What Is Emerging Media & How Should You Use It?
As a society, we are now firmly ensconced in the digital age. Our social, economic, and political focus has shifted from industrialization to information technology. In this highly dynamic landscape, emerging media (specifically emerging digital technologies and platforms) have an increasingly important role to play in the world of marketing. Let’s explore what emerging media is and how marketers can use it to their advantage.
What is emerging media?
By definition, “emerging media” are communication formats or channels that are in the process of becoming part of society’s communication architecture. It can take decades before an emerging medium becomes an established medium and, even then, the new medium is often in a constant state of refinement and innovation.
For example, in the past few generations, we’ve expanded from print and broadcast media to digital media, including email, websites, social media platforms, and online streaming services. Traditional media hasn’t disappeared altogether, but it is augmented by new technologies.
Why should you incorporate emerging media into your marketing efforts?
Old ways of advertising are becoming increasingly ineffective. People have learned to screen out print ads to a certain extent. With DVR, it’s easy to fast forward through commercials. Younger generations are increasingly cutting the cable cord and moving to TV streaming services. Podcasts have cornered a segment of the radio market. Newspapers and magazines are moving from paper editions to online publication. Not to mention the fact that our mindset around marketing has changed. The hard sell is considered a giant turn-off by the vast majority of the population.
The future of advertising and marketing is about making relationships, establishing trust, and providing feedback quickly – in essence, using emerging media to make your users your brand ambassador and maybe even your friend...And it’s working: people are reaching out to mention, tag, and connect with brands at an astonishing pace.
- 1 in 3 consumers say they would mention a brand when sharing a personal accomplishment on social media.
- 41% of millennials would include a brand to say “thanks” when mentioning a life milestone on social media.
- 80% of Instagram users already follow a brand on the network.
Emerging media gives companies and brands ways to engage with their customers in new and creative ways...Advertising and the associated brands are now part of a people’s experience. Even digital ad platforms like Amazon's advertising business are putting the customer at the center, and only showing ads that are relevant, helpful, and likely to strengthen customer loyalty and happiness...Emerging media has profoundly changed advertising—making it more effective, more efficient, and more fun for everybody involved.- Loyola University
Although digital marketing is still relatively new, this is a fast moving arena. Companies that truly value consumer engagement need to make sure their virtual marketing campaigns aren’t stale or cookie cutter. Cutting edge marketing departments are implementing creative new marketing tactics like text marketing, virtual happy hours, and, of course, emerging media platforms.
What are some prominent emerging media platforms?
TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service. The platform is used to make very short videos, which are recommended to users based on their activity within the app. This allows companies to rapidly reach their intended demographic through influencer marketing. Businesses can also sell their products directly to consumers on TikTok.
One of the main advantages of TikTok is that it allows businesses to connect creatively with audiences around the world, far beyond the geographical region they could typically access. Additionally, it is an excellent way to reach Generation Z.
- 41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24.
- 90% of these users say they use the app daily.
- As of July 2020, there were over 90 million monthly active TikTok users in the United States alone.
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app primarily known for making pictures and messages available for only a short time before they become inaccessible to their recipients. It’s also known for representing a new, mobile-first direction for social media, and allows users to interact with virtual stickers and augmented reality objects. The "Discover" feature lets brands show ad-supported short-form content.
With Snapchat, advertisers are able to reach a global audience and drive meaningful results. Businesses can target users based on their interests, behaviors, location, and more.
- On average, 280 million people use Snapchat every day.
- Snapchat reaches 75% of Millennials and Gen Z.
- On average, users spend over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. People can browse other users' content by tags and locations and view trending content. They can also like photos and follow other users, add that content to a personal feed.
People come to Instagram to discover things they love, including businesses like yours. When you pay to promote a post, you can reach people who aren’t following you and inspire them to become your next customer.
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users globally.
- 500 million users access Instagram globally per day.
- 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35.
Twitch is a live streaming service and global online community operated by an Amazon subsidiary. Content includes gaming, entertainment, music, sports, and more. Twitch advertises itself as the ultimate influencer marketing based platform. It was introduced in June 2011 and has grown rapidly.
- By February 2014, Twitch was considered the fourth largest source of peak internet traffic in the United States.
- As of February 2020, Twitch had 3 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users, with 1.4 million average concurrent users.
- The typical Twitch viewer is male and aged between 18 and 34 years of age.
