New Media is Now Mainstream: How to Participate
Everything has gone digital, from shopping to reading the news and accessing your latest magazine subscriptions. Journalism as a sector has been at the forefront of the use and development of new media to the extent that it is now a commonplace aspect of modern life. This means, if it has all gone digital and the internet is where most personal and business interaction and engagement occurs, then the production of the material to be accessed itself must be digital as well. This article looks at how the current speed of technological development and sustained changes have made new media mainstream and fairly commonplace, eliciting changes in journalism and media as a whole.
There are some cutting-edge developments, but the base or the core elements are no longer new. However, finding a way to become involved and gainfully so in a sector that has become mainstream will requires certain key skills and insights. So here are a few tips to ensure you stay up to date with the latest digital media trends both as a consumer and a producer.
Understand the latest tech trends
Whether the digital platform is for social media or more conventional new media platforms, the rise of digital media has tapped into the latest technology and will continue to do so. The most important thing for traditional media outlets is using their core brand across any new platform or technology. This is particularly important as an increasing number of digital-only brands compete for space. If traditional and mainstream media want to tap into the continued growth in digital advertisement spending, they need to find the perfect balance between sticking to their traditional roots and branching into new tech. Statistics have shown that digital advertising grew over 12% in 2020, and this growth is expected to continue in the long term, so harnessing this advertising demand is key to continued growth.
Perfect and enhance your digital skills
Many journalists and consumers alike are ensuring they are at the forefront of the digital media revolution by keeping their digital skills honed. Whether this means downloading new apps as a consumer or improve your digital journalism qualifications with an advanced degree, ensuring your digital skills are current is important. As a journalist, telling stories across any digital platform is an in-demand skill and requires not only journalism instinct but some investment in your future through higher learning.
Content is still king
Regardless of what digital platform you prefer, the consumer will always prioritize content over function. As a digital media organization, you could invest heavily in the latest technology, but this investment will be foolhardy without the content to attract audiences. The key to success in the ever-changing world of digital media is to balance innovation with good content and knowing what type of content to share on different platforms to attract different audiences. With the growth in social media platforms reaching astronomical levels, content producers need to keep producing quality content to reach these growing audiences. Content must be fresh, and as Bill Gates notes, most of the money on the internet is now being made on content, just as it was in broadcasting.
Content marketing is at the nexus of marketing and journalism and has created a perfect system to keep connecting with your clients and customers. Sharing consistent, reliable, and authentically useful content with your audience and customers is the only way to keep them close and connected in the modern era. Content is the means through which brands now build relationships with clients and business has become all about the storyline and backstory presented online and using the latest media. These journalistic endeavors have used the medium of the internet to the fullest and, in doing so, have changed it forever. However, content is still king and is expected to be so for the foreseeable future, regardless of the changes in medium and media.
Understand digital trends
Whether your preference is to use digital and social platforms for news, networking or inspiration, the biggest trend in the digital world is switching to using social media for social commerce. In 2020, social commerce sales in the USA grew by almost 40% thanks to the pandemic but will continue in a positive trend in the future. Social media platforms make purchases more seamless and easier for consumers; this is a key trend that will push digital marketing and journalism towards new heights. Marketing online is a great example and has become a longer game, requiring increasingly more consistent engagement with customers, followers, and audiences. It is more storytelling than selling.
Digital events are shaping news and networking
While many commercial companies may have considered going back to face-to-face events after the COVID restrictions eased, they soon realized, along with media companies and consumers, that keeping events digital makes a lot of sense. Keeping costs lower, attracting bigger audiences, and ensuring greater interaction means that digital events are looking likely to stick around for the foreseeable future. In addition, media and content producers can use live virtual events to bring audiences together, ensure better communication with their audiences, and shape news discourse through innovation to larger audiences.
Watch the growth of AI
This does not mean the robots are taking over; it means that content producers and companies are beginning to grasp the value of investing in AI that suits their particular market. With the AI industry expected to be worth $169 billion by 2025, this is a growing investment opportunity, particularly for organizations harnessing social media. Using AI to analyze, interpret and predict data trends is a key avenue for understanding audiences, consumers, and social media users in a way that is beneficial.
Becoming involved in an industry and sector that has taken our world by storm is both exciting and daunting. Digital media is the only way to reach most of the current audiences out there and as such journalism itself has changed to keep up with this trend.
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