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Hijack – Successful Content Considerations

In this article we attempt to briefly suggest some answers to one of the most common questions asked by our Hijack content editors: “What makes a successful Hijack?”

We’ve put together some tips for how to best showcase your content within Hijack. To keep it simple and easy to read, we’ll aim to link off to more detailed help articles where possible. These should provide you tutorials on how specific functionality works within Hijack. Here we go!

SMILE’s Top 10 Hijack Tips

  1. Take the time to make your Hijack easy to navigate
  2. Make your CTAs clear and consistent
  3. Use Media, especially video
  4. Try to achieve a text/media balance
  5. Plan ahead for how your team uses Live Chat
  6. Signpost to your best content
  7. Gear your Hijack toward a 15-30 minute average engagement time
  8. Use the ‘Stories’ feature to show off additional content
  9. Try to avoid static slideshows
  10. Preview your content on a front end demo URL

Did you know we have a dedicated Hijack section in our knowledge base full of guides and tutorials.


Ensure your Hijack is as easy as possible for your users to navigate.

Further into this article, we will cover plenty of content and layout considerations which can help with this. However Hijack includes a number of tools which can help you to customise the experience from a pure navigation standpoint:

  • Use ‘nicenames’ to customise the way labels and tabs appear on the front end. Keep these short and descriptive.
  • Remember, you can re-order your tabs. For example, if your staff profiles are the most important, bring them forward in the running order.

Calls to Action

CTAs are a form of navigation tool. Use them to guide your users to content you want them to see or actions you want them to take. Ask yourself, for every block of content: “What is my aim? What do I want my audience to do next?

Do you want them to sign up to a mailing list or visit a course page? Perhaps you’re hoping to entice them to join a live Zoom call or view a gallery. Whatever the case, make your CTAs clear and consistent and be sure to repeat them in both in text and video content.

Media in Hijack

A successful Hijack relies on a harmonious balance between various content types. Hijack was built in order to show off a wide range of media, with a particular emphasis on the more eye-catching and exciting. It is therefore vital that you make use of images and video wherever possible. In fact, media deserves its own brief list of tips:

Video Tips

  • Avoid watermarks and logos. These might be obscured or compromised at different viewport sizes.
  • Remember that users may leave video unmuted while they explore other content. For this reason, consider using video that can still be effective without audio or including talking heads as a prompt for the user to unmute if you need them to be able to hear information.
  • When using background video, make use of timeline points to mimic ‘tour’ or ‘playlist’ style behaviour.
  • Videos needn’t be cost/time expensive to produce. Try using a series of images + background music as a cheap alternative.

Image Tips

  • Ensure the images you upload to your Hijack are at least 2000px wide – you can resize images but the pixel depth needs to be large enough to maintain quality at various sizes.
  • Please add alt tags to your images. It is very important for accessibility hardware such as screen readers to be able to describe image content to those that use them.
  • Don’t just hide your images in the gallery block. Use images to break up walls of text. Achieving a harmonious text/media balance is one of the key secrets to an engaging Hijack.

Live Chat in Hijack

The ability to chat directly with your audience is one of the most popular features of Hijack. The power of this tool cannot be underestimated. Neither can the potential headaches involved with managing a series of live chats, especially when happening concurrently. However, with a good plan, these pain points can be successfully mitigated.

  • Know who in your team is assigned to different chats or conversation subjects
  • Make sure any new users are invited onto the platform with plenty of time to troubleshoot any login issues that may arise
  • Think about creating a bank of answers to FAQs in order to ease the burden of triaging enquiries. This could either sit on your website for you to signpost questioners to or exist as a resource for your live chat operators to use in organic answers.
  • Use the ‘updates’ feature to introduce the purpose of a new live chat or to make announcements.
  • Take care to treat chat like chat, not like email. Be reactive and informal. There is no need for ‘Dear User…’

Engagement Time

Here is a very useful piece of insight we have learned from the analytics reports generated by some of our most-visited Hijacks:

The average time users spend viewing and participating in a Hijack event is between 15 and 30 minutes.

Always build your Hijacks with the above in mind. It is a cold fact that your online visitors will spend a lot less time with you than they would at a physical open day. But that needn’t be a bad thing. Just make sure to gear your experience towards short visits that make a lasting impression rather than relying on your prospects to trawl through the entire Hijack for >1 hour.

Stories, Courses and People

The spirit of Hijack content population revolves around reusability. Why create every block of content from scratch every single time? Database-style post-types such as stories, courses and people allow you to focus on building a set of bitesize content items which can be ‘pulled’ in to any chapter you like again and again with just a few clicks.


Deploy your Hijack on a non-public demo URL so that you and your team can see your Hijack in action before the full launch.

This might sound obvious but it is easy to forget, especially when most of your work is focused on building pure content in the backend of a site. By keeping an eye on how your content will be displayed in the final product, you can make sure the message is getting across and catch anything that doesn’t look right before your audience does.

Updated on February 16, 2021

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