According to Facebook’s most recent numbers, the social media site now boasts 890 million active daily users and 1.39 billion monthly users. The reason I bring up these staggering numbers is to highlight the ever-increasing presence of social and electronic media in our daily lives and across all populations.
The significant presence of these media mean businesses have to adapt to how they reach their audiences. Even here in Rhinelander, reaching audiences increasingly means moving beyond traditional means of print and broadcast media.
Alexa—the most widely used online analytic company—ranks Google, Facebook, and YouTube as the three most visited sites in the world. We have marketed Rhinelander on Google for some time through paid search returns and AdWords, and Facebook certainly continues to be one of our most significant online outlets for spreading the word of Rhinelander. In 2015, Rhinelander will now have a presence on the world’s third most popular website, YouTube.
No, this won’t be a channel dedicated to the hijinks of the Hodag – rather, Rhinelander has begun playing 30 second promotional videos to YouTube viewers based on what they’re viewing or what they’ve previously viewed as well as their geographical location. These videos highlight the various activities and attractions that can be found in the Rhinelander area and have the goal of drawing more visitors and new residents to our city.
An interesting angle to this new outlet is that we only pay for the ads that are actually viewed. In traditional broadcast media, a buyer pays the cable or TV channel for a set amount of ads that run at predetermined times and that’s it – money goes in and you hope that people saw your ad. With YouTube, however, we’ll actually know how many people are viewing our ads and how long they’re watching them. It will be intriguing to see how this will affect the extent of our
YouTube advertising as well as to see the exact reach of the promotion.
Another quickly growing segment of the electronic media market is the mobile gaming population that enjoys playing games on their phones or tablets. If you’ve watched any amount of cable TV or even the Super Bowl this year, you’ve likely seen the ads for games like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush Saga.
These games have massive audiences that spend huge amounts of time – and even significant amounts of money – on their devices and in the game. Rhinelander will also soon be tapping into these audiences with a free game of its own focused, of course, on our beloved Hodag.
The yet-to-be-released Hodag game will challenge players with collecting a series of falling items over a number of different levels that feature Northwoods scenery and themes – all while avoiding harmful objects that will take away lives and points. The game is designed to be simple yet a little bit addicting so that it easily engages users and challenges them to continue playing to better their scores. Of course, users will also get to learn about the Hodag and the
Rhinelander area, and also be encouraged to learn more about both of them by visiting ExploreRhinelander.com or booking a trip to our area.
Both of these new projects will help ensure the Rhinelander area is well represented in large audiences across our region and hopefully draw more people to the area. They seek to reach audiences where they’re spending much of their time (online and on their devices) and engage them in fun and meaningful ways.
If you have other ideas for how Rhinelander can stay on the cutting edge of new markets, you should always feel free to make contact with us here at the Chamber of Commerce.
Dana DeMet is available at 715-365-7464.