The online image can be interpreted as how others interact and perceive the value you provide for them. It is a summation of the content that you post online, and the persona that you express across various platforms. This essay will explore my experience in how I have created relevant content for my audience pertaining to an online media persona that I have developed through my studies in Publishing101.
Before entering Publishing101, my main social media pages were Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Across these platforms, I shared content I created (mostly personal media), without considering the impacts or optics on my audiences. I entered Publishing101 with the intentions to gain more engagements on my social media accounts to promote my choreography. However, I discovered instead, a new persona, an online image brand that I now enjoy developing.
I started off Publishing101 slow but steadily. I submitted both required course contents and personal branding content on the blog. I established that my main driver of audience interest was to instigate conversation from the stories I tell. I wanted to share something that people can talk about and relate to. Thus, I concluded that my audience was of a person who enjoys storytelling and online literature. This started my initial blog post on “How to get curved by Twitter girls.” Since this post was new and interesting, my friends discovered this post through social media and commented and direct messaged me their thoughts. The engagement did not last long however. I had less people read about “Part 2” of the story and it made me consider what other possible ways were there to engage a larger audience.
My blog revolves around storytelling, so it is a reasonable to assume that it is a form of literature. I needed to understand how the business of literature manifests online, so I can better perceive my audience needs and create content accordingly. Richard Nash defines that content “is the swirl and gurgle of idea and style in the expression of stories and concepts—the conversation, polemic, narrative force that goes on within and between texts, within and between people as they write, revise, discover, and respond to those texts.” (Nash, 2013) This extrapolates the idea that content can be a combination of different media forms. With the Publishing101 “Remix” project underway, I seized the opportunity to combine the two things that I love, Call of Duty and storytelling. These two mediums are two opposite platforms with their own unique points of interest. Call of Duty is videogame from a first-person shooter perspective that does not claim any narrative objective. Whereas, the stories that I tell, narrates and depicts social instances of my past. By combining these two, I created a product that was effectively engaging and surprisingly interesting. My first remixed video, “how I got a $500 Noise Complaint Ticket,” was the beta test for my new product. I shared the video on all my social media sites and the engagement and responses were just as high, or higher than my first original story post. This indicated that I was heading in the correct direction. Furthermore, Google analytics portrayed my audience demographic to be of those within North America mostly, which allowed me to gain insight on the culture type of who my audience was.
On the next video, I applied the feedback and adjusted my game volume, narration approach, and tone style to satisfy my audience needs. However, I also wanted to extend the capacity of this new product I developed. I began a new YouTube channel and Instagram handle specifically dedicated towards this content. I wanted to “develop [my] brand, curate an audience, and create content that is successfully geared towards [a] demographic” (Lindsay, 2014). The title of the channel on both platforms is called “Storytime with Kevin.” I specifically chose YouTube and Instagram because of their own unique value propositions.
YouTube lets their consumers “indulge in YouTube binges” (Lindsay, 2014) which means that consumers can watch as many videos without breaks or interruptions. I wanted that possibility for my channel because this will give the public the opportunity and choice of how much of my content they wish to receive. They are given the deciding power on whether it is one video that satisfies their curiosity or four or more videos.
Instagram on the other hand, caters to the millennial or generation Y demographic. “Generation Y is the first generation that has been growing up with internet and for them, mobile phones and social media highly involved in their normal social life” ( Johansson & Wallsbeck, 2014) So this demographic pertains and responds to “Innovation, autonomy, collaboration, flexibility…” (Daskal, 2016) Instagram being one of the top social media platforms to employ these values, I wanted my content shared and targeted to these individuals. Instagram accounts “bring their unique identities and values to life through captivating imagery and a focus on their respective communities,” ( Johansson & Wallsbeck, 2014) which is why starting an account can better allow me to drive up engagement and mark up impressions.
Having established both accounts, I now have a handful of followers on Instagram with a growing number of views. I currently do not have any comments on my blog, but I do have some on the new Instagram page. In the future, I intend to record and document my publishing process and share my thoughts and opinions on the blog. However, I truly believe pushing content through social media is a much more effective means of reaching people.
This newly curated product is something I enjoy doing and I am extremely grateful for Publishing101 for aiding me in its discovery. My online presence will polish and develop as I grow and understand more about myself, so the content value that I produce will indefinitely transpire to become something remarkable in the future.
Johansson, U., & Wallsbeck, F. E. (2014). Instagram Marketing – When brands want to reach Generation Y with their communication. The International Marketing Programme, 19.
Daskal, L. (2016, June 16). The Secret on How to Motivate Millennials. Retrieved from INC: https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/the-secret-on-how-to-motivate-millennials.html
Lindsay, K. (2014, December 26). UNPOPULAR OPINION: These YouTube Authors are Ruining the Publishing Industry. Retrieved from XOJane: https://www.xojane.com/issues/zoella-girl-online-youtube-authors
Nash, R. (2013, March 7). What Is the Business of Literature? Retrieved from VQR: http://www.vqronline.org/articles/what-business-literature