- How to engage your audience in the themed entertainment space
- A change is as good as a rest: embracing the new media and entertainment landscape
- Marketing without media tech trade shows
- It takes two: five steps to amplifying your M&E brand partnership
- Prosumers: the growing market for b2b media brands
- How to engage M&E media amidst cancelled trade shows
- Cybersecurity attacks in M&E: mitigating the threat and impact
- Optimising your social media presence in the media and entertainment industry
- IBC2019: Putting content strategy back on track
How to engage your audience in the themed entertainment space
By Martin Izzard
Media and entertainment stretches much further than the movies you go to see at the cinema, or the shows you watch from your sofaplex. Over the last few years, immersive/themed entertainment has become more and more popular – from the latest attractions at the biggest theme parks, to independently-run immersive theatres and everything in between.
The technology behind these entertainment experiences is always interesting to the entertainment junkies here at the lorries. Not only do they have to walk the line between innovation and creativity, but most importantly, they need to go completely unseen in order to maintain a themed location’s illusion or facade.
Unfortunately, that invisibility to guests isn’t necessarily conducive to the marketers and communications teams charged with telling the story of their technologies. So while the world continues to open up again after a year or more of public spaces being shut down, the media and entertainment team here at the lorries wanted to provide a bit of insight into how technology providers to the themed entertainment space can bolster their communications and tell their stories in the most effective way possible.
In our new eBook – Location-based communications – we outline the challenges that many technology-focused marketers within the themed entertainment industry commonly come up against and what you can do to overcome them. We even borrow a little vernacular from Walt Disney himself, and give you some free advice on how to plus your communications, including:
- The main challenges facing marketers
- What you need to succeed
- How you can stand out from the crowd
DOWNLOAD THE FREE EBOOK HERE
If you’re a technology provider working in the themed entertainment industry and think our expertise in telling the stories of a number of industry-leading entertainment technologists could help you reach a wider audience, get in touch now.
We’d love to hear from you. We could even meet at Thorpe Park if you want? We’ll get the tickets.
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A change is as good as a rest: embracing the new media and entertainment landscape
By Martin Izzard
The lorries have been working in the media and entertainment (M&E) space for nearly 20 years. But the industry and the way we define it, isn’t what it was 10 years ago.
“Media” used to be the TV broadcasts that we watched in the living room and the films we watched at the cinema. Now it includes programming of any and all lengths, watched on any device that has a screen. Branded YouTube channels and social accounts are driven by media that’s as professionally produced as many TV shows or films.
On top of this, we have more cinematic and immersive games than ever, media-driven marketing campaigns, incredible outdoor displays, location-based entertainment, VR activations, digital displays and theme park attractions. These all require media that must be created, managed and delivered in the most efficient ways possible.
Media has become so all-encompassing, and audiences and consumers now expect to be entertained on an almost minute-to-minute basis. As a result, platforms that didn’t previously exist or that have completely changed over the last few years through the augmentation of technology, are now some of the most important.
Media is now acting as a bridge between brands, marketing professionals, technologists and consumers. And there’s more pressure on technology vendors to tell a story that connects with both the CTO and the CMO.
Revenue streams have changed – shrunk in some areas, and expanded in others. This means the M&E technology providers that once worked solely with broadcasters and filmmaking creatives are now partnering with a huge number of organisations in a wider range of industry verticals – all with different challenges and levels of knowledge
For an agency like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – one with a speciality in ‘media and entertainment’ – this means two things. Firstly, we’re working with existing M&E clients and organisations to help them adapt by addressing new markets, audience expectations and revenue streams. And secondly, we’re providing our range of services across the marketing and communications mix to new technology and service providers operating within this space – using our industry knowledge and expertise to help them gain some traction in this ever-changing and increasingly competitive landscape.
So, as I take on my new role of Head of Media and Entertainment in our London office, it’s clear to me that this is going to be a really fun challenge. I’m looking forward to engaging with technology providers who are innovating with the creation, management and delivery of media that entertains, no matter what form that takes.
Here’s to the new M&E landscape!
