should be tagged and categorized as such. If a piece of info is of utter importance and fresh, with the right tags, it will dominate the design while other news of “less importance” will be sorted into their respective categories.
Since content is the sole base of your website, highlighting breaking news and incorporating frequent content updates should also be high on your priority list.
If you are running a news portal, sharing how important news unfolds is a powerful tool that keeps your readers engaged.
On the other hand, in the media/entertainment industry, frequently updating your content is also a must. Without it, old audiences will stop visiting your website and it will only get harder to reach out to new ones. Frequent content updates can also positively influence your ranking efforts, making you more visible to search engines.
Let your visitors be a part of the brand
As you are already running a content-dense website with lots of options for your readers/visitors to explore, it should be only logical to let them interact with each other, with you, and your content.
The first step in this journey would be the option of letting visitors customize their home page based on their interests. Topics, content, sections would all be chosen by your visitors in order to give them a more personalized experience. Letting them create their own content-consumption path is something that should be prioritized since if you won’t let them, they will look for other websites where they can choose the content they’d like to consume. Based on the topics your website puts the most emphasis on, this customization can be rather narrow or broad.
Letting visitors engage with you and each other is also a feature you should include. The simplest way of doing this is with comments. Digital media sites have a strong social network characteristic, so letting your visitors express their thoughts can help you strengthen the bond between your media brand and your audience.
The technical side
Now, let’s look at some of the things that are more on the web development side, as in more tech-savvy features that business owners are best to discuss with their programmer or agency they wish to work with.
A fast platform for content-dense web applications
Media and entertainment websites can cover a lot of different areas, ranging from news, through music, gaming, and movies, however, one thing’s for sure: these websites are all generally very dynamic, oftentimes hosting a lot of different features users can engage with on a single page. Comments, chat, streaming options, videos, game demos, online games, audio are sometimes all available not just within the entire application but within a single page.
With so many things happening within the application, it is highly advised that the application would be built on a framework that can handle the content-dense nature pretty well without sacrificing loading speed (more on that later).
In order to get the right engine for the site, doing some basic research might be the best way to start. On the other hand, entrepreneurs planning to build a website can leverage the knowledge and experience of web development agencies who can determine which framework will do the job best, based on the to-be site owner’s needs and requirements.
Always mobile on mind
If you’re even a little acquainted with things that are going on in the digital realm, you probably know that mobile is steadily gaining more ground not just in basic browser searches, but regarding general digital material as well. People use their phones to connect via social media, use it for shopping, to run digital errands, and also for entertainment purposes.
With this in mind, it’s only logical for a media/entertainment website to be highly responsive and to display on mobile with the same smoothness, speed, and elegance as it does on desktops or laptops.
Optimization and speed
These features are pretty much commonplace now, however, mentioning them won’t hurt. Today, there are millions of websites on the internet and if you don’t know how to become visible to your target audience, chances are, they will never find you.
Having your website optimized for search engines (SEO) is a crucial factor for every website and can lay down the foundation for the success of your future digital marketing and brand-building efforts. Having your website optimized involves different strategies, practices, and features that all aim to make your site more visible to internet browsers.
That being said, hiring a good web development agency can set you up with a website that already hosts some great SEO features and is ready for further search engine optimization and even helping you out with such crucial elements as loading time.
Loading time – another important feature. Fast-loading sites are additionally rewarded by browsers and as a result, they rank better. On the other hand, speed helps improve the user experience. Visitor behavior has changed dramatically in the last few years, with people not waiting longer than 6-7 seconds for a website to load. If it takes any longer, the vast majority of them will leave. A fast-loading web application can save site owners from losing their visitors and can enable them to keep their conversion rates steady.
The marketer point of view
Your main goal with your website is to keep your current customers/visitors entertained, to reach out for new ones and to grow your company/brand. As such, you should launch a website that is designed to blend in well with your digital marketing efforts.
Mind your ad and ad spaces
In the entertainment industry, you will often partner up with other companies to advertise their brand or products. This is a smart monetary move so creating ad spaces that are visible but won’t draw away too much focus from your readers is critical.
Also, you should create a website that showcases not just your content but your products and services in their best lights too.
Having merchandising items, subscription packages, and other products/services displayed on your website is a great marketing strategy alone, and you can always integrate them in other ad campaigns that you are running on different channels. This leads us to another important feature.
Social media integration
Integrating your website with your social media channels can help you draw in an even bigger audience than with your website alone. Having a well-thought-out social media strategy can help not only with your traffic, brand recognition, but it can also boost your conversions too. Strategically optimized social media channels can only enhance your website’s online presence, strengthening your brand and your position in the industry.
On the other hand, social media is a digital surface of its own that can greatly influence your audience’s choices and habits.
Social platforms can also be used to run different ads, specials, showcasing content, brand, storytelling, and much more. A smart social media strategy can help out your website-related marketing efforts. It can help you influence your email marketing, and the traffic coming from your social channels can lead to better conversion rates too.
Your website might be the core of your digital ecosystem but it can’t reach its maximum prosperity if it’s not working in conjunction with your other channels.
As you can see, there are a lot of different things that make a media/entertainment website stand out. The main key point here is to create a website functionality that works fine with your audience. There are different concepts one can follow, but great functionality will always remain a superior feature. And when functionality is good, the design will come across as a perfect reflection of it.
What you should keep in mind that the web application you’re looking to create should reflect the fast-paced, dynamic nature of the industry, so frequent content updates and content-dense pages are both musts. Letting your users customize what they see and letting them interact with your brand is also a feature you should embrace. And all this should come in a smoothly designed package that is easy to navigate and focus on.
Creating such a website isn’t easy, especially if you take into consideration the fact that it should perform well, be fast and operate without any bugs, which can be quite the challenge if you are incorporating various types of content.
All in all, even though it’s not easy, it’s not impossible. Scheduling a consultation with an agency and talking about your requirements and needs should serve as a great first step to get started and to see just how much work it needs to be done.