What Media Means to Brands in the Digital Age

media

Blurred Lines in Media

If anything is for sure, the role of media is in constant flux. Consider what it meant to people before the entrance of social media, or even pre-Internet. In so many ways, user-generated content and social platforms have altered the meaning of media as we know it. And because of the endless messages, mediums, and messengers, it means different things to different people – as well as different things to different brands today.

The lines between content and advertising are unclear. And media no longer has to be professionally produced to go viral. News outlets are only a small slice of what now composes the vast landscape of today.

Hard to Keep Up

The landscape isn’t only shifting every moment, it’s becoming more and more complex. This intricate landscape makes it harder and harder for leaders to make smart, strategic, relevant decisions about media. So knowing how, when, and where to use it is no simple task. It’s easy to feel like by the time you’ve somewhat pinned down what media means within the complex digital space of today, it’s already evolved way beyond your initial definition.

Aspirational and Forward Thinking

The strategy needs to be aspirational and forward thinking – pushing the brand into the future, and helping to build a brand that is prepared for the shifting landscape. For example, brands that noticed people using and generating more and more video were on the cutting edge of video media, and are finding success today. But forward-thinking doesn’t always mean new. It’s always about being able to look to the future and predict people’s needs and desires. For instance, now more Americans than ever are listening to audio podcasts and digital radio on their phones (because it’s easy and quick). Brands who anticipated this did their research and quickly identified people’s need for quick, digestible media. Appropriate research and constantly drawing new insights about your target audiences are key here.

Agile and Adaptive

This means that your brand strategy must also be agile. As new platforms enter at rapid speed, your brand must be able to adapt and shift with ease. Fast and focused decision-making is essential. ‘Adaptive marketing’ has become a buzzword in media for a reason. Behaving with flexibility, yet always staying true to your long-term vision and promise, is vital for brands today who want to stand out in a competitive media space. Many brands that are focusing on media are using media influencers as a way to adapt to shifts. These key people can help drive brands and their audiences towards new platforms and channels. By embedding brand ambassadors on media platforms (especially social), many brands find they can shift more easily and organically.

Stand Out with Creative

More and more, standing out becomes a challenge and also a necessity for brands today. Media offers an opportunity to help brands stand out, but only if they utilize their assets in a strategic way. We believe creative assets can hold a lot of value for a media strategy for this reason. Through creative, a brand can not only say something different, but look different too. Mixing creative assets can strengthen a content strategy or any other form of media today. Focused, clear creative assets that work in line with your brand promise can also help a brand create consistency across platforms and messages.

Media Strategy Positioned for Success

In an increasingly digital age, we’ve seen many new media trends emerge in the past years – a greater focus on social media, spontaneous media, conversational content, and video. As a whole, media has become more and more dynamic. It’s much more of a conversation. It’s faster paced and constantly responding to people’s needs and desires. As a result, brands with an agile strategy and a deep understanding of the people they are trying to reach are finding success in the current media landscape. Use your brand strategy to guide your media strategy and position your business for success.

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy and design agency.

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