Ross Simmonds is one of the best marketers, growth hackers, and businessmen we know, and he is about to give you some real gems you should pay attention too. Dig in, grab a notebook, and get this brainfood while its hot.
If you want to create a brand in the future, it’s unlikely that the exact same roadmaps used in the early 2000s are still going to be applicable. Some of the philosophies will still hold weight but many tactics are going to have been abused and no longer effective. Similar to how marketers have evolved from radio & magazines to programmatic advertising and social media as an avenue to drive results — change is coming.
Change is constant.
How’d you like to ensure that when change comes, you’re ready? How would you like to hear some of the latest media trends that are going to shake up marketing industry forever?
Luckily, today that’s exactly what I’m going to share.
Over the years, I’ve rode the waves of digital media opportunities. Whether it’s generating more than 1M views on Slideshare or helping brands grow to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram — I’ve leveraged and capitalized on many of the latest trends. And in this post, I’m going to sharesix digital media trends that will shake up the industry for years to come.
1) The Consumerization Of Media & Influencers
The body scrub company, Frank Body was one of the first brands to capitalize on Instagram fame. With an estimated sales of roughly $20 million ≈ Organized labor 2011 political donations
“>[≈ Typical endowment, liberal-arts university] in 2015 — the brand has grown rapidly thanks to influencers and the consumerization of media. A quick look at their newsfeed and Instagram search will show you models and regular people promoting the product:
Some of these posts are fans.
Some of these posts are paid shout outs.
“>[≈ Per capita income – Taiwan, 2005] for a product placement on Instagram & Twitter. At the time, Jen had around 6M followers on Instagram but today she has more than 8.2M followers and some believe she’s charging $50,000≈ Median US household income, 2009”>[≈ cost of Ford F-150] per Instagram post.
Here’s one of Jen’s posts featuring the brand:
Influencer marketing isn’t new.
What’s new is a shift from the people with millions followers being compensated for shout outs to people with thousands.
The influencer marketing company, Markerly recently conducted a survey of2 million social media influencers. In their study, they found that influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers had a higher like rate than those between1,000 and 10,000 followers. While it’s possible that these individuals low engagement is related to Instagram’s algorithm and inactive followers — the idea that almost anyone could be considered an influencer is valid.
Today, millions of dollars are being exchanged for shoutouts on Instagram, Snapchat takeovers and retweets on Twitter. As more and more people begin to create mini-brands and followings, it can be expected that more people will monetize their reach and compete with media companies for their budget as it relates to digital marketing.
According to TheShelf, brands are quickly committing to this investment:
Sites like BuySellShoutOuts.com offer brands the ability to pay influencers with all accounts sizes and covering differenttopics to promote their brands:
But this is just the beginning.
Thunderclap is a social media platform that allows people to sign up in advance and share a unified message at a specific time. Many brands have already started using this tool to drive buzz around events, non-profits and products raising money on Kickstarter. In October 2015, a project called Phonebloks generated a reach of more than 381,745,40 with supporters likeElijah Wood signing up for the campaign.
Users of Thunderclap don’t currently get compensated for their tweets but I’m willing to bet, it’s coming. The willingness to offer brands the ability to tweet on your behalf isn’t new. It’s something that has been tried by many companies over the years but the trends surrounding influencers and the markets understanding of the value is an indication that this is a trend worth watching.
2) Bots Are A Media Opportunity For Brands
One of the first media companies to launch a bot was the team at Quartz. The team launched an app that feels like a friend sharing news via SMS that you read with ease. It comes with gifs, emojis, articles and of course ads like the Mini Clubman banner you see on the left.
Bots have been a hot topic for the last few months but when Facebook announced during f8 that messenger boasts 900 million users per month and it was launching a bot marketplace — it became a new ball game.
Facebook is betting on bots.
As more bots are developed we will begin seeing different more use cases. Whether it’s bots being used for the news or bots being used for shopping; the ability to connect with people through a conversational interface is an opportunity that media companies and marketers should watch.
Native content and advertising is a trend that has been soaring over the last few years. Native or Sponsored content is a model in which brands pay to have their content distributed (sometimes created) by media companies directly into their channels in a way that is often viewed as regular editorial.
Here’s an example of native content from Delete Blood Cancer on Blavity:
So what does this have to do with bots?
Well.. Imagine you’re using a fitness app.
The bot will remind you to go for a run, offer advice for meal plans and even tell you what you should do for sciatic pain — but it will also send you an article that talks about Six Reasons Why You Should Invest In The Right Shoes. Sponsored by Adidas of course…
Native advertising has been found to consistently perform better than traditional banner ads. Brands will embrace this approach within bots because it works for both the user and the publisher. I predict we will see more media companies launching bots and more bots evolving into full-fledged media companies.
