The migration to digital platforms is a tough ask for traditional media companies. With growing numbers accessing free online content through video sharing websites and online news publications, old school media is gradually declining. The digital era is rapidly changing consumer trends and SMS can help benefit digital media companies.
Last year, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair cut their editorial budgets by 30% and The New York Times has put a $20m ceiling on its advertising spend. The digital media conglomerates that used to have such a far reach are losing touch with their audience.
Social media is a key driver when it comes to influencing user-behavior. Mainstream broadcasters are now having to compete with numerous other digital media publications and live-streaming is drawing TV viewers into the online space.
If media companies do not act fast, they will lose their audience altogether. And it’s not only a different platform broadcasters have to adopt, it’s their entire strategy of producing content and engaging audiences.
Mainstream media is falling behind
Traditional broadcasting is typically a one-way conversation. TV and radio stations air show, and newspapers report incidents. Occasionally, they will turn on comments for inconsequential news.
Mainstream media are too afraid to open up lines of communication to the general public. There is a growing concern among decision makers that the lack of trust in media companies could undermine their angle and differing opinions cause an online riot.
However, broadcasters cannot afford to shut out your audience. Personalization, interaction and trust are needed to build up your audience. If social media and comments are not the answer, there is another option.
Incorporating SMS Technology
According to Pew Research Center, nine in 10 Americans own a mobile phone. That means that almost everyone in the United States has access to SMS.
So why not use SMS to your advantage and invite your readers to air their views and opinions – away from public consciousness.
SMS is an ideal channel to create polls and subscriptions. Over 90% of mobile owners open text messages in the first fifteen minutes and people prefer to interact with brands via SMS than any other channel. Digital media companies can benefit from SMS.
Texting is not new for media companies. TV shows such as American Idol encourage viewers to vote through SMS. Audiences are already accustomed to communicating with media companies via this channel.
By conducting polls and surveys through text messaging services, you can get valid feedback and give your audience the opportunity to voice their opinions.
Unlike other public channels, SMS is between you and the sender only. Sharing information and opinions does not have to get muddied by too many voices all wanting their say.
Alerts, feeds and subscriptions
There is a focus on personalization across digital media. People want to read news they have an interest in and digital channels allows them to set up feeds that alert them to news bulletins on topics they want to know about.
Mobile technology is more advanced now as well. You can include images and videos to create a bigger picture, or provide links to related stories where readers can find more information.
When you create a two-way communication you also provide readers with access to channels that provide a benefit. Once SMS becomes established as a service, people will be open to paying for VIP privileges and media conglomerates can create a revenue stream.
Reader subscriptions also gives you a platform to increase you advertising by providing brands access to relevant customers. SMS is currently been underused as a means to boost subscriptions.
Being connected online means staying connected to customers.
Digital media are not in breach of local and international laws on data protection, SMS is an ideal channel to nurture audiences and deliver content they want to see from a wide variety of sources.
Furthermore, digital media can use SMS to help create an online culture with etiquette.
Far too often, conversations spin out of control and create arguments which fuel hate and distaste. Digital media groups can provide online platforms to bring people together and help like-minded people connect with one another.
There is little doubt that people are tuning into digital media publications. Younger generations spend more hours on YouTube and other social media platforms than watching TV.
It is a critical time for media outlets and broadcasters. If you do not provide content your audience want to see or establish lines of communications that enables them get involved, they will find digital media platforms that do.