It isn’t a secret that people’s media consumption preferences are constantly evolving.
The important thing to consider is the effect this can have on how your company communicates. Gaps in communications will inevitably appear and seem insignificant, but can grow in ways that may harm how your brand is perceived by others.
Here are five gaps that we observed that may be affecting communications at your company:
Your message | Their perception
Many newspapers have killed their print editions in favour of dedicating their efforts to more interactive platforms. The same is true with how your company should be thinking about content.
The “old” way of communicating, while still working to a certain degree, is increasingly dismissed in favour of more immediate gratification and more interactive experiences. The way you communicate; the strategies, tools and channels, must align with your audience in ways that drive stronger association and identification with what you are all about.
A static, long copy website is what people have come to expect from large companies; generally speaking it’s the accepted standard. An average first impression might be “Hey, they’re a big energy company, so what?” As we all know, first impressions are important and can go a long way to shaping perceptions that last.
The design and implementation of Siemens’ company website gives the perception of a forward thinking company. On their website www.siemens.com, the first impression created is, “We’re different and we care”. The site is video-centric and provides an easy way to get to know the company through video. A drop-down mega drawer brings the profiles and perspectives of its people forward first. The site utilizes video as a non-reading and non-static way of understanding the company and its businesses.
Your technology | Their technology
Your communications team knows social media; they probably use it every day in their personal lives. The problem is that due to the perceived potential risks, many companies will allow the team to use the minimum amount to be present, but not necessarily enough to be fully engaged and have an impact with audiences.
Your audiences however, ARE completely engaged via social media and other digital tools and technologies. You need to be aware of how technology is helping or hindering your corporate story and your relationship with those you’re aiming to connect with.
With video specifically, people are generally looking for shorter vs. longer messaging and want you to tell them something that’s going to make them stop and think. Understanding video technology, where your audiences are and how to get in front of them is the key.
Your needs | Their needs
You need to generate awareness, buy-in, advocacy, sales, whatever. Your audience needs to be entertained, emotionally appealed to, shocked, informed and more. Understanding the need states of your audience is critical to impactful communications.
It’s not about “one size fits all” anymore but more personalized, valuable and appropriate communications for the need. This includes everything from understanding what the limitations of your audience are, to determining how to tailor bite-sized communications that can be more easily consumed and shared.
Video has the potential to immediately impact emotionally, to educate and to entertain. When conceived and delivered based on anticipated needs of audiences, content can be much more successful.
You write | They watch
93 percent of people appreciate some form of visual learning. We read novels, journals and whitepapers – but we are a society of viewers. Why is it then that communications teams continue to describe business as opposed to showing it in action?
We get SEO and the need to profile in search results. However, the fact that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine somehow hasn’t penetrated deeply into the corporate communications world quite yet. We are in a time of appreciation for lean-forward visual experiences, with an emphasis on “experience”.
Communications isn’t just about messaging and documentation of business, people, places and events. It’s about bringing it all to life in a way that creates significance with audiences and connects the dots in more meaningful ways.
You talk | They share
Communications can no longer follow the mantra, “build it and they will come”. There was a time when newspapers were the fortress of objective journalism and high standards. They were the authority in content sharing, and everyone turned to them to make sense of the world and events. They were the speakers and everyone listened.
Many companies today still think like this. They have a message, they have an audience, and they have ways of broadcasting that they feel people will listen to. The problem is that times have changed; now people have been liberated to build their own communication channels, generate their own content and become their own broadcaster.
The difference is that this new way of communicating is made up of organic sharing, feedback and interaction. Communications teams need to continually evaluate their audiences with sensitivity to their needs in order to be relevant and seen as genuine.
At V we have a good understanding of the gaps that exist in corporate communications; these five and more. We work with companies and communications teams to create value for their audiences through video and harness its ability to influence behaviors, preferences and attitudes in positive ways.
Contact V at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-229-2511.