The Nepali market is witnessing a shift in media. Radio – once held as the beacon of communication for rural Nepalese has been replaced by Television as the most consumed media And Television, too, is in the process of being replaced by social media in the urban centers. More and more people, especially the youth, are opting to watch television programs on platforms such as YouTube. Netflix is gaining rapid popularity in Nepal and social media (Facebook) is becoming the prime source of information for Nepalese. The reasons for this are many – from increasing penetration of smartphones to increasing literacy to people joining social media to talk to their relatives abroad. But, the ultimate crux of the matter is that the media landscape is changing and with it, the way brands can [and need to] interact with their customers.
Sure, there is quite a substantial portion of the population that still prefers to hold a hard copy of their favourite newspaper or magazine in their hands, the author of this article being one of them, but there is no denying that Nepal is going digital and many traditional media outlets are feeling the squeeze. Print and broadcast media are simultaneously pushing their resources into building digital online versions of themselves to keep up with the shifting eyeballs.
With technology advancing so rapidly and the unpredictable nature of what the next big thing will be, this shift in eyeballs is admittedly difficult to catch up to. But it is also a huge opportunity for brands. The following are some of the ways brands can capitalise on today’s changing media landscape.
1. Working with Influencers:
Digital media allow brands themselves to become influencers. A business owner can position him/herself as an opinion leader by developing a blog, for instance. There are great opportunities to publish branded content, both paid and non-paid. This is in stark contrast to disseminating the content on traditional mass media where it might not get picked up at all or has a risk of falling on deaf ears, being ignored or being misunderstood.
Alternatively, brands can work directly with influencers to develop unique and exclusive content that will resonate with their target audience. As Candace Huntley of Meltwater states, “This is a more involved creative process when putting together a successful influencer strategy. This also allows for highly targeted individual pitches to media and influencers. The emphasis is on quality, not quantity.”
2. Spontaneous and Direct Connection:
Social media allows brands to directly reach out to their target audiences without any middlemen in between through means like Facebook pages or Twitter handles. This helps in building trust in a brand which then translates into brand following and brand loyalty. Active social media presence gives a brand an appearance of transparency. It is also a platform for direct and instantaneous redressal of consumer grievances (if any). This builds a positive image of a brand among the people.
Furthermore, accessibility of live streaming options like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and many more means that can not only connect with their audiences directly, but also in real time. At the very least, live tweeting is to be done.
It is now time to sway away from expensive Television and concentrate on digital media which offers most of the services that T.V. does and more at a very minimal (often free) cost. Plus, content uploaded on various digital media, which includes websites, social media, blogs etc. build up to a library which form an accessible library. Library is attractive to consumers and also media circles which is never a disadvantage (Huntley, 2018). Also, multimedia means everything like text, audio, video etc. rolled up into one; which means targeting multiple senses at once. Hence, becoming more appealing and having a higher retention.
4. Social Media! Social Media!! And Social Media!!!
It is worth noting that the media and journalists look for their stories on social media. Thus, managing to build a buzz on social media channels and among social media users about the brand will increase the chances that the media will pick your brand up, thus providing free publicity. Social media helps a brand create its own PR opportunities.