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Marketing without media tech trade shows
By Kim Willsher
Raising brand awareness and generating leads across the globe is never easy. But the media tech industry has always had international trade shows like NAB, IBC, NAMM and ISE to help bring vendors together with media and prospects from all over the world. Until now, that is.
COVID-19 has brought in-person media tech trade shows to a screeching halt. And while organisers and vendors have scrambled to host virtual events instead, they simply don’t deliver the same level of engagement or relationship-building opportunities that in-person events can. Not to mention the fact that today’s audiences are suffering from webinar fatigue.
So, in the absence of international trade shows, how can media tech marketers raise brand awareness and generate sales leads?
Content marketing campaigns can certainly help. But when you’re targeting people in different countries with different languages, cultures and customs, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it.
For instance, if you’re thinking you can use the same campaign you’ve just rolled out in the U.S. or Western Europe in Russia, think again:
“At a basic level, the brand messages and marketing materials that are typically relied on in America and Western Europe are not as effective in Russia and CIS,” says Natalia Khludova, communications and PR director at Moscow-based PR and marketing agency ContActive. “There is a different mentality that dictates the failure or success of local business communications. This means all PR and marketing materials must be adapted to the region.”
Or, if you’re wondering which platform’s best to promote your content in China, consider this advice from Claire Walker, owner of Hong Kong-based tech PR agency Techworks Asia:
“Facebook and Twitter aren’t permitted in China, so local variants dominate. Mobile messaging platform WeChat is particularly popular, along with the Twitter-like Weibo. Both are powerful tools for b2b communications.”
Clearly, there’s a lot to think about. So, to help you navigate your way through the nuances of local markets, media environments and cultures, we’ve put together a myth-busting eBook packed full of regional insights from our Convoy network of international agency partners.
Click here to download your free copy.
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It takes two: five steps to amplifying your M&E brand partnership
By Rebecca Burgess
When you join forces with another business to collaborate on a project or create a new product, service or initiative, you want to shout about it. Until now, business was great. But with your new brand partnership, you’re set to be propelled into the fast lane.
Together, you’re driving something epic (maybe you’ve managed to upgrade from a Nissan Micra to a Ferrari). And whether it has already hit the road or is waiting patiently to make its debut, people should know about it.
Your brand partnership is a result of great chemistry, complementary technology and a shared goal. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Or in the case of the b2b media and entertainment industry, it can take more than two. While M&E businesses aren’t exactly known for strutting around the dancefloor, they shouldn’t be shy of putting on a show when it comes to amplifying their brand partnerships. After all, there’s an audience there waiting to be entertained.
The hesitations that hang over M&E marketers when looking to promote brand partnerships tend to influence whether they get promoted at all. Yes, the coordination between all parties can be testing, especially when factoring in what works best for everyone and some of the potentially big names involved. But the pay-off is worth it. So, how can you make the process easier? How can you make the most of your brand partnership? And how do you do the tango in time with the beat and without stumbling over each other’s feet?
Set the T’s & C’s
Ugh, the dreaded terms and conditions. The ten-page document. The small print. The misinformation! There’s no need to go into this much detail, but do take the time to agree what PR activity you’re willing to collaborate on as soon as you can. Raise this earlier on in your partnership, so you can plan ahead and strike while the iron’s hot.
An efficient way to set the T&C’s is to create a one-page checklist of PR items. Brands can simply tick which activity they’re able to participate in, including awards, speaking opportunities, blogs and press releases. Not only does this save time later down the line, but it also sets the tone of your partnership – locking down messaging and their level of involvement from the get-go.
Make a good first impression
I know you’ve heard it before but I’m going to echo it here again: first impressions count. That’s never been truer in the world of PR where more brands are under the media and public’s microscope than ever before. With one shot at announcing your brand partnership, there’s several things to consider if you want to avoid slipping up.
