The Internet will aggressively continue to conspire our lives as consumers and communicators. In the new internet economy, the consumer decision-making process involves digital media consumption. It was in 2022 that for the first time the digital ads surpassed the traditional ad spends by 53%. As per the recent Redseer report, digital platforms will innovate in several forms and formats. They will have the capability to reach more people than traditional media ever did. It is no longer trivia, but a reality that an average Indian spends about 7.3 hours on the mobile screen daily. Already over half of Indian users consume news via social media.
Channelising this big Internet Opportunity, marketers and shoppers are turning to digital channels. Here are five things that will happen in 2023 that will help our vocation get stronger.
- Mobile friendly communication
The 4th screen is the primary source of information for the 47% of Indian population. Knowing that the mobile is fast reaching every hand, brands will have to go mobile too. Short-videos are proving to be the best form across geographies as they are shared fast. Videos and vernacular are a weapon for publicists and marketers.
Parents in Tier 4 and rural geographies can afford an item such as Formula milk or Diapers when they have a kid. But they may lack enough knowledge of its importance and convenience. As per a quick Google Analytics, the highest search for this category comes from non-metro states like J&K, Manipur, Jharkhand, Odisha. Imagine a brand doing an awareness campaign to reduce parent’s anxiety in the local language. It will hit gold for sure.
- Simplifying Content
Technology provides insights into the preferences and behaviors of our target audience. It is the job of the PR Champs to humanise it and establish a connection. In the coming year, PR efforts should keep in mind the next generation of consumers. Understanding their interests, causes, passions, and preferred communication channels is critical. Reach and engagement will be relevant and effective by creating authentic and high quality content.
To stay competitive in the industry, PR professionals will need to upskill. We will have to use open source, AI, and automation platforms to our advantage. Chat GPT, Answerthepublic, Jasper, Canva, among others, are some popular platforms. These tools help to increase efficiency and reduce primary distraction. Adding creativity, intellectual acumen and innovation will give great mileage to PR professionals.
- Brand management across evolving platforms
If curiosity prevails, any consumer with an internet device has access to roughly 50,000 digital media touchpoints. This includes organised news portals, unorganised creator led blogs or vlogs, OTT platforms, streaming channels, messaging apps, social media platforms, owned media handles and so on. It is vivid that communicating through multi-media is the catalyst to reach potential customers. Brands can create touchpoints through these channels which the TG aspires to visit.
Virtual reality and other immersive experiences will make a mainstream entry this year. Podcasts have a smaller, yet engaged and interested audience due to their focus on specific niche topics. Newsletters are another effective way for companies to build brand awareness. As 5G steps in, the Metaverse will emerge as a way for brands to build customer loyalty and perks.
- The rise of the Creator Economy
Internet technology has provided creators with the tools and platforms to share their content with a global audience. The disruption that took a definite shape during the pandemic is only getting stronger. It’s the turn of the deeper India to take the big plunge now. GroupM is bullish about the creators’ industry and is predicting a 25% compounded growth rate to hit $330 million by 2025. Vernacular creators are driving great value and purpose as they have become a source of inspiration to their niche following.
For PR, the creators are effective to reach and engage with the segmented target audience. Brands can promote their products and build new channels of supply chain. Governments can relay messages to targeted and engaged group of individuals. Tourism avenues can open up and address new markets. The youth will trust and engage with content from creators they follow and admire. A case in point is, Pawan Pahadi, a vlogger from Uttarakhand who’s creating massive social impact through his mindful content.
- The call for Data privacy
There will be an increase in Web3 platforms adopted by Web2 users in the coming year. In the Web3 times media will transform towards decentralisation. The future of internet technology has already begun. There’s going to be focus on sovereignty, autonomy, privacy, and avoiding data monopolies. Consumers want control over their data and privacy from the monopolistic internet. While only 1% of the world’s population is engaging right now, decentralisated platforms are gaining momentum.
Communities on autonomous and sovereign platforms powered by blockchain are gaining prominence. There’s a predicted shift towards community focused social networks like Mastodon, Discord, Bluesky, DiamondApp, and Minds. Futuristic brands with a sharp audience to address are already making a mark here. Meanwhile, for PR Pros it is important to nurture our knowledge of Web3 as this transition occurs.
The internet will continue to play the central role in shaping public relations in 2023 and beyond. Trudging on with these trends, brands can effectively navigate the digital landscape.
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