By Oliver Clapin, Native & Social Co-ordinator, King Content.
The way we consume content has changed. No longer does the family sit around the TV to get their evening news from their trusted anchor, sitting helplessly through a stream of TV commercials between news stories. The fragmentation of audiences has led to mass media channels no longer reaching the same amount of people because the audience’s attention is now fixated on a mobile news feed. This phenomenon has been accelerated through the ever-increasing development and popularity of smartphones and the popular platforms found on these smartphones.
Marketers, for quite some time, have adapted to this trend by targeting audiences in these new spaces. Remember how door-to-door salespeople used to target potential customers where they knew they could find them – at home? Now we look to the new home of our audiences – on social media.
Social media in Australia
It’s not surprising that as a developed country, Australia has a high internet penetration rate – 87 per cent of our population are active internet users, with smartphone penetration up six points to 76 per cent, according to the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report. This huge number of people online translates to social media usage, with 62.5 per cent of our population (14,450,000) registered as active Facebook users alone. This online space has continued as an exceedingly valuable space for brands to interact with their consumers – and any successful brand has realised that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter can do marvellous things for their brand exposure. This explains why 79 per cent of large businesses, 54 per cent of medium businesses and 48 per cent of small businesses in Australia have a social media presence.
Investment into ad capabilities by social platforms
The effectiveness of social media to spark a conversation with a brand’s consumer has not been lost on the owners and developers of these platforms. While Facebook has historically been ahead of the pack in monetising the exposure a brand can achieve using the platform, we have seen an increasing amount of investment by these platforms into facilitating conversations between brands, publishers and audiences to leverage off this travelling salesperson/passive audience dynamic that we see. Through algorithm changes, business accounts, back-end dashboards and analytical capabilities, social-media platforms are not just encouraging but forcing brands to adopt these new sales opportunities if they wish to survive.
The effect of this trend
This presents a huge opportunity for your brand. While the idea of social-media marketing is nothing new, the ways you can utilise the ever-evolving capabilities and features that social-media platforms continuously roll out can give you the competitive edge. In 2016, your audience is no longer found at home – they are a mobile-savvy, news-feed-scrolling, filter-using, social-media-dependent group who will only give you their attention if you earn it. The key to this is quality content that delivers your audience enough value to make them take the time to open the door and hear your pitch.