Web-based content is in high demand and gets consumed more quickly than ever before, says Mary Meeker’s annual technology trends report, published yesterday.
The report is a behemoth 164-slide presentation covering Internet trends on topics including big data, education, healthcare, cybercurrencies, and more.
But instead of making you read the whole thing, we’ve compiled the most valuable takeaways for content marketers. They are:
- There’s a dramatic increase in both content consumption and demand.
- People consume and share media quickly after publication.
- Mobile Internet access is continually rising, as smartphones and tablets continue to dominate the market.
Let’s dig deeper.
Increased Demand for Content
The sheer volume of content and data is on the rise, with a 50% year-over-year increase in content being created, shared, and consumed by global audiences. And this is just the beginning. By 2016, there will be an estimated 13 zetabytes* of information produced in the digital landscape, more than 3X the amount produced just a year ago.
Much of this is powered by people’s access to smartphones and “microelectromechanical systems”—a term Meeker uses to reference any mobile devices or data-monitoring gadget that people now carry (and that growing number is probably the most important overarching trend in the report, she said).
This suggests an extremely ripe time for content marketers to tap into the buckets of user-generated content and develop strategies to leverage that content.
*What is a zetabyte?
The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021.
That means 1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. (This all came from Wikipedia.)
Speedy Media Consumption Rates
Another surprising find for content marketers is how quickly people share and consume digital content. The timeline is short.
As you can see from the slide above, nearly half of all social referrals (a.k.a. shares, likes, retweets, pins, +1s) happen within the first few hours of an article going live.
This is important when considering content release strategies and launch dates/times. Several studies show that different times of the day are better for posting various types of content. For instance, Buffer App found that Saturdays are the best days to post to Facebook, and 5pm is the best time to tweet.
To maximize your content distribution and promotion, consider when you can capture the MOST people in a 6-9 hour window.
It makes a difference when your users are grossly engaged with their phones. Another cool side note from Meeker’s report: there are 800 million daily Tinder swipes—that’s half a million swipes per second (or basically: always).
Finally, “mobile” can’t go unnoticed. Mobile devices are the Internet’s growing pulse. As nations across the globe receive better access to smartphones and tablets, they’re simultaneously developing better web access. Global mobile web usage accounts for 1/4 of all web use— a 78% increase since 2013.
The obvious takeaway for marketers is: you better get mobile-friendly—and quickly.
It’s Easier Than You Might Think
Transitioning into a more mobile-friendly business isn’t as hard as you might think. Developers understand the importance of responsive design and know how to implement it.
But as marketers, we also need to be mobile aware. Publishing an eBook that isn’t formatted for mobile devices cuts out audience members that might be key to business growth—a CEO might not have time to zoom in on teeny tiny fonts. Instead, anticipate where your buyers will read your content, and publish your content in a variety of formats to meet those requirements.
A simple example (and tip) is to resize blog images in all the social media formats you plan to promote your content. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (and all the others) each have different ideal viewing conditions.
Putting Trends into Action
As Meeker’s data shows, the demand for content is only going to increase—and so is the amount of content being produced. Take advantage by honing in on the most important topics to your target audience, and creating quality content for that audience.
Pay attention to timing. You might think it doesn’t make a difference, but the data shows otherwise. By strategically publishing your content at prime times for consumption, the combined freshness and timeliness of that content will get consumed and shared more often—leading to more of the right eyes on your content.
Stop ignoring mobile. You can’t put it off any longer. Sit down with your developers and find out exactly what you need to do to ensure your content reaches audiences across “microelectromechanical systems.” Use that fancy phrase—it sounds as serious as you should be about mobile formats.
Finally, incorporate these action items—create quality buyer-centric content, test optimal timing, and focus on mobile—into your content marketing operation. Build processes around these key findings, otherwise, your content will get swiped like a bad Tinder profile.