The Evolution of Content Consumption: What Evolved Consumers Want in their Content
Today’s internet users have evolved tastes when it comes to consuming content.
In the early days of the internet, visitors were willing to put up with slow speeds, static content and marketing that doesn’t interest them. Now brands need to offer sophisticated, personalized content to attract customers.
The computer forever changed how we consume content. Perhaps most notably, the internet changed the way brands and consumers interact. In the old days of television, radios and the old world wide web, brands engaged in outbound marketing that blared their message to interested and uninterested consumers alike. Content consumption changed again when HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, coined the phrase “inbound marketing” to describe marketing that draws interested consumers towards a website to learn more information rather than broadcasting that information to an uninterested audience.
Smartphones heralded in a new era of content consumption. In less than a decade, the number of smartphone users has skyrocketed from 62.6 million in 2010 to an estimated 265.9 million in 2019, according to Statistica.
In December of 2018, CMO By Adobe surveyed 1,000 people in the United States who own at least one digital device. It found that the consumption of digital content is on the rise. It also showed that consumers already have established tastes and preferences when it comes to the types of digital content they consume.
Overall, respondents to the survey spent more than a quarter of their day – an average of 8.8 hours daily – consuming digital content. Younger consumers spend more time on digital content than do their older counterparts, with an average of 11.4 hours for Gen Z and 10.9 hours for Millennials.
Consumers also have evolved taste when it comes to the types of content they prefer – many would rather watch videos than read text, for example. Videos attract 300 percent more traffic, according to the publishing company, MarketingSherpa.
What Evolved Consumers Want in Content
Today’s consumers have high standards when it comes to content. To attract a larger number of loyal buyers, brands will have to step up their game.
A whopping 39 percent of Adobe survey respondents said that poorly written content was annoying. Brands must create engaging content that gives consumers valuable (or at least entertaining) content.
They want it fast
The content must load quickly. More than a third of those surveyed by Adobe said they were frustrated by slow page loads, and more than half said they would stop viewing the content altogether if it took too long to load.
Consumers don’t want to see content that doesn’t interest them. Content personalization delivers content based on an audience’s interests and motivations.
… that isn’t too personal
Personalization is important, but it has to be just the right kind of personalization in the right amounts. A quarter of those surveyed by Adobe said that content that is too personalized is a turnoff. Brands must find the perfect balance between seeming friendly and being creepy.
Easy on the eyes and optimized
Page layout and optimization is important too. Of those in the Adobe survey, 28 percent said that poorly designed branded content was irritating. One in five expressed aggravation when content is not optimized for their device.
One third of people in the U.S. will use a voice assistant in 2019, according to eMarketer, which means nearly 112 million consumers will talk to their devices rather than pushing buttons. Most prefer using their smartphones and smart speakers as voice assistants, but a growing number of consumers are utilizing voice assistants in their cars, smart TVs, wearables, appliances and other gadgets. Search Engine Journal expects the number of voice assistant users to jump to 122.7 million by 2021.
A 2017 survey by HubSpot found that 54 percent would rather see video content from their favorite brands and only 18 percent wanted blog articles.
To maintain and loyal customer base – and to attract new customers in the highly competitive world of the internet – brands must offer evolved content. For more information on creating content that appeals to the evolving taste of today’s internet user, contact the content marketing team at WriterAccess.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for nearly 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.