Anyone who is highly engaged in the world of all things “digital” should be aware of the ever-changing trends. Technology moves faster than a blink of an eye and the best thing you can do to stay ahead of the game is to evolve as quickly—if not faster—than the digital influence around you.

The good news is, good content is good content and a good message is still a good message. The only difference today is that the delivery mechanism has changed. Information is immediate and now the consumer has a prominent voice through social media. At one time, old school radio stations, TV stations, newspapers and magazines were elite and carried more leverage. Today, media is fractionalized to all forms of delivery.

Smart media players must understand all of the tools available and how to use them efficiently and within their budget to deliver the highest impact.

As a media performer and network owner who has evolved in several different ways over the decades, I’ve come to find that flexibility with your creativity is key. You don’t have to change who you are or what you do, you simply have to enhance it. Here are the top three digital trends in 2018 to which smart media players should pay attention to get their message out.

Online media

Internet is king. In fact, all other media platforms combined don’t even come close to the internet–which also encompasses digital technology such as smartphones and mobile devices.

Internet radio, therefore, is a very powerful form of media as it is automatically shared worldwide without the restrictions of local radio and its limited signals. Plus, internet radio creates live and on-demand content, which is far above old school AM-FM stations, which simply regurgitate old content onto an app or onto their own local websites with a narrow reach. Internet radio on a network platform is much more powerful because it reaches a global audience instantaneously. It is a refreshing way to get your message out while opening up the opportunity for syndication and multiple sharing options.

Example: From Spotify to Pandora to NPR podcasts, the internet is the way that consumers today are getting their primary source of information. Whether it’s for leisure purposes, educational or pure entertainment, the internet is the life source of delivering messaging. Master the internet and you will master media in 2018.

Social media

Social media is internet-based, again proving that in today’s world, everything revolves around the internet. Social media has become the biggest conduit for news information. In fact, the President of the United States’ chosen form of communication is Twitter. And when breaking news happens in 2018, more Americans will rely on their social media platforms and smart phones than any old and slow radio or TV station.

The immediacy of social media news has made the older forms of media seem almost archaic. In 2018, it is no longer necessary to wait for the 10PM news or your local morning show to read or listen to the news when it is already in the palm of our hands 24/7. It’s entirely worth integrating social media into your marketing plan—and don’t hesitate to experiment with new advertising options on the internet. Where the capability for audience expansion and overall reach is tremendous.

Example: A company that does a great job with using social media as an integral part of their marketing and overall communication strategy is Netflix. They know how to tie in humor and relatable storylines with imagery that automatically “clicks” with people. If you’re a Netflix fan, you understand what they’re trying to do and that’s key to getting people engaged.

Sharing

This is the biggest buzzword in media for 2018. There is not one media concept bigger than the power of sharing.

Sharing is a term used for the “internet” which is an easy-to-share content engine on any digital platform whether internet radio, YouTube, WebTV, social networks, email or more. One click of a button and content can be shared and then shared again, endlessly. Content can quickly go viral after just one share to being shared by millions around the world! Always aim to create “sharable” content, whether it has a humorous appeal, educational or a total “wow” factor, the power of sharing will take you anywhere you want to go with your business or your secured client press.

Example: This past year, the #METOO Campaign spread like wildfire because it gave women a platform to speak out on something that was considered “taboo” and share their own experiences. This type of sharing was so inspiring because it provoked empowerment and provided light during a dark controversial time, it was a community uniting all through the power of social sharing.

Last thoughts and things to remember

With all the changes in the media landscape we can expect in 2018, it is important to remember that change is good—be excited for new challenges! I am personally excited for the continued growth of internet radio and new media in general. At first, Star Worldwide Networks was way ahead of the curve but now it is coming our way. Critics who initially thought our concept of an internet media network was crazy are all of a sudden believers.

Don’t be afraid of what you do not understand. Instead, be hungry to learn! Most are already using new media every single day but don’t even realize it. Don’t be afraid to let go of your comfort zone with old school AM-FM radio or old school TV. Every form of media needed today is on the internet and in the palm of your hand.

Dave Pratt

Dave Pratt

Dave Pratt is a member of the Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame and the owner of Star Worldwide Networks, one of the fastest growing internet radio and TV Networks in the nation. Dave Pratt, "The Morning Mayor" has been waking up Arizona for over 3 decades including 20 years on KUPD and currently you'll find him as the daily host of Dave Pratt Live on TV for the CW Network and serving as a highly sought after corporate keynote speaker or emcee.

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