Timing is key. If there’s a trade show going on where journalists will rally in numbers, you either want to avoid this time completely or use it to your advantage. For example, if you’re not exhibiting at or attending the show, it’s not worth getting caught up in the noise. With press unable to visit your booth or meet you in person, there’s no incentive for them to give your announcement any attention. As businesses and attendees know, trade shows give people tunnel vision where nothing outside of those four conference centre walls matters. But if you are going to be there, make the announcement in conjunction with the show. This can be done by:
- Sending a press release on the partnership to key media targets under embargo before the show starts, stating when the embargo will be lifted and offering exclusive interviews with the relevant high-profile spokespeople. While these interviews can take place at the show, it’s also worth putting time aside to hold interviews over the phone or face-to-face before the show takes place. Journalists often like this as it gives them breathing space beyond the stuffy conference halls and an advantage against competing publications. And we like this because it encourages higher quality coverage, builds brand awareness and facilitates media relationships.
- Holding a press event in a conference space or at your booth in addition to formalising the announcement through a press release. A press event gathers the people who matter in one room in order to generate hype around your announcement. It allows you to directly communicate with the journalists and entice their interest – even if it takes a few freebies to get them there. It also gives you some fodder to share on your social channels, including images and quotes.
While a press event can be held at a trade show, it’s not limited to them. Providing it doesn’t conflict with another event, you can hold a press conference in your office, an interesting venue or even over breakfast.
However, it’s not a valid option if the representatives from all participating brands aren’t able to attend. As well as increasing excitement, the aim of an event like this is to demonstrate your unification. Without the right spokespeople there, there’s nothing to exactly ‘unify’. If conducted with a high degree of organisation and planning, a press event can maximise your announcement beyond the press release.
A question mark may hover over which partner will do the announcement. It’s best for it to come from the company which is likely to make the biggest impact. For example, if you’re a start-up joining forces with a much larger, renowned company, it’s more effective for the latter to make the announcement due to their reputation and industry platform. This will help secure more coverage by extending the announcement beyond the smaller company’s immediate network.
To really create a lasting first impression, consider making your announcement more visual. This can be achieved through various types of multimedia, which can instantly give the announcement a facelift. Effective methods include filming a short video with key executives to explain the partnership, creating a hero image of the logos merged together, and building an infographic which illustrates what the partnership is addressing and how it can benefit customers.
It’s easy to give your announcement a short life by sticking with a press release and moving on. Done and dusted. But there are a lot of opportunities to continue the story by refreshing the news and talking about it in more depth.
One way this can be done is by holding an intimate press dinner or breakfast to demonstrate your unification and delve deeper into the formation of your partnership. Speaking to a select group of press, as well as opening the opportunity to talk to them one-on-one, builds the brand’s profile as well as the spokespeople. With this in mind, it’s essential to keep the door open for interviews once the news of the partnership is out there. Even if the journalist has already covered the story, there may be another dimension to the news in the future. Don’t shut the door too soon.
Collaborate, after all
Collaboration. Isn’t it obvious since it’s the premise of what we’re talking about here? Well, not exactly. Defining collaboration beyond your partnership is often difficult. It makes people wonder what’s worth the time and effort and who exactly will benefit from what. This is why setting the T&C’s is important. Once you reach this stage in promoting your partnership, you should’ve both laid out what you expect from each other. And ta-dah! You can get the ball rolling.
Depending on what was agreed, you can explore collaborating on content for each other’s websites – whether that be written, video or even podcasts – to raise brand awareness and shine the spotlight on your thought leadership expertise. Each party can then share this content within their own marketing to spread the word further, such as newsletters, social media and lead generation. You can even consider doing a PPC campaign to get this content in front of new prospects in their thousands.
Another collaboration opportunity could be to conduct a piece of research. Once you’ve found a research topic that’s relevant to both your customer bases, launch a research project to provide them with valuable insight and data. Not only does it highlight the strength of your partnership in continuing to deliver resources which matter, it will also give you lots of collateral for further PR activity such as press releases, social media (including infographics), content (whitepapers, thought leadership articles) and lead generation (InMails).
Never underestimate the power of planning ahead. Your efforts (and sanity) will thank you later. By estimating milestones in your partnership, you can foresee the other announcements that can be prepared for ahead of time, such as product updates and customer use cases.
