Contrary to popular belief, content publishers can flourish in the digital age. They just need to adopt a different mind set — for instance viewing their digital properties as brands, not just information sources. A case in point is TravelChannel.com, which was redesigned recently with the help of my employer Razorfish.
TravelChannel.com is the online destination for the Travel Channel, which is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. According to Domenic Venuto, managing director of the Razorfish Media & Entertainment practice, the previous version of the website faced two challenges:
- Popular content from TV shows such as Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern was not featured prominently on TravelChannel.com. The website was missing opportunities to build equity from the offline Travel Channel brand.
- The site offered basic information on traveling tips that visitors could find elsewhere. So TravelChannel.com lacked differentiation.
The revamped TravelChannel.com features TV content far more prominently. It’s easier to find featured shows (such as America’s Worst Driver) on the home page. And the site offers a deeper dive into the TV content. For instance, Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame writes a blog featured on the new site in which he discusses his favorite destinations from his show as well as the stuffed frogs, live worms, and crickets he’s eaten along the way. A library of video content and crisp photography brings to life those locations, which range from the Philippines to Florida. Links to social media properties like Twitter and YouTube offer more pathways for discovery.
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
You can still explore the world through TravelChannel.com as in the past. But visitors now have more of an interactive experience doing so. In addition to linking travel destinations to TV shows, the city overviews themselves make more effective use of video and photography. The navigation through the site is more playful and visually appealing in general.
TravelChannel.com is now a destination for entertainment as well as information. And as Domenic says, “By integrating TravelChannel.com with popular TV programs such as Ghost Adventures, Travel Channel provides a stronger online/offline brand experience to web surfers and TV watchers.”
Razorfish performed website strategy, visual design, user experience, and front-end development as well as the strategy for supporting the site with revenue-generating digital advertising. The redesign of TravelChannel.com follows a number of other Razorfish Media & Entertainment client projects including the redesign of Billboard.com (which recently won a Digital Media Design Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors as well as an Outstanding Website Award from the Internet Advertising Competition.)
Happy exploring with a great brand.