The Future of Digital Content
In 2014, a group of gamers became journalists when they used satellite imagery from Google Maps to expose a Russian missile cover-up and publish it online. In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States by hiring digital advertising firm Cambridge Analytica to spread fake news in swing states using Facebook ads. Those two examples, as well as many others, serve as a reminder of how powerful digital media can be.
The problem is, the media industry in Canada sucks. And by sucks, I mean it’s controlled by four companies (Bell, Rogers, Telus and Quebecor) that more or less monopolize all telecommunications in the country. During the dot-com boom of the early 1990’s, the media industry ignored and delayed the opportunity to digitize thinking that the internet was a fad that would eventually fade away.
Unfortunately, they were wrong. Not only did digital media take off, thrive and cement its place in our growing and globally interconnected world — it eclipsed traditional media and has been drawing audiences, as well as advertising revenues, away from it ever since.
Luckily, around the time that media schools were only training people in print and broadcast; I was learning how to code, build websites, record and edit audio and video, form online communities and chart digital strategies. Content creation wasn’t considered a job description when I discovered it, but today — 20 years later — it's one of the fastest growing careers in the digital media industry. In fact, according to Hubspot, 70% of digital marketers use content as their top inbound marketing priority, 94% of them via social media. Statistics show that content gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising, making it "king" of getting the word out about anything online.
With experts predicting increased demand for content as trends point towards the collapse of traditional forms of print and broadcast media, there is an unprecedented demand for creators, such as myself, to craft compelling digital stories that communicate key messages to the right client audiences.