Future trends in digital and social communication

Seven Media - Future trends in digital and social communication

The pace of change in the digital media industry over the past 10 years has been staggering. As we enter the next decade, what trends will shape a sector constantly evolving?

TikTok is already a global phenomenon with about 500 million active users worldwide. This year, the company opened its first Middle East-based office in Dubai and it’s only a matter of time before it takes off regionally.

Its main attraction is that you can easily produce content on your mobile phone that has the potential to reach millions of people through organic reach, as opposed to paid promotions and boosted posts. 

There is a massive opportunity in the region for brands to engage with a youthful audience on a fresh and exciting platform using content that is easily consumed and shared.

With yet another new face on the digital scene, it is important to consider the potentially negative impact of social media. The harmful psychological effects of social platforms have come under the spotlight recently and the industry is facing pressure to demonstrate they can protect users’ well-being.

In 2020, we expect to see social channels making mental health a key strategy. Simply removing the Likes function isn’t enough. It is essential to invest in promoting support groups, removing malicious content, and stamping out online bullying.

The power of the digital influencer to promote brands and carry messages via social media has been one of the most remarkable trends in media marketing over the past few years. But times are changing.

Earlier last year, a survey conducted by YouGov in the UAE and KSA revealed that 79 per cent of those questioned have unfollowed a social media influencer for drowning their timeline in promotional content. Research by HypeAuditor found that 31 per cent of UAE social media influencers purchase followers, while 20 per cent use tricks to artificially boost their online profile.

Brands will continue to invest billions of dollars on influencer marketing, but will increasingly target legitimate storytellers who share authentic content with a specific audience. Those perceived as mere extensions of the corporate machine will fall by the wayside. 

In recent years, we have seen the use of algorithms influencing the content we see. In the PR industry specifically, there has been a push for ‘content calendars’ of pre-written, pre-approved, posts scheduled for release on specific dates. But as an audience, we increasingly expect a personalised two-way conversation.

I expect a big move back towards creative storytelling over the next decade, with video at its heart. Video already has 12 times more shares on social media than text and images combined. This year, we expect 82 per cent of internet traffic to be video-based. 

Platforms and tools exist to make sharing video content easier than ever. But too often content is published for content’s sake. Only videos that tell an engaging, relevant story has the power to be truly memorable and create a lasting impression among its audience. 

As one of the best social media agencies in Dubai, we’re here to support you with your digital communications strategy and implementation.

Seven Media wins big at inaugural PRCA Digital Awards with an impressive double

Seven Media wins big at inaugural PRCA digital awards

Leading independent, full-service agency wins ‘Best Digital Team’ and ‘Best Use of Video in a Campaign’ awards at the inaugural event in Dubai’s D3

Seven Media continued its award-winning ways at the PRCA’s first ever digital awards yesterday evening and scooped the two most prestigious accolades in a double-whammy.

Following on from Seven’s two consecutive PRCA ‘Large Consultancy of the Year’ title wins in 2017 and 2018, the event saw Seven walk off the stage with the two coveted ‘Best Digital Team’ and ‘Best Use of Video in a Campaign’ awards, proving once again that Seven Media’s creativity and dynamism are proving winning formulas in a challenging Middle East communications landscape.

A key factor behind this success is the recent formation of Seven Studios, the video production team and creative force behind the video content created. Seven Studio’s work on the award-winning campaign for Manchester City Centurions Trophy Tour Fan Surprise, using unique story telling methods and hidden camera work that went viral across the world, ensured the UAE-based agency clinched the top prize.

Gregg Fray, Director and Co-Founder of Seven Media, said: “Digital is rapidly becoming the most important element to clients and we as a company are constantly evolving, as proven with the addition of Seven Studios, to ensure we remain ahead of the game. This award, as voted for by our peers, is a testament to our forward-thinking nature and excellent results we have secured throughout the year. 

“To be recognised as Digital Team of the Year, strongly underscores Seven Media’s deserved reputation as the top social media agency in Dubai with its track record of prestigious digital and social media activities for our clients. Our growth, client and staff satisfaction and retention speaks for itself and with the glowing endorsement from our incredible clients the judges deemed Seven Media victorious.”

The power of sport

Seven Media - the power of sport

This week, Abu Dhabi won the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination award at the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards 2019. Having hosted world-class events including the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 and 2018; the AFC Asian Cup 2019; the 11th edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event of 2019, Abu Dhabi has proven itself to be a global hub for some of the most prestigious sports events across the globe.

Two of these events – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 – are current/former clients of Seven Media and our team has witnessed the power of sport to unite people across the UAE, first-hand. Just this week, the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was awarded the joint 2019 Chaillot Peace Prize for the Promotion of Human Rights.

The World Games culminated in seven days of sporting achievement, thousands of athletes and volunteers, dozens of events, countless displays of bravery and boundaries shattered, and millions of smiles. But that was not the last of it – a huge part of our work focused on ensuring a legacy of inclusion was left long after the Games were over. We got people talking about the need to change perceptions, the UAE as a global leader in humanitarianism, and the hope for a future in which we can all live unified. 

Here at Seven, we have a team of individuals dedicated to sporting clients that is not only passionate about sport, but that is also determined to use sport to unite people from all backgrounds, across the region. We are incredibly proud to see Abu Dhabi and the UAE recognised on the global stage for its contribution to staging world-class sports events and for using sport to promote human rights, and we cannot wait to see what this next chapter holds for the UAE as it continues its feat to become one of the leading homes for large-scale, prestigious sporting events in the world.

So if you’re looking for a sports PR agency in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, please get in touch.