The digital world is hardly standing still. Modern web users consume more content than ever before and the competition for attention is getting tougher.
As a digital publisher you should always keep an eye on the massive changes in the landscape, which is why we’ve put together a digital media trends series to help you navigate these changes. Today, we’re talking about two of the next big things about to take over the digital scene: mobile live streaming and targeted content. And of course, we’re diving into how to use these trends to leverage your blog’s brand and business!
Mobile Live Streaming is Getting Massive
Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook Live are growing in popularity this year. In fact, 2016 was dubbed as the year of live streaming. The time spent on watching videos on mobile devices has increased by 616% from Q3 2012 to Q3 2015. Half of the video views in the world now come from mobile devices!
If you are looking for new ways to increase engagement, definitely add mobile streaming on top of your agenda. Users love it, and advertisers see it as a new channel with higher engagement metrics – and feel eager to sponsor it.
If you are just getting started, here are some ideas for your feed and blog posts:
Workshops and mini-webinars
Use these to teach your viewers something useful e.g. ‘how to edit Instagram photos’ or ‘how to pack your wardrobe in a carry-on’. Spread the word out and encourage all the participants to share the event on their social media. Additionally, you may ask a brand to sponsor your live event (e.g. to offer you a product for a tutorial along with a compensation); or create a special bait to convert new users into blog fans by subscribing to your email list.
Interviews or even informal chats with other awesome bloggers you know help cross-promote each other. Also think of interviewing one of your sponsors if they are interested in humanising their brand, or curious personalities in your network.
Live event coverage
Now this is simple. Heading to an interesting place or event? Live stream the best bits to your viewers to create this full immersion experience.
Host a Q&A Session
Ask your readers to submit questions in advance through your comments section or on social media platforms – or choose to answer in real-time!
Targeted Content Now Leads The Game
It’s now official – the notorious Instagram algorithm update has been fully rolled out and your followers will no longer see the content in chronological order, but based on what Instagram deems “they care the most about”. What does that mean for you as a publisher? And how can you apply learnings from this industry push into your content strategy across other channels?
Focus even harder on creating visually striking content
Analyze your most popular pictures and analyse your data to understand what types of posts your readers prefer the most – long or short captions and post titles; color scheme; style and aesthetics; composition of single images and collages, etc. It’s now all about driving engagement to your publications across all channels if you want your content to be seen and valued. The key is to tailor your imagery to each platform, since audiences expect to cover their different needs through different channels. Repetition without customization (even repetition of great content!) will come across as an engaging way of communicating with your followers and readers – it’s time to get creative! Consider including open-end questions in your social media captions to drive more likes and comments, and step up your call-to-action game within your site.
Cross-promote your pics
(…and videos!) between your blog and social media, and consider listing the best ones in your weekly newsletter. Adding this practice regularly into your content calendar can be a key element in driving traffic to your blog.
Psst! Mastering the art of hashtags can do wonders increasing your reach, and exposing your social profile and blog shout-outs to new audiences. Remember that the goal is to have your content discovered by more people, so don’t always opt for the most popular (read: saturated) hashtag if you’d like to hit the top featured section for extra exposure.
Don’t wait for engagement – ask for it
Consider including open-end questions in your social media captions to drive more likes and comments, and step up your call-to-action game within your site. You can always adapt ways in which you ask your audience to participate in your community.
Why not do an impromptu Q&A on Snapchat, making the most of the app’s spontaneous and personable vibe? If you think about your Instagram followers, most of them are probably after visually-driven content in the app; instead of asking for comments, ask them to tag you in their outfit shots featuring your favourite trend of the season!
Again: tailor, tailor, tailor. Personalizing your approach to audiences native to different channels will target your content to them in a much more effective way.
Make the most out of Pinterest
In terms of targeted content, Pinterest is changing the rules of the game too! Most recently, they have introduced Animated Pins and more targeting-promoted pins options. What does it mean for you?
- Instead of creating pinnable images, it’s time to master the art of creating gifs.
- You can use cropped videos from Instagram and live streaming apps as promoted pins to attract more engagement to your content.
- Shooting outfits is not enough. You may want to learn how to create short, runway-styled presentations to wow your audience, or show the behind-the-scenes of a shoot to offer a unique point of view.
That will be it for today! Mobile Streaming and Targeted Content are the first key digital trends you should start considering today to elevate your blog – stay tuned for part two of the series!