- 62% of Twitch viewers engage with esports and gaming personalities daily.
- 64% of Twitch viewers purchase products recommended by the personalities they follow.
Discord is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), instant messaging, and digital distribution platform designed for creating communities. Users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messages, media, and files in private chats or as part of communities called "servers". Discord servers are organized into topic-based channels where users can collaborate, share, and chat. As of December 2020, the service has over 140 million monthly active users.
There are a number of creative ways that businesses can use Discord spaces to engage and grow their audiences.
- Share special offers.
- Answer prospect and customer questions.
- Request and respond to customer feedback.
- Provide product and service tutorials or virtual tours.
- Help customers get to know you and your business.
- Provide a space for customers to interact with one another.
- Use Discord’s server insights to better understand your audience (who they are, where they are, and how they prefer to interact).
- Encourage your audience to share information about your brand, special offers, etc. on their channels and servers.
Although you may not think of LinkedIn as an emerging media platform, it continues to grow, and is likely to become an increasingly influential space as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and into a new period of economic re-building. Those that start on building their LinkedIn platform presence now will stand the best chance of capitalizing on this and maximizing their potential on the platform.
Here are some strategies for getting the most out of LinkedIn in 2021:
- Share video and visual content. Research shows that articles with images get 94% more total views. You can also add videos, slides, or podcasts to a post. You can even turn documents into carousel posts which users can side-swipe through.
- Try LinkedIn Live. You could give a monologue to the camera, host a webinar, or live stream an event. Research shows that 82% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a social post. LinkedIn Live videos also see significantly more engagement than regular video uploads.
- Tag influencers and your company employees. When you tag another user in your LinkedIn post, they'll get notified of the mention, encouraging engagement. It’s important, however, to only tag people who are relevant to the post, otherwise it could be seen as spam.
- Use hashtags. Adding relevant hashtags to your posts will help your content get discovered, as well as help LinkedIn categorize your posts and differentiate them from other content.
- Optimize your content based on analytics. This data provides real-time information on the posts you’ve shared and how they’ve performed, which can help you better understand your audience.
Audio Streaming Platforms
The audio streaming space is increasing in popularity each year and shows no signs of slowing down. More and more users are shifting to multimedia and audio streaming platforms every day. This includes music, radio programming, and podcasts. Some of the most popular platforms are Spotify, Amazon, Apple, iHeartRadio, Audible, and Stitcher.
By buying space on audio streaming platforms, advertisers can strategically target users who fit their desired audience profile. With audio advertising, marketers are also able to measure post-advertising data that is integral in evaluating their campaign. On Spotify, for instance, advertisers can measure user interaction and see if an individual listened until the very end of an ad.
In fact, it’s becoming increasingly important to follow the user journey. For example, did the user visit the advertiser’s website? Did the user make a purchase? This information allows advertisers to track performance in real-time and close the proverbial advertising loop. And this information provides a more accurate calculation of Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) than many other measures.
How to Use Emerging Media
The above review of various emerging media platforms provides an excellent window into how best to employ developing technologies to your advantage. Visual content resonates well with users and generates strong engagement. Live streaming increases engagement even more and adds to your brand’s air of authenticity.
Augmented reality has transformed storytelling, as clearly evidenced by Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat immersive filters. Influencer campaigns amplify your message and increase your audience. Social media platforms like Facebook are making it easier for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without ever having to leave the platform.
Take advantage of the ability to live-stream special announcements long before they would make it to the news or print media. Engage wider audiences and increase your ROI with virtual events and experiences. Showcase your creativity and draw users in with augmented reality. Use social media’s chat and shop features to break down barriers that stand in the way of completed customer transactions.
Get your marketing into your ideal buyer’s hands by utilizing emerging mobile apps. Strategically target users who fit your desired audience profile or spend time in a particular geographic location. Use hashtags and influencer marketing to grow your audience exponentially. Mine available data to better understand your audience, follow the user journey, measure Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), and increase campaign effectiveness.
If this feels like information overload, don’t despair. Now that you have a better understanding of the emerging media opportunities available to you, you can more easily identify where to put your marketing efforts to maximize your time and budget. In fact, many companies are starting to reduce the number of social media channels they’re using to share and influence, and rightly so. Don’t hesitate to limit the media channels you use to only the most relevant.
Here at MSS Media Inc, we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSS Media, Inc a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!
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