New Zealand’s internet is buzzing with chatter about the potential of digital marketing, with the country’s new Prime Minister Nick Smith touting the benefits of digital content as he prepares to take office in September.
But as digital marketers around the world continue to explore the benefits, many Kiwis are starting to create their own digital content, in an effort to win back a lost market share.
New Zealanders were the most avid consumers of digital media in 2014, according to research from Nielsen, with 45 per cent of respondents citing the media as their primary source of information online.
That figure is up from just 8 per cent in 2013, but digital content has emerged as an increasingly popular way to boost sales in the country, and now more than 40 per cent are active in the digital space, according the Nielsen survey.
While many New Zealand media companies have opted for a more traditional approach, some have taken a creative approach.
The National Broadcasting Corporation’s new digital strategy calls for content to be “as real as possible” and features “viral” content, including viral videos and news.
The corporation’s digital team has also launched a campaign called “The Brand of the Year”.
“Our brand is the brand of our people,” the company’s chief digital officer said.
“Our culture is a great place to be, and we want to give New Zealand people the chance to feel the brand they deserve.”
The new digital content strategy comes after a number of New Zealand broadcasters recently launched their own branded content channels, including Newshub, Stuff and TV3.
One of the most notable initiatives is a new digital marketing company called NZDigital, which focuses on creating content that is as real as it can possibly be.
Its founder, Daniel Smith, says he wants to create content that makes the digital landscape feel more real.
“The internet has allowed people to do what they have always done: they can create their identity online and do it for free,” he said.
“So we’re trying to make that possible for the next generation of people.”
Smith says the company is already working with major New Zealand brands, such as the NZ Herald and the Te Papa, to make their digital content more relevant.
“The most important thing is to build the right brand that’s relevant to the people you’re targeting and your brand and to be able to show that the brand is engaging with people and is engaging the people,” he explained.
Smith has also been working with the National Broadcasting Company to launch a new brand for the country.
“We’re doing a brand redesign, but it’s not going to be an entirely new brand,” he noted.
“We’ll be working with other companies and we’ll be partnering with people to create brand identity and branding for the New Zealand public.”
Smith said the National Broadcasters is looking at the digital marketplace in a different way.
“I think the way the National Media has been structured is a bit of a challenge,” he observed.
“They’ve focused on just having the one big network.
We’ve got a whole network that’s very different to that.”
Newshub is a news and information website owned by the Newshuk Media Group.
It is one of the countrys most popular and well-respected news outlets, and has a following of more than 12 million users.
Its new digital initiative is being described as a “digital first” approach, with Smith aiming to create more “real-time” content.
“That means we’ll put the content on a website that is really engaging and makes it as real-time as we can,” he told the NZME.
“You can watch it in real-mode and the audience will be able see what’s going on.”
“The people are going to have to tune in, because you’re going to see that the people have actually got the real-world experience.”
It’s not just about one company.
“Smith also noted that the National Digital Marketing Strategy was being implemented by the National Press Council of New South Wales, which is also responsible for media policy.”
So it’s a really good thing that the NPCNS is also doing this,” he confirmed.”
There’s a lot of people involved in the policy and the marketing side of it, so it’s really good for New Zealand.
“But as New Zealand faces a wave of digitalisation, some Kiwis may be trying to take advantage of what they can find online.”
When we were first starting out in the 1990s, people were just surfing the internet all day, but now it’s become so much more,” Smith said.
And with the likes of Facebook and Twitter also offering content-creation tools, the country is seeing a rise in the number of Kiwis turning to content creators.”
At the moment, the main thing is the digital content that’s being created, and the content is being delivered by people, so people