By Alyssa Gregory

Emerging media is social; it’s video, content, connection, engagement, interactive. Emerging media is the future of marketing; it’s the future of the flow of information.

If you’ve been dragging your feet, hoping marketing will revert back to the days of one-way communication, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not happening. The way you promote your products and services has changed and it’s continuing to evolve. It’s time to embrace the world of digital marketing…Here’s why you need to pay attention to emerging media.

1. Your Consumers Can Be Your Biggest Advocates

Your relationships with members of your target audience can make or break your brand. Consumers aren’t just sitting by, passively receiving your marketing messages anymore. They are seeking out information, comparing your company to its competitors, asking their friends and family about your products and services, and then posting their experiences with your company online for the world to see.

Happy customers who turn into brand advocates can be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Check out the infographic below from the Dachis Group and compare the six types of brand advocates. Which type would be most relevant for your business?


2. Conversations Are Already Happening (With or Without You)

As I said above, your customers are taking to the Web when it comes to sharing their experiences with your company. And most of us put a lot of stock in the opinions of people we know; word of mouth is insanely powerful.

If you have an excellent product that solves a huge problem for your target audience, your customers may sing your praises. But is your customer service sub-par? Do you misrepresent what you’re selling? Are you unwilling to go the extra mile for your customers? That’s bad news because unhappy customers are not shy about publicly blasting brands they feel failed them.

You need to be engaged in digital media to monitor these conversations and be ready to protect your brand.

3. Your Target Audience Expects It

Consumers want to see behind the curtain these days before they purchase. They want more than the promotional lines and sales statements. They want to know who is behind a company and what he or she stands for. If you are absent from all of the top digital platforms, a red flag goes up and a consumer just may wonder what you’re hiding.

You don’t have to be active everywhere, all at once, but if you are serious about building trust with your customers and encouraging conversations, pick one or two platforms to get started. You may be surprised how much you can learn from opening up the lines of communication with your target audience (and how that will translate into increased success for your business).

Have you embraced emerging media? What is the biggest benefit you’ve experienced?