Once you have customers and definitive results on what your partnership has achieved, investigate if there are any industry awards you can enter together. Many trade awards programs include categories that focus on collaborations and projects. This is something we saw success with for our client IBM Aspera and its collaboration with FOX Sports to deliver a revolutionary production workflow for the 2018 World Cup. We helped IBM Aspera secure two award wins – the highly coveted HPA Engineering Excellence Award (which honours outstanding technical and creative ingenuity in the professional media content industry) and the “project” category of the IABM BaM Awards (which recognises outstanding technological innovations that deliver real business and creative benefits).
So remember: set the terms and conditions up front, make a positive first impression with media, build momentum after the initial announcement, embrace collaboration with your partners and plan ahead. Follow these five steps and your next brand partnership will rule the dancefloor instead of falling flat on its face.
Do you need help amplifying your brand partnership? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page.
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Prosumers: the growing market for b2b media brands
By Anna Lapacz
B2b brands in the media and entertainment industry are increasingly opening their doors to prosumers, which has been proven to boost leads and grow sales long-term. The main difference between this audience and consumers is that prosumers can not only interact with brands, but also be active ambassadors. Therefore, if you’re looking to engage with media and entertainment professionals, approaching prosumers can be an extremely effective option. This target group is focused on passionately nurturing its talent, while growing the expertise that will turn them into the industry’s future decision-makers.
Where do they come from?
With various degrees of familiarisation, we’ve probably all heard about prosumers at some point in their 40-year existence. That’s right, the term was first used in 1980 when “pro” surprisingly didn’t stand for “professional” at all! Alvin Toffler in his book The Third Wave first introduced a blend of producer and consumer, thereby bringing the prosumer world to life and establishing the technological breakthrough that sped up the evolution of prosumption. The concept was however first used eight years before that by Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt, who also predicted that electric technology would turn consumers into producers.
Ten years ago, Forbes published an article emphasising the growing influence of prosumers and attributed this to the rise of social media. Just by browsing digital platforms, we can see how the increasing number of influencers is expanding the prosumer pool. And as the Journal of Marketing states: “in the sharing economy, the consumer is also a producer.”
But the term still feels like a breath of fresh air in the media and entertainment industry. Although marketers know exactly how to speak to their professional and consumer audiences, uncertainty appears when the lines between them blur. Prosumers remain the least defined and consequently, least understood group of technology users.
Where can brands find them?
Universities tend to be a common bridge between an amateur passion and professional expertise. Students fascinated by media start testing different tools and software, learning their functionality and gauging their value before finding the tools that they will rely on throughout their careers.
In order to streamline the transition from education to employment, university staff make sure that these future professionals are equipped with what’s considered to be the industry standard. This shows the importance of engaging with young talent even before they start making decisions in the professional world.
How can brands build relationships?
1. Find them online, listen to their conversations and learn their language
It’s always important to do your research before stepping into uncharted waters. Social media and online forums provide great platforms for gaining insights into the trending topics and products across this audience, as well as the language they speak. And this doesn’t mean you should crack on with your French or German lessons. You will however have to find the right balance between consumer and professional messaging to make sure your audience knows you’re speaking directly to them. Avoid the business jargon, but stay technical as you’re targeting tech-savvy prosumers.
2. Find the right time and place to join their network
Make sure you follow prosumer events, shows and conventions, as this will help you build a further understanding of this audience while opening countless networking opportunities. Events provide a great opportunity to speak to your audience and demonstrate your tools. You can also get involved in discussion panels and speaking sessions, as talking to prosumers through brand ambassadors and influencers can add credibility to your brand’s reputation. Also, providing event visitors with opportunities to test your solutions can help them understand whether it’s the right tool for them. This can be an easy way to boost the standing of your products among prosumer audiences, as there is a huge amount of competition in the media and entertainment industry.
