While scrolling through social media you may have come across various brand ambassadors or influencers advertising/marketing a brand, product, or service. Social Media has taken the power of influence into a whole new level. A quick search on your favorite search engine can help you find the right people who can bring your brand further out into your chosen demographic. Influencer marketing often includes celebs or media stars with a large following to promote their product. Influencer marketing also takes a large chunk of a company’s marketing budget because it is a non-intrusive way to interact with consumers. According to an article post by Creationsforu, “Influencer marketing embraces the concept of delivering content that educates, inspires, and provides solutions. This aligns with the values of social media influencers whose goals are to provide content that is valuable to their audiences, influencers are already in tune with the needs of their audiences and they want to ensure that they create content that attracts users to their channels” (Ruthc – Creationsforu). “What has made influencer marketing unique in the present is how social media communication has leveled the playing field and given anyone and everyone the opportunity to share their voice. Anyone with internet access can share their opinion and content, and if they do it well enough- become an influencer. Anyone with a smartphone can produce high-quality photography that ten years ago could have only come out of a $5,000 camera. The most intriguing people will rise above the rest. These individuals that rise way above the rest in following, engagement and/or content creation are a new breed of social media influencer which has rapidly changed the marketing landscape. These are the individuals that brands are scrambling to work with” (Yodel, Global).
The real question is in 2020 is this form of marketing still relevant? It has been almost a decade since social media sites took over and it has changed the online marketing landscape for the better. No matter what form it takes, influencer marketing remains a relevant and important strategy in building brand recognition and raising sales. It seems that this form is here to stay in 2020 and it will further develop. According to author Folke Engholm “A survey revealed 39% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2020 and with that, influencer marketing is set to become a $10 million market by 2020. Looking at these statistics, I don’t see the market to be slowing down anytime soon” (Engholm, Folke).
Image via – pinterest.com
My personal opinion of influencer marketing is that it is in fact relevant and it does work. I am a religious Instagram user, I follow a lot of celebs and influencers who produce content creation and have a large following. I have developed this “internet form of trust” with them, meaning – I have followed them for years and have seen what kind of person they promote themselves to be! Of course these influencers are being paid by media companies to become brand ambassadors which is great for both them and the brand in which they promote. I personally see these influencers actually using or wearing the products they are promoting (which makes me want to try it for myself). I would say these marketing companies have gotten this concept down to a science, but what really matters is if they do it well or not.
Engholm, Folke. “What to Expect from Influencer Marketing in 2020.” Medium, Medium, 3 Sept. 2019, medium.com/@folkeviralaccess/what-to-expect-from-influencer-marketing-in-2020-1e93f1cf868f.
Ruthc. “Is Influencer Marketing Still Relevant in 2020?” Creationsforu, 16 Jan. 2020, creationsforu.com/is-influencer-marketing-still-relevant-in-2020/.
Whitaker, Abbi. “Study: Effective Influencer Marketing Requires Authenticity.” PR Daily, 24 July 2019, www.prdaily.com/study-effective-influencer-marketing-requires-authenticity/.
Yodel, Global. “What Is Influencer Marketing?” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-is-influcner-marketing_b_10778128.
As the coronavirus disease aka COVID-19 outbreak continues, the daily media industry has been continuously updating the public with media coverage on the needed precautions and outbreak cases that have been in effect, but could the media be blowing this viral concern out of proportion? COVID-19 is defined as, “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus that had not been previously identified in humans. The virus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever and in more severe cases, pneumonia” (Google). The spread of this disease has become a global crisis causing various media platforms to produce constant reports regarding this topic. A few questions have been floating around the media such as, how brand managers should address COVID-19, should events be cancelled because of the coronavirus, and how the coronavirus is disrupting the global advertising industry.
