Communication is a living, changing entity; transforming itself and constantly evolving. This is why every CEO must know that the traditional ways of communicating with the target audiences have changed; the age of taking about products or services has been left behind. Today, creating relationships with the “Buyers” is based on satisfying needs, providing solutions, highlighting benefits and offering valuable information that improve their work and decision making.
In front of the new mass media convergence and social media revolution, Euromonitor International, has identified for 2013 and beyond some trends in Social Media.
Emerging markets to lead social media take-up
- While social networking has become mainstream in advanced economies, emerging markets are beginning to rapidly catch up as rising Internet penetration and more advanced forms of online brand engagement to attract new users. By the end of 2013, it is estimated that developing countries will make up for 68% of Internet users worldwide.
- Younger users in these countries are especially expected to drive niche platforms that focus on photo- and video-sharing, and the social media gaming sector, which often offers free content. Greater smartphone take-up, and subsequent mobile media usage, could be the factor that sees the developed world responsible for the bigger share of global social networking revenues in 2013.
Brands to focus more on content and new features:
- As social media platforms have come of age and passed beyond the basic offerings of written communication of increasing importance is content that differentiates brands .Using sophisticated audiovisual aids like infographics, animations, high resolution photos, podcasts, videos and other multimedia contents have changed the way to present the information to Buyers Personas.
- Sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are demonstrating the creative pull of niche content-focused solutions in advanced economies. Consumers will see their brands through social media becoming the first stop before going to the store to buy them. This situation will provide great business opportunities to promote and link up their products through these media with potential customers.
These trends are transforming the way to do social media marketing, especially in emerging markets, and have increased the levels of monetization of the digital platform. Also the high penetration of electronic banking and a bigger budget available for internet, increase business opportunities for this area.
So the question arises, how can my company successfully leverage these social media trends in addition to strengthening its presence in traditional media? You will find a response in the following Marketing and Communication Strategies:
Writing stories about your Brand: Brand journalism involves telling journalism-style stories about a company that make readers want to know more. It means having conversations, giving them real and interesting stories they can relate to. Brand Journalism is how a company investigates, tells stories and reports events on behalf of the brand for positioning and contributing to its leadership.
To do this, the brand reporter, corporate journalist, or an external agency has the responsibility to write about different topics ranging from business, design, food, health, sport, to politics, entertainment, and history, among others and create different types of content (videos, photos, news, articles, blog posts, graphics, e-books, essays, webinars, whitepapers, newsletters, etc.) that generates value for the company and even for the industry.
Brand Journalism has its roots in the franchise industry. In 2004, McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer Larry Light said mass marketing no longer worked and that “no single ad tells the whole story.” McDonald’s, he said, had adopted a new marketing technique: “brand journalism.” Nowadays, also companies like Cisco, Adobe, Intel, Credit Suisse, HSBC, American Express, Toshiba and Coca Cola use BJ successfully.
While sharing stories, we can talk about the story of the brand, with the aim of establishing an emotional bond between the brand and its audience, encourage identification with the company, create relationships, and most importantly: generate engagement.
This strategy is based on sending a message, information, knowledge and/or some wisdom to an audience in an entertaining manner, using any kind of abilities, being written, musical, artistic, creative, among others, so the people enjoy, understand and remembers it.
Through an emotive experience and remembering stories lived in the past the audiences create an emotional connection resulting in a nostalgic and sentimental reward that captivates and leaves them clinging to the corporate story.
And while it is a practice that not everyone does successfully, this tool is available to everyone, as it is about building a universe in the minds of people. The storyteller, in this sense, has to be a person capable of creating and designing corporate experiences adapted to daily life. He is an artist.
In businesses, Storytelling is booming. Without a compelling story, our product, service, idea, company or personal brand loses relevance and interest in the minds and hearts of the audience.
Contribute valuable content: In Corporate Communications, the name of the game is Content. A great content is tailored to Buyers Personas – specific types of- buyers, - as well as for the different stages where the buyer persona is during a buying process.
With this in mind content marketing strategies are used to create and distribute informative, fresh, relevant, valuable and current content without promotional purposes; to attract, obtain, and engage a target audience clearly defined and understood.
Is this useful content that you wish present in your daily life, share with friends, and talk about it and have it at home? These are some pointers to create information to gain a special place in the hearts and minds of your audiences.
As a leader of your Company, keep under your radar Corporate Communications trends and tools.
So, have you begun telling your story?
About the author: Hector worked for IBM Mexico for more than 30 years, managing different functions and areas: Marketing and Commercial – Channel Sales, Manufacturing, External Relations, Human Resources, Legal, Education, IT, Foreign Trade and Security. During his career at IBM, he had two international assignments in charge of Marketing and Sales for Latin America. After his retirement as IBM's Executive Vice-President, he took the position as President and Corporate Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for Motorola Mexico; he was also Vice-President for Motorola Corporation.
Hector has a college degree in Business Administration from Texas A&I University, and a Master's degree in Economics from Trinity University. He has also received intensive training in advanced business management, corporate strategies and international trade at IPADE; Pittsburgh University, IBM La Hulpe in Belgium, IBM Executive Institute in N.Y. and Motorola University.
Hector is also an Independent Consultant for Management, Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Marketing Communications and is a columnist for Forbes Mexico, Alto Nivel and Dialogo Ejecutivo. He may be contacted vía: Twitter: @HectorMezaC; Facebook: Héctor M. Meza; LinkedIn: Héctor M. Meza Curiel.