Editorial; It's the Dawn of a new Era of Media - Newspapers are looking for hand outs & this is why

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Agatha Farmer

I've personally been at this social marketing game since pretty much the inception of social media beginning with Facebook. In 2008 I built a fitness business from the ground up and the conduit for that success was Facebook, Instagram followed and was a perfect fit for the fitness industry. I began writing a fitness blog and articles followed in print and online. I was able to reach a crazy number of people perfectly targeted in my hometown from my home office. I had a studio, loyal clients, and repeat business. This is where the shift began for the newspaper industry as well. Unfotutantley for the conglomerate media giants they have not been able to adapt to social media's fluidly and forever changing trends.

We are in the second decade of the social media revolution, and it is a revolution of sorts, it has completely transformed the world of branding and marketing. In the decade between 2007 and 2017 digital ads embedded within articles was the bread and butter for most websites. During that same time print advertising began taking a dive even further into the red abyss. We are once again at the cusp of trend fluctuations, as the newspaper industry finally catches up to really grasping digital advertising, the rest of us are now in the social media era of marketing. Here is why being a player in the channel platform game is more important than ever; From personal experience I will close an article these days if the ads become glitchy and I get frustrated with the bouncing of my screen. I'll then move on to another outlet and my Apple news editor makes this very handy. Very rarely will an ad catch my eye on any website to go to the trouble of clicking on it, also virus fear and my nightmare internet lagging. In addition to this unless I'm looking for something specific I'm not scrolling through websites in 2020. As an older millennial I consume my content through social media. This world is rapidly growing and expanding with additions such as Snapchat and TicTok to name just two. Over the past year Canadians have been listening to media companies complain about lack of tax breaks while looking for government bailout money. As media we are to hold the government accountable, becomes hard to be objective while reporting on your own story, conflict of interest much.

I've been very vocal in recent months about the fact that if in the world of billions of consumers accessible on over a dozen mainstream social media sites and in the times of Apple Pay newspaper companies can't earn a decent profit to survive; they just simply aren't taking advantage of people populated platforms. It seems to me that companies like Facebook and Twitter are the bad wolf in this story when in reality they just aren't being utilized to their full branding and marketing potential. Do you see celebrities writing articles about products, sure sometimes but mostly you now see them endorsing products in simple single bite to the point ads or video ads directly through their social media feeds to their millions of followers. It's an immediate hook and reaction, no clicking required to get there. Newspaper companies have been left behind in the dust because they simply can't adapt to the online winds of culture change while simultaneously not being able to part with the historic and romanticized printing side of the industry. It's like ripping off a band aid, there will have to be a time where you're just going to have to leave behind those dirty printing presses and survive like the rest.

In the infancy of the social media era I'm looking forward to building my second business from the ground up. I'm using the last 10 years of branding and marketing know how combined with my journalism experience and the knowledge of that industry to provide my clients with a unique menu of digital marketing while offering authentic, unfiltered and transparent content to the readers. Stories on both Facebook and IG are ramping up in popularity daily. A digital branding menu which does not always hover around selling website ad space is where the trend is shifting, start selling your social media space. Communication is evolving.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a leading media consultant and CEO of VaynerMedia. In the late 90's after he figured out the greatness of the internet Vaynerchuk transitioned his father's local liquor store into a wine e-commerce platform and the family business went from earning $3 million to $60 million in the span of 5 years. When he began VaynerMedia in 2009 he had zero start up funds and started the business in a conference room, after 9 years the company has over 800 employees servicing clients such as PepsiCo, Johnson and Johnson and more. Back in 2014 Vaynerchuk wrote in an article that "media production has been democratized, so literally anybody can do it." Newspaper companies are bleeding money as they are now sharing ad space everywhere on every platform with thousands of other outlets.

The internet has dawned the time of self start ups which includes online media sites, those that will survive will have to thrive in the world of social media and its finicky trends; romanticism of 'that's how we always use to do it' which sadly includes print will have to die among the hashtags of tomorrow. The days of rich millionaires owning printing presses and being the authority on content is dying, in fact by the looks of recent media stock shares it's safe to say those days are on palliative life support. It's now a level playing field.

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