Before digital media we had very few channels through which to tell a brand’s story. TV, Radio, Print, and Out Of Home were about the only forms of media marketers and advertisers could utilize to tell their story any way they wanted. With the emergence of the internet, channels such as websites, social networks, and online newspapers have really created a mess.
With traditional media, it was easy to keep a story consistent. Television was the star, and Radio, Print, and OOH were the supporting actors and actresses. Each channel had a specific role, and it was easy to discern the way your message was delivered through each. TV was moving images, Radio was audible, Print and OOH were still images. Along with delivering the message was the challenge of delivering it to the right people. Targeting the right audience through these channels was quite a bit easier, because there were less of them.
With digital media, every form of traditional media has a counterpart. TV has YouTube. Radio has Pandora. Print has a website. OOH has banner ads. TV also has Vimeo, and YouKu, and Instagram, and Vine. Radio also has iTunes Radio, and iHeartRadio, and Rdio, and podcasts. Print has Flipboard, RSS feeds, and not just a website, but thousands (not including blogs). OOH has website banner ads, and Facebook Ads, and sponsored tweets, and in-app ads.
Media is becoming incredibly fragmented.
For brands trying to tell a story, this is the new challenge. Every single one of these channels has a different tone, and needs to be utilized in a specific way. Your audience might be heavily invested in one of more these, and not invested in one at all. Once you’ve figured out where they are, you have to figure out how to tell the story. You can’t change the message, you have to change the messenger. You have to tell the same story in Twitter’s sarcastic tone, in Instagram’s beautiful and elegant tone, and in YouTube’s well-produced, professional tone.