According to Wikipedia; ‘’New media most commonly refers to content available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation. Common examples of new media include websites such as online newspapers, blogs, wikis, video games and social media.’’
With the possibilities it presents, there is no doubt whatsoever that it is the new oil block and as it grows rapidly, continuing to gain more ground in our lives and businesses, it has become extremely important that we all pay close attention to it. But more than paying attention, wisdom demands that we all begin to effectively use it to our advantage.
The question then is, how does we use New Media to our advantage?
A defining attribute of new media is dialogue. It strives on connection and conversation, enabling people to share, make comments, and discuss a wide variety of topics. Unlike past technologies, New Media is grounded in an interactive community. Thus, the two major ingredients needed to use new media effectively to one’s advantage are Content and Strategy. With the right content and strategy, any brand can build and sustain popularity, credibility and very importantly, advocacy.
Content is the bedrock and the foundation on which every form of marketing and branding lies on. As a matter of fact, without Content, the internet would be empty. Thus, when thinking about how to effectively position your brand online – via website, blogging, and or social media, – you must be thinking of the kind of content you would be putting out there. Key things to remember when creating content for your brand are:
Create the Right Content
Choosing the right channel for branding and marketing is important but to ensure that your marketing efforts produce your desired returns, the content you put up on your social media platforms, via your mailing list, blogs, videos, on your website and the keywords/images used on your paid ads on AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter must be Valuable and Relevant to your Target Market and must be Consistent with Your brand.
Your success in the marketplace depends on people’s perception of your brand, so ensure that all the content you put out reinforces your brand as the best, and enhances your customer loyalty to your brand. Your content must be meeting a need; it must be entertaining and informative. When done right, your content would improve customer receptiveness, and establish you as an authority in your field.
This goes to show that even before you begin creating content, you must have first identified and researched on your Target Market and must have created a unique and appealing brand identity – not just visually but in structure, culture and product/service.
Create Engaging Content
It is one thing to create the right content and it’s a whole different thing to create a content that sustains the reader’s/viewer’s attention till the end and oh! It is a whole different ball game, making a content so engaging that your audience shares it. Yup! Engagement is the currency of the new media age.
You might be wondering, what actually qualified a content as engaging? I’d tell you.
The first thing to note here is that hyperbole and exclamation points do not engage readers.
Engaging means stopping someone in their tracks, then signaling, ‘This is really important’ and/or ‘This will be entertaining & informative.’ It subtly disrupts the way of thinking without interrupting your reader like an ad. But that’s not all, engaging content starts and ends with telling a good story. Engaging content doesn’t make your audience feel like they are being “marketed to.” Why? Because it focuses on them and not the brand or the market
The problem in creating engaging content lies in trying to appeal to the logicality of the audience. Engaging content is emotionally relevant. It triggers unconscious and conscious reactions in the brains of people.
That said, a six quick tips to help you create engaging contents are:
- Use Catchy Headlines: The first point of engagement is to gain attention so that readers stay to experience what you have to offer.
- Tell a Good Story: Stories can also help the audience relate to you. When possible, add a story to your content. It will make it more engaging. It is also one of the best ways to convey the value of your offering and your values as a company.
- Add Visuals: Numerous statistics suggest that all types of visual content, is a sure-fire way to make an audience fall in love with your content.
- Follow Trends: An article on Entrepreneur.com says ‘’Following a trend is human nature. Research suggests that there are many reasons why people follow trends, from “keeping up with the Joneses” to peer acceptance. Whatever the reason, people crave information on what is current, “hot,” and popular.’’
- Leave Your Audience with Questions: Questions that make your audience reflect on how they can implement the knowledge you provided. You could also ask them what they think about what they just read or watched if they agree or have contradicting opinions.
- Use Contest & Competitions to your Advantage: The desire to compete is embedded deep within everyone. Dream up a contest or challenge where people get to compete amongst each other for a prize, and you would get engagements!
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that Strategy is the second key Ingredient you need if you would succeed using new media technologies. Strategy in this context is all about knowing where, when and how to put out your content.
So below, I’d quickly drop five tips on how to develop the right new media content strategy.
- Define your goals: Why are you using new media technologies? To build thought leadership? To drive traffic to your website? To build brand awareness? To make sales? The first step is to define your goal(s).
- Define your Target Market: Who are you serving or intending to serve? Where do they spend time at? What are their demographics? What are their taste, needs, & wants?
- Pick your Channels Carefully: For your brand, goals and target audience; what new media channels are a must for you? Do you need a website? Do you need a blog? Which social media platforms, do you need to focus on? Do you need to begin using PPC? Pick the most suitable, based on your time, resources and target audience.
- Know Your Competitors: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of knowing and studying your competitors. Know what they are doing right that you need to do; know what they are doing wrong that you need to avoid doing.
- Define your Content Strategy: It’s important that you define how often you would put content out (Frequency); when should you post (Time & Day)? And what would you post?
Now, Go Ye into the world…. And blow our minds!