Content trends are evolving faster than you can say “printing press,” and subtle nuances in the way consumers ingest content are emerging every day.
Knowing this, it’s important to stay up-to-date on recent trends and consumer habits. In November 2017, Hubspot released a report on international digital consumer trends that’s chock-full of valuable insights. As you prep for the coming months’ content strategy, it’s essential that you read up on those trends now.
Let’s take a look inside.
Age is Important
Not-so-spoiler alert: Young people consume content differently than older people. Okay, we all knew that already, but examining exactly how each age group consumes content can provide us with some valuable information nonetheless.
In this report, some key generational differences were discovered. To start, it appears that younger consumers have a strong preference for videos, social content and online classes/educational games, while older consumers are partial to news articles, research reports and email content.
Interestingly, all age groups, from the ages of 18 to 55+, have a similar level of enthusiasm for in-depth articles that feature video, audio and/or graphics.
Going deeper, we see that younger consumers (ages 18-34) are more likely to use search engines, Facebook or mobile notifications to get content, while older consumers (ages 35-55+) go directly to a publication’s website or read email newsletters.
When it comes to the devices consumers use to access content, younger generations can’t get enough of their phones, while older generations prefer to use their desktop. Neither older nor younger generations seem to like using tablets for this purpose.
And, for your daily dose of TMI, consider that young people’s love for their smartphones knows no bounds–81 percent use them before falling asleep, 73 percent use them immediately after waking and 56 percent use them while using the bathroom (sorry). By comparison, 53 percent, 41 percent and 16 percent of Baby Boomers user their phones in those situations.
Videos and Engaging Articles are the Way to Go
While it’s true that people’s attention spans are shortening, there are some types of content that consumers pay far more attention to than others. Namely, videos, news articles, multimedia articles and social media posts, all of which are consumed thoroughly (rather than skimmed) by more than 50 percent of people.
In line with that, 53 percent of consumers want to see more videos in the future, 46 percent want to see more news articles, 44 percent want to see more social posts, 36 percent want to see more social photos and research reports and 31 percent want to see more in-depth articles.
And, those preferences don’t just apply to non-branded content: More than half of consumers prefer branded video content over any other type of branded content.
Brand Websites Play a Big Role
After reading through all the statistics we’ve just discussed, it may seem like brands would be better off putting all their energy into creating videos and social posts and putting their websites and written content on the back burner. Not so: An overwhelming 67 percent of consumers will visit a brand’s website if they like the brand.
If we take a closer look at how different age groups engage with brands they like, we learn that all generations, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, go to brand websites. Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to follow brands on social media or watch their videos, while Gen X and Baby Boomers are more likely to sign up for branded emails.
After looking at Hubspot’s report, it’s clear that generational differences are abundant:
- Younger consumers prefer videos, social content and online classes/educational games.
- Older consumers prefer news articles, research reports and email content.
- Younger consumers access content on their smartphones.
- Older consumers access content on their desktops.
- People pay the most attention to videos, news articles, social posts and multimedia articles.
- Consumers in all age groups are most likely to visit the website of a brand they like.
Here at bizbuzzcontent, we’ve broached many of these same issues in previous blog posts:
- We explained how to write content for Millennials
- We analyzed the importance of mobile content
- We explored the best ways to create content for 21st century attention spans
- We revealed how you can create truly great web page content
In the end, successful companies will:
- Identify and cater to their audience, whether they’re younger, older or somewhere in between.
- Ensure their content is mobile-friendly.
- Strive to create visual and written content that grabs and holds consumers’ attention.
- Invest in creating high-quality videos, articles and social media posts.
- Make sure their website and its content is beautiful and well-written.
What do you think of Hubspot’s findings? Have you seen similar patterns in the habits of your audience? Let me know in the comments!