How do business owners approach digital marketing in the new year? Which social media platforms engage users? What types of content are digital users consuming? Is email still worth your time?
Note: This post has been updated to reflect current trends and statistics.
Digital technology and smart device use has rocketed upward in the past decade. And while the mainstays of social media and video–Facebook, Twitter, YouTube–loom large in every day user interaction, new platforms, like TikTok, continually surface and rapidly gather huge followings.
What do business owners do with all this social media platform and smart device growth?
How do current digital marketing trends affect our online marketing?
In this post, I break down statistics and the demographics in social media, content, and email use and consumption.
Having this information can help you decide how to approach your current and future digital marketing efforts.
Let’s first look at a few overall statistics in smart device and social media use.
Social Media and Smart Device Statistics
- More than 4 billion people use the Internet worldwide.
- The use of smartphones is expected to reach 3.8 billion by 2021.
- In the United States, nine in ten adults use the Internet.
- There are 2.5 billion Facebook monthly active users (MAU)
- 330 million Twitter MAUs.
- In the past three years, the number of YouTube channels with more than 1 billion views has grown by fives times.
- Social media use is expected to reach 3.1 billion globally by 2021 (Statista)
Knowing what platforms to use in your digital marketing and what devices to target is indicated not only by user growth, but also what engages your audience.
TikTok entered the scene September 2016. It is now the No. 1 non-gaming iOS app in the United States. One of the most popular social networks amongst teenagers, TikTok has been download more than 1 billion times.
Let’s take a look at what other social media platforms engage users most.
The Giants of Social Media
Digital marketing trends point to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and, depending on your industry, LinkedIn as the most used platforms in the U.S.
Facebook and YouTube are the giants among social media networks. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, the majority of adults in the U.S. use Facebook and YouTube.
2.5 billion MAU
Facebook is ranked the top social media platform according to the number of active users.
The platform expanded its reach with Stories in 2017, which integrates with Instagram Stories.
Publish a Story on Instagram, and you can instantly share it with your Facebook Story feed. You must have a business Instagram account and link the two platforms for it to work.
Facebook continues to push Stories as a way to reach your target market, offering Blueprint courses to create Stories and suggesting vetted marketing partners.
YouTube is used by nearly three-quarters of adults, with a whopping 94% who are between the ages of 18 and 24.
Ranked second most popular social media platform according to active users, the video sharing platform continues to grow. In the U.S., 57% of users say they accessed the platform on a daily basis to follow brands and celebrities, and to keep up on societal issues.YouTube is used by nearly three-quarters of adults, with a whopping 94% who are between the ages of 18 and 24. #videomarketing Click To Tweet
Entertainment-related videos receive 9,816 views per month. How-to and style videos are the second most watched with 8,332 views a month.
1 billion MAU
Third on the Pew Research list of most popular social media platforms, Instagram is at the forefront of social media platforms that offer an ever-expanding toolset for businesses and advertisers to reach consumers in a meaningful way.
That it integrates with Facebook, making it easy for cross-posting Stories and IGTV video posts, only boosts its effectiveness.
While Instagram has been typically popular among younger people–70% of its users were age 25 and younger in 2018– data shows that use by those 25 to 34 years old topped their younger peers in 2019.
This rapid-paced social media site offers fast networking. The fact that politics have brought the micro-networking site to the forefront of people’s consciousness doesn’t hurt.
Its use continues to grow among 14 to 24-year-olds: 45% of this age group now uses Twitter, according to the Pew Research Center.
Snapchat & Pinterest
The photo and video sharing platform is also super popular among the younger generation, with 78% of 18 to 24-year-olds using the platform.
The visually engaging image sharing platform Pinterest is used by an older demographic, but millennials are known to pop onto the site now and then.
One interesting statistic is that 40% of this platform’s users have an income of $100K-plus.
Businesses and marketers would also do well to target Pinterest campaigns to women—41% of U.S. females use Pinterest as opposed to 16% of men.
As for LinkedIn, the study by Pew Research found the business networking site is particularly popular with college graduates and high-income users.
The B2B platform is also popular amongst women with 44% in the U.S. using it on a regular basis.
Content Marketing Involves More Video, Voice, and Messaging
A critical factor in digital marketing trends in 2019 will be with the use of content—in many forms, old and new.
Storytelling is a long-lived tradition that provides history, education, entertainment, and overall value.
Whether it is blog posts, images, infographics or video, people respond to stories— they will read or engage with content if it provides a takeaway they can use or if it impacts them in a meaningful way.
In 2019 business owners will have to think out of the box if they want to continue reaching people via content.In 2019 business owners will have to think out of the box if they want to continue reaching people via content. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
An article in Financial Brand discusses how digital marketing trends show how people today, especially the younger generations, speak in emojis, photos, memes, symbols, and messaging. It’s all part of storytelling.
Voice is also a essential part of the content marketing strategy mix. The advent of digital voice assistants like Siri, OK Google, and Alexa has increasingly caused people to rely on voice commands to search for information, shop, get directions, make reservations and more.
Marketing experts recommend focussing voice search optimization on shorter messaging and using content that gives quick answers such as FAQs.
The statistics of this past year’s video use shows that it now must be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
Here are a few statistics to get you thinking:
- Online video will make up more than 85% of all consumer Internet traffic in the U.S. by the year 2020. (Cisco)
- An average of 55% video viewers pay close attention when watching videos, more than any other kind of content (HubSpot)
- On Facebook, users watch more than 100 million hours of video every day (TechCrunch)
- Snapchat users watch approximately 10 billion videos every day. (AdWeek)
- 82% of Twitter users view video content (Twitter)
You can integrate video into all your social media campaigns. Take your smartphone and shoot a 30-second business tip.
What About Email?
Email is still one of the most used digital means to communicate. More than half the planet uses email, according to Lifewire, with hundreds of billions of emails sent each day.
Active email accounts are estimated to reach 5.6 billion in 2019. (Statista 2018)
The ROI potential of email marketing is an astounding 4400 percent, garnering an average return investment of $44 for every $1 spent.The ROI potential of email marketing is an astounding 4400 percent, garnering an average return investment of $44 for every $1 spent. #emailmarketing Click To Tweet
One growing digital marketing trend in effective email marketing is segmented and targeted messaging.
Platforms like Mailchimp offer segmentation of lists so you can more successfully target your email campaigns to people who will actually open them.
As growth continues across all digital information platforms and devices, the task of grabbing and retaining consumers’ attention and loyalty relies mainly on effective content generation and promotion.
Create compelling stories using a variety of mediums that are most familiar to your target market.
Reach them on platforms where they socialize and engage with content.
As always, do your research to find the right platforms and the most engaging type of content, and be consistent.
Good luck in the New Year!
Over to You
What do you think? Do you have something to add or a question? Let me know in the comments below: