Digital trends for 2015

Digital trends for 2015

2015 is going to mark a big shift for the way in which brands reach consumers. Content clutter is going to be a major problem this year, and it will force brands to adapt their media strategies. Whether it's an increase in paid content or media rich posts, brands will have to make a concerted effort to create an identity across various channels to reach consumers in new and engaging ways. 

I sat down with Ariella Steinreich, Director of Media Relations for Steinreich Communications, to talk about how she sees media shifting in 2015 and how it's going to blur the lines of PR moving forward.

Muck Rack: How are brands going to use social media to drive growth?
Ariella Steinreich: Social media has revolutionized businesses in all sectors as it allows companies to gain additional exposure for their brand, communicate with their stakeholders, use it as a listening tool and generate new business leads. The value add that social media offers is that is gives a company direct access to an engaged audience.  
For instance, many of our consumer product goods clients use Twitter and Facebook to listen to consumer feedback which ultimately helps our clients drive growth by creating new products or updating existing products.
MR: How important will paid content be in 2015? And what channels will be most effective?
AS: Paid content will be critical in 2015 as the media landscape continues to shift, resulting in publishers looking to develop new revenue streams. In the last few years we’ve seen some of the largest media publications turn to paid content by offering blog and newsletter sponsorship opportunities. We’ve seen the phrase “native advertising” go from taboo to mainstream. We are working with some of our clients on developing very interesting and engaging paid content opportunities this year for broadcast, online and social media. I think what’s most exciting about paid content in 2015 is that we’re seeing a lot of creativity from publishers and our clients to develop new ideas and partnerships.
MR: With an increase in content choices, how will multimedia/ visual content factor in to 2015's media landscape?
AS: Visual and Multimedia content is definitely an important media tactic for 2015. Some of our clients are exploring paid content opportunities utilizing video. We are working with others to develop multimedia strategies for industry trade shows they are attending. When it comes to social media, we are integrating visuals and multimedia into the strategy – whether it is Tweeting an infographic, creating a Vine video etc.
Aside from including it as a media tactic, many journalists are moving towards publishing videos and video interviews to accompany their stories online. Therefore we’ve seen a trend of journalists interested in conducting video interviews rather than a phone interview.
MR: How will PR and social media become more closely intertwined?
AS: There are many different roles within PR – there are people who specialize in media relations, social media, internal communications, branding, analytics etc. – so I think the question becomes how do traditional media relations and social media become more integrated? The approach that we’ve taken is to have our media team consist of traditional media folks and social media folks and when we build a campaign for a client, we look to fully integrate the two. For example, when building media lists, we include both traditional media journalists and social media influencers. When developing a campaign, we share both traditional and social media ideas with a client and always look to show how we can amplify traditional media efforts with social.
MR: Do you have a big prediction for 2015?
AS: I think that in 2015 we will see the role of PR further expand to include some elements of media buying and marketing. In today’s world of paid content and native advertising, we are seeing PR agencies take on the role of negotiating the programs with the publishers directly and to develop the creative around the non editorial portions.

I also think that we’ll see an uptick in video content. Video has become very easy to create since anyone can produce it via a smartphone and therefore it’s quickly becoming the content king. Video has the ability to go viral and can be used for both traditional and social media and has really changed the landscape as it’s helped to introduce “citizen journalism” which I think will further take off in 2015.

(Image: Driving on an empty road via Shutterstock)


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