The news outbreak about this virus continues to change every hour, leaving companies scrambling to prepare their communication strategies. Companies feel that taking appropriate operational and communications steps now will help organizational strength and stability. Below are five easy tips from PR daily to proactively communicate and respond to requests for information related to COVID-19:
- Communicate early, often and consistently
- Sound the alarm, but don’t be an alarmist
- Find and use credible sources
- Revisit your business continuity plan
- Develop a pandemic scenario
This article “How brand managers should address COVID-19” provides the public with useful information about how communicators can help their organizations respond to this global health crisis and this specific agency leader (Rick French) shares his insights. “As companies openly encourage sick employees to stay home, they must also review work-from-home and sick-leave policies. Keep in mind that employees might need to stay to care for affected family members or cope with childcare issues if schools or daycares close” (French, Rick). French also explains, that companies should put personnel first in their communications, displaying an appropriate level of concern, while also working to implement preventative measures. “Make it clear that if employees are sick—especially with symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath or fever—they should stay home and see a doctor” (French, Rick). Experts have previously said they believe the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through human contact, public health officials recommend reducing unnecessary face-to-face meetings. Therefore, many companies are restricting international travel, particularly to areas where the coronavirus is prevalent. “The World Health Organization and CDC are continuously providing information on the status of the outbreak, as well as guidance on how to protect against the virus and identify its symptoms” (French, Rick). These organizations have additional resources available to provide employees with reliable information so everyone can educate themselves and stay informed. Reminding employees of proper hand hygiene, along with cough and sneeze etiquette can reduce the risk of sickness. This can be done by placing alcohol-based hand sanitizer units near workplace entrances, in conference and break rooms, and other high-traffic areas to serve as visual reminders about the need for protection. As well as, encouraging staff to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times each day” (French, Rick).
Should events be cancelled because of the coronavirus? PR Daily covers this topic by informing the public about the many organizations worldwide that are canceling trade shows, internal events and media happenings. What to do? Russel Working from PR Daily says, “Start with CDC and local public health advisories”. For example, this week the 2020 Natural Products Expo West postponed its major trade show at the last minute due to fears of the virus, designated COVID-19, drawing criticism from participants. “Faced with a similarly tough decision, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs decided this week to go ahead with an annual conference in San Antonio, Texas—even as participants scaled back or dropped out. The decision prompted its co-director to resign in protest” (Working, Russell). The question from many is something along the lines of what to do given the fears provided by the media – that coronavirus could bring sneezy, coughing humans face to face during large events, causing a deathly related virus to swarm the nation. In this case, communicators/decision-makers struggle with the costly decision to cancel and experts say planners should consult local health care authorities and rely on guidance from the United States Centers for Disease. “The local public health department nearest the event venue would be the best resource for anyone trying to decide about a specific event,” says Mayo Clinic Communications Manager Ginger Plumbo.
As a future professional in the Advertising and PR industry, this crisis is seemingly disrupting the global advertising industry. Ad-Week communicator Doug Zang, explains how the global advertising industry is no stranger to disruption and turmoil. “Agencies and media companies have endured everything from natural disasters to overthrown governments, but these scenarios rarely spill beyond national borders” (Zang, Doug). The current outbreak of COVID-19, however, is different. “Between widespread travel restrictions and a dense cloud of uncertainty, the global advertising machine is slowing to a crawl in some ways and rapidly pivoting in others” (Zang, Doug). Ad-Week spoke with leaders about how the virus will affect four key parts of the industry: ad spend, experiential marketing, agencies and production companies. “Early indications are that overall ad spending could take at least a temporary hit, but TV could actually benefit from people staying home, tuning in to news and streaming programming” (Zang, Doug). In the brand and agency world, several considerations are at play, especially as the industry puts more of a premium on experiences. Some global events have been canceled, including Facebook’s F8 developer conference and Mobile World Congress. Companies that have traditionally had activations at SXSW, including Mashable, Twitter, Facebook and Intel, dropped out. And TikTok announced it will not be in Austin. The result of this virus is causing digital companies to shift – in my opinion, the digital world is not necessarily in turmoil but it is in fact changing because of this.
The media has considerably affected society; wither society chooses to believe what they read is their own choice. People need to do their own research by communicating with professionals and following basic steps every day to keep themselves happy, educated, and healthy. We can fight this battle together if we keep ourselves informed and keep clean.
French, Rick. “How Brand Managers Should Address COVID-19.” PR Daily, 9 Mar. 2020, http://www.prdaily.com/how-brand-managers-should-address-covid-19/.
Working, Russell. “Canceling over Coronavirus: Should Your Event Go on?” PR Daily, 6 Mar. 2020, http://www.prdaily.com/canceling-over-coronavirus-should-your-event-go-on/.
Zanger, Doug, et al. “How the Coronavirus Is Disrupting the Advertising Industry.” Adweek, 6 Mar. 2020, http://www.adweek.com/agencies/how-the-coronavirus-is-disrupting-the-global-advertising-industry/.