3. Share their passion and tell stories
As the M&E industry is crowded with passionate creatives, it’s important to offer them tools that can serve as an extension of their talents and meet their specific needs. How could you possibly know what these needs are? Just dive into the deep sea of data! Tools such as Brandwatch and Buzzsumo can be used to gather information that can later be interpreted by digital analysts, transforming it into valuable insights. These insights can then shape content to be distributed across the relevant channels. Reviews and how-to tutorials are the most popular types of content among the prosumer audiences, as long as they effectively explain the technology and present the best way of using the tools. Case studies, on the other hand, can offer readers a better perspective on how tools can be used for different projects. It’s also essential to understand how your audience consumes media, as prosumers are less likely to be interested in direct messages typical to press releases, or thought leadership articles on the state of the industry. It’s vital to think back to the passion they have for their work and turn this into a story.
4. Stay in touch
As we’ve heard many times, b2b relationships are like marriages, while b2c relationships tend to be more fleeting. Approaching the prosumer audience can, similar to professional relationships, require a long-term connection. So continue the conversation with those who already have trust in your brand and don’t disappoint them. Put simply, make them want to stay connected to you! Then, stay in touch and make sure you remain relevant as both the industry and your brand continue to evolve.
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How to engage M&E media amidst cancelled trade shows
By Sam Pudwell
Much of the news over the last week or so has focused on the various international sporting events that have been either postponed or cancelled as a result of the ongoing health crisis. But sport isn’t alone in this regard; the world of b2b tech has also seen its event schedule for the next few months decimated.
Amidst so much disruption, tech companies need to think carefully about how they engage with journalists at a time when the industry’s biggest events are being cancelled. This is particularly an issue for media and entertainment (M&E) brands, which are heavily reliant on events to launch new products and speak to the media.
Following on from the cancellation of NAB Show 2020 – one of the biggest events in the M&E calendar – we caught up with several leading M&E journalists to get their views on how they want to receive news in this uncertain and unprecedented time. Here are their top tips.
1. Stick to the schedule
All of the journalists we spoke to said they would still want to receive news either ahead of when the show was scheduled to take place, or during the show’s period. This means brands shouldn’t disregard the news cycle as it was before, even if a certain show isn’t actually taking place.
2. Email rules
Despite many brands trying to reduce their reliance on email, journalists still prefer to receive press releases via this channel. This was followed by one-to-one meetings over the phone, although brands have to keep in mind that journalists won’t be able to fit in as many meetings as they would if they were physically at a show.
Freelance writer Adrian Pennington who writes for top trade publications including Streaming Media, IBC365 andVideonet said that press releases are suitable “as a first port of call, followed by phone briefings if needed. Ideally, I’ll get a genuine flag ahead of time about whether a news announcement is actually worth paying attention to, and if it is maybe an NDA’d briefing ahead of public release.”
3. Think digital
Many journalists pointed to live streams, online webinars and video conferences as replacements for physical press conferences at events. “I would suggest distributing the news releases as would have happened anyway in the timeframe of the event, perhaps supported by a webinar highlighting the main announcements for each company,” said David Davies, freelance writer for M&E titles including IBC365, PSNEurope and SVG Europe.
This thought was echoed by Colleen Dornan, senior editor at Broadcast Film and Video: “If a big trade event has been postponed, it would be beneficial to journalists if the companies could host webinars or interactive sessions. This way journalists would be able to interact with others and it would provide a simpler platform.”
Ultimately, brands have to be prepared to adjust their media engagement practices to cater for big trade events that will be cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
They also have to remember that journalists’ schedules have been disrupted just as much as theirs. “Be aware that if a journalist isn’t at a show, they’re probably trying to handle all their ‘usual’ work, which will take up a lot of time,” explains Jenny Priestley, editor of TVBEurope. “Spacing briefings/meetings out over the whole of the month the show should have been on would be great. I would rather have a briefing that is under embargo three weeks before than try to do ten calls/briefings in a day while also trying to write news, sub content, post social media etc.”
For more advice about the best (and worst) strategies to take during this time, read our recent blog explaining the PR dangers of capitalising on the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Cybersecurity attacks in M&E: mitigating the threat and impact
By Kim Willsher
Barely a week goes by without news of another big-name brand falling victim to a cybersecurity attack. And media and entertainment (M&E) companies, whose content and customer data is so precious, certainly aren’t immune.
