With Today FM unveiling a rejuvenated brand and new talent in the form of Al Porter and the announcement of a new Sunday morning line-up on Newstalk – including the return of former Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates to the station – as well as the final JNLR listenership figures for 2016, 2017 has already been a very busy year at Communicorp One.
One consistent pattern observed in the latest JNLR release is the continued reduction in traditional radio listening among younger age groups.
As a key audience for our stations and advertisers alike, our challenge of late has been to continue to connect with this group in the face of more intensified competition from other media and platforms.
This has prompted us to reconsider our traditional radio-first approach and instead build campaigns around the platforms which are most effective for reaching and engaging with each target audience. Previously confined to a support role to radio spot campaigns, our various digital channels have begun to play a more focal role as we seek to reach our audience in way which is relevant to them. Key to this has been understanding the ways in which our audiences consume media and, importantly, the type of content they expect to find on each channel.
As a particularly interactive channel, Snapchat has allowed us to give greater personality to consumer-focused campaigns, leveraging our presenters’ ability to amplify a brand’s message and engage with their audience as they do on air. We’ve been able to use Snapchat with great effect for major campaigns on Today FM including those for The National Lottery, Cadbury’s and Just Eat.
Ipsos MRBI has released its latest quarterly report on social messaging platforms, showing that 29% of the Irish population had an active Snapchat account, 70% of whom use it daily. When we look at younger age groups, this jumps sharply; as of last October 84% of 15-24 year-olds in Ireland have an account with (86% of whom are active daily) while 49% of 25-34 year-olds have an account.
Not only is ubiquitous among younger users, the fact that it’s primarily a personal messaging platform, rather than a social network like Facebook or Instagram, is important. The proliferation of advertised and promoted posts on social networks has meant that users have grown wary (and even weary) of overtly commercial content within their social feeds.
Messaging platforms, for now at least, facilitate two-way conversations between brands and consumers but allow the consumers to engage on their own terms, meaning that when they do choose to engage with your content it’s in a much more deliberate mind-state. Although Whatsapp and Messenger continue to evolve in how they facilitate brand-to-consumer interaction, Snapchat for now provides the most possibilities to connect with your audience in a creative and personal manner.
The growth of Snapchat over the last few years, leading to the recent IPO of Snap Inc, is typical of how quickly media consumption can evolve in today’s world. Rather than seeing it as an affront to traditional media, embracing this growth and understanding the part that each platform can play in executing an effective campaign is central to our audience-led strategy at Communicorp One.