Knock Out Content That Goes The Distance

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Animal Planet created a video style bracket based on the best fish tank creations from their popular show "Tanked", which increased the number of unique visitors and time-on-site.

What are brackets?

Determined by participant votes, brackets pit a series of competitors head-to-head in a round-by-round voting format, until a winner is reached. Common examples include:

  • "Best Of" and "Worst Of" Brackets
  • "Fan Favorite" Photo/Video Brackets
  • User-Generated Content (UGC) Competitions

Why are brackets valuable?

Brackets are 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.

What are the mechanics behind brackets?

Brackets are effective because they create rounds of paired voting showcasing specific items. They give users a very clear and simple choice between only two items - "Pick - A or B". They also create an ongoing dialogue between your audience and the content that extends through multiple rounds of engagement and time.


Successful brackets have a strong core theme; a set of numbered rounds, a clear timeline of events and a fixed end date. All of these elements are baked into a communication plan to draw people back for each round and foster sharing.

User Generated Content (UGC) Drives Experiences

Similar to interactive contests, brackets depend on the user to engage with and drive the experience forward – especially when it comes to UGC brackets. The only difference is that you will need the UGC before the voting starts, so you will not have to worry about approval processes in the midst of the bracket.

How can you leverage brackets?

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.


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