Visuals and video are being used in Advertising & Public Relations. Consider this – today is the new era of media relations. Anything and everything can be presented via video content. A lot of current brands have partnered with videographers to capture media for their product advertisements. Videography refers to the process of capturing moving images on electronic and visual streaming media. Over the past 5 to 10 years this concept has certainly evolved with the help of social media presenting live stories on social media platforms. The creation of these media stories has allowed users to increase their followers awareness for their brand. The creation of social media video content has allowed brands to show their creative side to their users giving them a more visual intake about what they are trying to promote through the media.
Social platforms over the past 5 to 10 years have been slowly trying to invest more into developing their brand/product promotion strategies. For example, Facebook has recently started to invest more in developing stories across all of its platforms starting in early 2019. The creation of this has greatly impacted the media further embracing stories to increase engagement, daily users, and boost advertising. In 2016, media platform Instagram introduced multiple features such as video stories and direct messaging. The video stories had a very positive impact for Instagram users allowing them to share anything on video for 24 hours. Company brands on Insta also got ahold of this trend and have utilized this as a way for Insta users to “swipe up” on stories linking them directly to their company sites.
Every few years technology continues to advance itself…over the next decade we can expect to see changes such as the advancement of technology in this case with video. The media will continue to promote the art of video content on social platforms. By the time I graduate I am certain that with all of the media trends provoking video users to step up their content game, they will be using the best technology to promote their content. The creative type of content that is advancing now will become more prevalent within society. Media has such a huge impact on how photo and video has changed our world, shaping our society into a media invested society. The main goal of platform users is to create content that brands want you to reach, The initial goal of each company is to create content that shows what kind of visual look they are trying to portray. For example, with Instagram users can control what they want to post on their stories and what type on content they want to create.
Over time I feel that with the development of technology, video content will be at its peak, simply because of the technological advancements that will occur over the next few years. People want to see the movement, the visual display of production. In Advertising and Public Relations I believe that this video advancement can certainly become something that the media strives to produce.
With a collaborative culture you gain an opportunity to bring products to the market faster. Teamwork and proper communication speed up the entire process with means to make it easier to produce anything. In the past companies invested their collaboration efforts into utilizing basic forms of communication such as verbally discussing their ideas and following up via email and phone. The importance of having collaboration is making things within the company effective. Many businesses empower their employees by delegating authority/decision making, sharing their information, and asking for their own personal input. When empowering employees to collaborate together as a team business’ have to find out what type of motivation works best for certain types of employees.
Personally, I can predict that in the future these concepts of business empowerment and collaboration will certainly begin to change. For example, advancements in technology will strongly affect teams and organizations, allowing them to utilize new sources of communication amongst their team members. I believe that collaboration essentially speeds things up within a workplace, a problem that could take many months to solve could easily get done quicker with the proper technology used by a collaborative team. Thus, I can predict that businesses will start to encourage more remote workers by the time I am out of college. Studies show that more people have chosen to take advantage of remote work because of their own busy lives and schedules. A lot of people who take advantage of this kind of work prove to work much better and are significantly happier.
According to my research the best software for co-worker collaboration is “Slack” which is a collaboration tool, with millions of users around the globe. It is available on mobile and desktop devices and allows for the sending of direct messages and files to a single person or a group of employees, and there’s the ability to organize conversations into different channels for specific projects. The app also supports video calling in which you can use the feature to talk to your colleagues about projects/work without having to type everything into a DM or email. While this isn’t a replacement for cloud storage services, you are able to drop and share files with your colleagues directly within the Slack program. I feel that using tools like Slack for example can be very helpful but there are so many tools like it out there that communication often times becomes cluttered. Narrowing it down to the most effective forms of communication tools can be the most helpful when collaborating with fellow co-workers. Using these types of platforms to communicate is key in ensuring how the best possible outcome can happen in the workplace.
Efficiency is an essential part of being on a team and an important aspect of being involved in a workplace. Collaboration in the workplace will create team building skills that every company needs to have success. Collaborating in teams or with other influencers can further develop the knowledge of a specific product or brand. This concept makes employees more responsible and also raises their motivation level.
