5 Trends Destined to Shape the Media this Year

Last month, myself and a few other marketers came together at a #MarketersMeetUp to discuss our forecasts for 2015. It was an interesting conversation that lead to predictions far beyond this year. These are a few that really stuck:

1. The use of Social Media Influencers.

While Facebook campaigns and viral videos are interesting and can garner likes and shares, they don’t always produce engagement that is long-lasting. With endorsements from social media influencers such as tv personalities, athletes, musicians, etc., brands can not only reach target audiences but can create long-lasting advocates who will willingly share their love for the brand.

Chris Gayle at the 2014 Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant http://instagram.com/p/sWUQplIeeN/?modal=true

See the list below of top influencers in Jamaica by category by Twitter followers:

Sports-related: Usain Bolt (< 3.6mil), Chris Gayle (<1.9 mil), Lennox Lewis (<375,000), Yohan Blake (<300,000).

Music: Sean Paul (<1.2 mil), Tessanne Chin (<250,000), Mavado (< 200,000), Jah Cure (<190,000), Taurrus Riley (<160,000), Wayne Marshall (<100,000), Chronixx (<82,000), Protoje (<32,000)

TV Personalities: Miss Kitty (<100,000), Yendi Phillips (<60,000).

An endorsement in a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post by these top accounts could create an impact.

2. Mobile Integration

With the invent of LoopJamaica.com and its seamless integration onto every new Digicel smartphone, having the latest news at your fingertips will allow brands to target audiences even when they are away from their computers. As mobile use continues to grow, brands will have another channel to tap into. Communication is now a two-pronged approach: stories about the brands and offerings tied into ads with the links to more information about products.

Gleaner and Observer are right behind. Both have apps available for download. Most recently, TeenAge Observer discontinued its printed publication and will now be exclusively online allowing for brands to tap into the Jamaican youth market. With the high cost of print media, the possibilities of curating content that will engage preteens and teens online is limitless.

3. Online influencing offline

With the success of Dutty Berry, a vlogger who inspired Jamaica to support Tessanne on her road to winning “The Voice” and more recently Bella Blair, brands will feel compelled to utilize these personalities to become ambassadors. The real value in their presence is that they are already engaging online, have a strong fan base and are reaching the audience in a way that traditional media sometimes doesn’t. Bella Blair for example, has a YouTube channel with over 35,000 subscribers and within the past year, received her own show called, “Bella’s Bizarre World” on RETV. Bella is creating content that is fresh, young and different but still appealing to a wide audience. Check out Bella in the new 2015 Cran Wata Ad:

Cran Wata Bella TV Ad

Check out the video that inspired the TV Ad 

4. Mobile Dominance

Its been in discussion for years and now it seems to be on the “tips of the tongues” of many folks, particularly as the rise of mobile usage and telecoms are determined to sell phones and data plans. Websites will have to be designed for mobile as you will lose the interest of readers in a second. Mobile e-commerce is also a forecast for 2015.

5. Blogger Nation

With the success of the Caribbean Blog and Social Media Awards late last year, brands witnessed the possibilities of using bloggers to create content around their messages and offerings. As bloggers continue to grow their audiences and create content that is personal and inspiring–brands will want to get on board.

Here’s Irie Dawta’s Orange Chicken recipe featuring Tru-Juice

Digital Trends of Summer 2014

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

School is out, the weather is hotter and people are in the mood to have fun! Kids have hours to spend with their friends, taking pictures and posting “selfies” on Instagram.  No matter where you are in the world, check out these cool digital trends for the summer:

Instagram: With Instagram boasting 7 million users daily, brands are now not just talking about their products but the lifestyle their brand portrays. This summer, you are finding companies showing how their products can be integrated into summer fun! Companies like Target are showing how you can use everything you can find in their stores to make your summer more enjoyable.

Hashtags: Hashtags are here to stay and for the summer, social media aficionados are taking advantage of popular hashtags like #summervacay, #100DaysofSummer, #FeelingDrake and variations of the selfie like #usie. If you’ve been travelling for the summer, you’re more than likely going to include the hashtag of the country or town you’ve visited.

Mobile Apps: Mobile apps continue to serve as a source of entertainment and knowledge for many kids and adults alike. Many are spending hours playing the new Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game in which you can rise to fame by dating stars and filming endorsement commercials. Its the fourth most downloaded free app on iTunes this summer. Be sure to check it out! I’ve been playing it all week.

Snap Chat: With 26 million users in the U.S. and over 400 million snaps per day, marketers should definitely consider including SnapChat in their efforts especially if they are targeting the tween market.

What are some of your favourite digital trends or apps you’ve been using during the summer?