It’s not until late March when the ‘madness’ begins and everyone starts to think about his or her college basketball brackets. Organizations like to ride the bracket wave – and rightfully, so since they are extremely relevant during that time of year.
But if they are so effective and popular, why limit the use of brackets to predominantly a specific time frame once a year? Why not leverage brackets throughout the year and keep your audience entertained through an interactive experience that breeds longer periods of engagement.
Let’s take a look at what interactive brackets are and the mechanics behind them.
Determined by participant votes, brackets pit multiple competitors against each other in a set of rounds until a winner is reached. Common examples include:
- Multi-Round Brackets – “Content Marketing Madness Tournament” or “Leadership Bracket Competition”
- Photo/Video Brackets – “Animal Planet’s ‘Tanked’ Tournament” or “Dunkuary Video Bracket”
- User Generated Brackets – “Best ‘Man Cave’ Competition” or “Best Landscaped Lawn Bracket”
Brackets are a great way to settle “Best Of” and “Worst Of” debates, no matter what industry or field you are in. They are also a great way to get longer periods of engagement with your users through your blog and other static pieces of content.
They work because they allow your audience to voice their opinion; not just one time, but multiple times over the course of days, weeks or months, depending on the length of bracket. Giving your audience the power of expressing their opinions is more powerful than you might think.
Brackets create a dialogue between the audience and the content. You will need to develop an idea around the type of bracket (self or user generated), number of rounds, the theme behind the bracket and a timeline (days to vote before the next round as well as duration of the bracket).
Similar to interactive contests, brackets depend on the user to engage with and drive the experience forward – especially when it comes to user generated brackets. The only difference is that you will need the user-generated content before the voting starts, so you will not have to worry about approval processes in the midst of the bracket.
Not only do the responses you receive help you deliver pinpoint-precise pieces of content to a specific user, but they also allow you to use that information to create additional pieces of content.