In October, France’s largest private media group, M6, was struck by ransomware. Fortunately, none of its TV or radio broadcasts were affected, but with phone lines and emails rendered unusable, the disruption was nonetheless significant. The Weather Channel was less fortunate when a ransomware attack last year shut down its live programming for 90 minutes, forcing it to resort to airing a taped program.
Cyber attacks are clearly not going to disappear anytime soon, but what’s their impact on M&E businesses and how can companies mitigate the threat?
The role of M&E tech vendors
For media and entertainment technology vendors, the impact that cybersecurity attacks can have on the industry’s lifeblood—its content—means the issue of content security must be top of mind. This includes everyone, from engineering teams to marketing and communications professionals.
It’s no surprise then, that nearly all our media and entertainment clients have a role to play in – and something to say about – protecting valuable media content. Here’s what they had to say.
Tried and trusted data back up
According to Diana Salazar, product marketing manager at Quantum, best practices around data storage are changing. The “3-2-1” best practice rule of data back up (keep at least three copies of your data, store two backup copies on different storage media, with one of them located offsite) now needs to be the “3-2-1-1” approach, with one copy of data stored offline as well as offsite. This protects against ransomware attacks by creating an ‘air-gap’ between the data and the network, keeping it out of reach of hackers.
Salazar believes tape has an important role to play in this approach, as it provides a sustainable, secure and cost-effective alternative to other backup and archive solutions. “It’s the most cost-effective storage option for long-term archiving (cold storage) and removes the security vulnerabilities associated with storing data online,” she says.
Embracing the cloud
As cloud adoption gains momentum in the media and entertainment industry, companies are increasingly looking to cloud platforms to protect their assets. According to Avid’s CTO, Tim Claman, not only do they offer media organisations an efficient and increasingly affordable means of storing valuable media assets, they also provide extremely high data durability and reliability by replicating data across multiple physical servers and geographies. This means data will still be accessible if something goes wrong.
“Many cloud infrastructure providers now offer eleven 9s of data resiliency, which corresponds to 99.999999999% durability of objects over any given year,” he says. “This level of durability can be hard to comprehend, but effectively means you’re statistically far more likely to be struck by lightning than lose a single song in your cloud archive.”
The future is blockchain
As the media industry embraces cloud-based workflows, an emerging technology that holds great promise for protecting media assets is blockchain. IBM Aspera has collaborated with other industry players like Breaker, Irdeto, Linius and NECF to establish the Digital Asset Trust Framework (DATF), an open-source project that aims to enable companies to co-create and protect content faster in highly distributed, hybrid cloud environments.
DATF uses distributed ledger technology to give media companies the tools they need to secure, trace and record immutable records of actions between parties. It can be integrated with existing tools and workflows to record the people, systems and tools that have touched the asset.
The resulting blockchain environment is a Digital Asset Trust Network (DATN), which contains applied security measures—such as encryption at rest and in transit, secure credential exchange, secure key exchange, forensic tracking and authentication—as well as records of any edits made to the asset throughout its lifecycle.
Protecting your reputation
From content piracy to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and ransomware, media organisations are at risk on all fronts. That’s why it’s so important to have a crisis communications plan in place for any stakeholders who might be impacted by a cybersecurity attack on your company, whether that’s a content producer, distributor, technology vendor or service provider. The key is making sure you have an agreed process, that key people are easily contactable, and that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.
