As we all know, digital marketing is a vital piece of any successful marketing strategy. With internet usage in the U.S. estimated at 84% by a recent eMarketer study, digital channels continue to serve as a marketing platform with unrivaled reach and engagement potential for businesses. And while there isn’t anything new or surprising about the saturation of internet usage in the U.S., there are several key trends highlighted in eMarketer’s report. These latest statistics on how, when, where and why people use the internet will only continue to transform and disrupt the digital landscape over the next few years.
From how users are accessing the internet and where they choose to consume information, every business needs to pay attention to these trends in order to develop and sustain effective marketing strategies in 2018 and beyond.
Mobile Devices Are Becoming The Top Entry Point For Internet Users
Last year, 93.4% of internet users in the U.S. used a mobile device to get online. Although this may be slightly higher than some marketers would guess-timate, this isn’t any kind of newsflash for most of us.
The really striking factoid in eMarketer’s research on mobile devices is the fact that 14.9% of users exclusively used smartphones (and the like) to access the internet. Based on their findings, they estimate that upwards of 18% of internet users will rely solely on mobile devices without ever using a desktop or laptop in just a few years.
14.9% of users exclusively used smartphones to access the internet
What does this mean for your marketing strategy in 2018? In the past few years, more than enough emphasis has been placed on the need to optimize digital marketing for mobile experiences. However, faced with this kind of changing tide toward mobile-only internet users, those experiences are becoming increasingly critical to reaching new customers and keeping their attention. One big piece of a mobile-first approach involves developing apps that offer unique value and innovative experiences – meeting potential customers’ needs directly through the device glued to their hand 24/7. Plus, considering that Statista projects that mobile apps will generate roughly $189 billion in revenue by 2020, this is one gravy boat no business wants to miss out on.
Statista estimates that mobile apps will generate roughly $189 billion by 2020
Video And Social Media Are The Most Popular Digital Activities
On a monthly basis, 81% of internet users streamed or downloaded video content. According to eMarketer, the growth of video content on social networks is one of the key drivers of overall video traffic. As we’ve all seen in the past few years, social media companies have been working overtime to optimize their products with a mobile-first experience, integrating more and more video content and interactive experiences for their users. Of course, Facebook is by far the most popular social network among users in the U.S., reaching more than 170 million users last year. The closest ranking platform behind Facebook is Instagram, which has roughly 85 million users according to the latest estimates.
Facebook now boasts more than 170 million users
Now, what does this mean for you? First and foremost, if you aren’t taking advantage of Facebook’s hyper-targeted advertising platform then it’s time to get on that bandwagon with branded video content and enticing marketing experiences. If the cost is what’s kept you from doing social ads then that’s just silly. If you are already investing in paid search for lead gen, social advertising is just as valuable of an investment. It’s never been easier for businesses to create and share video content or engaging interactive experiences for target audiences – what makes that content valuable is how much interest it drives from prospects and customers. Although you can certainly get traction through organic social networking, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by developing targeted ad campaigns on social media. The key is to find the social networks used most by your target audiences and make strategic decisions about the messages you’ll promote.
At first glance, it may seem like these trends are both common sense based on the way the digital landscape has shifted in the past few years. However, when you look closely at the statistics highlighted in this article and in eMarketer’s report, there are some key findings that inform smarter, more efficient marketing strategies that can give you the leg up in increasingly competitive climates.