The Media Revolution Will Not Be Televised

I’m staring at the page thinking where to start with this article.  I check Twitter.  Oh good, they are making another Space Jam movie.  Now I’m on YouTube watching videos and feeling nostalgic.  I post a Space Jam clip to Facebook.  I see that two celebrities have “Bad Blood” on Twitter.  Well, of course, I’m back on Twitter.  One of them decided to “Shake It Off” and post something cute on Instagram?  Tell me more.

Wait!  I feel like there was something I was supposed to do.

Ten minutes later and I’m back to the page.  My non-existent attention span should not be celebrated.  However, it is more the norm than an anomaly.  Not once did I leave social media.  Not once did I turn on a television.  Maybe it was playing in the background.  I have no idea.  I can’t remember.

And that… is exactly the point.

The media revolution is not being televised.  The way we consume media has swiftly changed – no one can pinpoint the exact day it happened, but we all know it has.

We don’t get our news from one source, we get it from millions.  We consume information, tailored to us, from people we trust all over the globe.  These people, these influencers now carry as much value as major news outlets and celebrities.

You don’t need Michael Jordan to sell trainers anymore.

Find 20 great sneaker blogs in America and have them rave about your trainers.  Have a couple of influential people on Vine and Instagram create unique content.  Periscope a live event.  Motivate 1,000 people to send a tweet per minute and you’re trending on Twitter.

All of this can be done at a fraction of the cost.  Sorry LeBron James.  You’re great in Trainwreck.  You have a bright career ahead.

Why People Share Content

If you’re leveraging social media for brands, you need to understand why people share content and why they are interacting with certain kinds of content more.  The channels don’t matter. Their motivation, the psychological motivator is everything.  The “why” is infinitely more important than the ”how”.

There has to be a motivation behind why someone shares content.  Find it.  People share content to show agreement, show intelligence, make a friend laugh, make something go viral, get a gagillion retweets and more.  Your content needs to allow someone to do one of these things with it.

To be honest, there are no accidents in how content goes viral, just like there are no accidents in how Sherlock Holmes solves a case.  This is perhaps my most overused statement, but it never loses relevance.  Plus I added a Sherlock reference for good measure.  I’m anxiously awaiting Season 4.

Understand why your audience shares content, who they find influential, where they get their news and you’ll win every time.  And… with simple analytics it’s now possible to determine all of that with a couple keystrokes.  And… with that you can create a campaign driven by the absolutely perfect social influencers, on the right channels.  It’s the difference between seeing something on a billboard once or having a friend tell you to go buy something because it’s amazing, they have it and they love it.

Even if something doesn’t make complete sense at first glance, there is a reason.  We live in a world where 20-somethings get paid millions to play video games and comment on them while subscribers watch.  If you grew up playing Pac-Man, or even Golden Eye and Mario Kart, this is hard to explain.  But I’ll try and do my best.

Why would someone want to watch someone play a video game?  Video games are hard.  They can be frustrating.  It has never been difficult for younger millennials to find content.  That’s not a bad thing, simply a cultural difference.  They are native to social media and have access to more information than they will ever need.

When I was a kid, if I wanted to know the score of a football game, I had to wait for an update on the local news or read about it the next day.  Now there’s an app for that.  They can get that info in five seconds.  With that, I understand why a kid In Omaha, Nebraska would rather watch someone in Sweden play Call of Duty.  It’s like watching the Director’s Cut of a movie with the commentary.  You don’t need to learn what Kappa means.  All you need to know is why it’s important to these potential consumers.

Technology changes how we interact with content.  That change never happens immediately but when we look back it’s amazing to notice how much change has actually occurred.

If you want to reach a consumer in 2015, create peer-to-peer recommendations between social media influencers and their followings. The value is there.  The trust is there.  In February, General Sentiment valued my Twitter account at $809,000 against a standard $5 CPM.  Humble brag but no one would ever pay me $800,000 for my tweets about Drake and kittens.  Still, there is an influence there and I’m just one example of many.  As a media buy, I’m a bargain.  So is every other person with a large audience.  Find us.  Say hello.