This podcast by The Blogging Millionaire covers ways to apply the core principals of Napoleon Hill’s famous book Think and Grow Rich. The podcast begins with covering the idea that “thoughts become things” meaning the ideas that occur in our mind at first, can one day become a reality. The podcast also mentions that if you go into something thinking that you will succeed, in the end having that belief will make that success happen. It was also mentioned that blogging is a very unique business because of the delayed gratification, meaning the work that you put in today will not show results for about 3 to 6 months, this leads many new bloggers to self evaluate their stats. “Mindset drives people to success, or failure” this concept was greatly emphasized in the podcast. You have absolute control over one thing which is your thoughts, if you fail to control your own mind, you will be sure to control nothing else. Another point mentioned in the podcast is, “have a burning desire to accomplish one major purpose.” Having one major goal set for a blogger for example could be reaching a certain number of blog viewers per post.
Some personal observations that I noticed within this podcast was that the speaker spoke at a monotone voice which made it easier to grasp the concepts he was trying to convey. Having this tone of voice when speaking in an information filled podcast allows the audience to relax and begin to take in what the speaker has to say, it’s like sitting in a coffee shop having a one on one conversation with one another. I personally liked the overall message that this podcast station produces which is teaching you the secret blogging strategies that pro bloggers use to grow their traffic and monetize their blogs. The speaker Brandon Gaille, built his blog to over 1 million monthly visitors in less than two years after his first blog post. I liked the fact that he guides you down the path to becoming a master of blogging, WordPress, SEO, search engine marketing, internet marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, email list building, content marketing, website engagement, conversion optimization and many many more to help you build your very own blogging empire.
The advertising strategies in this podcast includes a 10 second introduction promoting the podcast channel. I feel that having an introduction strategy like the one used for this particular podcast can be very useful when promoting a channel, giving the viewer a short description about what the channel is about etc. I personally feel that there should have been more advertisements within the podcast promoting social media marketing and blogging sites such as WordPress that were being covered within this specific podcast. Bringing in a few short advertisements at the beginning and towards the end of each podcast would be a good promotion tool to include. Including advertisements that relate to the information being reported throughout the podcast is beneficial because it lets the viewers become more familiar with the given brand and helps to promote their business. An alternate advertiser that I believe would be a good fit for this podcast is having Author of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill speak about his book. I feel that this would be an incredibly effective and powerful way to spread the word about important concepts he covers within his book.
Image by -Sean MacEntee via Flickr
Throughout my lifetime I have spent a beyond generous amount of my time using various forms of social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. I personally use each of these types of social media as a form of communication and self-expression. For example, Instagram allows me to post whatever content that I am feeling, and along with that I become exposed to others content that they can personally post themselves. I also see others use social media for professional use with sites such as, Linked-in is a professional network where you can establish your credentials through a résumé-style profile, post or share content relevant to your field, and connect with others who work in your industry. Both of these social platforms are very different but can be used professionally, wither it’s for an Instagram advertisement or a factual description about your professional profile.
Twitter is a form of social interaction that allows you to post thoughts related to your profession, follow other professionals, and share links to pertinent content. YouTube can be used as a professional form of creating content such as a video-sharing site where you and other professionals can post clips of motivational speeches, product demonstrations, and lectures. Throughout the years social media has changed immensely and it has become a convenient way for others to connect and communicate. Social media sites have now been turned into apps that people can access from their cell phones and other electronic devices. Media users typically use social platforms on a daily basis to inform their followers about new brand deals and other promotions. These social platforms have now essentially become the “banks” of the world. I say this simply because social media has been transitioning itself into a money making business that benefits not only the company but the media users as well.
Social media has also become a form of how we can become informed about all types of news such as, local and national information. There are both positives and negative effects with social media and this concept which moves quickly. Negatives include a false representation of information that is being put out for the public to view on the online media sites which eventually can result in conflict between different media representatives and users. Platforms that were once named popular can quickly become washed away. Looking back into the early 2000s when Myspace and Friendster were at the peak of the social media trend. Both sites allowed users to communicate and express themselves. Within a few years, users of both sites started to decline with the competition of the newly created networking site Facebook. The clear positives of social media is giving its users the freedom to express their interests through comments, likes, favorites, and posts. Each form of media has its perks to consume its users. The development of social sites has allowed its users to become informed about new products, brands, and businesses; which has really become popular within the last 5 years online.
Social media is not only changing the way we communicate, but it simply effects the way that we do business. New forms of media continue to become introduced to the public each by creating new forms of communication. Popularity within these social platforms both partake in how well each site and app does, it all depends on the main interest of the user and how they want to use their chosen form of media. Cheers to the media for bringing us together in a new way! We can now say that we have something innovative in which we can express our personal interests and communicate freely with one another.