The modern media landscape can be pretty daunting for brands at first glance. Constantly evolving, shifting and growing at a seemingly exponential rate, media today is a very different ball game to ten years ago.
Where once there was only print and TV, there is now also YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, podcasts, the world of e-commerce and more. Looking internationally, the modern media landscape in Asia varies greatly, with the likes of WeChat and Renren taking the top spots.
The golden rule to success in harnessing the potential these platforms offer is to treat them as individuals and understand that the assets, language and approach required for each are completely different. Let’s take the example of the launch of a new perfume. For this campaign to be suitable for all mainstream channels, it would require a custom-created asset to put into the Sunday Times. The imagery, asset sizing and messaging for this would vary greatly to that produced for a paid campaign on Facebook. This would in turn be dissimilar to that created for Instagram. The video content produced for YouTube would have a different tone, style and voice for that created for TikTok, and so on.
The core demographic for each media has to be taken into account, which in turn informs the voice most suitable. Your level of colloquialism and formality must calibrate with the personality of each medium. A gen-x on Facebook will respond better to a different dialect to that of a millennial on Instagram or a gen-z on Snapchat. Whilst they might technically all be natives of the same language, they all use and consume it in very different ways.
For brands targeting gen-z, grasping the ever-changing languages of slang, memes and internet speak is tricky to perfect - great when executed well but disastrous if the trend is not immediately acted upon and you employ phrasing that became outdated yesterday. A permanent immersion in the micro-culture is imperative for success, and having a digital native on the team helps immensely.
With the fluid nature of the media landscape, brands need to be prepared to pivot and embrace new modes with ease. The explosion of TikTok last year is a principal case study in how social media is constantly being redefined and molded. If you want to reach the right audiences and maximize the impact of your advertising, continuous examination of all forms of media is required. Functionality, algorithms and rules are always changing too; the platforms themselves as well as the users that define them. New updates also present new opportunities to grasp - such as Instagram becoming increasingly e-commerce-centric and making shopping through the app easier than ever. TikTok’s much-praised algorithm and organic ability to produce and snowball ‘trends’ at a rapid rate has big implications for brands too. Just take the example of Little Moons, the mochi brand; their rise to popularity through TikTok has them constantly sold out in supermarkets across the country. Heard of mochi before? If you haven’t, ask anyone who has been on TikTok in the past month and I can guarantee they have!
So what does all of this tell us? The landscape is more complex than ever before, and there are a multitude of channels and platforms to take advantage of in order for campaigns to be their most successful. We know that one size does not fit all and that imagery, film and language must be personalized to be align with the audience and voice of each channel. And we know that nothing we know now will likely be true in another ten years - or even one - at the rate that the landscape is developing.
So what do we do? Avoid the temptation to take shortcuts. Approach each medium as an individual. Stay in the loop. Keep relearning. Be prepared to pivot.
The success of your campaign depends on it.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts on how creative teams can best take advantage of the multiple opportunities that the modern media landscape offers. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!