With the rise in digital first businesses, marketing and brand engagement has also moved to the digital platform, with social media playing an important role in consumer connect and engagement. Accelerated by the pandemic, which restrictied the reach and feasibility of other conventional media as a preferred choice for marketing, brands have now been heavily investing in digitial and social media platfomrs for creating a consistent brand presence. However, a series of fake news, religious and politically biased content and communication that violates the already polarized sensitivities of a varied population, have created a chaotic environment on the digital front.
In fact, given the pace at which fake news has been spreading, it is no less than a pandemic in itself.
To curb this situation, the Indian government notified a new Guideline and Digital Media Ethics Code Rule at the end of February 2021.
What The New Policy Says?
The new policy that came with a three-month compliance margin intends to establish a “soft-touch oversight” mechanism to supervise all contents generated on social media and digital media, and OTT platforms.
This means platforms will now have to share information such as that related to verification of identity, identify originators of unlawful messages, and aid the government in related investigations. Not just that, the platforms are also expected to have a grievance redressal mechanism and promptly take down messages that propagate fake news. While some have criticized the new rules as an infringement on the expression of freedom, top think tanks across the world are all praises for the new move.
In fact, with other countries also pressing their social network to take responsibility, UK, the US, and Australia could also emulate India’s move very soon. A key takeaway for all stakeholders here is that this new policy will completely transform the way in which they use social media communications.
Need For Diligently Designed Campaigns
With the ongoing COVID crisis, people are being confined to their homes and relying on social media as their outlet to the outside world. Be it for information, entertainment, or education, the number of users on these platforms is increasing every minute. However, the new policy is now set to restrict fradulant and polarized news articles, making the space more safe and controlled. For brands and marketing agencies, this means more structured guidelines and framework to follow, that is set to help build diligently reserached and thus, well received campaings! This means virulent and sensational campaigns, and other content would now be as per strict guidelines and codes of engagment, ensuring there is no ambiguity going forward.
More Efficient Marketing
A change can often sound intimidating. But considering its effects, in the long run, the new moderations and structuring can actually work in favor of the brands and PR agencies. The first benefit that moderation brings is that brands will now have proper guidelines that they can follow while planning their campaign.
Added to that, with the problem of the fake taken off the plate, the validity of the messages that brands and PR agencies send out will gain a new level of validity. This means your messages will now have a more pronounced effect than even on your target audience.
Better Defined Target Audience
The new policy also widens the arena of potential for digital marketers. With everything on these erstwhile exempted platforms getting streamlines, it will be much easier to target ads and have your campaigns run. Even your target audience itself will become much better defined.
You may not be able to feel these changes overnight. But if you believe in keeping yourself and your business updated for the trends of tomorrow, these are definitely the new developments that you must prepare yourself for!
Article is authored by Anindita Gupta, Co-Founder, Scenic Communication.