The Internet has become a mainstay of our daily lives. We can look up almost anything – from the weather, the latest celebrity gossip, to the latest scientific breakthrough – in just a few short keystrokes. Social media has helped people connect with friends, families, coworkers, and even acquaintances all over the world with ease. But even as social media has become an important part of our lives, we’ve also become a more information-intense society. People are searching for more and more information, and are now aiding the creation of online communities to make their content consumption more efficient.
Online communities and content
With the emergence of new platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, millions of content producers and content consumers are being connected and sharing in virtual communities. However, this also means that we, as content consumers, have a greater number of tools at our disposal to consume information, from blogs, to Reddit, to Facebook, to YouTube. Social media content creators are now able to reach a broader, more diverse audience of consumers, but we, the content consumers, also have a more diverse and more selective audience to choose from.
As a result, internet-based communities have been changing the way we consume content. These communities play a big role in the growth of the Internet, connecting content producers and content consumers. However, they now play a bigger role than simply sharing content: they’re driving a movement towards content creation, too. Communities have provided a place for content creators to share information and connect with each other, and such communities are now becoming a place for people to find and share ideas, and develop new content on topics that may not exist anywhere else.
Community-driven content and the rise of the influencer
As content consumption has become more efficient, and virtual communities have become even more accessible, it’s not just information sharing taking place online. An increased number of people are creating content that is of interest to the content consumers in such communities. These creators, also known as ‘influencers’, are now more widely recognized for creating content that’s of interest to their audience. This isn’t just a one-way street, either: content consumers are now increasingly using these communities to share content with their peers.
Content consumers have access to more and more information, and they’re now using that access to share their knowledge with the world. In a world where many people are able to create and share information, where many people are willing to pay to find that information, and where many people now use internet-based communities to discuss the information they’ve learned, it’s indeed an interesting period for communities looking to leverage Gen-Z for an impactful change in the world.
Impact on Gen-Z
Gen-Zs are the digital natives who are increasingly sharing their knowledge and ideas online. They’re making use of new platforms such as online communities and virtual communities to share their views, knowledge, and content. They’re not just sharing their personal content, either: Gen-Zs are sharing content that’s of interest to them and to their peers online.
This sharing, and the engagement this generates, means that communities are attracting more and more people every day. This is good for the communities, and it’s great for content consumers, who now have access to so much more online content.
So how do you ensure you capture the attention of the Gen-Z crowd and keep them engaged? Here are a few things you can learn from successful online communities that are attractive to the Gen-Z folks:
- It’s important that you have a well-curated content offering. This should include not just the content you create, but also the content you consume.
- Your engagement strategy should look at attracting and capturing the attention of people who are browsing the web for information online. This means your efforts need to have a good search engine optimization strategy, as well as a site design that’s engaging.
- Make your community a source of information for your audience. Your content needs to be engaging and informative. And your community should be an easy-to-navigate hub for your audience. It needs to be easy for them to discover new topics and share their interest and expertise on those topics.
All of the above-mentioned traits are a reflection of the future of how we will communicate online. The future belongs to the communities, and the communities are the future of technology.
Gen-Zs are the future of content creation and consumption, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about how to engage with them in your own communities. The good news is, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The tools, technologies, and methods of communication are the same as for the rest of us. It just takes a bit of attention and innovation to make them better.