These are the steps companies should take before a cybersecurity attack occurs to ensure they’re as prepared as possible:
- Form a crisis committee – usually, this includes the CEO, CFO, CMO, head of HR, head of region, head of legal, head of comms/social media, and any PR agencies
- Create a list of first- and second-level responders and their contact details
- Decide on senior spokespeople
- Define roles and responsibilities – across PR, marketing, support, HR, and sales – to ensure a coordinated effort throughout the company
- Group the stakeholders – who would a cybersecurity attack impact most? As well as customers, employees and shareholders, consider channel partners, suppliers, contractors, and industry commentators such as media, analysts, forums and regulators
- Develop messaging – you can’t predict the nature of every potential cybersecurity attack and you need to tailor your responses as much as possible. But having a framework to cover possible scenarios will help you respond more quickly and effectively if something happens
- Hold crisis communications training for the communications, customer support and senior executive teams – this will give them valuable experience and feedback through role-play situations
- Use monitoring tools to flag news of a cybersecurity attack in forums, the media, social media, etc. so that you can take action as soon as possible
If a cybersecurity attack does occur:
- Develop and distribute a holding statement until you know the key facts
- Communicate to employees so they know to refer any customer or media inquiries through a central contact, and not to comment on social media
- Be transparent – get the facts, assess the potential short-term and long-term impact, and decide on who to communicate with and how, what the key messages are, and how to control the message. Never try to cover up what’s happened.
- Communicate consistently – ensure the same messaging goes out across all channels: to customers, employees, investors, partners, media, forums, the company website, etc.
With the media industry’s high-value content and complex supply chain, media companies are uniquely vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. The media industry as a whole—including technology vendors and service providers—must adopt advanced, multi-layered defences to protect themselves from financial, financial and operational losses. They must also have comprehensive crisis comms plans in place to help protect their reputation should they fall victim to an attack.
If you’re interested in talking about your brand positioning, lead generation or audience engagement needs, drop us a line at email@example.com or visit our contact page.
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Optimising your social media presence in the media and entertainment industry
By Dan Simpson
Whether you’re a b2b or b2c company, the media and entertainment industry is a competitive landscape where brands are constantly fighting to stand out. Brand and product awareness are vital for all M&E companies to gain recognition and drive new customers, whether that’s through trade publications, PPC or other forms of advertising, or business development. One area which holds huge value is social media. You might be thinking “this isn’t anything new”, but so many M&E brands are still missing opportunities to reach and engage with their audiences by not optimising their social media accounts.
Many businesses fail to appreciate that optimising your social media marketing goes far beyond including your office locations on LinkedIn or having your website on your Twitter profile (though these are obviously important basics). As such, missed opportunities typically fall into three main buckets:
- Not reaching your desired audience
- Not making the most of your audiences’ talents
- Not putting out content which falls in line with your brand’s skills and story
So, how do you go about solving these problems?
Avoid the void
Picture this: you’ve written and scheduled a whole bunch of social media posts and you’re proud of them. They’re promoting great content and you’re expecting great engagement. Then they start rolling out. A like here, a share there, but all in all a tiny amount of engaging and a very disheartening experience.
This is all too common in the media and entertainment industry and beyond. Instead of trying to fix this and analyse what the problem is, many marketers grumble, moan and do the same thing week after week. The reality is that nothing much is going to change. Engagement might go up a little or it might go down a little, but it’s most likely going to stay the same. So, what can you do to avoid shouting into the social media void?
The first thing to consider is, are you using the right social media platforms? B2b companies tend to use Twitter and LinkedIn (91% of b2b marketers use LinkedIn to promote content) as their primary platforms, while b2c tend to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That being said, the media and entertainment industry is in a unique position, as many companies have access to rich media like photos, videos and audio. A b2b M&E brand might also be targeting companies that service consumers, meaning their customers may also be on platforms which aren’t traditionally b2b. Twitter is an example of a platform in the b2b / b2c middle ground, along with YouTube and a couple of others. It’s important for b2b companies to consider what platforms their target audience uses to reach their end user, but also what platforms the decision makers at these companies use themselves.
The second thing which is often mentioned but rarely acted upon as much as it should be is engaging with your target audience. Liking, commenting, sharing and opening public dialogue with the people who you want to be in conversations with, is a great way to get the ball rolling. If you want to talk to someone who doesn’t know who you are (or that you even exist), you wouldn’t wait for them to talk to you first. Social media shouldn’t be any different.
