How Shifting Trends in Media Consumption Will Affect Digital Marketing

For decades before the 2000s, media consumption remained virtually unchanged. People got their news and entertainment from the TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and other traditional forms of media. Rental stores were one of the few places you could go to get new music, CDs or a movie to watch -- apart from cinemas.

The Tech Boom.

But then the internet-powered tech boom happened. Within a few years, a simple download replaced the need to go to the rental store for entertainment. People could stream music, videos, and movies from the comfort of their homes. Soon, people, especially millennials, were ditching cable TV for content streaming, giving rise to the cord-cutting generation.

The shift in media consumption has affected many allied industries, including digital marketing. While digital marketing has been undergoing a renaissance of its own, the shifting landscape of media consumption is playing a significant role in that renaissance.

For instance, digital marketing strategies used to include platforms like text messaging, interactive kiosks and TVs as the main ad platforms. However, with changing media consumption habits, digital marketers have had to rethink their content creation strategies to include platforms like Facebook and Pinterest that didn’t exist a couple of years ago.

Check out a few more ways that the tide of change in media consumption is driving the revolution in digital marketing. 

1. To own or to stream?

In the past five years or so, we have largely shifted from renting movies from the rental store to streaming Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other OTT content providers. In fact, over 60 percent of households with a broadband connection in the U.S. have at least one subscription to a streaming service.

For digital marketers, this offers a new platform for reaching out to audiences. Marketers are coming up with new marketing strategies to ensure content reaches viewers on some of these streaming platforms, including Netflix and the music streaming platform, Spotify. This way, they can get the message out to their audience even when they shift from traditional ad platforms like cable and print media.       

2. The growth of social media.

With billions of active users every month, social media has contributed immensely to the shift in media consumption. A survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center found that out of the billions of active users, 62 percent of American adults consume news via social media. The same survey also found that about 18 percent of adults get news from social media on a regular basis.

Many surveys and studies have shown millennials leading the pack in terms of adoption of social media as the main means of media consumption. Digital marketing departments are continually designing engaging content that speaks to audiences on social media. Unlike other advertising platforms, content designed for social media must speak to the hearts of audiences for the content to be shared across platforms.  

3. Live video.

Live video and video streaming have been around for a couple of years via teleconferencing platforms like Skype. However, 2016 saw live video streaming become one of the most popular ways of media consumption. Brands began using this media form to reach out and engage consumers, a trend that is bound to explode in 2017.

Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram that have started digging into live video and offer digital marketers the perfect opportunity to reach out to consumers in a timely, unscripted, and authentic manner. Plus, as this post from Over The Top SEO illustrates, videos can be creatively repurposed into many things, including embedding videos in emails as part of your email marketing strategy.  

4. Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things has been growing steadily over the past couple of years as an evolving platform for media consumption. The IoT has seen an increasing number of gadgets (or things) become connected to the internet, presenting digital marketers new ways of engaging with customers. For instance, marketers can push media content via smart refrigerators, smart watches, or even Bluetooth-enabled training shoes.

The opportunities are virtually endless in this area.

Bottom Line

As with any technological advancement, there are a ton of challenges when it comes to adoption of the new media consumption platforms by the digital marketing community. Issues like tech support, regulatory compliance, and data privacy and security will continue to haunt the marketing industry.

But as more media consumers become part of the digital movement and technology improves, digital marketers should have an easier time in this space going forward.