Digital Marketing: Online media as a platform for meaningful education

Digital Marketing

Online media as a platform for meaningful education

By Jamie Camfferman July 8, 2016 • 3 minutes to read

In today’s fast-paced, second-by-second, short-attention-spanned world, the process of teaching and learning has been completely flipped on its head. We all know that with the advent of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, and YouTube, attention spans are shorter than ever. Information needs to be passed, shared and liked with lightening speed if it is to garner any sort of acknowledgement, let alone the full-on focus it may deserve.

The world is in a state where education is necessary for society to progress and keep up with its own demands. Yet a lot of important topics and subjects aren’t pursued because they’re seen as being too difficult or even too boring. Subjects such as the sciences, history, philosophy, technology, and engineering are not appealing for these reasons, and where they are, the interest pales in comparison to that reserved for the banal, bite-sized factoids of say, the latest celebrity baby names.

What better way to approach young people than addressing them where they spend their time?

We live in a world in which innovation and originality is rewarded. Many inspiring individuals have started independently run YouTube channels where they can share short, concise, and beautiful videos on a wide range of topics – from science to history, to the great stoic philosophers, to economics. Topics that may bore the average high school student or young adult have been crafted into bite-sized, palatable, delicious chunks and are often paired with fun animation or even hand-drawn illustration. When faced with something they don’t understand or know how to do, many internet users (i.e. everyone) will go online and look it up.

My favourite channel

One particular channel, and my personal favourite, is called The School of Life and is run by the Swiss-born British philosopher and author Alain de Botton. The purpose of the channel is to promote and build emotional intelligence in its beautifully narrated and animated short films. De Botton works with many different designers and animators to create these films and each one has its own unique style.

Why are these types of channels so successful?

These types of channels provide opportunities to creatives to create valuable and meaningful work, even if it is not created with the intent to earn a profit in the beginning. The increasing number of these channels and their respective growth in subscribers has encouraged companies to sponsor and become involved financially, thus supporting the artists and benefitting from the marketing exposure. Audible.com, a website where you can buy and listen to audiobooks, has sponsored the popular channel AsapSCIENCE and offers viewers a free audiobook using a promo code when signing up.

This symbiotic relationship between creative and company is one of the positive impacts advertising and marketing has on the world. The better the creatives’ ideas and videos, the more subscribers they’ll get, which increases the monetary value their work acquires through company sponsorship allowing them to create more content. It’s a win-win situation – the creative is able to share meaningful, educational content, the sponsor acquires business in a sustainable and valuable way, and the world can (hopefully) become a better place in which to live.

”Every question you ask leads to a more interesting question. And that’s okay – that’s the whole point.” - Hank Green, co-owner of the Vlogbrothers

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