How social media is dictating our content as a publishing house

Devising a strategy for a marketing campaign usually involves identifying and addressing the various platforms that will most favourably impact a brand, and as ever, social media is usually at the top of the list. However, marketers are very aware that any intention to engage with these hugely popular sharing portals has to take into account their shape-shifting nature that dictate the type and style of material input that marketers have to produce for their audience [1]. What follows is a list of current trends in the social media environment and how they dictate content creation.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Two of the biggest buzzes on the scene at the moment are Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Once used almost exclusively for teenage entertainment and B2B technical presentations, the wider commercial advantages of both VR and AR are beginning to hit home, such as online retail shopping sites where customers can try out a product. IKEA customers can use its own AR app to imagine how things will look at home and VR travel apps are revolutionising the way customers choose their holidays. By 2021, the augmented and virtual reality market is expected to reach a market size of 215 billion U.S. dollars{2}. Creating material for these two technical giants is usually done using apps such as Apple’s ARKit, designed for material to be aired on its respective products but new and sometimes free software is emerging like BlipparLayarZapworks Studio, and ARToolKit all offering access to innovative technology. From a marketing point of view the overriding point to remember is to make sure that customers do not have to use special equipment to view what interests them. Ensuring that both VR and AR can be accessed seamlessly on a mobile platform especially but also on a computer screen rather than through a special headset, is crucial! People are drawn into events and often want to take part in them. Seeing your hero in real time or how a brand is used by that hero, is addictive. This is social sharing at its purest! Businesses in particular can open their doors by showing production processes, company operations, range of product, user techniques and so on. The rules dictate that transmission is faultless, the quality the best you can afford and that the subject matter is either informative, interesting, or even amusing. Simply joining the cause won’t cut it; you have to find what is sure to grab your audience’s attention and then come up with an Oscar worthy product.


Although it has been around for a while the importance of Video has, if anything, increased exponentially and in spite of the advent of VR, AR, and live streaming, it isn’t showing any signs of waning just yet. In fact, it has moved to centre stage![3] According to an upcoming report from HubSpot Research, 54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) or social image-based content (41%). The bottom line is that Video improves SEO. ComScore, a cross-platform measurer of audiences, advertising and consumer behaviour claims that adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. Video also brings about higher retention levels, greater engagement, stronger consumer awareness, better optimization and improved email click rates, ‘81% of those surveyed saw an increase in sales and 53% said support calls were reduced’ according to Wyzowl’s 2017 State of Video Marketing survey. So how do you create interesting material for this powerful outlet? First by ensuring quality of production and clever editing but mostly through pertinent topics and concise erudite scripting. Finding the right words for short exposure slots is a skill in itself.

Messaging apps

Starting out as an offering for free text communications, messaging apps have taken off to become an alternative source of social media and a platform in its own right with over 5 billion monthly users worldwide. More importantly, businesses are increasingly using these channels to communicate directly with their customers because they offer customers a faster line of communication with a brand. Concentrated so far mostly on problem-solving, the possibilities for a brand to expand its reach into services, recommendations, and information are endless. A well-known example is Hyatt using Messenger to offer its clients a 24-hour customer service. Accordingly, content creation for messenger apps has to be useful, succinct and above all, non-invasive. Like email, if a customer or potential client had enough confidence in your brand to share their contact information, over-abuse will lead directly to the ‘blocked’ number list.

Voice search

An increasing number of people now own a voice-activated device using it to access online tasks or even run parts of the home. Statistics tell us that this is an emerging market of interested consumers. 62% of those who regularly use a voice-activated speaker say they are likely to buy something through their voice-activated speaker in the next month[5]. Even if it is still in its infancy, marketers are having to embrace this new platform with as much creativity as they do when approaching other well-established features of a well-rounded marketing campaign. As always, the process has to start with the customer. Content pitched in this environment has to include what a consumer is most likely to need or to be most interested in such as product promotions, exclusive deals, personalised tips to make like easier, upcoming events, useful business information, customer service and the necessities such as groceries, expiring subscriptions, insurance renewal dates and appointments. As it’s a faceless environment, politeness, courtesy, and brevity are at a premium and ultimately the objective is to provide chunks of factual information that will connect the consumer to brand websites, social and business platforms and last but not least, e-commerce.

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