Tag Archives: Mainstream Media

2009 Trend # 4 – Social Media for Marketing, focus on RoI

In my India Social Media Trends 2009 series, here’s the # 4 thought, in no order of priority.
Even as corporate blogging remains amongst the most hyped up phrases, it’s really blogs & social media adoption for marketing, from simple (and yet most powerful) listening to pro-active engagement that’s catching on. This year…
Expect Social Media adoption by marketers to go mainstream; focus on RoI.
I had recently written this post sharing why I thought social media is going to be a large beneficiary of an enhanced focus on online media, in wake of the economic slowdown and a clear influence on purchase decisions.
On the other hand, I expect adoption of corporate blogging to remain slow.
What could the organizations/ marketers be doing? Let me cheat a little and paste questions we recently asked marketers in the recently concluded “India Social Media Survey, Brands and Corporates” Edition 1
Question: If you are presently engaged in any social media activity on behalf of your brand/ organisation, please specify (you can select as many)
1. We have a company blog (include internal blog too).
2. Our website has interactive web 2.0 functionality allowing interactions through comments; syndication through email/ RSS ; podcasts; voting tools etc.
3. We track what stakeholders are saying about our brand/ organization on blogs & consumer rating/comment sites.
4. We regularly engage in blogger outreach progamme.
5. We comment on blogs & social networking sites whenever our brand/ organization is mentioned.
6. We upload photos & vides on sites like Flickr, YouTube.
7. We have presence on social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, Big Adda etc. in form of communities/ applications.
8. We have a branded community of our own.
9. We participate actively on micro-blogging platforms – example Twitter.com
10. We use mobile marketing programmes to reach customers
11. We invite consumer participation in product creation through online research and ground engagement
12.Others, please specify
One of the key concerns surrounding social media adoption/ evaluation has been RoI. With a sharp focus on value, thanks to the slowdown, combined with better tools 1, 2, 3 to track/ measure, the focus this year is also going to be on measurement/ trying to evolve an acceptable matrix.
In the same survey, we asked:
What in your opinion would be top matrix to evaluate success of a social media programme? Choose up to 3 that you think are most important for you.
a. Registrations on website/ communities
b. Number of touch points with the consumer
c. Volume of user generated content
d. Increased number of participants
e. Increased stakeholder participation
f. Mention of brand/ organization in stakeholder conversations
g. Share of voice brand/ organization enjoys in comparison to chosen competition
h. Focus that the brand enjoys in social media conversations
i. Positive tone of comments, feedback, links, reviews, forwards etc.
j. Connections & conversations established with stakeholders
k. Impact in mainstream media
l. Impact on brand awareness
m. Impact on trust & transparency ratings
n. Impact on sales
o. Impact on product & service creation/ after sales service
p. Support during crisis/ adversity
q. Other – please specify
I will keep you updated about what the preferred parameters for marketers are, once the survey results are out.

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2009 Trend #3 -Blogs become second skin, for mainstream media

In my India Social Media Trends 2009 series, here’s the # 3 thought, in no order of priority.
Blogs become second skin, for mainstream media.
But first, let’s just take a look back to understand the context:
Newsy blogs consisting individuals, or small teams, with no or little editorial hierarchies and baggage; equipped by sites hosted on friendly content management systems that allowed publishing on the go; a will to work long hours, even without monetary considerations; willingness to link freely (many times also adopting to brazen plagiarism from mainstream media) meant that blogs could come-up with/ aggregate meaningful content, very fast.
Given that they were hosted on Web 2.0 platforms, conversations through comments were already built-in, traction and loyalty grew.
On the other hand, some journalist pioneers were beginning to use blogs to connect with stakeholders – validate facts, seed stories, research ideas, publish stories that didn’t meet editorial mandates of respective publications and more…readers were able to relate better with faces that interacted with them rather than faceless bylines.
Some bloggers developed strong communities of their own and were approached/ approached mainstream media to publish columns etc.
It was just a matter of time before the media-houses adopted blogs themselves. What was a random case, or two, until even a year seems to be gathering momentum.
Sample these:

  1. IBNLive
  2. Livemint
  3. HindustanTimes
  4. Cosmopolitan

This year…

  1. Expect most mainstream media to start blogs bringing director’s cut of news, building conversations.
  2. Expect many of them to create touch points at places other than their own domain names (many, like LiveMint and DNA are already on Twitter
  3. Expect more-and-more journalists to start blogging.

How long, before blogs start to deliver more eye-balls (and conversations) than the formal news items?
UPDATE 05 February 2009: A couple of weeks ago, Vir Sanghi, arguably the most powerful editor-journalist-columnist in India and certainly amongst the best read writers, launched VirSanghvi.com. I was thrilled to see it, not only because I love to read Vir’s food writings, but also because this is what I have been saying is clearly the sign of things to come.

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2009 Trend # 1 – Bloggers Make Money, Via Mainstream Media

I have, for over a week now, been trying to complete my India Social Media Trends 2009 piece and not having succeeded in doing so, decided to write them one by one, rather than all at one go. They are NOT in specific order or priority based on impact so request that you read them so. Here’s the first one that I got prompted to write after reading this piece Difficult Days: low ad revenue, pagination by Ashish Bagga, CEO, Living Media India Ltd, in LiveMint’s 2009 Trend Predictions series.
Bloggers make money via mainstream media and micro-publishing.
Making money in print media is tricky business even in normal times. Advertising & Circulation contribute 65:35 average revenue respectively as cover prices are subsidized significantly in most cases. Advertising revenues have to keep pace with circulation growth, as you are losing money for each extra copy that you sell. A slowdown in advertising could make dynamics change quickly. The Mint article talks about the following as an outcome of this:

  1. Higher cover price, leading to lower circulation.
  2. Lower pagination – expect ad driven supplements to come less frequently; city supplements may get thinner; even regular pages may reduce.

The piece also predicts:

  1. Rightsizing of human resource will be another key trend. Both the number of employees as well as the cost of employment will be under review.

Effort would be to cut salaries and infrastructure cost. In this scenario, I would expect:

  1. More dependence on content generated by wire agencies.
  2. For some bloggers, this may clearly mean that over are the days of “loser generated content” – as my dear friend Narayan Madhavan of Hindustan Times refers to blogger/ user generated content, as s/he has hitherto not been paid; has mostly felt grateful to mainstream media if it has chosen to feature her content; in many cases the content has been plagiarized anyway – often, not just without permission, but also without due credit.
    In comes, paid – syndicated content, enhanced recognition & visibility for the blog writer/s. Experiments in this direction (the reasons may be different) have already begun with Kamla Bhatt’s excellent tie-up with LiveMint and ContentSutra drawing content from VCCircle.
    Expect more and more content from blogs to be sought by mainstream media as, even after payments to blog writers/ blogs the costs will typically be much cheaper than staffers. I have always said about blog credibility : credibility has nothing to do with the tool, but with the name behind the words/ voice. This one is a win-win for both parties involved and a trend likely to go North in 2009.

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