3) How Stories Will Evolve Content Consumption
Facebook changed the way we find our news.
Twitter changed the way news was broken.
Snapchat and Instagram are currently fighting to determine what’s the best way for the new generation to consume it.
The last year has been a big one for Snapchat. DJ Khaled made brands open their eyes to the network as an opportunity to reach millions. Business giants proclaimed it to be the future of TV, social media and media as a whole. The rise of Snapchat resulted in profile pictures all over Twitter & Facebook to quickly change from logos & headshots to snap codes:
Instagram was once a favourite amongst youth but Snapchat quickly became a serious threat. In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray’s survey of 6,500 US teens showedthat 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27% as Snapchat took the crown.
Fast forward a few months and the momentum of Snapchat continued when Kim Kardashian did what she does best. She broke the Internet.
When she released a phone recording of Taylor Swift and Kanye West on Snapchat, every social network felt it. Journalists, the media and fans proclaimed Kim the official queen of social media and Snapchat the future:
Moments like this, the rise of DJ Khaled and the increase in usage was a clear indicators that Snapchat found gold. So earlier this year, Instagram took and stand refusing to allow Snapchat to run away with this new format and launched their own version of Stories. Creatively, they called it…
It shares the same functionality as Snapchat allowing users to create a rolling montage of pictures and videos from the last 24 hours. It’s in this format that brands are already advertising, media companies are being launched and millions of people are watching.
4) More Free-Time = More Media Consumption
In just a few years, the idea of autonomous vehicles have gone from a futuristic dream to a realistic and disruptive product. Regardless of who you think is going to come out as the industry leader in the race towards the first fully autonomous and safe vehicle — it’s going to have an impact on media.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of Americans spend their free time watching TV.
Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for more than half of leisure time
The same trend was found in places like the UK and Canada. You see, the more free time people have the more time they spend consuming content. And if we no longer have to pay attention to the road, it’s likely that we spend more time consuming visual content.
As autonomous cars become more readily available, more time will be available for people to consume content. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Meaning that over the course of a year you could consume more than 98 episodes of The Wire.
5)The Rise Of Vertical Video Content
Snapchats success with vertical video content has resulted in a the rise of vertical video content. For years, people suggested that vertical video was bad and that horizontal video was good:
In a leaked Snapchat pitch deck the company shared that revenues in 2015 were $59 million. The company projected to reach between $250 million ≈ cost of Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane
“>[≈ Typical endowment, research university] and $350 million in 2016, and between $500 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011] and $1 billion ≈ box office sales of The Jungle Book, 1967
“>[≈ net worth of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, 2011] in in 2017.
What’s a key differentiator between Snapchat and other networks?
It embraces the vertical video. Here’s a slide from one of their earlier decks about the success that brands were having with vertical content:
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a consistent increase in the amount of video content being consumed vertically. According to eMarketer and the 2015 Mary Meeker report, 29% of all video consumed online was vertical.
Lyrical School is a Japanese female band who made a major debut into mainstream with their latest music video. Unlike most videos that are built for TV, the group created a vertical video that has more than 1.3M views:
But this is just the beginning.
More and more companies are developing ads in the vertical video format. More and more media companies are offering it as an ad unit. It’s a trend that offers a more optimal experience for mobile users and a more effective approach for brands and media companies to connect with them.
6) Big Media Begins To Niche Down
Did you know that there is a magazine for almost everything?
From sheeps and pigs to technology and boats. If it’s a topic, there has likely been a magazine created about it at some point in the last 50 years. Over time, magazine sales have continue to plummet and many of the niche magazines have been the early victims of this medium’s decline.
The writing has been on the wall for years:
As the niche magazines continue to die — niche web opportunities arise.
It’s the model that allowed Reddit to become so successful. Reddit is one community that is filled with thousands of sub-communities talking about niche interests and topics. Whether it’s an entire community talking aboutBBQ or a community talking about PokemonGo — it’s a place where passionate people can learn, connect and stay up to date on interests.
Media companies are recognizing the opportunity to niche down and are investing in more niche topics to reach niche audiences. Over the last few months, we’ve seen media companies invest in more diverse categories of media content. As a result, marketers will have the ability to be more targeted in their efforts rather than making assumptions about what content their audience is likely to consume.
Are there any other trends that you think will shake things up? Did you learn something new in this post?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want more content like this, check out my semi-regular newsletter.