This is a unique time when communications space is changing. There is a shift that has has occurred because consumers want to be entertained, involved, share their experiences with others and participate with your brand. Kronenberger says this is bigger than the early 1990s when the Internet unveiled itself because it’s happening organically, which makes it extremely powerful.
Central to this change is the movement of money from the advertising/paid media space to the earned/social space. When you put these types of dollars from traditional campaign into social platforms, this makes a profound impact.
“This is huge. Huge amounts of content need to be developed,” he said.
The elements that make up this perfect content storm according to Kronenberger are:
– The Story
A story is a starting point and the ability to evolve that story in multiple channels and to let different audiences adapt it an make it their own. “Lost,” the television show, is a prime example that shows how the audience drove how the series developed and ended.
Other ways to see places a story can play out are available at www.TheConversationPrism.com.
– The Audience
Millenials are driving this storm in a huge way,” Kronenberger said, “because of the consumption pattern [they] use.”
They use multiple sources to make decisions and they spend so much time online. This is also an audience that is willing to promote brands, but also punish them. An example of a campaign that inspired people around “good” was Levi’s and the campaign to resurrect the town of Braddock, Penn., a
former steel town.
“This is a brand that has embraced the idea doing good. This is transmedia right here.
It’s something that’s inspiring.”
People don’t know exactly who to trust any more. People turn to their own personal peer networks for everything from finding the best restaurant to verify and validate news information.
With Smartphone sales set to surpass PC sales worldwide by the end of 2011, the storm is built around social networking where people are connecting and collaborating with others. A phenomenal example of how devices bring people together is found through World Lense.
– The Channel
There are so many channels, most people are unsure where to be engaging with their audiences. The thing to remember, Kronenberger said, is that your story needs to be shared differently in each channel, from microblogging to RSS Feeds to email to professional networks and so on.
An exciting new channel is Layar – a place to create augmented reality experiences where users can create their own world that connects online with offline.
“The World of AR is here right now and it’s happening,” Kronenberger said. “It will kill the QR code. It offers more benefits overall. As a technology platform this is massive, it’s huge. It’s certainly a space that as part of the storm we need to pay attention to.”
– The Search
“Search is not just about Google. We are searching constantly during the day. We as communicators need to make sure our content is found,” Kronenberger said.
Other types of search tools you should be considering include barcode scanning, social searches, location searches, image recognition, audio search and suggestive search, a la Netflix.
Kronenberger encourages everyone to learn Google+ because of it’s unique advantages to index content and be more connecting than say, Facebook.
– The Content
Content is the new ad unit, Kronenberger said.
“People will click on the new content, which increases click thru rates and engagement.
Everyone here, coming from a PR background, is a content creator. The key is being able to track your content,” he said.
So what is content? Anything really, as long as it is findable, usable, actionable, shareable, and livable. And remember that content isn’t just about writing. Content is applications, music, text, images, video, games, comments, maps, reviews, white papers, podcasts and more. Video is one of the best ways currently to engage influencers, Kronenberger said.
MANAGING THE STORM
To find your way through the storm, Kronenberger suggests focusing on four critical areas:
3. influencer engagement
“Remember that content, social media and search are symbiotic and work together,” Kronenberger said. Paid media is also important because it is a catalyst for your engagement strategy, he said. “The key comes down to just trying it. Trial. Measure. Try again.”