WhatIs.com describes convergence as:
“A coming together of two or more distinct entities or phenomena”
Forbes describe convergence as:
“The degree or point in which lines, objects, etc, converge.”
As a journalism graduate that moved swiftly into traditional PR followed by digital marketing, I see convergence as a marketing asset. I see convergence as a clear understanding of how offline and online marketing strategies can combine, compliment, and ricochet content among different audiences.
It’s becoming a frequent example to see a viral online marketing campaign covered by an offline newspaper, magazine or on the television. This is a prime example of converging media.
Vice versa, marketeers are now placing press releases in traditional media such as magazines, regional and national news papers, with clever calls to action that will propel online virility and engagement for their campaigns.
Print advertisements are now frequently carrying online codes for consumers to redeem offers…and brands to collect plenty of data.
Ensuring that an offline campaign such as a publicity stunt, a product launch, a flash-mob etc will be picked up by an influencer in the online sphere, can offer marketers a global audience.
Twenty years ago one could only hope that a local/national news anchor would cover such an event. However, with the expansion of YouTube, mobile technology, social networks and WiFi accessibility, the world is one click away from your any event or campaign.
The term ‘Citizen Journalist’ is nothing new. But in the eye’s of the marketeer, building relationships with influential bloggers, Twitter users, YouTube channels etc, can often prove more fruitful than gaining national press coverage.
How Can Marketers Embrace Convergence?
- Know your audiences segments, know where they spend their time both online and offline
- Spread your calls to action between the physical and the digital world.
- Embrace QR Codes and ‘Augmented Technology’, these are blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital world.
- Build relationships with journalists and bloggers within your industry, both offline and online.
- Involve the consumer, make them feel special, develop content to compliment their aspirations.
- Align your content across all the most important channels for your brand.
- Study consumer trends and produce your strategy around them.
- Take risks, virility isn’t always achievable via tried and tested methods.
- Decide which channels to hit first, and deploy your content in accordance to this.
Don’t be afraid to mix paid, owned and earned media, both offline and online! According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, this is the essence of convergence.