“The new rule of engagement”

Experts discuss reaching and influencing the hyper-connected consumer

After rounding off Monday’s series of events with a Ciroc party in hope of a successful fifth edition, yesterday’s instalment of Social Media Week Lagos did not disappoint at all. The focus was on the intersection of digital media, technology and travel, and the panellists came well researched.

At the Business Day-hosted session titled, ‘Perception and Reality: Harnessing Opportunities in Digital Journalism,’ panelists agreed that the transition from print to digital journalism is a gradual and expensive process hence investors must ensure that there is a viable business model if one is to succeed online. Business Day editor, Anthony Osae-Brown, highlighted that if one creates valuable content, people will be willing to pay to access such information. The advantages of digital journalism were extolled; especially how news offered via digital channels are able to create conversations, giving the audience the opportunity to directly engage and contribute to the discourse.

While imploring traditional media journalists to learn to use digital tools such as social media, videos and photo editing in order to stay relevant, Sola Obagbemi – COO, Red Media Africa, was quick to caution that the ethics of journalism must be preserved even in this fake news era. She urged journalists to use social media, among other tools, to verify news stories before publishing.

‘We must favour credibility over speed when breaking news and refuse to publish opinion as fact,’ she said. It was unanimously agreed that the move to digital journalism from print is inevitable.

Other panelists at the session were Sharon Ogunleye, TV Producer; Ayodeji Rotinwa, Brand/Communications Manager, Rele Gallery and Ore Fakorede, VP, Content and Community, Venia Group. It was moderated by Oluwatobi Balogun, a digital journalist with Business Day.

Another interesting session that drew lots of guests, especially young people, was the Pulse TV-hosted ‘How Digital video is changing us.’ Moderated by Princess Abumereh, Deputy Editor of Pulse, panellists identified videos as the most important type of content on the internet. Aniekan Etuhube disclosed that 97 million Nigerians who have access to internet spend 64 per cent of their online time watching videos and consumption continues to grow at an exponential rate as penetration rises. Etuhube is Managing Director, videos, at Pulse Nigeria.

The panelists stressed the need for publishers and content creators to start creating quality video content in order to continue to engage with their audiences effectively. Tunde Kara, Director of Sales and Business Development, Pulse Nigeria, highlighted that video advertising campaigns are more effective than other form of online advertising as conversion rates for digital video ads are typically higher than conversion rates for traditional TV ads.

On ‘The Hyper-Connected Consumer: New Rules of Engagement,’ Tayo Oyedeji, MD & Head, Starcom Mediavest SA & Insight Redefini, explained that advertisers need to study the buying patterns of consumers in order to effectively market to them. ‘One needs to think beyond advertising in order to connect with the hyper-connected consumer; reach is more important than frequency. Consumers are more likely to take action when you reach them even once,’ he advised in his keynote address. Everyone should be seen as a potential customer.

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