Audiences: your untapped resource
Your audience and clients/users are your secret weapon to success on social media. The media and entertainment industry is a creative melting pot where individuals of many different talents can be utilised to promote your brand. A product-based M&E company is in a great position to build loyal and engaged audiences on social media. This can be done by promoting and showcasing the work they’ve carried out with the help of your product. This will show that you care about your clients on an individual level, which will improve follower retention, reach and open dialogues with existing and potential new clients in their networks.
Sharing the content that your clients have created will also act as a case study by showcasing the capabilities of your product. This can be extremely valuable. At IBC 2019 we ran a marketing survey revealing that case studies and thought leadership are considered the joint most effective methods for generating leads.
Creating communities around your audience and clients can also be a great way to build brand loyalty, social engagement and awareness. Things like Facebook or LinkedIn groups, hashtags or even curated accounts of users’ work can open up dialogue between you and these individuals while cultivating a sense of family. This will turn your audience into ambassadors of your brand, who will in turn vouch for you and recommend your services in the future.
Once upon a time…
Putting out regular, high-quality content on social media can be tough for any business. But the media and entertainment industry is uniquely positioned to have access to different types of high-quality media which can often be produced in-house to tell an engaging story. Storytelling can breathe life into campaigns that would otherwise be bland or get lost in the noise of social media. By adding an emotive element into messaging and social media content, people can build deeper connections with brands. Using joy, compassion or humour can add personality to a brand in the media and entertainment industry and make them more likeable and relatable on an individual level, which in turn builds brand loyalty.
It is also important for M&E brands to showcase their skills through the content types and mediums that they specialise in, and on the appropriate platforms. If a video production company wanted to build its audience, then using video content on a platform like YouTube or Facebook would make most sense. In the case of a CDN company, behind the scenes content on professional networks like LinkedIn may work better since 80% of b2b social media leads come from LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet to achieving success on social media. But, by keeping these tactics front of mind, media and entertainment organisations can put themselves in the best position to reach the right audiences and optimise their social media activities.
If you’d like to find out more about our social media or digital marketing services, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page.
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IBC2019: Putting content strategy back on track
By Anna Lapacz
After a packed few days, our jet-setting lorries team has returned from IBC in Amsterdam and parked back in the London office, ready to power through reports of all the post-show coverage. As well as spending some quality time with our clients and getting up close with some of the latest technologies, we also brought back some insights into what’s trending in the world of content.
As usual, businesses put significant effort into their content production. The show was busier than ever this year, filled with speaking sessions and, more commonly than before, presentation theatres at multiple different stands. The digital conversations around the exhibition were also abundant, with the hashtag #ibc2019 spreading rapidly across social posts written in many different languages. In the expo halls, we could see brand messages popping out at every corner, encouraging the show attendees to visit the companies’ stands.
And this was no surprise, with Neil Patel’s research highlighting that 92% of marketers consider content as key to their organisation. But experiencing the overload of messaging made us wonder what value businesses assign to different types of content.
Our survey said
So we opened an online questionnaire (a challenge when just finding a 3G connection is a blessing) and took a walk around the vast expanse of IBC in search of marketing professionals. Wandering from hall to hall, we got to meet many interesting businesses in the media and entertainment industry and chat to their hard-working marketeers, with our aim being to see how they value different communication tools, from trade events, through to press releases and social media content. It turns out 62.5% of the marketeers in attendance at IBC2019 consider trade shows to be more effective than other marketing methods.
Looking at the survey responses, we can see that thought leadership pieces, blogs and case studies are seen as the most effective types of content, followed by press releases and media alerts. Although social media came bottom of this ranking, 25% of respondents still chose this area as the most important content investment in 2020, with thought leadership/blog pieces leading the way with 31.25%. Interestingly, social media was chosen as a favourite and most frequently used source of information by the survey respondents.
Last but not least, b2b marketers want their content strategy to result in lead generation. This is seen as both a challenge and opportunity for 2020. Are you ready?
Thanks to all those who completed the survey and a big shout out to the 1,700 exhibitors, 55,000 attendees and 300 speakers who gathered at IBC2019. We’re already looking forward to hitting the trade show road again in the coming months – and remember to get in touch if you need help with developing your trade show media strategy!
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